Bits from the Bagel Branches
Jewish evangelists witness to Gentiles, too! From our mobile branch,” The Liberated Wailing Wall team leader, Garrett Smith, reports, “As I was witnessing to a woman named Lynne who was cutting my hair, I recommended Chuck Colson’s book, Loving God. Then I gave her our post office box number and invited her to let me know what she thought of the book. To my great surprise, several weeks later she sent a four-page letter, detailing how the book had touched her. She asked if the team would be returning to her area, as she regretted not having come to hear us. ‘Coincidentally,’ we were singing near her in just a couple of days. I rushed a letter out, but frankly doubted if it would reach her in time. Well, she got the letter the very day of the presentation, got in her car, drove an hour and a half to get to our meeting, and gave her life to Jesus at the invitation. Praise God!”
Also from Garrett, “As we were passing out broadsides (our gospel tracts) at Ohio State University, a man made it a point to tell me that he got saved after reading one of our tracts 20 years ago. Someone had dropped it on the ground and he picked it up and read it. Now he travels to different universities and preaches the gospel.” You just never know where that gospel seed will take hold!
Branch leader Andrew Barron reports from Toronto, “David A. is a Jewish man who has heard the gospel from many faithful Christians whom he’s met over the years. As a professional musician, David was commissioned recently to write some music for a church production. He needed to read the New Testament for the “job” and a few months later he e-mailed our Toronto office to let us know he was interested in Jesus. The very first time I visited David, he was ready to put His faith in Jesus!”
From Fort Lauderdale, missionary David Rothstein reports, “I was meeting to study the Bible with a new Jewish believer, Fred. His Jewish neighbor, Ken, shouted hello through the screen window, and then commented that if his dad saw the Jews for Jesus van parked in front, he’d certainly have a heart attack. I acknowledged the controversial nature of my van logo with a smile and suggested that sometime we could discuss why I display it. He said ‘sure’ and changed the subject. I figured he was not interested, but after the visit, he intercepted me as I was getting in the van (he’d been waiting on the porch) and asked me frankly what I was all about. We had a brief conversation and he admitted that he was searching for answers to spiritual questions. He was happy to give his phone number and address so that we can continue the discussion.”
From Odessa, Leonid Wasserman reports, “I came to visit Evgenij, but it was his wife Sofia who opened the door to invite me in. On previous visits with Evgenij, Sofia would sit quietly and listen; I hadn’t really spoken directly to her yet. This time, I read from Acts chapter 3 about the healing of the lame man. Sofia spoke up and said, ‘I also believe and pray. I’ve had a number of operations and, thanks be to the Lord, I’m still alive.’ I asked if she believed the gospel and she said yes! Then I asked if she believed herself a sinner. She answered, ‘Of course!’ So I invited her to confess her sins and accept Jesus, and she did! “Evgenij has been thinking of doing the same but has not yet taken this step. So I was surprised during a subsequent visit, to hear Evgenij do a bit of missionary work. When the telephone rang, he answered and said: ‘Sorry. We are busy now. We are studying how to believe in the right way. And by the way, I heard your husband wants to meet with somebody from Jews for Jesus as well? No? As you wish. Think about it.’ Think what a witness he will be when he actually gives his life to Jesus.”
We had a series of outreaches throughout the former Soviet Union. They all went well, but we were especially encouraged by the last outreach, which was 2 weeks in Kiev. We handed out 296,810 gospel tracts. 762 Jewish people responded by giving their names, addresses and phone numbers to receive more information, and 744 Gentiles did the same. 51 Jews and 131 Gentiles received new life in Christ during the outreach!