Bits from the Los Angeles Branch
Caroline is a new Jewish believer whom Moishe met in a chat room” (via computer). Her parents had asked her to leave home because of her faith, and she had gone to stay with a couple in Orange County. Moishe passed her name and new address along to Rob Wertheim, our Orange County maven (expert).
When Rob phoned to speak to Caroline, he spoke to her host, John. John, himself Jewish, had encouraged Caroline’s parents to reconcile with her and she had moved home. “Coincidentally,” John was interested in knowing more about Jesus and asked Rob to send information. Rob offered to bring the information in person and they met the following week. It went so well, they set up another appointment. However, two days before that meeting, John called Rob to say that he had lost his job, was feeling down, and felt that finding another job should be his first priority.
The next time Rob phoned him, John was very excited. John explained that he had been wanting to reach Rob for the past few days. Someone had broken into his car, stealing the jacket that held John’s only copy of Rob’s phone number. Directory assistance was unable to help because John didn’t have the correct spelling of Rob’s last name.
John said, “Yesterday I told God, ‘If I am able to connect with Rob within 24 hours, that will be enough proof for me that Jesus is the Messiah—and I’ll believe.'” John explained that Rob had called minutes before his “deadline!” Then he excused himself for a few minutes to get a drink of water. When he came back, they set up an appointment for the following day.
When they met, John informed Rob, “You don’t have to convince me about Jesus, I believe.” It seems that while he was getting a drink of water the previous day, he had prayed, confessing his faith in Jesus! As their visit drew to a close, Rob prayed for John to find a new job—and the following day God answered that prayer as well!
Branch leader Tuvya Zaretsky received a call from a Christian named Sheryl who wanted us to minister to a Jewish friend and business associate. Debra (not her real name) was greatly distressed because her husband had recently disappeared. Tuvya called and told Debra that her friend had suggested he might be able to offer comfort and prayer. Debra was not only willing, but she was thankful for the offer of intercessory prayer on her behalf. Tuvya told Debra, “When God answers our prayer, please remember that it is His way of reaching out to you and letting you know that He is real.” She agreed to keep an open mind. Tuvya then prayed that God would bring her husband home safely and soon.
Within a half hour, Debra called Tuvya back. Her husband had called her within five minutes of Tuvya’s prayer. He wanted her to know that he loved her and that he was on his way home. Debra was as excited about God’s reality in her life as she was about her husband’s return.
Tuvya says: “File this one under ‘God is awesome!'”
Missionary Annette Sofaer reports, “We’ve been experimenting in outreach among Russian Jewish immigrants. We offered to teach English to Russian Jewish adults if they would agree also to attend a Bible study immediately following each class session. For several years our volunteers taught two such classes and I met some of the students as they began to learn English.
“Yeva was one who particularly impressed me with her tenacity. She was in her late eighties, but twice each week, she would walk to the English class. At first, Yeva questioned the value of studying the Bible with us. But the Lord blessed us with a volunteer, a retired Russian pastor, who began to come weekly to teach the Bible lesson in Russian.
“Pastor K. gave Yeva her own Bible, and she began asking meaningful questions about the Scriptures. Within a couple of months, Yeva came to faith in Jesus!
“After one Bible class, Yeva told me that her daughter, Galina, very much regretted not being able to attend the class. I got the hint and called Galina! We began meeting for one-on-one Bible study, and I sensed that she had the same spiritual openness her mother had displayed. Sure enough, when we got to the end of John chapter 1, everything clicked for Galina, and she was ready to put her faith in Jesus! This is the first time I have seen a mother and daughter both come to faith. Now we just have to ask the Lord to work on dad and the boys!”