The Jews for Jesus Singers, Los Angeles Branch had just finished a musical presentation at a church in Yucca Valley, California. We had sung outside before dusk, on a hill overlooking the desert valley. Now the sun had set. The lights below us shimmered in the darkness of the night. I didn’t know it then, but another kind of light was about to illuminate the heart of someone who had heard our presentation.
The congregation had received us with enthusiasm. One woman, Kay, stopped by the book table to say that her Jewish friend, Phyllis, had come to hear us sing. Then Phyllis herself came by and told me how much she had enjoyed our Jewish gospel music. She said that Kay had been talking to her about Jesus for some time.
I asked Phyllis who she thought Jesus was, and she said, That’s what I want to find out! Can you recommend a book for me that will tell me more about Jesus?” I showed Phyllis our book Yeshua, the Jewish Way to Say Jesus. She bought one. Then we talked a little longer and exchanged phone numbers. I promised to call her so we could talk further.
As the music team drove the three-hour trip back to Van Nuys, I talked to God about Phyllis. I prayed, “Lord, she is so incredibly open to you. Please orchestrate Your plan for her salvation. Show me how to point this lost sheep home to You.” I felt real excitement and nervousness in my heart and mind as I thought about Phyllis.
Over the next couple of weeks I called Phyllis often. We read the Bible together over the phone and discussed parts of the book she had purchased at the church in Yucca Valley. After several failed attempts to set a date for us to get together again, we finally nailed down a day. It was a day when I was to sing with the music team at another church in Yucca Valley. I left early that day and visited several Jewish people. Last of all was my scheduled visit with Phyllis.
I did a lot of praying that day for Phyllis. I prayed for her salvation and that Satan would have all of his plans of interference ruined. An hour or so before I was due to visit Phyllis, I called her as we had planned. She said that some friends had come to see her, and she was not sure if we would be able to meet. I suggested that I move our visit time to a little later to accommodate her, and she agreed. I thanked the Lord that she had not canceled our visit.
When I arrived at Phyllis’s home, her friends were still there. She introduced me to Mel and Carol, who were both Jewish. Phyllis had told them that I was with Jews for Jesus, and they were ready with questions.
Mel was just curious. Carol was half curious and half interested. I answered a few of their questions and inwardly prayed that they would leave so that I could meet with Phyllis without any distractions.
Once Mel and Carol left, Phyllis tried to use some of Mel’s objections about why Jews could not believe in Jesus. Soon, however, I realized that Phyllis really had only one main objection: Everyone (meaning all the Jewish people Phyllis knew) said that Jews cannot believe in Jesus. I addressed this issue by emphasizing the Jewishness of Jesus, His first followers and the Scriptures that tell about Him.
Then I opened my Bible and showed Phyllis several passages. I started with Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the LORD, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'” Next I explained to Phyllis from Isaiah 59:2 what sin is—that it causes us to be separated from God, so that we cannot experience God’s plan for our lives. Then we turned to Isaiah 53, and Phyllis was quick to see that the Suffering Servant must be Jesus. As we talked, Phyllis opened up to me about her personal life. She was in a time of transition. A business venture had recently failed, and that, coupled with other things, had prepared her to want God to make some major changes in her life.
That day Phyllis came to understand that God had made it possible for her to have her sins wiped away and to receive His free gift of eternal life. We looked at Romans 10:9,10, and Phyllis embraced the light God was showing her. She confessed Yeshua as her Lord and gave Him her life. In recent months I have seen and shared Phyllis’s joy as she learns about Jesus and His plan for her.