Bits from the Branches
|Olga in Kiev|
Great advice, but she didn’t need it!
“Ask questions. Listen to the answers. Think about which Scripture most helped you trust Jesus for your salvation, and look for an opportunity to share it.” Great advice from Lyn Bond, on assignment in San Francisco, from Chicago. She was responding to her friend Cheryl, who called from Chicago to ask for prayer. Cheryl and her husband were going to visit her sister and sister’s boyfriend – and Cheryl really wanted to share the gospel with the boyfriend.
Lyn prayed with her friend, and later that day Cheryl texted back this surprising report: “He [the boyfriend] became a believer months ago! Somehow (he doesn’t know how) Jews for Jesus got his address and he received ISSUES with the testimonies of three Jewish believers. He read the testimonies and received Jesus then.”
If you didn’t know, ISSUES is Jews for Jesus’ bi-monthly publication for Jewish seekers. Lyn looked up the record and found out “the boyfriend” had been receiving it since November 2004, through our “letter of witness program.” That’s a free referral service we provide, where you can send us the information of a Jewish friend and we mail them a letter briefly explaining what we believe, include a sample copy of ISSUES, and offer them a free subscription.
God bless whoever referred “the boyfriend”! We don’t always get to hear about the results of the gospel seed we sow, so this really encouraged us, as we hope it does you. And maybe you have a Jewish friend you’d like to refer to us.* Meanwhile, don’t you think that was pretty good advice Lyn gave Cheryl? If you haven’t already, maybe you’ll have an opportunity to try it sometime soon.
Ministry in Israel is hoppin’!
|A music sortie during a Jews for Jesus outreach in Israel|
Avigail Rantanen reports, “Volunteers from the Czech Republic joined us at a train station for a time of music evangelism. One person played flute, several of us sang, we gave out gospel broadsides and, of course, engaged people in conversations. I had a good talk with Sarah,** a Jewish woman who lives in the Tel Aviv area. She agreed for me to mail her a New Testament, and to meet later to discuss it. Sarah is a doctor; please pray that she will meet Yeshua, the Great Physician.
“Miriam** came to deliver water to our office and was curious about what we believe so she ordered some of our books. I called to follow up and we arranged to meet at a coffee shop. There I learned that Miriam is a secular woman from a mixed family – all Jewish, but half Orthodox and half secular. I gave her a Bible for which she was very thankful, explained the gospel and how I came to faith – and asked if she’d like to meet again to learn more. She said yes! Please pray for Miriam’s salvation.”
Alexander Adelson reports, “While following up with people who gave us their contact information during our Behold Your God Negev campaign, I phoned Shmuli.** He told me that his children were reading the small copy of the New Testament I’d sent, and when I offered to give him a copy of the whole Bible, he was very excited and invited me to his home. Then Shmuli told me the story of his life and how he wants to find the God of Israel. He is very open to know more about Yeshua and to go to a local Messianic congregation. Please pray for his salvation.
“We joined with other believers for an evangelistic musical event at ‘Dugit,’ a Messianic coffee shop. About 30 Israelis came in from the street to hear the music and also the gospel message. We had some good conversations and a couple of people gave their contact information. Please pray for these people and for similar evangelical opportunities.”
Mor reports, “I spoke on the phone with a religious Jewish woman who was really glad I called, and very open to talk about Jesus and the New Testament. I told her that Jesus is truly the Messiah according to the Bible and that God really raised Him from the dead. I set a visit with her for the following week. Please pray for her.” [Editor’s Note: Mor is an intern who came to faith through our ministry. It’s exciting to see her share her faith with others. Please pray the Lord will bless and encourage her.]
Welcome back to Olga Emma in Kiev!
Olga Emma reports, “I am not new to Jews for Jesus, but I have recently rejoined our staff. My husband, Anatoli, leads our branch in Kiev. When God blessed us with two daughters, my main ministry shifted to raising our children, though I continued to work as a volunteer with Jews for Jesus when I had a chance. Now that our daughters are older, I have more time to work for the salvation of the Jewish people and so I rejoined our staff last year. And I find that my children still provide opportunities for me to minister.
“Our older daughter Elisabeth studies piano at a music school, and between lessons, I became acquainted with a woman named Malcah**, the mother of one of Elisabeth’s classmates. Malcah is from a religious family of Bokharan (Middle Asian) Jews. We began to form a friendship. At first, we talked about the history of Israel and the political situation around Ukraine. After a few meetings, I began to talk about Christ and managed to show her a few verses from the Scripture.
Malcah was surprised that I believe in Jesus and surprised to hear about Messiah from the book of Isaiah. However, she indulged my belief, since I am not Jewish: ‘This is your Savior, not ours; that is why you can believe in Him.’ However, she was in for a surprise when she invited our whole family to her home on Shabbat. That’s when she and her family discovered that my husband, who also believes in Jesus, is Jewish.
“Our friendship continues and has expanded to include Malcah’s parents and husband, who all know that we believe in Jesus. I have offered Malcah a copy of the New Testament, but she refused, saying it would not be appropriate for a religious Jew. However, she was very willing to take other gospel literature. Please pray for God to open the eyes of Malcah and her family to Messiah Jesus. God can touch even the most closed hearts; there are no barriers for Him!”
Partnering with a local church in Phoenix
Bruce Rapp reports, “I first met Barry** at the request of a local college pastor. Barry had attended some of the college activities, but never stayed when it was time to study the Bible, explaining, ‘I’m Jewish.’
“When I met him, Barry confided that while he identified as a Jew, he wasn’t even sure if God exists. As he became more comfortable with me, Barry revealed the source of his cynicism.
“Several years earlier he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and was stuck in the hospital for a long time with a bleak prognosis. No one in his family seemed to think he would pull through. He felt that God had turned away from him – so he’d turned away from God.
“We continued to eat our lunch and I shared my story of faith in Yeshua. I described the love of God and His promise in Jeremiah 29:11. I told Barry that God has plans for him, and desires him to have a future and a hope.
“We have met several times since then, and Barry seems to be moving closer to Yeshua. Please join me in prayer that our Lord would continue to soften his heart, and that he will receive Yeshua as his Lord and Savior.”
* You can refer a friend to receive ISSUES by going to: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/refer-a-friend
** not their real names