Jews for Jesus witnessing campaigns have always stressed spiritual preparedness. In the early days, Scripture memorization was part of the rigorous routine of campaign. Each morning the verse(s) were posted and each day we were tested on the previous day’s Scripture. The verses were carefully selected to minister to us and help us minister to others. About once a week, we had a cumulative test on all the verses we had memorized to date.We were expected to have the verses down, word and punctuation perfect.
Memorizing Scripture definitely helped us in the spiritual warfare that intensifies around every effort to make the gospel known. On the other hand, memorization is strenuous for some and campaigners were already being tested in other ways, facing rejection out on the hot streets and inside the even hotter subway stations. So we continued having daily verses for meditation, and were encouraged to memorize them, but without the testing.We also included a chapel time in our daily schedule, to help keep up our spiritual strength. This enabled us to worship together, singing scriptural songs, before hearing a brief message from God’s Word. Soon, in addition to daily chapels, we had an onsite chaplain to pray for and with the campaigners.
When we show you pictures of our witnessing campaigns, you don’t see the chaplains who intercede for each campaigner, and who are available during meals and the afternoon breaks to meet and minister to campaigners one-on-one.When possible, we like to have a couple serving together, so that the husband can meet with the men, and the wife with the women. This year we are blessed to have Emmanuel and Sarah Mebasser as campaign chaplains for our New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign. Both Jewish believers in Jesus, Emmanuel and Sarah met through our ministry. They have a son, Jonah, who was born in April, 2008. Throughout July, the Mebassers are praying together for each campaigner, as well as meeting with them individually. They also take turns giving their reflections on Scripture during chapel times. And they minister not only to, but with the campaigners. Emmanuel says, Sarah and I will go with campaigners on as many sorties as we can; it is important for us to take part in what the other campaigners are experiencing.
“As we come alongside campaigners, we want to water the seeds of freedom that come from being a slave to Messiah. True freedom is being disciplined in hearing and obeying what God wants you to do from moment to moment. We want to bring an attitude of expectancy that God will show up in our prayer and worship times, so that none of us will be lacking the fruits of the Spirit. We want to share out of that abundance with the people of New York.
“In addition to street ministry we are helping the team look for creative ways to share the gospel, including over the Internet. And we are excited about taking part in follow-up on the contacts we receive.”
Sarah says, “I know firsthand the challenge of being a New York Campaigner. I want to help ease the burden of this year’s campaigners and also to encourage them that they are making a huge difference in the kingdom of God. My greatest hope for the campaign is that at its conclusion many New Yorkers will have heard and received the gospel—and campaigners will be enthusiastic about continuing to share the gospel. For me, the biggest challenge is balancing caring for my son with caring for the campaigners, but I know that God will help me find that balance.”
When asked how becoming parents has helped equip them as chaplains, Emmanuel said, “Having a child teaches you about sacrifice, dedication, patience, and endurance. These are qualities that each campaigner needs, and we hope to encourage them in those attributes. We also want to help campaigners remember that God is a father who is so proud of them and longs to show His joy and kindness to all His children.”
When asked, semi-seriously, about Jonah’s role this summer, Emmanuel answered, “Well, Jonah is a real people person. For those who need to know the joy of the Lord like little children, Jonah will certainly be happy to laugh and giggle with them.” Emmanuel normally serves as our web developer. He will still devote some time online this summer, including developing our new evangelistic flash animated cartoon series, doing evangelism on SecondLife.com, and running gospel advertising campaigns for our satellite evangelistic websites including JewishGentileCouples.com, MessianicRX.net, and GradJEWate.com.
Please pray for the Mebassers as they provide spiritual support and inspiration for the campaigners. Pray for them to bless those on campaign as they look to connect with them throughout the month and pray for the appropriate balance of ministering to campaigners and caring for Jonah.