Bits from the Branches
Bruce Rapp reports, I’ve been meeting with Joe, a retired policeman who served for 32 years on the NYPD. He also went to Israel in 1973 to help during the ‘Yom Kippur War.’
“For many years, Joe did not believe in God, mostly because of all the evil in the world. Only in these last years has he begun to believe that God is real and has been watching over him. But Yeshua, Jesus? That was a stretch for Joe. When we talked, he’d look down and say how religion has been the cause of so much conflict in the world. As I listened, I would silently pray, ‘God help me to show him Your love for him and how You sent Your Son to take on the sins of the world.’
“Finally I touched his hand and asked him to look at me. His eyes met mine and I began to say how it wasn’t about religion, but at this moment it was about him and his relationship with God. Joe continued to look at me, and I found the words begin to come. God enabled me to speak into his heart and tell what Yeshua had done for him.
“Joe got it! He nodded his head in agreement, and when I asked him if he wanted to reconcile with God and receive Yeshua, he said yes! After he prayed, his eyes welled up with tears, he said he felt a great heaviness lifted from him. Please pray for Joe as I continue to meet with him, and try to help him to get connected with a messianic congregation not far from his home.”
Karl deSouza reports, “I met David five months ago at a local mall during our Christmas Outreach. He was glad to see us and told me he had just started to believe in Jesus as the Messiah about a month earlier.
“We followed up with a meeting at that same mall. David explained how he’d been raised in a religious home, went to Jewish school, and had never considered Jesus until a Christian couple shared the Gospel with him and invited him to church. He had come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah but didn’t believe He is God. We studied Zechariah 12, where God is seen and ‘pierced,’ and related it to its New Testament fulfillment in John 19:37 and Revelation 1:7-8. David exclaimed, ‘I believe it!’ We looked at other passages like Isaiah 9:6-7 and considered the titles of Messiah, some of which are completely inappropriate for a mere human being. David prayed to turn from his sins and received Yeshua as his Messiah, Saviour, and God. Please pray for him in his new walk with the Lord and that his family would be open to Yeshua.”
Laura Barron gives an update on Kathy, whom she asked prayer for in the March Newsletter. “When I first met Kathy, she had so many questions about faith in Jesus and whenever we talked, she brought her list for me to answer. During one of our visits, I could tell that it wasn’t so much the questions keeping her from Jesus but more a fear of what it would mean for relationships with her Jewish family and community.
She came to my house a couple of weeks ago for a Shabbat fellowship and she was talking as if she was already a believer in Yeshua. She even broke off a relationship with a man who ‘wasn’t going in the same spiritual direction’ as she was!
The next time I contacted her she told me that she had been going to some Bible studies and when someone asked her if she was a follower of Jesus and she surprised herself by replying, ‘Yes!’ When I asked her if she had verbally offered her life to the Lord and asked him to forgive her sins, she wondered if she had to make a formal appointment at a church to do that. She was delighted when she realized that she could confess her faith right on the phone with me. Please pray that she will grow and that God will continue to bless her with fellowship.”