Bits from the Branches
Anna Marie Misiti reports, I had an amazing opportunity last week, when two of our Hassidic contacts began verbalizing their desire to meet someone else who believes as they do from the Hassidic community.
“I have been having phone visits with Joseph for four years, though we have never met face to face. He prayed to receive Jesus over the phone and has been praying for his wife’s salvation on a daily basis. He says that he longs for the day that he can be outspoken about his faith and meanwhile he continues studying the word and praying—he loves the intimacy he has with Jesus.
“I began witnessing to Harry as a result of our Behold Your God New York campaign in 2006. Karol Joseph has had a good ministry to him also. Harry prayed to receive Yeshua but has had numerous stops and starts in his faith journey. We have asked you to pray for both these men at various times.
“Hassidic believers in Jesus are truly afraid of being discovered because their tightly knit community views them as guilty of a crime for which there is zero tolerance. I suggested a safe way for them to meet, using conference calling. This way their identities wouldn’t be compromised and they could chat freely. They both agreed!
“It was wonderful to hear them interact. They covered all kind of topics, including baptism. Harry said that he was baptized at heart and doesn’t need to be immersed in water. Joseph challenged him saying, ‘No, it’s about obedience; if Jesus got baptized, how much more should we?’ Powerful statement!
“A few days later, Harry called me for our usual weekly phone appointment. We typically end with prayer, and usually I pray for Harry. This time I asked him to lead in prayer and it was amazing! He cried out to Jesus, asking Him to keep him close and to help him walk honorably before Him. I wept as Harry prayed, knowing that the Lord has truly done this in Harry’s heart . . . when I heard him utter the words ‘in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord’ I was greatly moved, to say the least.
“My hope is that the Lord will open the doors for a gathering place for all of our Hassidic contacts. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for them to gather and encourage one another? Please pray that the Lord would raise up these men for His glory.”
Bimini Cohen reports: “We remain so grateful in our hearts to you for your prayers for our ministry. We have been especially concerned for Avram, who prayed with Oded last December to receive the Lord. In February, he told his brother and sister about his new faith and they reacted with severe anger. They threatened to disown him. Avram became deeply depressed, so Oded rushed to see him. Avram said, ‘I cannot deny Jesus, but I also cannot explain what I believe. All I know is that I love Jesus.’ This man lost most of his family in the Holocaust and his brother and sister are all that remain. They haven’t spoken to him since he told them of his faith. Recently as Oded and I were at a church to present ‘Christ in the Passover,’ we were encouraged to meet a Christian who works and holds a Bible study at the same place ‘Avram’ works! Please pray for them to connect and for God to keep Avram’s faith strong.”
Tuvya Zaretsky reports, “I’ve been working with a couple for some two years, a Jewish man who does not believe in Jesus, and his Christian girlfriend. Finally the boyfriend said, ‘I will never believe in Jesus.’ His girlfriend, not wanting a marriage where mutual faith is missing, broke up with him. Once she was out of the picture, he bought a Bible. Then he asked me to ‘tutor’ him in the ‘Jews for Jesus concept.’ Pray for the ex-boyfriend, as the Lord is likely to make him eat his words after studying God’s Word.”