People sometimes ask us, why do you stand on the streets passing out literature? Can’t you rely on other, more dignified methods? Jews for Jesus ministers in many ways. Tract distribution is only one way, but unless the Lord himself tells us, we will not stop distributing literature on the streets to make ourselves or others more comfortable. Why? The following account is the perfect example:
Miriam” (not her real name) called our Jews for Jesus office. She had just received a broadside from one of our missionaries in downtown Chicago where she worked. Miriam was Jewish and very interested in talking with one of us, so I set up an appointment with her for later that same week.
We had agreed to meet at a north suburban restaurant for coffee. To my surprise, when I arrived, Miriam was not alone. She had just run into an old high school classmate. They had not seen each other in years, so the three of us sat down together to talk. Miriam’s friend was also Jewish, but quite hostile to the Gospel. During the next hour, we had a very unusual conversation that jumped back and forth between reminiscing about “old times” and discussing spiritual concerns. Miriam seemed embarrassed by her friend’s hostility and did not really participate very much in the spiritual discussion.
After an hour, Miriam’s old classmate had to leave. Finally we were able to talk privately, and I learned that the broadside tract she had received had not been her first. She had received numerous others in the past. She said that she had really enjoyed reading them and had been thinking about getting in touch with Jews for Jesus for some time. Miriam had been raised in a typically non-religious Jewish home. She had gone through several bad marriages that had left her with a real sense of longing for God.
We talked about the need for having a personal relationship with God. She was so open. It was an incredible contrast to the previous conversation with her hostile friend. After I explained how Yeshua could be the Messiah, within an hour of our going over Scriptures and answering some of her questions, Miriam prayed to receive the Lord.
Despite the very real antagonism of her friend, and despite the fact that she had been raised in a home that was against Yeshua, God had softened Miriam’s heart. The only real contact she had ever had with the Gospel had been those broadside tracts faithfully distributed on the Chicago streets by various members of our Jews for Jesus staff. I reaped where others had sown. As the Scriptures say—some sow, some water, but God giveth the increase (cf. 1 Cor. 3:7). Lord willing, we will continue handing out those broadsides!