Odessa

Gena Gelman reports, “We conducted a visiting campaign recently, knocking on doors of people we have not otherwise been able to see. At the end of one day, Galya (my partner for the day) and I returned to an address where no one had answered previously. Unfortunately, there was still no answer. I asked one of the neighbors about the woman we were looking for, and was sad to hear that she had died. However, the neighbor told us she had a son named Jacob. She described him as a vagabond, and said it was practically impossible to find him. Galya and I left, and on the way to the car we prayed. Within five minutes we saw a man coming toward us. He was very dirty and covered with sores. His face seemed familiar. I asked, ‘Are you Jacob?’

“God had brought Jacob straight to us! Not only that, I had spoken to him many times during sorties (tract-passing expeditions). Many times I had invited him to our Shabbat meeting but, until that day, he was never interested. I told him the gospel and offered to pray for him. He consented. After the prayer, Jacob said he would come to our Shabbat service—he said that he wanted God to change his life! Praise God, Jacob did come to the service. He needed treatment for a skin condition, so I sent him to the doctor for an examination and prescription. One of the believers gave him money for medicine. I gave him bed linen. I have been conducting short visits with him, about fifteen minutes long, before Shabbat services. Please pray with me for Jacob’s salvation and healing.”

San Francisco

Rob Wertheim reports: “Recently, while handing out broadsides at San Francisco State University, a young man named Jesse approached and asked if I remembered him. Apparently, he had given me a hard time last year at City College (where I also hand out our broadsides). I didn’t remember, but Jesse, who is Jewish, had some questions and we arranged to talk further the following week.

“When we got together, he explained that much had changed since our encounters at City College. He had read the New Testament and even visited a church with a friend. I asked him if he had ever read Isaiah 53 and he hadn’t, so I asked him to do so. He read the chapter, and as soon as he finished he said, ‘It’s talking about Jesus!’ As we concluded our visit, Jesse told me he wanted to meet up again. Please pray that Jesse will open his heart completely to the Lord.”

Israel

Oded Cohen reports: “I continue to have regular Bible studies with a bright young Israeli named Ami [mentioned in November “Bits”] who is very diligent to search the Scriptures and who asks many excellent questions. He works with Christians who have stirred his curiosity. At times it seems like he is defending the faith to others, even though he does not yet fully believe. Ami was interested in attending a congregation of believers, so we took him last weekend. He enjoyed it very much. After the service, Ami went to a young adult fellowship and decided to stay, rather than get a ride home with us when we finally left at 10 pm. A couple days later, when we met for our next Bible study, he told me he had a great time and had stayed until about midnight. He also made two new believing friends, and he’d shared with everyone that he definitely believes in God, and that he is still seeking to understand who Jesus is. He told me that he no longer enjoys drinking and smoking with his old friends. He feels more commonality with these believers. They understood what he was talking about when he expressed his desire and need to thank God for the way God is becoming more and more evident in his life, helping him with small, everyday needs.”

Note: In areas of great opportunity where Jewish people are open to the gospel, there is more opposition as well. Recently, Vlad Mitnitsky was handing out broadsides in front of Tel Aviv University when some Orthodox men attacked him, breaking his nose. Pray that those who saw this incident will see the difference between religion and redemption, and be drawn to Jesus.