Liberated Wailing Wall Memoirs: Small Church, Big Blessings
As our Liberated Wailing Wall mobile evangelistic team travels about the country, they proclaim the saving power of Yeshua during the day by distributing broadsides and singing at college campuses. Their 40-foot bus itself is a traveling billboard for the gospel. In the evenings and on Sunday mornings the team ministers through testimonies and Jewish gospel music to believers and unbelieving visitors in the churches. Whether the congregations are large or small, the blessings are always big!
The head of our Department of Mobile Evangelism phoned to ask if I, then leader of the Liberated Wailing Wall, would be willing to have our mobile evangelistic team do a small meeting in the Cleveland area. Although the church’s regular attendance was low, its pastor was gung ho” to have us. His church was situated in a Jewish community, and he regarded our presentation of Jewish gospel music as an evangelistic opportunity. He promised to involve other local congregations, and to do everything possible to promote the meeting.
After hearing this plea, I couldn’t say no. Even if the meeting ended up being smaller than was normally acceptable, it was well worth supporting this church’s wonderful enthusiasm. And besides, it was on our way to another meeting scheduled for the following day.
On the morning of that meeting, we awoke aboard our big 40-foot bus in the church parking lot. By 8:00 a.m., cars began to roll up to the front doors of the church-connected school. Children scurried out of their parent’s cars. As they lined up to wait for the doors to open, they stared curiously at the huge Jews for Jesus logos on both sides of our bus.
The secretary of the school met me and said graciously, “Let me know whatever you need. I’m at your beck and call. Pastor wants to be sure you are well taken care of.” From there on, it was one good thing after another. Before I knew it, the principal of the school arranged for us to use the church van so that we could hand out tracts in downtown Cleveland. The pastor made a point to meet us at the van so that he could pray for our outreach. He prayed not only for the sortie but also for the outreach that would continue for the next twelve hours.
We spent the lunch hour right in the heart of Cleveland, singing songs and inviting people to come to our presentation that night. The most excitement occurred when Mark, a Jewish man, tried to win us back to Judaism. But when we went to eat lunch, a woman named Mira was struck by the message on our T-shirts. Mira’s father was an Indian Hindu and her mother was Jewish, but practiced Hinduism. Mira was very drawn to our gospel message and wanted to receive our literature.
As we traveled back toward the church to get a little R&R at the local pool, we drove through town instead of on the highway. One of the team members piped up from the back, “Oh look, our poster is in the window of that store!” Just as we saw the poster in the Christian bookstore window, a couple of people stepped out of the store and began waving to us. We felt like celebrities.
When we got to the pool, I found out that the cashier was Jewish. “Oh, you’re with that Jews for Jesus bus!” she exclaimed. I was the third link in the chain of the team who witnessed to her. She received our literature gladly and was willing to hear more about why we believe Jesus is the Messiah.
And that wasn’t all. By the end of the evening, I reflected on what God had done, amazed that 168 people had crowded into that little church. Two fans were whirring from either side of the sanctuary to try to keep us cool. Several people from Tikvat Yisrael, the local messianic congregation, had come to worship with us. Our Cleveland Co-Laborers, Bob and Esther Hofener, were there alongside us. We even had a family member present: team member Jonathan Sacks’s nephew Josh. But the high point was that Anna, one of two Jewish women for whom the pastor had been specifically praying, kept her promise to attend.
After the service, a man approached and reminded me that we had met previously at another church where the team had given a presentation. At that time he had brought a Jewish friend, Debbie, with whom I was able to talk extensively and pray that God would show her the truth about the Messiah. It turned out that Debbie was Anna’s daughter, and she had also come to the meeting.
At different points after the service, I spoke extensively with both Debbie and Anna regarding God’s plan of salvation. Neither was ready to accept Yeshua, but I was thrilled to know that I could be a mouthpiece for the Lord. I was particularly delighted to be part of the follow-up with Debbie.
In one day, we had an opportunity to reach out specifically to six Jewish people. I had never seen God provide outreach quite like that. I don’t know why He did what He did or why He doesn’t do it more often. One thing is for sure, however: The pastor of that small congregation had the faith and the vision of what God could do by having the Liberated Wailing Wall at his church. The rest remains a mystery, much like the working of the Holy Spirit as Yeshua described it: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8).
There are no special formulas for serving God. We simply need to be available and faithful. The rest is up to Him. But oh, how I love it when He orchestrates such wonderful evangelistic opportunities!
Jeanne Kimmel has served with Jews for Jesus since October of 1984. Her first position was as Art Director at our San Francisco Headquarters. Next she served as a staff missionary in New York City. Her latest assignment was the leadership of the Liberated Wailing Wall. Having finished her tour of duty with the Liberated Wailing Wall in December, 1993, Jeanne is in the midst of a three-month leave of absence, during which time she is traveling abroad to visit our international stations.