Bits from the Branches
Cold calling” is the term for telephoning someone we have not met or been referred to in order to see if they are willing to hear more about Jesus. That is how we met a Jewish woman named Karen, who indeed wanted to know more, during the Behold Your God Toronto campaign. Branch missionary Karl DeSouza followed up with a few more phone calls and then a longer phone visit. Karen is a single mom who has been searching. She recently prayed with Karl to receive Jesus as her Savior. Praise the Lord!
Pennsylvania via Los Angeles
L.A. branch leader Tuvya Zaretsky reports, “I was in Pennsylvania for a missions conference. My hosts were a lovely Christian couple; she is a lawyer and he is a radiologist. They invited a friend, a Jewish cardiologist, Dan, to meet me for a discussion about spiritual matters. Dan was raised Orthodox, is twice intermarried, formerly a Unitarian Universalist and likes to challenge his Christian friends about their faith.
The conversation was animated and absolutely stimulating. Dan admitted that as a Unitarian he believes that no truths are objective absolutes. When I pointed out that his belief is self-contradictory (it cannot be true by its own standards) he sat back, reflected and conceded the point. We then explored a number of spiritual truths that lay the foundation for the gospel. He left saying that he had much to ponder. Please pray for Dan’s salvation and for his friends as they continue the witness.”
Holly Meyer reports, “Last September we asked you to pray for grace and strength for new Jewish believers Marian and Rita. I have continued to meet with them together for Bible study and have been thrilled to see both get so excited about Yeshua (Jesus). Thanks for your prayers.”
Elvira Meyer reports, “Olga repented (prayed to receive the Lord) in January, 2002. The last time I saw her was July, 2002. After that she always had a reason she could not get together; either she was ill, or something needed to be repaired, or she was going through a divorce or some other difficulty, or she would just tell me, ‘I don’t want to meet.’ I saw her on streets several times; she always said that she felt bad, but didn’t want to meet. It took 14 months before she wanted to meet again. At that time, she rededicated her life to the Lord. Please pray that Olga will be truly renewed. In a similar way, Inna repented in November, 2002, but would not meet with me until March of 2003. Then she showered me with questions and seemed very serious about wanting to be a disciple of Jesus. Please pray that God will also help Inna to grow and be faithful to Him.”
Intern Joel Snyder (son of our European Director, Avi Snyder) reports, “We had the second annual Camp Gilgal sleepover for guys in New York City. Seven campers, ages 9 to 15, attended. Our aim was to provide them an opportunity to have a great time catching up with their summer friends while also having a positive spiritual experience. “Friday evening we took the guys to the monthly Shabbat service at the New York branch and afterward we did our own Bible study from that week’s parshah (the portion of Scripture normally read in the synagogue). Saturday morning, Josh Sofaer gave another Bible study, also from the parshah. On the fun side of the equation, we piled on a late night visit to the top of the Empire State Building. We also watched Finding Nemo, ate a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast at Josh’s house and played football in a park in the shadow of the United Nations building. The time went fast, and by pick-up time several guys were already talking about arranging another sleepover at one of their houses. We staff were glad that the guys had fun in New York and strengthened their friendships. It’s important for these youth to have strong ties with other Jewish believers their age. Pray for us as we hope to find new ways to challenge and encourage these guys to grow in their faith throughout the year.”