It has been a little over a year since I first met a small group of Christians in northwestern Germany who were reaching out to Russian Jews in the area. One Jewish family with whom I shared the gospel stands out in my mind: a grandmother, Sara; Sara’s daughter, Emma; Emma’s daughter and son-in-law, Viktoria and Vitaly.
Sara showed no interest, but Emma and Vitaly were quite curious. Viktoria was the most talkative of all. After the visit, I spoke with the family’s Christian friends about how to continue the witness, and particularly about conducting regular inductive Bible studies from the book of John. When I returned to England I mailed them examples of such studies in German and was pleased to hear later that one of the Christian friends began faithfully visiting this family for Bible study.
It was many months before I saw the Russian Jewish family again. They all seemed glad to see me, but I was saddened to find Viktoria and Vitaly less open to the gospel than when we’d first met. Nevertheless, Emma said she would be happy to meet with me again to discuss Jesus.
A month passed before I was able to see Emma and Sara again. We arranged to meet in the home of some of the Christian friends who’d been continuing the witness. After a bit of small-talk, I looked directly into Emma’s eyes and asked, What is the biggest obstacle to your believing in Jesus?” Emma replied, “The resurrection.”
Immediately we began a Bible study on the resurrection. Emma listened intently and at one point she had tears in her eyes. It was evident that God was moving in her heart. At the same time I began to get a strange sensation. Sara, who had never seemed especially interested, was listening even more intently. Although she kept silent, I could sense that she was processing what I was saying.
At the end of the study, I reiterated the gospel, asked if they understood and offered them the opportunity to respond. Emma wanted to pray that God would confirm to her whether the gospel was true, but she was not ready to accept it as her own just yet. However, as I started to talk with Sara, it was clear that something very profound was going on in her heart. When I asked Sarah if she believed Yeshua was her Messiah and Savior, she said “Yes.” There was no doubt in her mind. She wanted to pray there and then to give her life to the Messiah.
As we spoke to God together, I reflected on all those present in the room. Not only was a Jewish person coming back to the God of Israel that day, but a group of faithful German Christians were there to see the fruit of their loyal and loving witness. It was a wonderful time for all. Please pray for the rest of Sara’s family, that they will follow her example and come to know the Messiah and Savior of Israel.
Sara is one of many Russian Jewish people in Germany who have come to know Jesus since Jonathan has begun his regular evangelistic journeys there. Simon, Nadia, Michael, Hasje and Alexander are eager to learn how to share their faith with others. Leonid and Raisa believe but are afraid to make a commitment for fear of being rejected by the rest of the Jewish community.