Bits from the Branches
(where we don’t have a branch) via Los Angeles (where we do!)
Tuvya Zaretsky reports, “I met Marc in 2005, during our Behold Your God campaign in Las Vegas. He had questions about his girlfriend’s faith. They later married and he has continued to search for the truth about Y’shua. Early this year, he began attending a Lutheran Church and a ‘near and new believers’ Bible class. He called me to ask a question so many Jewish people struggle with: the eternal place of those who do not receive Jesus. He told me he’d asked the same question in his Bible study and when the teacher explained that apart from Jesus, people are eternally separated from God, he replied, ‘That’s hard for me to hear as a new believer.’ While it was my sad duty to concur with his Bible teacher, it was a joy to hear Marc describe himself as a believer. Do please keep him in prayer.”
Bimini Cohen reports, “I went to a local church to tell about how Christ is in the Passover. As I began to speak, I sensed a need to share briefly how Oded [her Jewish husband] and I came to faith. After the meeting, I went to the foyer and was happily surprised to see ‘Jill,’ a Christian who came regularly to my intermarried wives prayer group a couple of years ago. Accompanying her was her unbelieving Jewish husband, ‘Jim,’ who wanted to hear me speak! I was greatly encouraged to see that he is willing to meet Oded. Please pray for God’s salvation upon ‘Jim’ and that he will connect well with Oded.” Oded Cohen reports, “While on a ministry speaking tour in New Mexico, I met with some friends and together we went on a sortie (tract-passing expedition) in the town square of Santa Fe. I approached a man sitting on a bench and shared the gospel with him. He was very moved and desired to pray with me to receive Jesus as his Lord. Then he asked me to write my name and the date on the tract I’d given him so that he could keep it with his valuables to remember forever what God has done for him.”
Maxim Ammosov reports, “Simeon and Laura are a well-educated, respectable, older Jewish couple, both with PhD degrees. They have been reading the Bible with me for a long time; in fact they prayed with me years ago to receive Jesus, but it has been difficult to see fruit from their faith.
“Recently when I visited them, Simeon was devastated. His closest friend had just passed away. Since they told me she prayed to receive Jesus shortly before she died, I started to tell them that their friend was now with Jesus, and she had no more pain, no more suffering and, moreover, Simeon and Laura would see her in heaven. It was obvious to me that Simeon did not accept and was not even listening to what I said. It seemed his faith was weak, but Laura was listening and so I was continuing, mostly for her sake, when suddenly Simeon said very loudly, ‘I am listening.’ It was so unexpected, Laura and I asked what he meant. He replied, ‘I heard in my ear an unknown, but very clear voice tell me, “Simeon, please listen.” So I answered. But what was it?’
“I remembered the story of young Samuel, and I said, ‘Simeon, God spoke to you.’ Simeon, who fears death, said, ‘What did He want? Does He want to take me?’ ‘No, Simeon, I think He wants you to listen and believe what I am saying, that your friend is with Him, no pain, no suffering, and you will see her again.’ He began to understand, but not completely. Then I read 1 Samuel, chapter 3 aloud. I watched as Simeon’s eyes became clear. He believed! By the end of the visit, he was a different person. Instead of despair, he had shalom. Praise the Lord! Please pray for Simeon and Laura to grow in their faith.”