Part of the fun of being a missionary is seeing God work through many people to reach just one. That was the case with a Jewish woman named Dana.
Dana was born in my hometown, San Jose, California. In fact she received some of her religious training at Temple Emmanuel, where our family attended. Dana’s family moved to Southern California when she was still in elementary school. Like many Jews who moved to the growing suburbs, they did not pursue further Jewish education or congregational affiliation.
By the time she was thirty, Dana was married and the mother of two small children. Like the majority of Jewish people married since 1990, she had married a non-Jew. She and her husband were undecided about their children’s religious upbringing. On her thirtieth birthday, Dana began calling out to God for direction.
About that time she also decided to get back into physical shape. A neighborhood church advertised an aerobics class complete with child care. Dana, determined to get in shape despite any Christian agenda that might be presented, signed up.
Gina, the instructor, was a vivacious, enthusiastic and competent church member. She used contemporary Christian music for the class.
The prayers and the words of encouragement that Gina offered were salted with gracious statements about the love of Christ. Dana tried to ignore the religious stuff.” She tried to block the words of the songs, too, but she couldn’t. Dana found her heart longing for more knowledge of God.
It turns out that Gina was already plugged into the Jews for Jesus ministry. She had heard one of our missionaries speak at her church and had been encouraged to witness to Jewish people. As she noticed Da-na’s growing interest in the things of the Lord, she provided Dana with some of our literature and a copy of the Yeshua book, a messianic prophesy primer by Moishe Rosen. Dana gladly received the information, and in July of 1996, she came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Dana spends most of her time at home with her young children, but she uses the Internet to stay connected with various people and ideas. She was looking for information to help her integrate her Jewish identity with her new faith when she came across our Jews for Jesus web page. Browsing through the index of Jews for Jesus offices, she discovered the e-mail address for our Los Angeles branch. She sent me a note and within 24 hours we connected. She was a six-week-old believer looking for fellowship with other Jewish Christians. Annette Sofaer, one of our Los Angeles-based missionaries, contacted Dana by telephone the next day.
By “coincidence,” I was scheduled to speak in Dana’s hometown of Corona five days later. Annette invited Dana to the meeting and arranged to meet her there.
Dana has a home church (where she met Gina). She’s getting discipleship help from one of our missionaries, plus she met another mature Jewish Christian at the church where I spoke for added encouragement in the faith. Isn’t it great how God puts together a whole team to draw one person to Himself?