Bits from The Branches
Irina Ryvkina reports, “Natasha had attended a Messianic congregation over a long period of time, though not regularly because she is very ill. After she was recently hospitalized, I decided to visit her with a brother in Christ who lives in her city. Natasha was very glad to see us. She shared her anxieties, problems and pain with us. I felt she was seeking another, new life, so I asked her, ‘Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and mine and that He rose back from the dead? Do you believe that He loves you?’ She answered, ‘Yes.’ I asked her if she wanted to repent and receive Him. She asked, ‘What is repentance?’ I said, ‘It is a 180-degree-turn from sin; the beginning of a new life with God.’ Natasha replied seriously that this is exactly what she wanted. I offered the words of prayer, and she received Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. Then Natasha confessed that she does not understand much in the Bible. Nevertheless, her life began to change almost immediately. When a neighbor’s husband tried to provoke her by speaking negatively against immigrants such as herself, Natasha did not argue but continued to read her Bible. When he insisted on a response from her, she drew another Bible—in German—from her cabinet, and offered it to him.
“Please pray for Natasha’s healing and restoration and that the Lord will bless her and reassure her in her new life.”
Efraim Goldstein reports, “During the days of the recent war in Lebanon the ‘hits’ to our Hebrew website, www.jewsforjesus.co.il, increased significantly as did requests for literature and books.
“Included in those e-mails was a message from a young man named Uri who prayed with Shlomy several years ago to receive Y’shua. After the initial follow up, we referred Uri to a local congregation. Some time after that we heard that he had fallen away from the faith. So it was with much joy that we received an e-mail from this young man, who was glad to inform us that he has returned to his faith in Y’shua and wants renewed contact with believers.”
Joshua Turnil reports, “Reuben is a young man of 20. We met thanks to his then-girlfriend who told him that he needed Jesus! Reuben and I started meeting; he had already thought about the gospel and had some questions. . . . ’If Jesus is the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?’ Also, ‘Where in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say explicitly that the Messiah would die?’ After we had studied the Bible together for some time, Reuben prayed to receive the Lord. He said that he felt God come into his heart and ‘tear out’ his sin. Praise the Lord!
“After coming to faith, Reuben struggled with the issues of baptism and telling his parents. At first I thought he wasn’t going to go through with these two fundamental experiences, but I am happy to report he has not only witnessed to his family but has also been baptized.”
Also from Joshua, “Sylviane is a celebrated philosophical writer in elite circles in France. She thought she was an atheist until her son began to believe in Jesus. She said, ‘When he became a Christian, I wanted to defend my God, the God of Israel.’ Sylviane was hostile to us Jews for Jesus, but when her son moved to an island 900 miles east of Australia she opened up and agreed to meet with me. (Her son and I are about the same age, and apparently I remind her of him.) She showed great interest in the Bible, but wanted to avoid the New Testament. After much prayer, she agreed to study the Gospel of John with me—and absolutely loved it! She tells me that she has become obsessed with the question, ‘Who is Jesus?’ She awoke in the middle of the night asking herself over and over: ‘Is Jesus the Messiah? Is Jesus the Messiah?’ It takes a lot of humility for someone of Sylviane’s background to admit that she is a sinner before God. Please pray the Holy Spirit would convict her of sin, salvation and the Savior!”