Bits From the Branches
Broken Window Leaves Opening for Gospel Witness
A 300-pound cement garbage container crashed through the front windows of the Jews for Jesus office in Ft. Lauderdale. It was 3:00 a.m., so no one was hurt (not even the cab driver who caused the accident). Chief of Station Steve Cohen arrived on the scene at 5:30 along with missionaries Sharon Freeman and David Rothstein. After the clean-up, they were sitting down to breakfast when in walked a man who introduced himself as Marvin, the owner (not the driver) of the cab. Marvin was relieved to find the damage less extensive than he’d imagined. And he was curious about Jews for Jesus. He’d been raised Orthodox and now considers himself an atheist. Now he finds himself faced with something he has never considered—Jesus as Messiah. Why? Because his driver, also Jewish (whom he was going to fire the previous week, but couldn’t bring himself to) made a grand opening” in our office.
Marvin took a copy of Steve’s story, Disowned, and assured Steve that he would read it. After all, he commented, maybe there is a God who had a reason for sending him to the Jews for Jesus office.
Also from Florida: Chief of Station Steve Cohen taught a six week series on Jewish evangelism at a local church. Joyce, a Jewish woman who was not yet a believer, had begun attending the church and came to the seminar. When the series ended, Steve invited her to our weekly Bible study. Joyce came with lots of questions. Two weeks later she returned. Joyce chimed in during the discussion of Hebrews 11 and announced that she’d left our last Bible study with a new perspective. Though she hadn’t come the following week, she had gone to church. The sermon “happened” to be about Jewish people and Jesus. When the pastor extended an invitation, she went forward to confirm in prayer what God had begun in her heart. She wrapped up the story by saying, “And now I am a Jew for Jesus, too.”
Bomb Threat Establishes True Identity
Claudia Mayer, our office worker in Buenos Aires, came to work one morning to find that part of our Jews for Jesus sign had been removed. In its place was a note made of letters cut from newspapers. The note said, “Death to all Jews” but it was phrased in a way we cannot repeat. As Claudia walked into the office, the phone rang. When she answered, a voice told her that if our building wasn’t blown up that day, it would be the following week.
When the police arrived, they informed us that other Jewish institutions in the area had received similar threats. After the police left, people from the State Intelligence Service came to check the building and to assure us that we should take the threats seriously. Two schools in Jewish areas had been evacuated the previous day due to bomb threats. According to the press, Hezbollah has declared Argentina a target. The police had not considered us for any extra protection because we were not included on the list of Jewish institutions provided by the Argentine Jewish Congress. When Guillermo explained to the Commissar Magnacco that the Argentine Jewish Congress denies our Jewishness because we believe in Jesus, he replied dryly, “Well, it seems that the people who made the threat consider you Jewish.”
Almost Blind but Now She Sees
In Los Angeles, missionary Annette Sofaer was delighted when a Christian called our office to ask if we could speak to her Jewish friend, Marlene, who’d been asking about Jesus. Marlene is from upstate New York but was visiting for a few days. Annette arranged to see them right away, and Marlene was so satisfied with the answers to her questions that she decided to follow Jesus right then and there. She needs our prayers as her vision is severely impaired and she is unable to drive. She lives with her mother, who is hostile to the gospel.
Sticking to the Issue
“Get a life!” the man said.
“I have one and I’d like to share it with you,” missionary Marcello Araujo replied as he handed out tracts in Toronto. The man stopped and said, “I know all about you guys. You are a cult trying to get Jewish people to join your group, but you won’t get me.”
“Who do you think Jesus is?” Marcello asked, ignoring the man’s false accusation.
“He was a Jewish man who betrayed his people by founding Christianity, and He was not God.”
“The Bible says He was. Would you like to receive more information about Jesus and then consider whether He was who He claimed to be?”
The man thought a moment then said, “Sure why not?” Lewis proceeded to give Marcello his name, address and phone number. “But you won’t convert me,” he assured Marcello as he left.