Bits from the Branches
Ziggy Rogoff reports: “I have been meeting with Henry, age 91, for the last six months. His main objection to faith is the issue of suffering. Recently he showed me a school photo of Hugo Gryn’s brother and his class, taken before World War II. (Hugo Gryn was a Reform rabbi who came from Czechoslovakia. His entire family was sent to Auschwitz—only he and his mother survived.) All thirty children in the photo had perished in the camps, and Henry asked me, ‘Where was your Jesus? Where was God?’ I looked at the photo and said that we didn’t know their names, but God did. If we feel grieved about their deaths, how much more grieved is God? If we are angry, how much more is God? After all, He created each of those children and loved each one. God does not prevent the sins of humanity, but He offers forgiveness and reconciliation to those who receive His offer. I challenged Henry to call out to God and ask Him if Jesus is really the Messiah. Please pray that he will.”
Dina Markova reports, “When I asked Anna, ‘Who do you think Jesus is?’ she replied that Jews don’t believe in Jesus. We were chatting after Tisha B’Av (a day commemorating the tragic loss of the Temple) and before Rosh Hashanah. I pointed out that the rabbis have designated the Saturdays between the two dates as the Sabbaths of Consolation; in the synagogues, the “comfort” chapters are read from the prophet Isaiah. But Isaiah 53 is omitted. So when Anna said that Jews don’t believe in Jesus, I replied, ‘Many don’t believe. Many do believe. And many pass over in silence the passages from the Scriptures that speak about Messiah. About Jesus.’ I opened the Bible to Isaiah 53, and we read together. ‘Who do you think these words could be about?’ I asked. Anna said, ‘Actually, one could think that it’s about Jesus. But I need to understand that better.’ I’m going to bring her a book And The Scriptures Are Fulfilled. Please pray for Anna to find in Jesus the one of whom Isaiah spoke: ‘I, even I, am he who comforts you…'”
Vlad Mitnitsky reports: “Jeff Millenson got in touch with me from our headquarters in San Francisco to say that he and his wife, Amy, were coming to Israel for a vacation and hoped to visit Leonid, the father of a Jewish believer they know in San Francisco. Leonid wanted the Millensons to bring some things back to his daughter and did not object to meeting people from Jews for Jesus. He speaks Russian and some Hebrew, but no English. Jeff asked me to join them for this visit, since I speak Russian.
“The only books I had to offer Leonid in Russian were the Bible and the book Betrayed! by Stan Telchin (this book describes a story about a successful, 50-year old Jewish businessman and his 21-year old daughter who tells him she believes in Jesus). So I brought these books to Leonid. During the visit I realized that Leonid is 50 years old and his believing daughter is 21 years old! God knew perfectly what books to give this man.
“I met Leonid in the mall and began to get acquainted with him. Once Jeff and Amy arrived, I shared my story and we explained the gospel to Leonid. He seemed touched by what we said, but when I asked if he might be interested in meeting and studying the Bible with me he said not for now. He did promise to read the Bible and the Betrayed! book, adding that he has a lot of free time and loves reading. He also said that he would be in touch with me. Of course, I will follow up to see if he has read the Bible.
“Please pray for Leonid to come to God and receive Yeshua in his heart. Please also pray for his 85-year-old father who lives with him.”