I used to be the Art Director at Jews for Jesus’ San Francisco Headquarters, but the Lord called me to full-time missionary staff. January 1989 marks the completion of my first year as a missionary in the New York Branch of Jews for Jesus. Two of the women I led to the Lord early in my ministry had believing family members praying for them. I think this brings encouragement to other believers who are praying for unbelieving loved ones.
The first account involves Lillian,” a 94-year-old woman. She had been raised in a religious home, one of fourteen children. Her Jewish granddaughter, a believer, sent us her name. Before calling Lillian, I called her granddaughter to learn about her background and to introduce myself. After gaining the granddaughter’s confidence, I was able to get Lillian’s phone number. She welcomed my call and agreed to a visit.
Before I knew it, I was picking up a cloverleafed candy dish in her home, trying to explain the concept of the Trinity. Then I had Lillian read Isaiah 53 out of her own copy of the Bible. Typically we wouldn’t read this passage on a first interview. Yet, as one of the newer staff, what did I know? When I asked Lillian who she thought was being described in the passage, she said “Jesus!” I asked her if she wanted to pray to receive him. To my surprise, she said “Yes.” Now that was as easy as one, two, three. But that “ease” certainly was not because of anything I had done. I was just available. This type of fruit I call “vine ripened,” and it is some of the sweetest.
The second account involves a younger woman, “Barbara,” whose daughter is a Jewish believer. The daughter had sent us the names of three people—her mother and her two sisters. Several months passed before I was able to contact Barbara because she had been very sick. When I finally did, the timing seemed just right. Much like Lillian, Barbara had many questions and was ready and waiting to begin a bible study that very week! Three studies later, Barbara prayed to receive Yeshua. Once again, it would appear that the fruit was “vine ripened.” Now I’m talking with her oldest daughter about the Lord.
In my ministry to Lillian and Barbara I see God’s faithfulness as it was expressed by Paul to the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Editor’s Note: The Newsletter accounts are very real, as are the problems with family, friends and community that often arise when a Jewish person makes a commitment to Yeshua. We encourage all new believers to confess Christ openly as soon as possible, but each must deal with this matter at his or her own pace as led by the Lord. For this reason we often do not use real names for publication. Whenever a name appears in quotes this indicates that the name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.