Bits From the Branches
Sometimes You Need to Eavesdrop
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Missionary David Rothstein was handing out broadsides (our gospel tracts) when he overheard a young couple discussing Jews for Jesus. David turned around and said, Pardon?” The young man was taken aback and slightly embarrassed when David asked to be included in the conversation. He reluctantly admitted that he was telling his girlfriend that Jews for Jesus, from what he’s heard, is a front organization of people who are not Jewish. David smiled and said, “Well, my name is David Rothstein.” The girlfriend suggested that David was the exception to the rule. He informed her that his supervisor is Steve Cohen. She thought Steve might be another exception so David explained that his other colleague is Sharon Freeman. Says David, “I think perhaps this incident shattered an illusion or two.”
When You Least Expect It
In Toronto, Canada, Chief of Station Karol Joseph was in the office on Tuesday when in walked Enid. Karol first contacted Enid at the suggestion of Enid’s Christian friend. She and Karol have only visited in person twice because Enid lives quite a distance from Toronto, but they had several phone calls in between. Karol says, “The last time I talked with Enid was just before the summer. She thanked me for my time, told me that she now thought she understood everything about Jesus and really was not interested in pursuing our studies anymore. Then…there she was, in my office, telling me that three weeks earlier she had asked Jesus into her heart. She wondered if my offer to study the Bible with her by phone was still open!” This happens often enough that we can only wonder how much more it happens with people who move away, whose hearts bear fruit from the gospel seed without our ever knowing. Meeting those saints will be one of the joys of heaven!
We had an inquiry on our Web site (see page 2 for our WWW address) from a Jewish New Yorker named Daniel. Missionary Garrett Smith received the contact at our New York office and found out that Daniel attends Yeshiva University (where many Jewish people study for the Jewish clergy). He seems quite open—but he is only seventeen. Garrett reports, “In keeping with our principles, I explained to Daniel that I could not meet with him until he is eighteen unless he had written permission from a parent. He thinks his Mom will do it. Please pray that she will.” We respect the oversight of parents of minors because we believe it is right, but we also hope that the parents and children alike will realize that following Jesus means adhering to principles.
Victories Large and Small
Outreach worker Ira Rivkina from Moscow visited an elderly Jewish man who turned out to be a new-born believer. He listened carefully and read the Bible with pleasure. Then he helped Ira explain the gospel to his wife, Saofia, who prayed to repent and receive new life in the Messiah at the end of our visit. Praise the Lord!
Also from Moscow, Dina reports: At the end of our weekly meeting, a Jewish believer turned in a card asking us to pray for her to find her lost umbrella. We read the note at our next staff meeting, smiled…and prayed that the Lord would help that woman find her umbrella. At the next meeting, the woman said that she had not only found her own umbrella but also another, a new one. Now she has two umbrellas! But what’s more important is that she understands that the Lord glorifies Himself even in little things!
Running the Relay Race
It was a treat for our New York staff to join up with our Washington, D.C., branch for a special day of outreach in the capital. While handing out tracts at the Metro center, Missionary Mitch Forman met a brother from Victory Outreach who was also handing out gospel literature. About an hour later, Mitch prayed with Trevor, a young African American who wanted desperately to get out of a drug lifestyle. Trevor gave his life to the Lord but knew it would still be a rough road ahead. Mitch called to the missionary from Victory Outreach (who specializes in helping people in Trevor’s situation). He grinned when he discovered that a new birth had just taken place and immediately started ministering to Trevor. Mitch says, “Praise the Lord for opportunities to work alongside other believers!”