Bits from the Branches
Branch leader Garrett Smith reports, We often partner with local churches by giving presentations like Christ in the Passover, or Jewish evangelism seminars, or by taking youth groups with us to do street evangelism. But recently I had a unique opportunity to partner with a church in Newton, which is a very Jewish area. I helped organize an event around the Narnia film. The producer of the movie came to give a behind-the-scenes talk and to show clips of the film. Then I led a round table discussion between him, a Gordon Conwell theology professor, as well as the pastor’s wife, who writes children’s books. Three hundred people came to the Saturday night event. The church was very pleased that about 60% of the folks were visitors. They had mailed out 10,000 cards to invite people in the area, and we had put up posters around town.
I don’t know how many Jewish people attended. Only one turned in a card asking for more information, and we are following up. But I know that others were there…including the woman who was sitting next to me in the front row. Just before the event, she asked me how I had come to believe in Jesus, and she continued asking questions. She then introduced me to her husband, who had looked like he did not even notice that we were talking. When she began to explain my story, he said, ‘I heard everything.’ He had been secretly listening. They live right near us and even though they did not fill out a card for further information, I am praying for more opportunities to talk with them.”
Missionary intern David Leibman reports, “A few of us decided to do a sortie down at the Hammerstein ballroom. A Hassidic (ultra Orthodox Jewish) reggae artist by the name of Matisyahu was playing to a sold-out crowd for the second night in a row. We got there around 11 P.M., just as the show ended. Once people caught sight of us the place exploded. We were greeted with jeers, insults and remarks about our sanity. After things died down a little, we were able to engage in some really good conversations. Toward the end of the sortie, I ran into Matisyahu himself who gave me a hug and a handshake and then sought to break the hold he thought that Jews for Jesus had on my soul. After he went on his way we had a few more conversations and then it was time to go. Overall it was an awesome sortie which left us all eager for more. Please pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to everyone we had a chance to talk to, including Matisyahu.”
Branch leader Bob Mendelsohn reports, “Juan and Margarita are a Hungarian Jewish couple in their fifties. They live in Montevideo, Uruguay and were visiting some relatives in Sydney. Apparently they had ridden the bus past the Jews for Jesus bookshop several times and finally decided to stop in just before they left. They happily received more information and literature to take back to Uruguay. They weren’t ready yet to receive Jesus, but gave me their contact information (including e-mail, which certainly helps with long-distance ministry) and seemed very eager to hear more from us. How good is God?”
Ed: You may have heard the expression “God closes one door and opens another. At times, the saying works quite literally.…
Outreach worker Misha Vayshengolts reports, “I knocked on the apartment door of a Jewish man who I believed to be interested in the gospel. He opened the door, but did not invite me in. I explained the gospel to him and he responded, ‘I understand everything, but I want nothing.’ Nevertheless I asked him, ‘May I invite you to our Shabbat meeting?’ He apologized and shut the door. The moment his door closed, the door of the apartment next to his opened slightly. I heard a voice say, ‘Hey, invite me.’ I asked uncertainly, ‘Are you also Jewish?’ The man answered, ‘I’m Dmitry. My father’s name is Moses. I was about to leave, and I heard everything you said from my hallway.’ Dmitry took information from me, and gave me his phone number. Please pray for him.”