How It Sometimes Happens
Gail is Jewish, in her mid-forties and married to a Gentile man. She agreed to raise her children as Christians but has always felt a great sense of Jewishness and never felt quite right about church—until last fall.
That summer, Gail’s ten-year-old son, Brandon, went to a Christian camp. He had medical problems that required Gail’s supervision, so she attended camp with him. After two weeks of hearing the Word of God, Gail began to wonder. She became even more interested when, at the end of camp, Brandon responded to an altar call and commited his life to Jesus.
Returning to the city, Gail began asking questions at church. She met with the pastor, and a woman from church began to study the Bible with her. Unfortunately, Gail became frustrated, as did the woman who was teaching her. The woman called us at Jews for Jesus to ask for our help.
I met Gail early the next week. She told me how difficult it was for her to understand the Bible. “They’ve grown up knowing the story of Jesus and where things are in the New Testament. I didn’t,” she said. She kept asking me if I understood what she meant. Of course I did!
It was exciting for me to open the Word to Gail and have our studies punctuated with her “Now-this-makes-sense!” comments as we examined the messiahship of Y’shua. After several visits, Gail was becoming more and more convinced. Yet she always stopped short of making a commitment to Jesus as her own Messiah.
I didn’t see Gail for a while. Then one day, returning from a trip I had made to Ottawa, I felt I should stop in to see her on my way home. As I drove, I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to go and see Gail. I was tired, and I kept fighting it, thinking, “I should just go home and rest,” then, “No, I really should go to see Gail.”
Finally I submitted to the Spirit’s promptings and went. Gail was excited to see me. She had an interesting story to tell. Once she had come in to Toronto and had actually gone to the phonebook to find our Jews for Jesus number and call me. Just under Jews for Jesus, however, she had seen “Jews for Judaism” and had called them instead. Gail had two conversations with a representative of that anti-missionary organization about why she should not believe in Jesus. When Gail checked out the Scriptures to see what they said, his arguments didn’t hold water for her.
I asked Gail if she was now ready to say yes to Jesus, since she obviously believed in His messiahship and resurrection. Again she wanted to stop short of making a commitment. The woman from her church who was teaching her had insisted that if she accepted Jesus she would have to leave her Jewishness behind. Gail didn’t see how she could do that. After all, she was Jewish.
I asked whether she thought that I had given up my Jewishness by becoming a believer in Jesus, and she had to admit that I had not. We talked a bit more about Gail’s need for a relationship with God through Y’shua. I explained that this relationship was separate and distinct from how she would express it and worship Him in the context of her own heritage.
Then I asked Gail again if she was ready to accept Y’shua. This time she said, “Yes.” We prayed together, and I told her that she should confess Jesus as the Bible says to do in Romans 10:9 and 10 by telling someone else about her decision. Gail said she was going to call that woman from her
Missionary, NYC Leadership Team
Karol Joseph is part of the leadership team in New York City; but also works alongside of the South Florida branch of Jews for Jesus during the winter months. Karol is also on the leadership team for the 2018 Behold Your God campaign in Jerusalem, Israel. Karol holds a master’s of arts degree in missiology with a concentration in Jewish studies from the School of World Missions at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jews for Jesus is a missions organization on the forefront of Jewish evangelism. The ministry is reaching Jewish people for their Messiah in 14 countries and 26 cities.