I’ve been a missionary for over 15 years, and it never ceases to amaze me how often God uses me in partnership with a believing brother or sister to introduce a Jewish person to his/her Messiah. I recently had the opportunity to experience that again.
Not long ago I received a call from Lori, a long-time supporter of our ministry. She told me a wonderful story of how God nudged her to introduce herself to a woman standing in front of her in line at the local Wal-Mart, and how her obedience in that moment led to a long-term friendship with Cathy, a Jewish woman struggling with some serious health problems. Lori got involved in Cathy’s life, praying for her, sharing her faith with her, taking her to doctor appointments, doing whatever she could to be of service. But that inevitable moment came when Cathy, now openly willing to discuss spiritual matters, felt that she could not say yes to Jesus because she was Jewish. That’s when Lori called us.
When I called Cathy, I found a woman eager to hear more. It was clear that she already knew that she was a sinner and that she needed a savior; she even believed that Jesus died for her sins and rose from the dead. But, as a Jew, she wasn’t so sure that she could receive Him as her own. After all, with the history of the Holocaust, wouldn’t she be betraying her family and her people? So many of us have faced that concern in our own faith journeys. I shared with Cathy how, like her, it was also difficult for me to choose to follow Jesus. Yet once I did, I discovered it was the most Jewish thing I could ever have done.
It takes a step of faith to do that,” she said, and I laughed, explaining to her that that was supposed to be my line, not hers. She showed continued insight as she said, “Faith is a gift from God that I don’t have yet. Would you pray that God would give me that gift?” Of course I did.
I called Cathy again two days later. It was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Though she was feeling a little under the weather physically, she told me that she was ready to receive Him as her Savior! How quickly God answered my prayer and blessed Cathy with the gift of faith we’d asked Him for just two days earlier. What a way to begin the new year-with a new life in Jesus!
I never would have met Cathy had it not been for Lori. And Lori would never have met Cathy had she not responded to God’s prompting—in line at Wal-Mart! Thanks be to God who makes us partners with Him and with one another so others can receive the gift of faith.