In my ministry with the Jews for Jesus Boston Branch, I usually pass out our gospel broadsides at least seven times a week. One day I had decided to distribute our tracts at Harvard Square. It seemed to be a typical sortie. Most people rushed by, pretending not to notice me, and just a few people took my pamphlets to see what they were about.
Starting to feel hungry and tired, I looked at my watch to see how long I had been there, and I noted that I had just a few minutes left before I should leave. Just then, Ruth, a smartly dressed woman who looked to be in her fifties, tapped me on the shoulder.
Are you Jewish?” she asked.
Training and experience programmed my somewhat skeptical response. This could be a setup. Most of the time when I am asked such a question it comes from an insincere individual who wants to use my answer to tell me that I can’t be Jewish if I believe in Jesus.
“Why do you want to know?” I asked.
She answered that she was Jewish and had been thinking about Jesus a great deal lately. She said that she was afraid to pursue the matter and had never known any Jewish people who believed in him. I took down her name and address and told her that I would keep in touch. I also offered her our Yeshua book, which she gladly received. I told her that I was going out of town for a month, hoping that her interest would not wane during that time. She told me that she also was going away and that she would be expecting me to contact her when I returned to Boston.
After I returned from my trip I contacted Ruth. To my delight, she had read through the Yeshua book and wanted me to get together with her soon. I arranged to meet with her that week.
During the hour that I met with Ruth, we discussed the gospel in depth. Then she asked a question that made me think surely I must be dreaming. She wanted to know how she could have her sins removed and have a relationship with God. I explained about having a relationship with God—how sin destroys that relationship and only Yeshua can repair it. After our talk Ruth thanked me for the visit and I left.
A week later I met with Ruth again. After a bit of small talk, I asked Ruth if she was ready to believe in Jesus. Ordinarily I would not ask such a question so soon after meeting a person, but I felt that she might be ready. If she was not, it might help me to know what was keeping her from making that decision.
To my surprise, Ruth told me that she had prayed to accept Christ a few days earlier. She described how God had already begun to answer her prayers. I told her about our weekly Bible study. She wanted to attend, but couldn’t because of the distance between her house and our office. We prayed together about it and made plans for our next visit.
The next day I called David, another new Jewish believer who had just started coming to our Bible study. In the course of our conversation he mentioned that he lived close to the city where Ruth lived and that he would be happy to accommodate her and bring her to Bible study.
Praise God for the way that he works!