Although I’m Jewish and a believer in Jesus, that didn’t mean I automatically knew how to witness to my people. Jews for Jesus has a terrific missionary training program, and here’s how I learned.
I was assigned to an experienced missionary, Susan Rothbard, who has been with the ministry for more than six years. She was my trainer—a Paul” to me as “Timothy.” For three months, I went wherever Susan went.
Each morning I called Susan at seven and we read the Bible together—two chapters in the Old Testament, and one chapter in the New Testament. This prepared our hearts for a day of serving God, and I really enjoyed and looked forward to it.
On Mondays and Thursdays at eight a.m. sharp we joined the entire San Francisco Branch staff to write postcards to ministry friends and supporters. This was followed by a staff meeting. On Mondays Susan and I would organize a rough schedule for the week. We did administrative tasks, made phone calls to people we wanted to visit and finished special and creative projects. Monday was very important because the entire week’s work depended on plans we made that day.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we went out “in the field.” I remember one particularly exciting day. The morning began with a lecture. (I had to learn many things, so each week Susan gave me at least two lectures and a test at the end of the week. I set aside time for reading, studying and completing other assignments such as memorizing my Christ in the Passover presentation, writing up evaluation forms, and corresponding with Jewish people who might be interested in hearing more about the Messiah.)
After the lecture, we drove to Burlingame to see a Jewish woman Susan had been visiting. To our delight, the woman, also named Susan, asked us to pray with her to receive the Messiah! Then we visited another lady, Dorothy, who had received our Jesus for Jews book in the mail. When Susan asked Dorothy if she’d like to receive Yeshua, Dorothy said “yes,” and also prayed with Susan!
After hugging Dorothy good-bye, we headed over to Stanford University, where we spent the late morning and early afternoon passing out broadsides (gospel tracts) to the students. The reactions weren’t all pleasant. More than once I was told I should be ashamed of myself. However, I did meet a few believers, and our presence at Stanford that day inspired them to be bold in sharing their faith. One Jewish student gave me his phone number and agreed to get together with someone on our staff to discuss why Jesus could be the Jewish Messiah. That was certainly encouraging!
We still had more people to see, so after Stanford we rushed over to Palo Alto to see Pam. Pam was a new Jewish believer whom Susan wanted to encourage. Pam had not had much fellowship lately and really needed Susan’s visit. Right after seeing Pam, we visited Kitty, also a new Jewish believer. Kitty is housebound, so visits are her only form of fellowship. She was delighted to see us, and we had a short bible study together, which she really seemed to enjoy. Before leaving we prayed for Kitty’s needs and gave her a big hug.
The day was not over. We still had two more people to see, and they did not know the Messiah. We visited Karen over dinner. She was a longtime contact of Susan’s who had sent for our Yeshua book a few years back. It was a hard visit, but Susan was able to bring up the subject of Messiah and also invited Karen to our San Francisco Branch fellowship meetings. Then we rushed off to see Deborah, our last visit of the day. She had converted to Judaism from the Catholic faith, and now was seeking truth. Susan had prepared a bible study, which we went through together. When Susan asked what was stopping her from accepting the Messiah, Deborah replied that she still wanted to study more, but she wanted to get together with us again.
At last it was time to return to San Francisco. What a great day! I still had studying and reading to do, but I felt so encouraged by all we had accomplished with God.
Editor’s Note: God bless Dan for being so patient during Jo Ann’s training. He didn’t see too much of her for a while!