Bits from the Branches
A Welcome Interruption
Central New Jersey missionary Glenn Harris conducts a regular Bible study. About ten minutes into one of these, Bernie, a Jewish man who had been seeking the truth about Yeshua, interrupted with, Excuse me, I wonder if it would be all right if I could pray tonight and ask Jesus to forgive me for my sins, and if you all would be my witnesses.” At the close of the lesson, everyone (including Glenn’s not-yet-believing mother who was visiting from out of town) held hands as Bernie prayed the sinner’s prayer of repentance and faith in Jesus. Bernie also asked for prayer that he would have the courage to tell others that he believes in Jesus!
Another Bernie, a Sad Story in New York
We love relating good news so our readers can rejoice with us, but we believe you are the kind of friends who also want to share our sorrows and prayer burdens. Several months ago, a different Bernie prayed with our missionary Steve Cohen in Florida and asked Jesus to be Lord of his life. He returned to New York, where missionary Mitch Forman began to disciple him. Then Bernie told Mitch he was moving to Florida and would continue Bible study with Steve. Mitch assumed he had done so, but a minister informed Mitch that Bernie had moved into a nursing home—in New York. Mitch visited Bernie and found that he had renounced his faith. He did, however, promise to look into the Bible again and invited Mitch back for another visit. Please pray for Bernie to give his life back to Jesus.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
A “little bit” from the CIS: Staff worker Vadim was handing out tracts at a metro station in Moscow. A man took one, saw that the title was “Jesus Loves the Jews,” and informed Vadim, “You are a liar. Jesus was Ukrainian!”
On a Happier Note
San Francisco missionary Robyn Wilk has been meeting quite regularly with an Austrian Jewish couple, Hilda and Rudy. Hilda has been very closed to the gospel, and Rudy, a quiet man, has not said much during the visits. One afternoon, after discussing John 3, Robyn asked Hilda if she believed in Jesus. Not surprisingly, Hilda said no. To be fair, Robyn then turned to Rudy and asked him if he believed. Hilda quickly responded, “No, he doesn’t!” “Rudy has to make his own decision,” Robyn replied. To her surprise, Rudy said quietly, “I do believe in Jesus.” Robyn explained the gospel once more, just to be sure. Then—right in front of his unbelieving wife—Rudy prayed with Robyn to ask God’s forgiveness for sin and a brand new life in Jesus. Hilda even added a prayer of her own (though not for repentance). Please pray for Rudy and Hilda. We just found out that Hilda has lung cancer and doesn’t have long to live.
Silver and Gold Have I None
While The Liberated Wailing Wall was in Atlanta, team member Irina Smirinsky was distributing gospel tracts across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. A young man, Marion, approached her and said she should give money to the poor instead of telling them about Jesus, because “Jesus won’t fill one’s stomach anyway!” He also demanded that she discuss the message on the broadside with him, to which she immediately agreed. At the end of their discussion, Marion invited Jesus into his heart!
Famous “Last Words”
Chicago Jewish believer Dale called our office to relate a conversation she’d had years ago with one of our missionaries. Dale’s last words had been, “I would never accept Jesus—but even if I did, I would not give you the satisfaction of knowing it!” God has a sense of humor. Now Dale was delighted to tell us of her recent decision to follow Jesus, and she requested discipleship studies with one of our Chicago evangelists, Jenifer Hall.
A Look at a Not-So-Rare Book
Los Angeles missionary Stan Meyer has been meeting with Howard, the manager of a rare book and manuscript shop in Sherman Oaks, California. They have discussed the claims of Christ, and Howard has been reading Yeshua, the Jewish Way to Say Jesus (a book Moishe Rosen wrote to show how Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures). When Howard finished the book, Stan asked him if he believed that Yeshua is the Messiah. Howard said he did, and prayed with Stan to begin a new life in Jesus.
A Voice in the Night
Johannesburg, South Africa, missionary Laura Barron has been ministering to septuagenarian Sadie, a professing atheist. She maintained that if God did exist, He certainly was not benevolent. One day Laura urged Sadie to open her heart and ask God to reveal His truth to her. Sadie did that, and the next time she saw Laura she reported, “In the middle of the night I woke up and heard a voice saying, ‘I exist and I care for you!’ I have made progress. I now believe that God exists and that He wants to speak to me.” Laura is very encouraged to see God’s mighty hand in Sadie’s life and asks prayer for Sadie’s salvation.