Bits from the 2008 Branches
Bimini Cohen reports, “Oded and I went to Provincetown along with three volunteers to reach out to the largely homosexual community. A Jewish woman approached and ordered me to leave town. I responded gently and prayed silently for her as she stormed off. Later she sat on a bench with two friends, loudly ridiculing my husband as he handed out tracts. When she got up to leave, Oded smiled and said, ‘May you have a nice day.’ She turned back and smirked. Oded assured her, ‘You might not believe me, but I really mean it.’ She came back to ask why he believes in Jesus. Later she apologized to me for being rude! Oded and I spoke with her for awhile and asked if we could pray for her. As we prayed, tears fell from her eyes. She took a New Testament and other literature, and gave us her contact information. Please pray for Diane to read the New Testament and to be willing to know the truth about Jesus.”
Oded Cohen reports, “Aside from daily ‘phone duty’ with inquiring Hasidic Hebrew speakers, I travel to Brooklyn occasionally to minister there as well. I recently received a call from Aaron, a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who watched the Yiddish DVD about Jesus. (We distributed almost 80,000 of them during our New York Behold Your God Campaign in 2006.) Aaron believed Jesus might be the Messiah, but was frightened. Belief in Jesus is simply not permitted in these tightly knit communities. At the end of our conversation, Aaron said, ‘Oded, it makes me want to cry because I believe it’s true, but I don’t know what to do.’ I prayed for him to have courage and strength to do what is right. He has called me a few other times but I am unable to contact him because of the risk. He lives and studies in a yeshiva (religious Jewish school).
“I have received several calls from other Hasidic Jewish men who seem sincere about learning whether Jesus might be the Messiah. One who professed faith last year has become absolutely miserable about keeping his faith a secret. He says he is preparing to tell others, but believes his wife and children will leave him. Please blanket these Hasidim with your prayers—God is most definitely drawing them! We also need prayer for wisdom to be able to help those who do believe but are afraid to confess their beliefs openly as families, jobs and their whole way of life is at stake.”
Rob Wertheim went to hand out “broadside” tracts at the City College and was met by campus authorities who told him he must either turn in a permission form to be there, or be cited by the police. Due to overly restrictive regulations that stifle free speech, our attorney has contacted the college, but to no avail. Rob returned, and once again was told that anyone wishing to distribute literature must fill out the form and wait five days. If Rob remained there, the police would be called. Rob politely answered that he would be happy to speak with the police. Within half an hour, a police car passed by and the officer looked directly at Rob as he was handing out broadsides. The officer then continued on his way! Meanwhile, a Jewish man named Avi stopped to ask what Jews for Jesus is all about. Rob did not think that Avi was very interested, but when he offered to meet with him for coffee later that day, Avi accepted. When Rob showed him Isaiah 53, Avi was quite surprised. His first response was, “It sounds like Jesus.” His second was, “I’ll have to ask my rabbi what she thinks.” Please pray for Avi, and for Rob to have more opportunities to meet with him and others from City College who are willing to hear more about Jesus. Pray for free speech rights to be protected all across the country.
Tuvya Zaretsky reports, “A Jewish seeker named Jennifer began her journey toward faith after her father died in 2005. A Christian friend spoke to her about Christ, but Jennifer had no basis to understand what she meant, so her friend recommended Jennifer to Jews for Jesus. After we ministered to her for two years, Jennifer prayed (with the Christian friend who referred her to us) to receive salvation in Jesus Christ! Please pray for Jennifer’s spiritual growth and for God’s continued grace for her to follow Him.”