Bits from the Branches
Karl deSouza reports, Every year the Jewish community organizes a ‘Walk for Israel’ in downtown Toronto. Approximately 20,000 people walked this year. We never know what to expect as we attend the event in our Jews for Jesus T-shirts. Some boo and shout at us, telling us to leave, while others are polite. This year as anti-missionaries tried to dissuade the crowd from taking tracts, they yelled out, ‘Beware, missionary ahead! Say no to Jews for Jesus!’ At times the anti-missionaries would get the crowd so worked up, that groups of people were shouting, ‘No! No! No!’ One Jewish gentleman got into such a ‘No!’ frenzy that he grabbed a counter-tract from an anti-missionary and ripped it in two. The surprised anti-missionary protested, ‘Hey! You ripped up the wrong tract!’ Anti-missionaries may know how to manipulate a crowd, but God has His sense of humor.”
Alan Bond reports, “The Chicago branch participated in Skokie’s 14th annual Festival of Cultures, which celebrates the ethnic diversity of the area. It could have been called the Festival of Weather, as we braved rain and wind and temperature swings in our long tent. There were probably 125-150 different booths, including Ba’hai and Lubavich Chabad, even though the festival forbade the promotion of religious systems and ideals.
“Of course, we wanted to show the world our messianic art and music forms and we were placed in the thick of the Mediterranean tables, between Greeks, Lebanese, Assyrians and Israelis. We spoke with nominal Catholics, atheist Israelis, Buddha-attracted American Jews and Unitarian-style senior citizens, to name a few.
“At one point it seemed that Chabad marshaled a bunch of ‘barely bar mitzvahs’ (preteens or young teens) to block or distract from our table, but our volunteers were able to turn the situation to our advantage. We’re hoping that some of the folks we met will drop by our Bible study in the weeks ahead.”
Diane Cohen reports, “I took a new Jewish believer, Fran, to check out a women’s Bible study group, since she needs fellowship as well as one-on-one discipleship. The talk that day seemed tailored just for her, and she was delighted to meet the women there. At lunch, Fran asked if I would visit her unsaved mom, mother-in-law and her Great Aunt! We began by visiting Aunt Esther, a delightful 93-year-old lady who is open to looking into the Scriptures to read about the Messiah. Please pray each of these ladies will come to accept Yeshua (Jesus)!”
Edward Granovsky reports, “I dropped in to visit a Jewish woman who has been receiving our literature and she confirmed that she not only receives but reads it: ‘Yes, I’ve already read that issue; yes, that one, too. It’s also interesting to me from the professional point of view.’ ‘From the professional point of view?’ I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I mean I’m a journalist!’ she replied. It turned out that this young woman writes for a Jewish newspaper. I won’t mention her name for understandable reasons. I just ask you to pray that this young woman will become interested in Yeshua from a personal point of view.
“Also, please pray for Dmitry, who says he believes that Yeshua is God and Messiah, but also says that everyone has their own way to Him through various religions. Please pray that the Lord will protect his older son who lives in Israel and has just gone into the army—Dmitry worries about him a lot. Also, Dmitry has asked me to pray for a solution to his housing problem; he does believe in the power of prayer.”
Missionary trainee Gregory Fuhrman reports, “It was my third visit to see Vicky at her apartment on Roosevelt Island. Vicky is wheelchair-bound from polio. And on this day I was sharing with Vicky about the power of the Holy Spirit, and explaining to her that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us as believers. Vicky wanted to know more. As I was reading the Word of God, her facial expression was changing and I could see that she understood. Later, I asked if she would like to pray with me to receive Jesus into her heart and she said yes. Praise the Lord! Now Vicky is a new Jewish believer. She lives right next to a wonderful church. I have spoken with the pastor about Vicky and the people of the church are praying and looking forward to meeting her. Please pray for Vicky as she continues to grow in the Lord.”