Bits from the Branches
Yoel Ben David reports: I met with David after he called our office to inquire about our beliefs. David, like many young Jewish people, is not satisfied to limit his search for truth to traditional Judaism. What separates him from most other Jews his age is that he sought out Jews for Jesus as an expression of Judaism different from the main stream. He sees Jesus as genuinely Jewish. It has been a blessing to teach someone like David. Unfortunately, David believes it is up to him to determine what is right and wrong, true or untrue-which is a curse of our age! Please pray for David and others who search.”
Barry B. writes: “God has been really opening doors, hearts and minds in the Jewish care home I visit. One of the men, Cyril, asked me how it was possible both to be Jewish and believe in Jesus. Alan overheard the conversation and joined in. We then looked at some Old Testament prophecies that point to Jesus as Messiah.
“Suddenly a third person, Moishe, interrupted, ‘You don’t know what you are talking about! Go and find some other victims!’ But he was smiling as he said it, so I included him in the conversation as well. At this point, Phil chipped in with his two pennies worth: ‘You can’t be Jewish and believe in that. What does your family think?’ I responded that my sister is a Jewish believer in Jesus too! Phil was surprised. We got to chatting and it turned out that Phil had once been a boxer like my grandfather, also called Phil! I was also able to witness to the lovely Leah, an extraordinarily gentle and unassuming lady. She has very little religious background, but remembers her liberal Jewish upbringing in Germany. Please pray for continued ministry to these people.”
Bob Mendelsohn shares: “Josh is a 35-year-old New York Jew who wears his Yankee ball cap year round, the way some would wear a yarmulka. An economist by profession, he was recruited by an Australian firm to work in Sydney some three years ago. At the same time, God began to recruit Josh to Himself. For months he took the bus past our office/ bookshop in Bondi Junction, the recognized center of the Jewish community here. Finally one day (about eighteen months ago), he entered our shop, his curiosity piqued. ‘What are you people about?’ he inquired, not exactly politely … and he was not quite ready to know.
“Ed was working and welcoming people at the shop that day. He invited Josh to Bible study that night (we meet weekly) and Josh actually returned. He and I had an intense conversation that continued over the next couple of weeks, but the only email and phone numbers he was willing to give me were work-related. Then Josh lost his job and I could not contact him. I prayed for him, but without any awareness of where he was geographically or spiritually.
“Last spring I was interviewed on Christian radio in Brisbane. I had no idea the interview was being broadcast nationally, but it turned out that Josh was listening that day in Perth, 2,700 miles from Brisbane. He rang me later that day. He apologized for dropping out of contact. He apologized for the way he had treated us when he came into Sydney, the shop, and into our lives. But more importantly, he apologized to God for his sin, and received Jesus as his Savior.
“Still a bit reluctant and unsure of the trust level, at first Josh didn’t answer my e-mails. When I was traveling to Perth in September I sent him a note; I also called and left messages. Sure enough, the day before I arrived, Josh replied. He attended three of my church and Bible college meetings. We ate together. We unpacked a lot of biblical information and now Josh is fired up and seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Josh still wears his Yankee cap and says he ‘still has trust issues,’ but is making strides to walk with the Master and to make a difference. How good is God?”