Words of Thanksgiving from the Field
From the Field in London, our staff is thankful to the Lord for a facility in a superb location. Wendy, who often minds our book shop located on the well travelled Finchly Road, as well as doing office work in the back room of the shop, says, We’ve had several very open Jewish people come recently. For example, there were two students, one studying computing and the other studying German. They had previously met people from the Jesus Army and even went to their HQ. While interested in what they had to say [about Jesus], these Jewish students said they felt somewhat uncomfortable there. When they came into the shop they were astonished at the literature. They said ‘this is us!’ In their excitement they took lots of literature. They have both been away on holiday but they recently returned and made an appointment to meet with [branch leader] Jonathan.”
Also in London, our staff is thankful that “every knock is a boost.” During lunch time one day our office received about 15 nuisance phone calls. As all incoming numbers show up on a screen, we were able to trace the source of the calls. It was a Jewish high school for boys! The secretary there apologized, saying that the calls had come from a pay phone in their building. She then told the Deputy Headmaster the details of the calls and he called our office a half hour later. He apologized profusely for the nuisance calls and said that he had just called an assembly of the whole school. Two boys confessed to the prank. They had received our number from some friends outside of school. The Deputy Head then told the whole school that there was freedom of speech in the United Kingdom and they should respect Jews for Jesus’ right to believe that Jesus is the Messiah!
In Canada, our team is thankful for the churches that have scheduled The Liberated Wailing Wall this spring. It will boost the branch’s ministry to have our Mobile Evangelistic team there. It gives Christians a good opportunity to invite their Jewish Friends.
The Toronto team is especially thankful for David, an 81-year-old Jewish man with whom Marcello has been meeting for two years. After all this time, David has just now come to faith in Christ.
The Canada team is also thankful for Hannah Neufeld, who’s been with them full-time since mid-August.
In Israel, the Tel Aviv branch is thankful for the Lord’s protection. They are thankful for the many opportunities to witness to Israelis who became interested in the gospel through seeing our missionaries in New York, Paris or Moscow. Branch leader Efraim says, for example, “A Jewish man named Arie is so open to the gospel that he actually grins when he sees me approaching to visit with him.” Actually, Efraim is thankful for any Jewish person who will let him bring the gospel, whether they smile or not.
In Orange County, Rob says, “I am thankful for our donors and friends who enabled us to get a new ministry van, because you really need a reliable vehicle to minister in Southern California! I’m also thankful for our ministry’s Web site because I’m ministering to many Jewish people whose first contact with us was on the Internet.”
Sharon says, “One of the blessings of working in the Florida branch has been the opportunity to get to know Joe and Clara Rubin. I believe they are the oldest living Jewish believers who were in full-time Jewish missions. They are good friends of our ministry and I have been blessed in watching their commitment to telling others about Jesus even though they are now ‘retired.’ If the Lord should tarry and if I live to be in my 80’s, I hope that I will be as bold in my witnessing as they are.
“I’m also thankful for the teamwork in this branch. We plan times to be on the phones together and to do street outreach on Friday and Saturday nights. We also have times of fun mixed in as we join together for an occasional meal or an ice cream after a day of outreach.”
In Los Angeles, Josh Sofaer says, “I am thankful for Jews for Jesus supporters who make it possible to do the kind of evangelism we want to do. I am also thankful that our ministry has taken chances in the past, trusting in God to come through for us. I look forward to seeing what we will do in the future.”
In South Africa, our Johannesburg team is thankful for the response to our last appeal letter. Our South African supporters were very generous and they also sent in the names of more than 200 Jewish friends to receive our witness. Lev, who was in charge of the branch while Eliyah was studying at the Fuller School of World Missions, is thankful to have his branch leader back!
Our San Francisco team is thankful that more than 65 Russian Jews we’ve met are willing to hear more about Jesus. Two of them have already made that decision and are now professing faith in Christ. Branch leader David Mishkin says, “I’m thankful for such generous donors whose gifts provided us with our Risograph printing machine for the Berkely work. It was great to print our own tracts for the Chinese New Year Parade (we distributed 13,025) and for the Bay to Breakers race (we distributed 18,000). It is a blessing because we can be more spontaneous in writing and printing evangelistic literature. For example, we printed up a specific tract for UC Berkeley without having to schedule press time through our production department at HQ.
“We are also thankful for the Berkeley campus which provides evangelism opportunities right down the street from our office. Noad is an Israeli who saw us on campus in 1996. He thought we were crazy then, but was willing to hear more about Jesus. In June he came to faith in the Lord through the witness of a Christian friend. Noad then contacted us through the Internet and I began to meet with and disciple him. He participated in our 1997 Summer Campaign in New York. Now Noad is a Ph.D. student with a burden to reach other UC Berkeley students.”
In New York City, David Mitchell, who schedules our missionaries to speak in churches, says, “I am thankful to have stumbled on to the 1997 Phone Disc. Whereas we had known of fewer than 4,000 churches to contact in the New York calling area, we will now be able to contact over 17,000.”
Jhan says, “The Chicago team is thankful for our new facility! I’ve been praying for this place for seven years.”
Melissa says, “I’m thankful for the feeling of family in our branch. I am marveling at the way God has allowed Jhan and me to work with Lyn and Alan Bond again, as our service on the New Jerusalem Players so many years ago gave us a solid foundation for friendship. It’s great ministering together. Our daughters, Kayla and Jessie, and their daughter, Bethany, relate to each other as cousins. It’s like having believing relatives.”
Nate is also thankful for the family atmosphere in the branch. He says, “I enjoy doing team visits with both Jhan and Alan. Plus we’re all doing things together that we’re not ‘required’ to do, simply because we value being together.
Lyn says, “When we moved here from Dallas I felt bad about leaving Dorothy, a new Jewish believer, behind. Here in Chicago I have another Dorothy, also a new Jewish believer, whom Jhan led to the Lord; I’m thankful to be discipling her now.
Alan says, “I’m thankful that we’re working together to see our contacts as TEAM contacts. Bonnie is a good example. She started out as the Moskowitz’s realtor and heard the gospel. Then she was the Landrum’s realtor (they sold their house to join our London team), and our realtor when we moved here from Dallas. She heard more about the gospel. We didn’t care which one of us led her to the Lord and we all thank God that she’s recently come to faith. We all feel she’s ‘ours’!”
Peter Rice says, “Our Washington, D.C. team is thankful for open-minded Jewish people like Mark, Brian and Bernie. We are especially thankful as we watch Jewish people who came to faith through our ministry growing in that faithïlike Susan, Dewaine and Rikki. And of course, we are thankful for a decent Chinese restaurant right across from the office!”