Bits from the Branches
Karl deSouza reports, “‘Sam’ is a Jewish man who found our website, looked up my itinerary and came with his wife to hear me speak at a local church. For the past two years, we’ve been studying Messianic prophecy, looking at Jesus’ claims, and talking about differences between rabbinical Judaism, world religions, and what the Bible says about salvation by grace through faith.
I challenged Saul to ask God about Jesus: ‘God won’t lie to you; He’ll show you who Jesus is. He wants you to take Him at His Word.’
“Yet I must confess that after two years, I did not approach my recent meeting with Sam with a great deal of optimism. In fact, I had begun to doubt that he would ever believe. So I was nearly as amazed as he was when he recounted to me what had happened to him during the past week. He had suddenly found himself in tight financial situation, which would impact his future plans.
“As a man who plans and thinks about the future, Sam felt helpless, out of control, and in need. He prayed to Jesus and surrendered his burden to Him, and then he felt at peace. The next morning, three different provisions for Sam’s need came through.
Sam knew that God had heard his prayer. I explained that while God had graciously provided for Sam through this experience, faith is not merely based on our experiences, but what we’ve learned of God through the Bible. I told him that God did not merely want him to surrender his financial burdens to Him, but that He wanted Sam to entrust his life and salvation to Messiah Y’shua.
“Sam prayed that day to receive Y’shua as His Messiah, Lord, and Savior. Afterward, he commented, ‘I feel different. I feel, for the first time, like I’m grounded.’ Please pray for Sam as we continue to meet for discipleship.”
Lyn Bond reports, “A chaplain called our office and asked for someone to bring literature to ‘a Jewish woman who prayed to receive Jesus, but is dying of cancer and only has about a week left.’ I visited Ellen, who had many questions like, ‘What’s in the “New Bible”‘ It was my joy to give her a brief New Testament overview. I prayed with her for her children to be parented by our heavenly Father, and for her to be truly aware of His presence in her life now that she trusts Jesus for salvation. She passed only six days after I met her.
“I called the chaplain to let him know of our visit and asked how he happened to call our office. Ellen had specifically asked for someone from Jews for Jesus to come see her. She apparently knew of us because of our public (street) ministry. We hand out so many gospel tracts and sometimes it is hard to know if we leave a lasting impression. Ellen did not find Jesus through our ministry, but she did find comfort and assurance in her last days. Please pray for the salvation of her teenage children and husband.”
Brooklyn by way of Boston
Oded Cohen is ministering mainly in our Boston branch, but he has done much outreach in New York among the Hasidic (fervently observant) Jewish people. He therefore receives many of the phone calls from Hasidic Jews in New York. Oded recently reported, “When you answer the phone and hear only silence, it might be a prank call . . . or, it might be someone who wants to speak but is frightened. So when I answered the phone and no one replied, I simply spoke gently to the caller as my wife Bimini and I interceded in prayer. Eventually a timid but sincere voice responded! A man in his early 20’s, married with children, wanted to know more about Jesus’ claim to be the Jewish Messiah. After speaking to him for a while, I gave him the telephone number for our Brooklyn staff. He called them immediately and received a New Testament that same night. Please pray for God to protect and draw this Hasidic man and others like him to Jesus. Family, jobs and homes are all on the line for those who depart from the strict religious teachings of this community.”