I arrived in Los Angeles in 2000 to serve as a full-time missionary with Jews for Jesus and one of the first things I realized was that we missionaries are few in number. That meant that in order to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue for our Jewish people, we were going to need some help.
The request for faithful volunteers immediately went to the top of my prayer list. During my first year in Los Angeles, I was doing street ministry (handing out broadside tracts) mostly by myself. Many places where we do public ministry in Southern California require more than one person to effectively cover the area. I’m talking about sorties (tract-passing expeditions) in places like Venice Beach, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, university campuses and downtown Los Angeles. We needed help to bring the gospel to those places. After all, in Mark 6:7 and Luke 10:1 we read that Jesus sent His disciples out two-by-two to spread the gospel.
During my second year, the Lord started bringing some great volunteers, both Jews and Gentiles, to help with evangelism here in Los Angeles. This trend continued and now, thanks to faithful volunteers, I rarely do street evangelism by myself.
Doing evangelism with friendly volunteers is much more fun than going out alone. We can share praise reports with each other and hear from one another how God used us to reach out to strangers. We can encourage one another when we’ve been persecuted. We also can strengthen one another through fellowship as we pray together before the sortie and share a meal after, when possible.
Doing evangelism with volunteers is also a great way to celebrate that the wall between Jew and Gentile has been torn down in the Body of Messiah. Presently, my most faithful volunteers are Gentiles: Scheffee and Jeremy. If only every Jews for Jesus branch had volunteers like these two!
They gladly give up a portion of their only day off to come evangelize with us. They are team players with true servant hearts and I can count on them in any situation. They have become part of our Jews for Jesus family here in Los Angeles, attending our weekly Bible study and helping out with events like our annual Passover Banquets. In addition to the fellowship, Scheffee and Jeremy enjoy learning about the Jewish roots of Christianity at our events.
Because Scheffee and Jeremy are African Americans, many people are intrigued to see them in their “Jesus made me Kosher” T-shirts. Jewish people are often curious as to what they mean by it, and so are many other African Americans— particularly those who practice Islam!
When people ask Scheffee, “Why do you volunteer with Jews for Jesus?” she replies, “I consider it a privilege to serve with Jews for Jesus since salvation is from the Jews. Also, the Bible encourages Gentiles to make the Jewish people jealous for God.” Jeremy says that he can relate to the words of Ruth when she said, “Your people shall be my people.” He says that serving the Lord with Jews for Jesus is a true example of the Church body that is comprised of Jews and Gentiles working together, declaring the good news of God’s kingdom.