Bits From the Branches
Jewish Woman Goes to Synagogue and Hears Lecture, Leaves a Believer in Jesus
In South Africa, Karen, a new believer in Jesus, told Chief of Station Andrew Barron how she’d come to faith. A young mother who was discontent with her marriage, she was also distressed that her baby was not sleeping. Seeking a solution to her problems, she noticed an advertisement in the paper from the South Africa Zionist Federation. A local Jewish congregation was putting on a five-week course on comparative religions. The young woman decided to attend. The first week was about Buddhism, which she quickly decided was not for her. The second week was Confucianism, and she thought that was worse. The third week was Islam, and she thought that was worse still. The fourth week was Judaism, and she thought they were getting close to what she was seeking. The final week a clergyman gave a lecture on Christianity, and she knew it was true. After the lecture, the pastor led her to the Lord right in the chapel of the synagogue!
Moscow Metro Worker Surprises Jews for Jesus
Ella, one of our outreach workers in Moscow, was handing out tracts at the top of an escalator in a Metro (subway) station. Her broadsides were titled Living Water.” Until then, Metro workers had been surly and hostile to us. They don’t like us handing out gospel literature in “their” stations because some people might toss the tracts on the tracks where the workers would have to pick them up. (Actually very few Russians discard free literature they are given. Tracts in Moscow cost us 50% more than those in the U.S.) You can imagine Ella’s surprise when she heard the Metro worker at the bottom of the escalator proclaim, “Here is living water coming down! Read them all, don’t throw them away! Take them home, it is wonderful living water!” She repeated it over and over again, and the Metro radio carried her exhortations so that they could be heard on the platform and on top of the escalators!
To the Jew First, and Also to the Guatemalan
In Toronto, missionary Marcello had finished speaking at a church when a woman from Guatemala asked if he had literature in Spanish. Marcello (who is from Ecuador) answered in Spanish that, regretfully, he did not. Carmen had been attending the church because her son, a believer, does. She asked Marcello to explain a few of the points she had not understood. Upon hearing the explanation in her own language, Carmen wanted to receive Jesus as her Lord. Marcello wanted Manuel, her son, to have the joy of participating, so he said the prayer to Manuel, who in turn repeated it to his mother, who repented and trusted in Jesus.
A Close Call in Israel
One of the recent bombings was frighteningly close to our family in Israel. In fact, most of the family was at the exact spot some 30 minutes before the explosion. They might have still been there when it happened, if one of the children had not requested that they eat elsewhere. After the meal, they boarded a bus to go home and saw ambulances racing to where they probably would have been. Our Israel correspondent says, “The Lord protected us! As trite as it may sound, it is true: the safest place to be is in the will of God.”
In Washington D.C., missionary Valerie Cymes had a speaking engagement at a church that meets in a fire and rescue building. She was just concluding her presentation, announcing, “I know the forerunner has come, and praise God, so has the Messiah,” when the fire alarm sounded! The congregation began to pray for the emergency, and then the service ended. I guess we are in the “fire and rescue business”—sometimes we need a reminder! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more believers would spring into action and pray for souls in spiritual crisis every day?
Rejoice, for That Which Was Lost Is Now Found
In London, missionary Jonathan Berndt left the office for 15 minutes and returned to find office worker Wendy Burton talking to someone in the shop. She told Jonathan, “This is Stan, he’s Jewish, and he has just prayed with me, confessing Jesus as His Lord.”
Stan had walked past our book shop many times, seeking the courage to enter. Well, he finally he made it. Before leaving the shop he said, “I don’t want to exaggerate or anything, but I kind of feel ‘hallelujah Jesus!'” No problem, we felt the same way!