It Takes a Branch
Rachel is a college student at a local university here in D.C. She called our office to explain that she had decided to write about Jews for Jesus for her journalism course. She wanted to attend one of our events that week to observe us as research for her paper. Rachel didn’t have a car, and wondered if we had anything within walking distance to a Metro station.
Deb Dubin, our office administrator, was the one who took Rachel’s call. Deb is a Jewish believer who prayed with a Jews for Jesus missionary to receive the Lord after receiving one of our tracts on a witnessing campaign. She had to tell Rachel that, unfortunately, our weekly Bible study was the only “event” we had going on that week, and it was too far from a Metro station. But Deb took Rachel’s phone number. She felt very strongly that we should connect with Rachel. So Deb spoke to her husband Larry, one of our missionaries here in D.C. and Larry called me.
Larry knew that I first heard the gospel from a Jew for Jesus on the campus of the University of Hartford. I claimed to have only an intellectual curiosity about the gospel and actually went to heckle the missionary. But God had other plans, because when I stopped laughing, I started listening. When I starting listening, I had to know if Jesus really is the Jewish Messiah, and here I am today, 24 years later. Larry suggested that Rachel meet us at the Metro station at George Washington University. She could observe us handing out literature, engaging in conversations and then interview us afterwards. I agreed and we set it up.
Larry and I began to hand out gospel tracts to the rush hour afternoon commuters, when Rachel approached and introduced herself to me. I introduced her to Larry, who was standing several feet away. For the next halfhour Rachel watched us carefully, and took copious notes. Larry took a short break, walking over to Rachel, and they started to talk. She asked him how he came to faith in Jesus. He talked about his own journey as a Navy officer and she asked about his Jewish background.
He gladly answered all her questions and then I took my turn. She asked me about my Jewish background and I told her I was raised attending an Orthodox synagogue, but in reality we were more Conservative than Orthodox. I said, “I guess you could say we were ‘Conservadox.’” She responded that she, too, was raised in a Conservative Jewish home.
Larry and I were amazed. We really had no idea that Rachel was Jewish since she had not mentioned it and her last name was not typically Jewish. Since the sun was going down and the crowd was thinning out, we decided to continue our conversation in the cafe in the hospital located next to the station. For the next half-hour, Larry and I began to share the gospel with Rachel. She wanted to know more about how I came to believe in Jesus, so I told her my story.
Rachel challenged our belief that Jesus is the only way and we had a good conversation. At the end, she accepted Larry’s offer to send her “Blindsided,” the story of Stephen Katz, who as a college student working on his own paper for a class, was confronted for the first time with the gospel. We left the conversation on a positive note, and Rachel offered to e-mail us her paper. As Larry and I headed back to the Metro station that afternoon, we were amazed at how God had orchestrated that entire visit with this Jewish college student. From a phone call with Deb, to a visit with Larry and me together, we realized sometimes it takes an entire branch to minister to one person.
Lynn McCoy, Missionary Washington, D.C.
For more about our Washington, D.C. branch, please go to: http://jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter/2003_01/dc