It was a rainy summer day in Times Square, New York. I’d had a 15-minute conversation/argument with a young Jewish guy named Andy. It left me discouraged, but not hopeless. A few minutes later another Jewish man literally ran into me. I was even more discouraged! But I prayed for strength and kept handing out my broadsides (gospel tracts). It was the second year I was participating in Halutzim, a two-week evangelism opportunity for young Jewish believers in New York.
I am 17 years old and live in Israel. I was raised in a believing home and my parents have been part of Jews for Jesus since before I was born. I accepted Yeshua as my Savior at a young age, and growing up I always believed and didn’t really doubt God or Yeshua. A few years ago I even witnessed to my school class in Israel. But I still felt there was something missing. Yeshua wasn’t real to me in my daily life.
When I was old enough to go on Halutzim I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Eventually I decided to go. I was kind of half-hearted, but hoping and believing I would get something out of it and have some fun with other Jewish believers my age.
During my first Halutzim we visited a few Jewish sites in New York City where we learned about our Jewish roots. Then we had a few training sessions to teach us about street evangelism. By the end of the first week we had already been out on a sortie (tract-passing expedition). I found myself eager to get out on the streets and witness. Once I got the chance, I wanted to go out witnessing and stay out longer. As I learned the basics, I discovered that I liked to witness. The Lord was changing me and preparing me for what He wants me to do.
When I went back home I started going out to witness as much as possible with Jews for Jesus here in Israel. Throughout the year I learned more and more about reaching our people in Israel in the 21st century. In a sense, Israeli Jews are more open than American Jews, who seem to need to prove their Jewishness by denying Yeshua.
As the school year ended I began working and was busy with finals in school. I didn’t go on outreaches for the last few months of the school year and I felt my relationship with God suffered as a result. I neglected what the Lord was calling me to do and it wasn’t easy.
So this year, when I received another invitation to go to New York for Halutzim, I went with high expectations knowing that God would do something even more special in my life than last time.
The returning group of Halutzimers have a more intense time of witnessing than the first-timers. Twice a day I went on sorties and I got a better feel for preaching the gospel in New York City. I learned that Yeshua is the most real to me when people I’ve never seen before question my faith in Him. When I need to tell them about the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Yeshua has to be real and true for me. In those difficult times (like that rainy afternoon as I witnessed to Andy in Times Square), I find freedom and strength through Yeshua. And when I met Andy a few days later in Washington Square Park, I could clearly see that he was wrestling with the truth. I saw God’s hand in motion.
I grew much stronger in Yeshua this past summer. I believe wholeheartedly that God has called me—a sinful, doubtful and unworthy person—to proclaim the wonderful name of the King of Kings, Yeshua. I pray that during my last year of school, and as I prepare with others my age for the Israeli army, God will use me to make the messiahship of Yeshua an unavoidable issue” to my Jewish people in Israel and wherever else He might send me. Please pray for me to be faithful to that calling.