Bits from the Branches
A Missionary Candidate Learns An Important Lesson
All Jews for Jesus missionaries have weekly goals to help us use our time wisely and to keep us accountable to God and to our supporters. New York missionary candidate Lev Leigh (from South Africa) learned an important lesson about ministry early in his training. He said, The end of the week was drawing near, and I was prepared to meet my goals but unprepared to meet Muriel [not her real name]. I dropped by to visit her and to my surprise discovered a woman who was ill, anxious, worried and pain wracked. I had been so caught up in making my visits that I forgot for a moment that behind our goals are souls! All I could do was hold Muriel’s hand and pray. I shall approach my ministry goals differently from now on.”
It Can and Does Happen
Chicago missionary Jenifer Hall dropped in on Edith, another Jewish person who had received one of our Letters of Witness and a copy of ISSUES (our evangelistic publication for Jewish people). While Jenifer remained in the hall, Edith cracked open the door of her apartment about four inches to say that she was an Orthodox Jew and would “never change.” Yet, after a few more sentences, Jenifer found herself inside Edith’s apartment—actually in her kitchen—looking down at a copy of ISSUES Edith had just thrown into the trash. (She said she had read part of it and was offended.) They ended up talking for a half hour about God and Jesus. Even better, Edith invited Jenifer to come back (and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she retrieved that copy of ISSUES from the trash after Jenifer left). Please pray for Edith. She has faith in God and attributes her being alive to Him, but she doesn’t see her need for a Savior—yet.
Dogs, Cats and an Inquiring Mind
New York missionary Annette Sofaer described a “most colorful” visit with a Jewish woman in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Formerly a large Jewish community, Williamsburg has become very run down, and the only Jews who still live there are Satmar Hasidim (the ultra-Orthodox sect portrayed in Chaim Potok’s book and film The Chosen). The woman lives in back of a factory, and Annette, accompanied by missionary-in-training Lev Leigh, had to go through two gates and up some exterior fire escape stairs to get to her apartment. A Rottweiler dog wearing a metal chain collar met Annette and Lev and followed them up the first flight. As Annette knocked on the metal door at the top of the stairs, another dog began barking from within, which excited the Rottweiler. When Annette and Lev finally got inside the right apartment without getting eaten by the Rottweiler, they found a white-haired, fifty-year-old woman in a wheelchair, surrounded by piles of Jewish religious books and six cats. Though she was living in squalor, she exhibited great sharpness of mind. She understood the literature she had received from us and was quite open to discussing Jesus. Annette is looking forward to meeting with her again.
Beyond the Branches—An Uplifting Note From Down Under
Bob and Patty Mendelsohn (Washington, D.C.) were sent to check out ministry possibilities in Australia. While they were there, Bob conducted a Jewish evangelism seminar at one church. Afterward, a young man approached Bob to say he had been thinking about converting to Judaism but during the seminar had decided against it. Instead, this eighteen-year-old named Trevor had prayed to accept Christ during Bob’s lecture. It happened as Bob was explaining how to lead a person in a prayer of faith, repentance and commitment!
A Progress and Praise Report
While The Liberated Wailing Wall was ministering in the Washington, D.C., area last August, a Jewish woman named Regina came to one of their presentations. When team leader Jonathan Bernd gave the invitation, Regina committed her life to the Lord. Regina has continued to attend the D.C. fellowship meetings and shows evidence of growing in her faith.
Undercover Inquirer Takes a Bolder Step
In Johannesburg, South Africa, Jackie, a Jewish woman, left a message on the office answering machine to say she wanted to know more about Jews believing in Jesus. She asked for information in a plain, unmarked brown envelope because she didn’t want her family to know. Missionary Laura Barron sent Jackie an explanatory letter with an added paragraph about getting together to talk face to face. Three months later, Jackie phoned the office to say she was ready to meet Laura. She said, “I have a million questions, and I know I need answers. I can’t stop thinking about these issues.”
When Laura met with her, Jackie admitted that she now believed that Jesus is the Messiah. She knew what following through with a commitment would cost but agreed with Laura that she must follow the truth at all costs. (She has three children in Jewish day school and her husband is quite observant.) Jackie prayed with Laura to give her life to Yeshua. She said she felt elated and “disloyal” at the same time. Laura reports that Jackie has an incredible hunger for the Word and has been reading our Jews for Jesus literature avidly. Please pray for Jackie’s growth and for her story to her family.