For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed. And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
When Mordecai admonished the young Queen Esther with those words, she forged ahead and tackled the task to which God had called her. This passage has special meaning for one of our missionaries, Stan Meyer. Stan has taken it as a personal challenge and God’s call to be a missionary to the Jewish people.
Texas-born Stan is 5’11” tall. He is a Jew for Jesus who loves Mexican food. Stan has a college degree in physics, and his hobbies include playing the piano, composing, singing, running and reading science fiction. He would like to learn to play the guitar some day and to become fluent in Hebrew. But most important, because Stan Meyer loves God, he wants more than anything to introduce his Jewish people to Yeshua.
Stan joined our New York branch of Jews for Jesus on September 1, 1985. After serving there for two years, he was transferred to our Chicago branch, where he is just finishing another year of ministry.
“I miss San Antonio!” Stan lamented when interviewed. Then he smiled broadly and added, “But I am glad to know I am in the dead center of God’s will for my life.”
Stan is enthusiastic and cheerful and tends to be very expressive and emphatic when he talks, which is often. Most of all, he likes talking about the Lord and about ways to reach more Jewish people for Jesus, but this was not always the case.
Stan’s mother, herself a new Jewish believer at the time, led him to know his Messiah when he was only 10 years old. However, when Stan joyfully announced the news to his father, it was not so joyfully received. Stan began to realize that life would be easier if he did not mention his new faith. He became more and more involved with his Jewish education, never renouncing his faith in Christ, but never speaking of it either. Stan was a “secret believer” until he reached college age. At that time, God dealt with him about his years of compromise, and he “blew his cover,” becoming involved with Campus Crusade for Christ. Soon all Stan’s friends knew that he was a Christian. He learned what being “sold out” for Jesus meant, and has been zealous for the Lord ever since.
In his own words, Stan writes:
“For many Jewish believers, putting their faith in Jesus is one thing, but telling people is an entirely different matter. This was certainly the case with me. Soon after I prayed with my mother to receive the Lord, I learned that this was not a popular decision. I discovered how convenient it was to remain silent about my faith. I had my bar mitzvah at the Temple I attended and was quite active in our youth group. But throughout the years I never told anyone that I believed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.
“In the summer of 1983, I went to Israel on a study program. There I lived with a religious family. I practiced the traditions of religious Jews, attending synagogue and praying three times a day. During that time, God was calling out to me to share my faith and to realize that my lack of fellowship with other Christians had made me spiritually vulnerable. My unwillingness to tell people what I believed made me feel quite uneasy.
“One weekend I was in Safed in northern Israel staying with religious friends. On Shabbat I went out early to synagogue wearing my skull cap and prayer shawl. When I got there, I found the building locked because the cantor had not yet arrived to open it for the morning service. As I waited, along came Jeremy, a fellow American and Jewish settler who now lived in Safed. We started to talk, and I asked Jeremy what had motivated him to make aliyah (settle in Israel under the Law of Return).
“Jeremy said he had grown up in Atlanta. As a Jew, one of the first things he had noticed about Atlanta was its many churches and large Christian population. The second thing he had noticed was that he kept meeting people who wanted to tell him about Jesus! That was too much for Jeremy, so he left Atlanta for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he enrolled in college. After about a week, he felt relieved that he had escaped all those Christians who kept telling him about Jesus.
“The next day Jeremy answered a knock on his door to find two members of the nearby Baptist church. They were excited to find out that he was Jewish, and of course they wanted to tell him that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.
“Jeremy said at that point, he knew exactly what to do to end his problem. He must leave the United States and move to Israel! As he flew across the miles of ocean, Jeremy felt he had finally put enough distance between himself and all those ‘Jesus Freaks’ back in the States.
“Upon arriving in Israel, Jeremy’s first stop was the Old City of Jerusalem, where he could pray at the Wailing Wall. That night he slept in the Swedish youth hostel in Jerusalem. About 11 p.m. there was a knock at his door. Opening it, Jeremy found a 65 Swede towering over him who said, ‘I’m here to tell you about Jesus!’ Then noticing Jeremy’s yarmulke (skull cap) he exclaimed, ‘Oh, no! There’s a demon of legalism in you!’
“‘What?’ sputtered Jeremy, just starting to wake up.
“‘Demon of legalism, come out, come out!’ The Swedish fellow picked Jeremy up and started to shake him. Jeremy fled from the hostel that night and found a Jewish hostel.
“‘And so,’ Jeremy continued, ‘I came up here to Safed. The peace of Safed! No more Christians. For a while I thought God was after me, the way I kept running into them everywhere. But even up here, an evangelist came to town. And you know the first person he approached? Me! But we made him leave, and I haven’t met any Christians since then.’
“For about three minutes, there was a heavy silence as I looked at him. ‘No more Christians,’ he had said. And now here at 9:45 a.m. in front of the synagogue, he was talking to a Jewish Christian and didn’t know it!
“Inside me, God was saying, ‘Tell him, Stan. Tell him it’s true. Tell him that what he came across the ocean to find is written in the Bible, and it’s Jesus.’
“I couldn’t. I never even told Jeremy that I myself was a believer. At the end of that summer, I left Israel and returned to school. I never forgot my failure—how God had wanted to use me, and I had refused, and that fall I decided to rededicate my life to Yeshua.
I started attending church and witnessing to my Jewish friends on campus. Many were astounded. They had known me so long and had never suspected I was a believer. Some had ‘itching ears’ to find out how I could believe in Jesus as the Messiah, and I told them. That was the turning point in my life that brought me to the point of full-time missionary service.”
Editor’s Note: Please pray for Stan and his ministry, and also for Jeremy. It sounds like God is really after him!