Bits from the Branches
Matt Sieger reports, “Some of our headquarters staff have been playing basketball at a nearby playground during lunch hour. During our day of prayer, former intern (now a missionary trainee) and hoops player Jesse Danziger prayed that these fun times might also serve as an outreach.
“The next day seven of us hit the court for our lunchtime game. We needed one more player in order to play four-on-four. We spotted a guy nearby and asked if he wanted to play. We introduced ourselves to Aaron*. Then the conversation went this way:
Aaron: “Are you guys all off work today or something?”
Us: “No, we all work at the same place and come out here on lunch hour.”
Aaron: “Wow! I wish I worked at a place like that.”
Me: “Do you want to work at Jews for Jesus?”
Aaron: “Jews for Jesus? I’m Jewish, but I’m not for Jesus.”
“We knew Jesse’s prayer had been answered. Aaron had already noticed our production facility a block from headquarters. He’s a nice guy and a good ballplayer. I think he may have noticed that—unlike in a lot of pickup basketball games—we didn’t argue calls or fight with each other. But we play hard! We told Aaron he’s welcome to join us for basketball anytime, and he seems interested. Please pray that his spiritual interest might develop as well.”
Tatyana Bolotova reports, “We never know what will result from the gospel seed we sow on the streets. But sometimes the Lord gives us a glimpse and we receive fresh energy to bring again and again the news of salvation to the dying people in this world. Recently, during a sortie a young man came up and said that our tract, which he had received a year ago, prompted him to think about the meaning of life. He is now a Christian, he attends an evangelical church and prays for the salvation of the Jewish people. Praise the Lord!”
Shoshannah Weinisch reports, “I have many opportunities to share the gospel with individuals, but it seems like my husband Stewart is always the one actually praying with people to receive the Lord. We call him ‘The Closer!’ It is encouraging to see God using my husband in this season of our lives, but while I extend authentic ministry to a full caseload of Jewish women, I have to admit sometimes I feel inadequate comparing myself to him. So I have been praying and asking others to pray that God would allow me to lead a Jewish woman to faith.
“Just this past week I received a contact, Janice*, from my colleague, Jeremiah. I called her and we had a good conversation. She agreed to meet me the following week. I invited Giselle, a new missionary, to come along on the visit. During the visit we learned Janice actually believed Jesus was God from what she had learned on her own, but she didn’t understand that Jesus was God’s means of forgiving her sin. She didn’t understand the personal relationship she could have with God by accepting Jesus as her Messiah. I shared with her John 3:1-16. Then Janice asked, ‘Do I get born again by working on being a better person?’ So we looked at Romans 10:8-11. Janice got it! She made a profession of her faith in Yeshua as the promised Messiah.
“The next day Stewart spoke with Janice on the phone to confirm that she understood what had happened—and she did! I got SO excited that I did a little praise jig! My co-worker Sandy made me a sign and this little video to commemorate the event.
“Please pray for Janice that she will be well-grounded in her new faith as we continue meeting together. I know God is pleased with the sowing I do year after year. But it is a real treat when we see results.”
Bimini Cohen reports, “It has been the prayer of my heart to reach more souls for the sake of Christ. We are trying something new and different—we are using a small PA system to share our faith in public places, along with worship music. Last week we went to an area that is usually very busy, but it was so hot outside that only a trickle of folks passed by. But we continued anyway, with my partner preaching the gospel in Hebrew, as I passed out tracts and spoke with people. Here’s a quick video clip:
“After nearly an hour passed, I noticed a man sitting on the side who had listened to us the entire time. I approached him and shared as best as I could in Hebrew (which is quite limited). I asked him what he thought about Jesus being the Messiah, and he thoughtfully responded, ‘It’s possible.’
“I quickly rushed over to my partner and told her, ‘I think he might believe and that he wants Jesus. Go share with him.’ So we turned off our PA system and after she clearly explained the gospel to him, he said that he believes and that he wanted to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior! After leading him in a prayer of repentance, my partner and I prayed for him. We could see a spark of life and joy in his eyes that had not been there before. We told him we would meet him in the same spot next week for a Bible study.
“Please pray for Yosef* to grow in his new-found faith and that God would provide for his every need, especially for financial provision.”
“Mina* was referred to me by a pastor friend. She attends an ‘Alpha’ class at his church. She says that she does not want to ‘convert,’ but just wants to learn more about Jesus. She is not only meeting with me personally, but she also came to our congregation twice and is now a part of our weekly home group, all while continuing with the ‘Alpha’ class. When she first came to our congregation, she stood in the aisle rather than having a seat with us. I prayed earnestly that she wouldn’t just leave (as sometimes happens). But she finally said, ‘I can’t see well here,’ as she moved by herself to sit in the front row! (Usually newcomers hide in the back row.) She is not only fluent in English and highly educated, she has a beautiful, open heart. Please pray for her salvation.”
* Not their real names