Bits from the Branches
Karl deSouza reports, “I was handing out tracts with a volunteer at a subway stop when a Jewish man took exception to my ‘Jews for Jesus’ Tshirt. He turned out to be a rabbi who claimed that I was not Jewish because of my faith in Jesus and that I was destroying the Jewish people. Several people gathered to listen. One of them was an Ethiopian Jew, also a believer in Jesus, who challenged the rabbi’s position with an open Bible! Eventually the rabbi agreed to meet with me to continue the discussion. Please pray for God to show Jesus to him.
“Another day I was handing out tracts at Concordia University where I used to study and work. Daniel and David, both Jews, stopped to talk. They had never read the Jewish Bible and were unfamiliar with prophecies about Messiah. They’d never read the New Testament to find out what Jesus said and did. They agreed that it wasn’t fair to dismiss Jesus without reading the Bible. David listened more intently than Daniel. They didn’t want to give their contact but they took a tract on which I wrote down Isaiah 53. Soon after, a more religious Jewish student, also named David, stopped to talk. However, he said, ‘It’s like nothing you are saying is going into my ears.’ I thought of Jesus’ words, ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear’ (Matthew 11:15). Just then, a little over a kilometer away from where I was, a man in a black trenchcoat and combat boots began randomly shooting people at Dawson College, killing one woman and injuring several more. What a stark reminder that we are dealing with matters of eternal consequence!
Please pray for the many students who took a tract that day. May they turn to Messiah for counsel, refuge and salvation.”
Amer Olson reports, “When we began a new book (the Gospel of Mark) at our Tuesday evening Bible study, we placed ads in local papers and we submitted a posting on craigslist.org. Craigslist is a sort of online classified section, not only serving as a place to buy and sell things, but also a place to announce classes and events. We posted our Bible study as a way to come and take a fresh look at an ancient text.
“Craigslist gives people the power, when they see an inappropriate posting, to ‘flag’ it, and after enough flags the website will remove that listing. Evidently, some people (or some person, several times) decided to flag our site, and we were notified that our ad had been removed as inappropriate.
“We immediately explained to Craigslist why we believed we were unjustly removed. Sometime after we initially posted the invitation, but just before it was removed, Jason, a young Jewish man, saw the ad and came to our Bible study! Jason does not believe in Jesus, but was curious. He has since attended one of our college-age events at the branch.
“Pray for Jason to continue to be drawn to Jesus. And pray that despite efforts to ‘delete’ us, we will still be able to get the message out—whether by the spoken word, the printed word or the electronic word.”
Dima Orlovsky reports, “I was doing a sortie at Deribasovskaya Street when a young Gentile man asked me, ‘What does God think of drugs?’ I said, ‘God wants to change your life. Why do you want to go this way that leads you to death?’ Vyacheslav began to cry. I gave him an invitation to church. Please pray for God to work in his life.”
Larissa Savelieva reports, “Clara Lazareva prayed to receive Jesus in 1996 on Yom Kippur. Then she immigrated to Israel. She lived there just long enough to make enough money for her return to Odessa. I finally was able to get through to her on the phone and invite her to our Rosh Hashanah meeting. Clara attended and prayed to rededicate her life to the Lord. Praise God! Now Clara has a great hunger for the Word of God. Please pray that she will grow in faith. Before moving to Israel, Clara sold her apartment. Please also pray for an apartment for Clara.”