Bits from the Branches
Bob Mendelsohn reports, "Years ago while handing out tracts in Melbourne I encountered John Safran, a Jewish man who is very involved in the media. I’ve since been John’s guest on his radio show and his TV show. This led to an encounter with one of John’s friends, Henry Greener, who hosts a TV show on a public access network. The show, entitled "The Shtick," is a platform for Henry to talk about anything and everything Jewish for 25 minutes each week. Three years ago, Henry contacted me to do a quick ‘man on the street’ interview. He was not exactly favorable to me during that interview.
"Fast forward three years: while calling Melbourne contacts to let them know I was going to be in the area in September, Giselle, our intern, called Henry. He was not only open for me to visit him, but he also suggested another interview immediately preceding Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets, also known as the Jewish New Year). It was serendipitous in so many ways. It gave me an opportunity to explain how Jesus makes all things new, and how He is our atonement. Henry also allowed me to give my story and tell how I believe Jesus is for Jewish people. It was quite a good conversation, all on videotape. I don’t know how he edited it for airing, but in any case, I was excited that Henry seemed so much more open on a personal level."
Larissa Savelieva reports, "Not long ago I was handing out tracts and simply asked God to let me see some fruit from our labors. God surprised me with His answers. A sister in Jesus, Tatyana, recently attended a church where I spoke. She announced, ‘I have been looking for you for such a long time. I came to Jesus thanks to Jews for Jesus. I still have your booklet!’ She then shared her story and how a small booklet we gave her had played a big part in her search for God.
"At another church, a sister approached me and said, ‘Do you remember me? I met you on the street and told you I’d lost my apartment and you prayed for me. Well, God changed everything, and my apartment was returned to me…’
"I think best of all was the story of Anya, a Jewish sister in the Lord who told me that she had been drawn to Jesus but was fearful because she heard that Jesus was ‘the Gentile god.’ One day she was in the market and picked up one of our broadsides. She only had time to read the words ‘Jews for Jesus,’ but those three words were enough. Her heart exulted as she discovered, ‘It is possible for Jews to believe in Jesus!’ I was so thankful that God led her to my church meeting. I think when we are in heaven, we will all be surprised to see how much God used us in ways we never knew. Glory be to Him!"
Tuvya reports, "Here’s an update on a prayer request from May of 2006, when the Los Angeles staff of Jews for Jesus conducted an outreach at the Israel Independence Day Festival in Van Nuys, California. One of our missionaries, Cyril Gordon, was arrested at the request of the Israeli head of security for allegedly ‘trespassing.’ We filed a Federal civil rights action against the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD and indirectly the Israel Festival by including their head of security by name in the suit. After an intense and exhausting battle, stretching over two and a half years, our right to free speech prevailed. The court issued a permanent injunction protecting the right to conduct free speech around the Israel Independence Day Festival in Van Nuys, as well as other public parks throughout the city of Los Angeles. We pray for the salvation of opposition attorneys and defendants and give thanks to God for His hand in the outcome of the case."