Bits from the Branches
Jeremiah Zaretsky reports: “I was doing a sortie at San Francisco State University with Rob Wertheim and Peter Nasser. I was praying that God would bring some Jewish students my way when a student approached me wearing a Birthright logo T-shirt. (Birthright is a program that offers free trips to Israel for young Jewish people.) I had gone on the Birthright program as a college student, so I recognized the shirt immediately. I was wearing my ‘Jesus Loves You’ in a Star of David shirt. The student, whose name is Robby, commented, ‘Nice shirt.’ I replied with the same compliment and added, ‘Hey, I was on Birthright, too.’ That connection allowed us to have a good conversation. As we talked, his friends passed by and made faces at him, making fun of him for speaking with a Jew for Jesus. But Robby gave me his phone number and email so I can follow up!”
Sean Trank from our multi-media department at headquarters reports: “A Jewish man from Wales, Warren,* made contact with us on our Facebook page. For months, Warren asked questions. I answered many of them, steered him to Messianic prophecies, and challenged him to look at the Scriptures for himself. After two months, when he seemed to be seriously seeking, I asked our London branch to follow up. After two more months, Warren sent me this message; ‘Just to let you know, I am now a Jew for Jesus Christ!’
“We’ve had several spiritual conversations through the Facebook message system, but Warren is the first person, as far as we know, who has come to faith after our initial contact through Facebook.” Go ahead if you haven’t yet and “like” Jews for Jesus on Facebook.
Maxim Ammosov reports, “From my very first year of ministry with Jews for Jesus fifteen years ago, I have studied the Bible with a Jewish couple, Simeon and Lora. Step by step, year by year, through illnesses and difficulties, through victories, drawbacks, and with patience, the Lord was doing His saving work in Simeon’s and Lora’s hearts. One of my greatest joys this year was seeing them baptized. It really felt to me like God’s personal present for 15 years of missionary service! Thank You, Jesus!”
Stewart Weinisch reports, “We got a phone call from a Christian nurse named Margaret, telling us about Lawrence, a Jewish patient in a long-term care facility who was wishing for a Jewish visitor. I had my first visit with Lawrence that very day.
“The fourth time I visited Lawrence, it had been about two months since I’d seen him last. The first thing he said to me was, ‘I was waiting for you.’ To be honest, with each visit I was uncertain if I should return because his responsiveness seemed to vary. But this time it was apparent that he remembered quite a bit about our previous discussions. I explained the gospel once more and asked what he would like to do. He said, ‘Have my sins forgiven.’ So Lawrence repeated after me the prayer of salvation. After he prayed he told Margaret and another nurse, Sophie, what he had just done. Again, we are thankful for Christians who care about their Jewish friends and ask us to witness to them!”
Natasha Krouter reports, “I tried several times to set up an appointment with one of our contacts, Raissa, but she had become paralyzed with fear after her apartment was burgled. I finally managed to convince her that I wished her no evil, and she agreed to meet – but only outside the entrance of her apartment building. She was open to the gospel message as I explained it, but confessed that she was angry with God for allowing that theft. I explained that God was not guilty, and that she needed to become reconciled with Him in order to experience His peace. She agreed, and prayed with me to receive the Lord. She immediately had a feeling of relief and joy. As I have continued to keep in touch with her, I can see how her hope and trust in God is growing, and driving the fear away.”
Leonid Krouter reports, “Several months ago, my friends introduced me to a Jewish man named Yevsey. He is from Ukraine, but in 1995 he moved to Berlin, Germany. Each year he returns to Kiev for three months. Yevsey did not particularly want to hear about God, but he was happy for me to pray for him. I phoned and invited him to Saturday (Shabbat) services, but he did not come. As I continued visiting Yevsey, I told him about God, sin and salvation in Jesus. He was now willing to listen, but I would not say he was open, and he still refused invitations to our meetings. After praying, and remembering Avi Snyder’s advice, I began to invite Yevsey to Bible studies at my home.
“We had fellowship with other believers, talked about God, prayed and drank tea together. Finally, Yevsey began to feel at ease with us. A day came when he opened his heart to pray and repent and receive Jesus. This was a great joy for me – and for God! Yevsey continued coming to our Bible studies and began to read the Bible on his own, as well as to pray! Then he returned to Germany.
“I have spoken to him on the phone and, praise the Lord, Yevsey has not forgotten the Word of God, but finds comfort in it. Please join me in praying for him to become well rooted in a good congregation in Berlin.”
Barry B. reports, “Recently I met Frank,* an Orthodox Jewish man, outside a shopping centre in North London. He had come up to my fellow teammate on the street, Rowena, and started shouting at her. He continued to shout as Rowena tried to talk with him about Jesus. So she stopped talking to Frank and began talking to God instead. Frank was certainly surprised – and he asked what she was doing. She replied that she was praying.
“Frank left Rowena and came over to me (I was standing a few yards away). He started to shout again; however, Rowena continued to pray and soon he had settled down. We had a good conversation about the Tanakh, (Jewish Bible) and its promises regarding the Messiah. I asked if he wanted to meet to look at the Tanakh together. He agreed, if we could study it in Hebrew. I accepted his terms and he asked if my Hebrew was good enough. In response, I began to speak to him in Hebrew and he gave me his contact details so that we could meet up.
“I praise God for answering Rowena’s prayers for God to calm Frank. Please pray with us that Frank has the courage to follow through and meet with me to study the Tanakh and that he will also be willing to look at the New Testament to see how they tie together.”
Read about our volunteer Rowena in an extended conversation with an Orthodox Jewish woman.