We’re SO Thankful!
The year is not yet over but we are bursting with thanks for so many blessings we’ve received in 2012:
The February release of Called to Controversy, the Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the founding of Jews for Jesus was a huge answer to prayer. But the story-behind-the story is that Byron Spradlin (Chairman of our Board of Directors from 1973-2009) mentioned the book to some highly-placed people in Christian publishing. Just as we were trying to figure out which publisher to approach first, Thomas Nelson actually asked to see the manuscript! That was a real jaw-dropper for us. Thanks be to God for putting it all together, and thanks to all of you who’ve sent us wonderful feedback on the book!
Our new Awakening DVD released last spring really captures the spirit and energy of a new wave of Jews for Jesus. Every month we ask you to pray for God to be at work in the hearts of our next generation. Awakening is a documentary chronicling members of that very generation as they boldly bring the gospel to the streets of New York City! The icing on the cake was seeing the DVD win two awards for best documentary and one for best editing.
As you know, our Behold Your God Israel Campaigns have been a priority of Jews for Jesus: we’re talking about direct evangelism in every major region of the Land. This year we focused on a Lower Galilee campaign and, as mentioned in our June newsletter, the opening of our Haifa branch. Both the BYG campaign and the branch are bearing fruit!
Speaking of Israel, we’re thankful to God and to many of you who have prayed and given generously to see the Moishe Rosen Center become a reality. Before the work was even complete, we had the joy of seeing the first fruits of ministry at the new building. Stephen Katz (who normally leads our DC branch, but who lived in Israel for a time before joining our staff) was running the Tel Aviv branch while Dan Sered was on a study sabbatical. Coincidentally, a woman he’d been witnessing to in the U.S. “happened” to be visiting Israel for a month while Stephen and his wife Laura were there.
Stephen said, “Shira* and I had talked together about Yeshua in DC, but she had to travel to Israel to receive Him! She prayed while inside the Rosen Center, which makes her our first official Jewish profession of faith in the new building!”
This summer was absolutely packed with outreaches. In addition to BYG Israel and our usual New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign, we had outreaches in Frankfort and Berlin, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; Kiev, Ukraine; Budapest, Hungary and London, England.
The summer also included our regular Massah outreach, with a great group of college-aged Jewish believers in Jesus from the U.S. They really shone at sharing the gospel with Israeli trekkers in India. Then we had a great group of Israeli Massah-niks who engaged with fellow trekkers in South America.
Each of these summer outreaches was reported in RealTime, our monthly e-newsletter, but we particularly wanted to share highlights from Haifa and London.
*Not her real name
Behold Your God Lower Galilee/Haifa Branch
During our month-long BYG Lower Galilee campaign, we handed out 66,305 gospel tracts and received contact information from 1,072 Jewish Israelis who wanted to know more about Yeshua. We also received contact information from 200 unsaved Gentiles who showed interest in Jesus. Most of these were Arabs. Praise the Lord for the five Jewish people who professed faith in Jesus for the first time!
Yarden Nasser reports: “Not long after the BYG Lower Galilee campaign, I got an email about a woman named Aviva. She was in the hospital (in Haifa) with cancer and wanted to meet with me. When I went entered her room, Aviva was reading a book about Yeshua. She was very excited to see me and was thirsty to know more about the Lord.
“She told me how she loved Bible stories in her childhood and how she’d always been attracted to Yeshua. I shared my story and the Good News of Jesus with her. She opened one of the books about Messiah that my friend had given her, pointed to a prayer of repentance and asked if she could pray this prayer with me. After we prayed, she told me that during the prayer, she saw Yeshua coming to her and saying, ‘Don’t worry. Everything will be all right!’ She felt peace and hope.
“I met with Aviva two more times and saw that while her health was worse, her faith had grown stronger! I encouraged Aviva to share her faith with her children and relatives. Because she lives far away from our Haifa branch, I also connected her with a friend from a Messianic congregation closer to her home. Please pray for Aviva’s healing from cancer and her growth in faith.
“Meira* was born into a strict Sephardic Orthodox Jewish home. She first heard about Jews for Jesus when she was sixteen, and the rabbis at her Orthodox school gave a presentation to warn against dangerous missionaries! This actually made Meira curious to know more about Jews for Jesus.
“She ordered some books about Yeshua through our website but her parents took them away—all except for one book, which she somehow held onto. She read that book and became convinced that Jesus is the true Messiah of Israel. When she announced this to her parents, they threatened to kick her out of the house. She decided to keep her mouth shut about Jesus.
