Bits from the Branches
Igor Ashkinazi reports, Uri (aged 87) is from Moscow—a war hero who spent most of his life as a scientist. His wife, Tanya, (84) was a dentist. They came to America with nothing, to be with their son. I have ministered to them for about three months. I brought them groceries many times because they had nothing to eat. They lived in a dangerous neighborhood and were finally forced to move when the building was condemned. When I visited them in the new place they were ready to accept Jesus as their Messiah. They said it was the love shown them that made them realize Jesus was true. Please pray for their son, Alex, whom I continue to see. He says he does not and cannot make himself believe. But I know it is not his job anyway, but the job of the Holy Spirit.”
Administrator Ruth McIlmoyle reports, “I was on the verge of leaving the office one evening last week when the phone rang. James, a Jewish man from Manchester had received a Jews for Jesus tract. He said that Jewish identity lay in not believing in Jesus. I challenged James to think about why he was so convinced that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah—was it based on theological conviction or was it more of a cultural assumption? Please pray that James will now look into it for himself.
“I would also like to request prayer for Jessica who has come to my church in London a couple of times. She made the same comment as James: not believing in Jesus is an integral part of Jewish identity which she doesn’t intend to give up. Yet she agreed with everything the preacher said, and even remembered the children’s talk. She has expressed an interest in coming to church again. Please pray that she will, and that she will come to faith.”
Bruce Rapp reports, “While speaking at a local church I met a Christian businessman named Ken who works at one of the New York University medical facilities. Ken mentioned that he had occasions to tell his Jewish friend ‘Sam’ (not his real name) about Jesus, but that he did not know how to answer the objection: ‘You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus.’ Ken invited Sam and me to lunch—Ken having explained that I am a Jewish believer in Jesus. Sam was very warm and open to discussion. He listened intently and asked questions as we talked of Yeshua. As our lunch came to a close, I suggested to both Sam and Ken that perhaps they would be open to meeting for coffee one morning each of the next four weeks to explore the Bible, Jesus and prophecies that point to the Messiah. Sam pulled out his calendar and we agreed on dates. Four weeks became five as Sam found himself amazed at how Jewish Jesus and the New Testament are. Sam has not come to that place of saving faith yet, but he is well on his way. Please pray that he would see that salvation is at hand for him. We are thankful for Ken and Christians like him whose faith and courage are the conduit for so much of our ministry.”
Shaun Buchhalter reports, “A Jewish man in his fifties ‘Stuart’ (not his real name), who is married to a Gentile believer, contacted us through our website. He had been apathetic towards anything religious (including Judaism) his whole life. This continued to be the case for him even after marrying his wife Diane, who is a Christian. On rare occasions he accompanied her to church services. But when Diane was diagnosed with cancer, Stuart began attending services regularly. He was taken aback by the church’s love and support for them in light of Diane’s sickness.
“This display of love opened Stuart’s heart. For the first time, he began to question his beliefs about God (or rather his lack of belief). He began reading the Bible. And that’s when he contacted us, giving me the opportunity to meet with him. Stuart explained his skepticism but also committed to studying the New Testament with me. He assured me that he is willing to believe in the person Jesus if he can just be assured of the story’s validity. Please pray for Stuart to come to a place where he would not only experience love through believers, but that he would recognize that love coming directly from the Messiah Jesus.”