Bits from the Branches
Mark Landrum reports, It was a missionary’s dream. An Israeli phoned our office wanting to meet up to talk about Yeshua. Peter had already been reading about Jewish people believing in Jesus. During his recent travels in New Zealand he had stayed with a few people from ‘HIT’ (Hosting Israeli Travelers) and had received two very helpful books: Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s Jesus Was a Jew and Yakov Damkani’s Why Me? When my wife Rahel (who is Israeli and on our missionary staff) and I met with Peter, he seemed close to faith in Yeshua. But he wanted to meet other Jewish people—and particularly an Israeli—who believed in Jesus. By the third time Rahel and I met with Peter, he told us that he needed to know what to say to receive Yeshua. What a pleasure to lead him in a prayer to do just that! We continue to meet and study the Gospel of John regularly.”
Oded Cohen reports, “While at a sortie (tract-passing expedition) at Harvard Square, I spoke about Jesus with Vincent (who is not Jewish). After he understood what Jesus has done for him, Vincent prayed with me to receive Jesus into his heart! I could tell he really understood because he immediately confessed his particular sin to me and expressed his desire to be clean of sin. Please pray for God’s strength for Vincent as he begins his new relationship with the Lord.”
Also from Harvard Square, Oded reports, “I was witnessing to a Muslim man when Mrs. B. (who is Jewish) approached me and urged me to ‘come back to my people.’ My wife Bimini came along and told a bit about her life (heavily persecuted as a child), which Mrs. B. related to. By the end of the conversation, Mrs. B. hugged and kissed Bimini and gave her contact info to get together another time to discuss their lives.” (Bimini smiles and says, “Sometimes being Chinese is a help!”) One more story from Oded: “I called a Jewish believer in Jesus to connect for the first time and while we were talking I heard his wife say, ‘Who is it, Jews for Jesus? I want to talk to them.’ I wondered if she was going to be upset, but she asked sincere questions about Jesus and even suggested that Bimini and I come over for Sabbath dinner. Please pray for God to work in her heart.”
Petr Barbatunov reports, “I conducted a special Russian version showing of Survivor Stories in Far Rockaway, New York. I invited Illya M., a Jewish man I met during our Summer Witnessing Campaign in 2004. I have been calling him every so often and was pleased that he came to the showing. After the film we had time for discussion and several people asked interesting questions. Before the night was over, Illya prayed for salvation in Yeshua. These are the things we pray for whenever we have a campaign—for ongoing contact with people who will open their hearts to Yeshua.”
Lynn McCoy reports, “I was doing follow up to our Baltimore BYG campaign, and called Marsha, a Jewish woman who had called to order her free copy of our Survivor Stories video. She was pleased to tell me she had watched it three times, and was very impressed. We talked more and arranged to meet in person.
“Stephen Katz and I visited Marsha together. When we entered her apartment, we found an elderly lady in a wheelchair, lots and lots of videos, and a computer. But what amazed me was that all her life she had knowledge of Jesus, but had never asked Him into her heart.
“Marsha’s mother and father were both Jewish, yet they celebrated Christmas and went to church on occasion, along with celebrating Hanukkah and all the Jewish holidays. When we asked if she had ever received Jesus as her Savior, she was completely clueless. She was willing to meet with me, and to find out more.
“The next time Marsha and I met together, I shared a few Messianic passages with her, including Isaiah 9:6. I wanted her to see that Jesus is both the Son of God and God Himself. She seemed to understand, but she wasn’t quite ready to receive Him as Savior. I think she’s afraid of what the other Jewish people in her apartment building will think. Please pray that God will give her the courage she needs to receive Him.”