Bits From The Branches
Chad Elliott reports, “Elaine is a sweet-natured Jewish bubbe (grandmother) who dropped by our office. She had heard enough about Jesus to seriously question whether He might be the Messiah. We set up a time to study the Bible together the following day.
“I took her through a series of Old Testament verses, demonstrating the nature of sin and the need for salvation, and then told her that God had sent His Son, Jesus, to be her Savior. I asked if she believed that Jesus was the Son of God and had died as an atonement for her sins. She said yes, but she had doubts about the Resurrection. I pointed out that God could resolve those doubts. She did pray to God asking for forgiveness based on Jesus’ atoning death. Please join me in praying for Elaine, that God will give her grace to understand the gospel fully and to grow in faith.”
Cyril Gordon reports, “I had the pleasure of meeting Harley and his wife at a church where I spoke four years ago. Harley is Jewish, but was used to hearing about Jesus. He loved his wife, his bright red Corvette, Chicago Bears football, and cheeseburgers at the local Apple Pan diner. We met at that diner about once a month to talk about the claims of Jesus, Jew to Jew. Harley knew in his heart that the gospel was true, but was afraid to submit his life to God. This went on for four years, until Harley was diagnosed with colon cancer. At that point Harley repented of his sins as he received Jesus into his life. He was baptized soon after.
“Harley was a new man. The Lord God Almighty became the center of his life, even as his physical condition deteriorated. I continued meeting with Harley to encourage him with readings from the Bible and pray with him, no longer over cheeseburgers, but at his house as he lay in bed recovering from surgery. Through all the suffering and loss, Harley kept his focus on Jesus until he passed away, on January 15, 2007. As his wife has said, ‘It is comforting to know that Harley is at the feet of Jesus in heaven now, pain free…’”
Ze’ev reports, “Our branch did several days of ‘cold calling’ (from the phone book) to offer free New Testament books to those who were interested. As a result, I’ve met with several open people. Jacob had been interested in Jesus since his childhood in Baghdad, Iraq. His wife Miriam was also reading the New Testament I sent. Please pray that I will be able to continue to minister to this open couple.
“Abraham, like Jacob and Miriam, is originally from Iraq. He can’t see in one of his eyes and has a hearing aid in one of his ears, but his heart is open to the gospel! Abraham has known much tragedy in his life. His daughter was only six when her costume caught on fire in a Purim party at school and she died. Two more of his five children have also passed away, and his wife also. Please pray for Abraham to find the joy of God’s salvation.
“Finally, I want to tell you about Rachel. She is also older, and she is from . . . Iraq!!! She is not religious, but her 54 year-old-son (who lives with her) is. For some reason she didn’t get the New Testament we sent her, so I offered to come and bring her the book personally. She agreed, and I came to her home. I presented the gospel to her and she had no objections. I emphasized that I was talking about Jesus, the one she knows as ‘Yeshu,’ but she had no objections. I asked her if there was any reason why she wouldn’t pray now to receive Him as her Savior. Immediately she said, ‘I accept, I accept.’ She prayed to receive Y’shua! Praise God! Soon after, I met with her again and we studied from the Gospel of John. As I left I passed a religious man, who may well have been her son. Please pray for my continual ministry to Rachel and that her son will not interfere, but will also want to know about Y’shua.”