On Line Evangelism 101
Last month Moishe wrote about witnessing opportunities via e-mail and the World Wide Web. We thought you would like to hear about two Jewish people who recently came to faith…with a little help from our online missionaries.
Bob Mendelsohn (chief of station in New York) was juggling several administrative details at the office and decided to juggle one more ball while he was at it. So he launched a Jews for Jesus chat room” and let it sit for a while. After a few minutes there were three or four Christians praising the Lord and fellowshiping together. Then a couple left, and Bob was about ready to leave as well, when Rose “walked” in.
Rose’s first remark was, “You’re not really Jewish, are you?” Bob thought, “Oh boy here comes another anti-missionary choosing to waste her time and mine.” Nevertheless, he answered her as though she might actually be interested…and after a few minutes it became evident that she truly was. But Bob’s phone kept ringing, and various staff had questions, so he asked Glenn Harris* to come over, sit down and “talk” (type) to Rose for a few minutes. The few minutes turned into more than an hour of online conversation, relating the truth of God’s word and persuading Rose to read it for herself.
Rose’s reaction was one of anguish and fear, and she said as much in the chat room in front of people she had never met. Her questions were genuine and her challenges were deep. She knew that if Jesus were true, she would have to accept Him, and that would mean facing rejection from loved ones. Eventually Glenn had to leave but he and Rose set up an online appointment (she lives several states away) to have a private chat later that week. They “met” via computer on Wednesday morning. After half an hour, once again Glenn had to leave.
Wednesday afternoon at 1pm Bob logged on to retrieve some tax forms from the Internet and he received an IM (instant message) from Rose. She was still processing the issue and wanted to discuss it further.
Bob was with her online for about 45 minutes and was able to “hear” Rose confess Jesus as Lord. She wanted to tell Glenn right away, and left a message in his e-mail box explaining what had happened.
Bob says, “I rejoice in what God did for Rose, whose main objection was what her family would say. God’s Holy Spirit poured His grace on her and she understood that her response to God mattered more than anything—more, even, than how her family might respond to her.”
A postscript to Rose’s story: immediately following the writing of this story, Rose contacted Bob to let him know she had told her parents about her faith. They reacted as she feared, allowing her four days to pack her things and move out of their house. Rose is in her early 20’s and was already planning to move (just not so quickly). Do pray for her to stand firm in her faith and for her reconciliation with her family. This is not unusual for a first reaction, but often tensions do ease in time and relationships are repaired.
*After serving faithfully with Jews for Jesus for many years, the Harris family has moved to Michigan. They now serve the Lord alongside Loren Jacobs—a long time friend and former staff member of Jews for Jesus who reaches out to Jewish people in the Detroit area.
Moishe Rosen and Scott Rubin (a good friend who’s closely associated with Jews for Jesus) “met” a Jewish man named AJ in a chat room. AJ had first run into Jews for Jesus at his college campus some 15 years earlier. He has been receiving ISSUES, our bi-monthly evangelistic publication, ever since. AJ lives in the South, and since The Liberated Wailing Wall was scheduled to be in his area, team leader Garrett Smith was asked to touch base with him.
As a result, Garret had this to say: “AJ could not come to our meeting because of his work schedule. But he really did want to meet a Jewish believer face to face, so he came to the bus after work and I met with him from midnight to 1:45 am.
“We talked a lot and looked at Numbers 21, John 3, Psalm 22. I asked him, ‘What is stopping you from accepting Jesus as your Messiah and Savior right now?’ He said, ‘If God would just do something to show me that is true, some kind of sign.’ To which I replied, ‘I have found, AJ, that most people who ask that question have already seen God do something to show them it is true. Such people will not come to faith even if they see someone rise from the dead.’
“AJ looked pretty sheepish, then admitted that God had given him a sign. He said, ‘I am a policeman and my police dog got away from me. I was out looking for him for 2 hours calling his name, and it was almost midnight. As I walked I had plenty of time to think. So I said to God, “if Jesus is really the Messiah, then let me find the dog.” You aren’t going to believe this, but ten seconds later the dog came running up to me. I am telling the truth—ten seconds!’
“Then AJ told me the real reason he hadn’t yet accepted Christ. ‘I am scared,’ he said. ‘Can you pray that God will give a kick in the behind?’ Now this is not a cowardly person. He deals with criminals every day, knows EMT, scuba dives, has been in the Reserves, and by his own admission is a guy who isn’t afraid of anything—yet he was scared to give his life to Jesus.”
Garrett prayed for AJ, who returned the following day to have lunch with the team. He was so excited to meet 6 other Jewish believers. Again, he asked the whole team to pray for him.
About a week later, Scott Rubin was online with AJ, and he finally “took the plunge” and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior. Scott “cyberspaced him through the sinner’s prayer.” Hallelujah!!! This certainly was a team effort, with God as the Captain! Pray for AJ’s growth in his new found faith.
Maybe We Can Help
We mentioned how AJ had been receiving our evangelistic publication, ISSUES, for fifteen years before he came to Christ. There were many factors in AJ’s story, but those fifteen years of reading ISSUES surely played a part.
Do you have a Jewish friend who might be open to reading ISSUES? Please send us their name and address, with their phone number if possible. We need your name and address as well, but we will not mention that you’ve passed on your friend’s name unless you tell us we may.