Bits from the Branches
Sam is a 23-year-old Hasid who called us a few months ago. He met with Jhan Moskowitz once, then spoke with Karol Joseph on the phone several weeks later. Their conversation went something like this:
Sam: ”I understand you have a program for helping Hasids leave the community.”
Karol: ”Well, not exactly. Let me ask you why you want to leave the community; are you looking to know more about God and Jesus? Or are you looking for something else.”
Sam: “I just want an easier life.”
Karol: (with a smile) ”Well, then, you don’t want Jesus.”
Karol says, “We continued to talk about what it really means to believe and follow Jesus, and Sam wasn’t exactly open to that. He called back again a few weeks later, this time wanting to talk more about Jesus. I wasn’t there, so he spoke to Nicole (our office administrator), who shared Isaiah 53 with him and led him in a prayer to receive the LORD. However, within ten minutes he called again to change his mind. This is not uncommon among Hasidic seekers on their journey of faith. I believe we haven’t seen the end of Sam, but he really needs our prayers.”
Peter Blitshteyn reports, “Sixteen people attended one of our recent Shabbat services, including three new visitors: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! We actually have been praying faithfully for at least three new Jewish seekers to visit. Praise God who hears and answers our prayers. One of the visitors, Isaac, came all the way from upstate New York. Please pray that each one of these precious souls will continue to attend faithfully and take root in this community of Russian Jewish believers in Jesus.”
Ed: Massah is not a branch, but it is a fluid and growing experimental outreach of Jews for Jesus. Daniel Goldstein, who is part of our Tel Aviv branch, dreamed of and helped create this program to send small communities of young Jewish believers out to witness to Israeli backpackers in different parts of the world.
Daniel reported, “In May I went to South America to ‘scout out’ potential evangelism to Israeli backpackers there. I gave a few people Hebrew copies of the Brit Hadasha (New Testament). I also left a few in key places at guesthouses, and gave an e-mail address inside in case anyone wanted to interact.
“About five months later after returning to Israel, I checked that e-mail and found that someone from Peru had written to me after he found the New Testament at a guesthouse. He said he was really glad to find it, and gave it to an Israeli friend of his who was also glad to receive it. I answered his e-mail and learned that he loves Y’shua too, works at one of the biggest Israeli hostels in a major city in Peru, speaks Hebrew and interacts with Israelis daily! He was excited about our efforts to share Y’shua with Israelis and asked if I could send him more New Testaments that he could give out.
“Please pray that God will continue to pave the way for ongoing evangelism to Israelis in South America.”
Svetlana Kotlomina reports, “I am amazed by how DVD resources help me build bridges to visit and minister to Jewish hearts. I began with three of our own DVDs: ‘Survivor Stories’ (testimonies of Holocaust Survivors who came to faith in Jesus), ‘Forbidden Peace’ (personal stories showing how Jesus can reconcile Jews and Arabs who have come to faith), and ‘Sam Rotman’ (the story and performance of a Russian Jewish believer in Jesus who is a gifted pianist). Then, from Slovo.org I also downloaded a series of Russian language discs that ‘tour’ biblical sites in Israel, complete with Scriptures to go along with the sites. I have given these discs for use to approximately 50 homes, but each time I find that people who receive them share them with their relatives, neighbors and colleagues.
“People who were slow to meet with me before, or would cancel visits, are now calling me to ask questions about what they saw, and to ask when I will bring the next ‘installment’ of DVDs. So far, the DVDs serve to expose people to the Bible and the person of Jesus. Please pray that these bridges will lead people to real understanding, repentance and reconciliation.”