Welcome to New York City. The temperature right now is 70 degrees, and the level of humidity is high. Please remain in your seats until the aircraft has completely stopped. We hope you have a nice stay here and enjoy the celebrations of the Liberty weekend. Again, thank you for flying.…” The voice of the stewardess coming from the speaker tried to welcome us with faked niceness to the Big Apple.
What was I, an Argentine from a small province in the Pampas (inland part of Argentina), doing in New York? During the rest of the month of July, I was going to take part in one of the most exciting experiences of my life, the Jews for Jesus Summer Witnessing Campaign.
Campaign really changed my life and gave me the opportunity to stand for what I believe. We would spend ten hours a day in the hot streets of the great city, handing out our broadsides, sharing our faith with many Jewish people, and with Gentiles, too. I could talk for hours and hours about all the many experiences we went through each of those thirty days in New York.
I remember that Mexican old lady coming to me when I was handing out tracts at Macy’s to ask me in Spanish if I knew where was 39th Street. I was just ready to answer her in Spanish (I have to say that I speak Spanish better than English, since that is my native tongue), when her daughter came up to her yelling in Spanish, “Come on, Mom. Do you think that this !?*# speaks Spanish?” I smiled for a second, enjoying my next words, and said, “Well, let me tell you.…” You never know!
Another day I was broadsiding in front of the Madison Square Garden. Larry came to me and told me that he had enjoyed the tract we were handing out. I asked him if he believed the message of the tract, and he said that he was not very sure. Although he kind of believed in God, he was not very sure of that. Right there, in the middle of the noise and the people rushing from place to place, I prayed with him to receive Jesus as his personal Savior.
Mornings and afternoons we spent our time in subways and bus stations. We welcomed people to a new day, and wished them a good evening, with the best news that they could ever hear—the good news of Messiah.
After freaking out one of my team mates, a desperate Vietnam vet came to me and showed me all the marks of the drug shots in his arm. He said, “I’ve already seen hell, and you tell me there is a God?” After I talked with him for a few minutes, he “came down” and gave his name and address for follow-up.
Then how about Eric? Despite a rabbi who was yelling to him when I met him at Grand Central Station, Eric, a young Jewish man, gave me his name and his address so one of our missionaries in New York could get in touch with him and show him why we believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.
I even had the opportunity to meet with a Jewish professor from Spain who picked up a tract from the street. He called our office to know what this thing was all about. Again, having the pleasure of using my native tongue, and after talking with Francisco for a while, I prayed with him to receive Yeshua as his Messiah.
Last year’s campaign was the most exciting event in my life. It not only made me grow in my life as a believer, but also gave me the great opportunity of sharing the gospel with many people. I’m really looking forward to this next campaign. It’ll be hot and humid, people may get rough, but who cares? Yeshua gave us a command: “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” I think that certainly includes New York City.
Editor’s Note: If you live in or around New York City, look for this face during the month of July. Willy (Guillermo) Katz is one of our approved students in the Chicago area. He has just completed his second year at Moody Bible Institute and is participating in his second Jews for Jesus Summer Witnessing Campaign right now.