An Echo of Encouragement
I have been a missionary with the Jews for Jesus ministry for seven years. I can’t say that it’s ever been boring. I am currently working with our Los Angeles branch, but for the first 3-1/2 years that I was on staff, I traveled with the Liberated Wailing Wall, our musical mobile evangelistic team.
During those years of travel I had some very interesting experiences that I like to recollect—like the time we planned an evangelistic rally in Sarasota, Florida, with a local Christian ministry. The rally was scheduled for a Tuesday night in a large rented auditorium. The hall could seat more than 1000 people, but I felt that we could all be very happy if only a few hundred came out to see us. The sponsoring group had done a fine job of publicity, and that night as our team approached the platform from backstage, we saw that there was a full house out front. What encouragement!
It was a wonderful night of fellowship, ministry and blessing. At the end of the program, I gave an invitation for people to come and make a commitment to the Lord. There were about 10 who came forward and three of them were Jewish. It was exciting to see people actually waiting in line to pray and ask Yeshua into their lives. Afterwards we gave their names to the leader of the Sarasota ministry that had sponsored the concert, entrusting the follow-up and spiritual growth of those new believers into their care. We moved on as scheduled and actually never heard any more from those who had made decisions.
That was five years ago. So why am I telling this story now? You see, last spring I had the opportunity to go back to Florida. This time, instead of being with the Liberated Wailing Wall, I was on my own as a speaker for Jews for Jesus, giving Christ in the Passover presentations in different churches. One particular night I was speaking at a large church in St. Petersburg. After the service I noticed a young woman waiting patiently to speak to me. I greeted her, expecting her to be an unbeliever. As we began talking, she reminded me of where we had first met. She was one of those who had accepted the Lord five years earlier in Sarasota. She had prayed with my wife Angi at that time. Now she wanted me to know that she was still growing and walking with the Lord.
What an exciting moment of rejoicing we shared in that all-too-brief encounter. It did my heart good to see the fruit of our labors so evident in this woman’s life. Indeed our God is faithful!
No, missionary work isn’t boring—except maybe once in a while when we must do some necessary paperwork—but it’s sometimes difficult to see immediate results when we’re in the seed-planting stage. During those times, if I ever get tired and discouraged and wonder if my work is bearing fruit, I think I’ll just remember my sister in the Lord in St. Petersburg. And by the way, Lord, thanks for the encouragement!