“This year Meira turned nineteen. She emailed us, saying that she was ready to meet and learn about Jesus. We started to teach her the Gospel of John and she began to grow in her faith. After a while, she came to visit Peter and me in our home for Shabbat and Purim. She opened up and shared with us about her doubts and fears. A local anti-missionary organization had told her we might poison her drinks or food if she doesn’t believe in Jesus, or we might come to her home and beat her little brothers!
“It took awhile for her to realized that she had heard many lies. She is now willing to be baptized, but recently her mom has strongly opposed her faith, not allowing her to meet with believers. Please pray that Meira will trust the Lord in all of these circumstances and will obey His voice.
“Likewise, nineteen-year-old Yuval* is from a Sephardic Orthodox family. She’s met with one of our team, Avigail Avnery, several times. Yuval wanted to believe in Jesus, but her boarding school was opposing her. Now she has graduated and is back home. She called us to say that her parents would freak out if they discovered that she is considering Jesus. We calmed her down and asked her to trust the Lord and dwell on His Word. Time passed and she called back, ready to learn more about Jesus. Peter and I met with her three times. She is still confused. Please pray for Yuval -that she will open her mind to see the truth and be saved.
“I met Yulia at a park during the Lower Galilee campaign. A Russian Jewish woman in her fifties, she asked me how I came to faith in Yeshua. I gave her my story and asked her about her life and about what she believes. A couple of years ago she took yoga classes. Her guru came to class one day and announced that he could no longer teach as he realized that it was a big lie and that the truth is found in Jesus! All the students were shocked. The teacher shared with them how he came to believe in Yeshua and this impressed Yulia. But I also learned how she got involved in darkness through meditation and pagan teachings. God has been reaching out to her all these years with the Good News of forgiveness and salvation. Please pray that the Lord would open Yulia’s eyes to see the truth and obey His voice.
“Please also pray for the salvation of other Haifa contacts we are following up with, including Ida and Moshe.”
*Not their real names
London Summer Outreach
This summer our London team had a great witnessing campaign in conjunction with the Olympics. They handed out 96,925 broadside tracts, received contact information from 468 seekers (of whom were Jewish). They also prayed with 5 Jewish people and 48 Gentiles to receive Christ.
Here are some highlights from the campaign:
Barry B.: “Anne Lowe and I met a Jewish mother and daughter who were both seeking. We talked the gospel through and the daughter was especially open, but they both gave their contact information.
“We got to interact with another Jewish mother and daughter. Maisie, the mother, asked about our T-shirts, so I got to witness to her. She gave her contact information and mentioned that her daughter had gone to school with Helen Shapiro (a well known Jewish believer/musician in UK). We invited them to our Havurah fellowship as Helen Shapiro had agreed to do a worship set with her new group.”
[P.S. The Havurah went very well and about twenty Jewish seekers attended, many of whom we hadn’t seen at any of our events before. Thanks be to God!]
Warren: “On Bond Street I met asked an Islamic woman, “M” who wanted to know who Jesus is. She said that a few months ago she had a dream about Jesus hugging her and then she had the same dream a few weeks ago. She had been through a very hard time. I told her I thought the dream was a sign that God wanted her in His arms. I explained the gospel and asked if she wanted to pray to receive Jesus into her heart. She prayed to receive the Lord!”
Debbie: “Tony, Olivier and I were eating lunch at Piccadilly Circus. We’d had a somewhat discouraging morning, but that changed when a young Israeli man came over to ask what our T-shirts were about. I invited him to our Shabbat service and we prayed he would come, but my mouth actually dropped open when he turned up with his girlfriend. They loved the warmth of the people they met as well as the discussion. Since they live in Israel, we have been able to put them in touch with our Tel Aviv branch.”
Jeni: “People were taking my broadsides, when out of the blue a woman approached me to ask, ‘How can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?’ She was drawn to Jesus but worried that if she believed in Him she would no longer be Jewish. I told her that I became complete and fulfilled as a Jew when I accepted Jesus. This really spoke to her. We then read from Isaiah 53. The woman responded that this passage was speaking of Jesus. She was open then and there to pray and receive Him. After we prayed, I told her to start reading the opening chapters of John. When I contacted her the next day, she was already half-way through the Gospel of John!”
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You can also search our RealTime archives for more reports on all the outreaches mentioned above. Just use the “Select Edition” menu to view our June-September editions. Look for “Jews for Jesus News” to get the story on our outreaches.