In Jews for Jesus we refer to handing out our gospel tracts (tri-fold, easy-to-read pamphlets) as broadsiding. But I have noticed that broadsiding has its special features in various cities. So “what is broadsiding” can depend on where one is broadsiding.
For example, broadsiding in Moscow differs radically from broadsiding in Odessa. When broadsiding in Moscow, you get the feeling that any person passing by might shed all their anger and rage on you. You return from sorties (broadsiding expeditions) with pain in your hands, because that’s where people who were in a bad mood slapped or hit you. In addition, many people stepped on your feet during the sortie.
Odessa is a unique city for broadsiding. No matter where you stand to hand out pamphlets, people come up to tell you about something that’s on their mind. They may inform you that certain benefits for veterans were cancelled, or tell you about their hooligan neighbor or about utility costs, and it’s interesting that they share with you as if they have known you for many years! We try to refocus people’s attention on the Word of God and our only Savior, Yeshua the Messiah. And the most interesting thing is that during any given conversation, you find out that you are talking to a Jewish person, who calmly gives you their contact information for follow-up.
Kharkov is a spiritually difficult city. But while broadsiding in this very city, God fills my life with unforgettable stories of His presence and guidance. For example, I was standing in a huge stream of people, trying to offer a broadside to every person I saw. One man who saw me began walking towards me very determined with his eyes open wide. I wondered if he wanted to ask me something. Instead he stomped on my foot with all his strength, trying to cause me pain. But to my amazement, I felt absolutely no pain! I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm and joy because of God’s protection and participation on this sortie. Perhaps someone wanted my defeat. But God is with us!
Once while broadsiding in Kiev, a woman came to me and asked in a strict tone, “Are you Svetlana?” I must confess that I replied timidly, “Yes.” Her tone changed right away, and she said with interest, “Write down my contact information.” It turned out that a new Jewish believer I meet with, Lyudmila, is her best friend. Lyudmila had told Irina about me and she wanted to meet me. Irina is in contact with a lot of Jewish people and I felt that meeting her that day was a gift from the Lord to me.
Broadsiding doesn’t always take place in a comfortable atmosphere. Once, while handing out broadsides, I heard the yell of a drunken man, who read the Jews for Jesus inscription on my T-shirt. He began berating the Jewish people loudly. I prayed. Suddenly, a friend of that man approached him and said, “What are you doing? Don’t say that! I’m also Jewish!” When the screaming died away, I approached the man who had identified himself as Jewish. Boris listened to the gospel and gave me the contact information of his Jewish mother. As somebody once said, “We are weak people, but we have a strong God!”
What is broadsiding? It’s an open door to filling your every day life with amazing encounters from God!