Bits from the Branches
Nici Smith reports, We had a wonderful debate between Dr. Michael Brown, one of the foremost apologists in the Messianic movement, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a well known countermissionary. Originally we planned to have the debate on the campus at Boston University, but as the time for the debate approached, authorities yielded to pressure and we had to find another venue. The Harvard Club, just blocks away, ended up being a perfect alternative. The room seats 450 people and was pretty much crowded to full capacity. Though the majority were probably believers, we were stunned by the number of Jewish people who attended, including many students. There was an amazing excitement and energy in the room.
“Dr. Brown was articulate and well reasoned with a gentle and winsome disposition. Rabbi Boteach did not seem as well prepared, and tried to hit on the emotional arguments extensively. In speaking with some of the Orthodox Jewish students afterwards we found they were very impressed with Dr Brown’s reasoned arguments, and a bit disappointed with Rabbi Boteach’s emotionalism. Many stayed and interacted with Michael Brown. This event was clearly covered in prayer from our local contingents. We hope you, our larger body of Jews for Jesus friends, will pray for continued fruit from this event.”
Stephen Katz reports, “I have been coaching a Christian woman as she has been witnessing to her Jewish boss, Bernie, who is quite ill. I also gave her the books Betrayed and Yeshua to give him. Here is her account of a recent visit with him: ‘I went to see Bernie last night and it was…wonderful. He [was] extremely alert and knew that I was coming to see him. This was certainly an answer to prayer. Bernie had not been awake in several days. I got close to Bernie and quietly asked if he had read the books that I gave him. He said, “Yes.” I asked him if he believed in Jesus and he said, “Yes.” I asked him if he had asked Jesus into his life and confessed his sins and he said, “Yes.” to both questions. About 15 minutes later, his night nurse [a Christian] came in. I told her that I had just asked Bernie if he believed in Jesus and that he had said yes. We were both very excited. We both went over to Bernie’s bedside and asked him again if he knew Jesus and he said yes. I think the heavenly hosts were having a good laugh at the whole thing. I truly feel that Bernie will be sharing eternity with us. Thanks again for all your months of prayers. His wife says he has accepted that he is going to die and seems totally at peace.'”
Stan Meyer reports, “Our volunteer Mariella Perez met Sylvina at a friend’s gathering in Miami. Silvina was raised as a Conservative Jew in Argentina. She moved to Jerusalem where she married an Orthodox Jew; the two divorced and she ceased practicing Judaism. She married a Catholic in Miami and didn’t seem to believe much of anything. Mariella began meeting with Silvina and explained the gospel to her. At first Silvina was skeptical. But when her son was diagnosed with lupis, Silvina became desperate for God. One day she was watching television and came across a program about Passover and how it points to Jesus. She felt this was sign from God. Soon afterwards she happened to see Mariella, who prayed with her to receive Jesus.”
Lena Gourtovaya reports, “It was my first visit to Lyubov and I was supposed to find out how interested she was in meeting further to learn about Jesus—but I felt prompted to talk with her about sin. She interrupted me and said, ‘Up to now, I didn’t care and didn’t think about who Jesus was and if I was a sinner. But I gave my address [to a Jew for Jesus] on the street, received a book, Betrayed, and now I have a question: how can I get rid of my sins so that they would be forgiven?’ I explained the way of salvation and Lyubov repented of her sins and received Jesus. Please pray for her spiritual growth and health (she has diabetes).”