Perhaps you have heard the saying, behind every successful man there is a great woman.” We at Jews for Jesus have a saying of our own: “Behind every successful missionary there is a great office administrator!” We’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Hale, who is an important yet “behind the scenes” member of our South Africa team.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always known Jewish people. I grew up in Johannesburg where many of my friends were Jewish and my first job was with a company run by a Jewish man. After I committed my life to the Lord, I heard about the opportunity to come on staff with Jews for Jesus. It was as if God had been preparing me all along! I had committed my life to the Jewish Messiah and now God was giving me the privilege of sharing Him with the Jewish people whom I had always loved so much.
So I joined the mission field—as an office worker with Jews for Jesus. I like to call it “front-line evangelism right from my desk.”
My responsibility is to ensure that the office of Jews for Jesus South Africa runs smoothly and efficiently. Only when administrative details are organized and ordered are we able to keep our missionaries out on the field doing the work that God has called them to do. My days are filled with a myriad of duties, ranging from monitoring the finances that God provides for our work (through the incredible faithfulness of His people) to washing the dishes! I also schedule regular deputation meetings for our missionaries. This enables them to raise the prayer and financial support that they need to keep on going for God. Orchestrating all these different areas is quite a balancing act which the Lord, by His grace, is enabling me to perform.
Sometimes I get discouraged and find it difficult to see how my work is helping to bring the gospel to Jewish people. The Lord always encourages me with the Scripture from Zechariah 4:10: “For who has despised the day of small things?” Certainly not the Lord! God has shown me that being “out there” is not necessarily more important than what He has given me to do “in here.”
Other times, my daily duties are abruptly interrupted by a phone call and “desk evangelism” quickly becomes “front-line evangelism!” For example, Ilana is a Jewish woman who was dating a Christian. She was interested in the gospel, but fearful and somewhat agitated. She called Jews for Jesus to see if we had answers for her many questions about being Jewish and believing in Jesus. With my understanding of the sensitivities required in Jewish evangelism, I was able to work through many of Ilana’s concerns. She seemed to calm down as our conversation continued, and it became apparent that Ilana truly wanted to know more about Jesus. At that point, I referred her to our director, Eliyah Gould, confident that she would be able to hear what he had to say. I was so thankful for the opportunity God had given me. Ilana received solid Bible study with Eliyah and to this day she is still serving the Lord with all her heart and growing in ways that she never dreamed possible.
Every calling of God is a high calling. When I remember that truth, I can thank God for what He has given me to do and try to perform all that He has entrusted me with as unto Him. That is the way to satisfaction and contentment!
We need more “kosher-hearted” Christians like Vanessa who are willing to do missionary work from behind a desk! If you are interested, or know someone who would be, please contact us by mail or e-mail (see page 2).