Bits from the Branches
Susan Mendelson reports, “I recently had the privilege of praying with a Jewish woman named Staci to receive the Lord! Her story goes to show how the Lord works in families.
“A couple of years ago, a Christian contacted our San Francisco branch asking if someone would be in touch with her husband, Marv, a Jewish man who did not know Jesus. Rob Wertheim, our San Francisco branch leader, was our missionary in closest proximity to Marv, who lives in Nevada. When Rob called, Marv was friendly, but not quite ready for regular ministry.Rob phoned him again a few months later, and they began meeting regularly by phone. Within a few months, Marv came to faith. He and Rob continue to meet by Skype.
“Recently, Marv spoke to Rob about his daughter in Long Island. Rob asked if I would contact her and I did. She was clearly open and, within just a few weeks, Staci surrendered her heart to the Lord. Please pray for her and also that her fourteen-year-old daughter will also say ‘yes’ to Jesus in the days to come.”
Stewart Weinisch reports, “Karol Joseph met Alex at Union Square Park during the first week of this year’s Summer Witnessing Campaign. Alex, a Jewish seeker, attended three of our open lectures and four Shabbat dinners and had many conversations with various Jews for Jesus staff. After the last campaign Shabbat dinner Alex asked me, ‘Is that it?’ I replied, ‘Now I meet with you privately.’ He was very excited about that. During our first one-on-one meeting, he received Yeshua!
“I invited Alex to come with me to Beth Messiah Congregation, and since he was willing to go, I picked him up. I also take Herman to Beth Messiah with me. He was not a believer when we met, but I was blessed to minister to him and see him receive Jesus about a year and a half ago. As we were driving home, what an amazing encouragement it was to me to hear Herman, a fairly new believer, encouraging Alex in his brand new faith! And to top it all off, the last thing Alex said to me was, “So, can you pick me up next week?”
Oded Cohen reports, “We shared in June how ‘Yosef’* (who is homeless) overheard us street preaching and prayed with us to receive the Lord. We’ve been trying to be a support to him, including contacting social services on his behalf. We have also been trying to meet weekly with him. During our last visit, Yosef was with his good friend, a Muslim Arab (who Bimini and Avigail witnessed to a few months ago). So naturally, his friend joined in our conversation. We were so glad to be able to share with him as well.
“After we spoke for awhile, we read them a few stories from the New Testament and we asked his friend if he believed. To our delight and surprise, he said that he did believe, and he wanted to pray to ask Jesus into His heart as his personal Lord and Savior. He then asked for a New Testament in Arabic or English because, though he speaks Hebrew, he cannot read Hebrew. We encouraged ‘Yosef’ to read a portion of the New Testament in Hebrew to his friend every day, so that they might share their thoughts and discuss it. They were very excited about that.
“We are a bit sad and concerned because the last couple of times we went to Yosef’s ‘spot,’ we couldn’t find him. We pray that it’s because he has a place to stay; he does have family in Israel.Please pray for Yosef’s and his friend’s faith in the Lord to grow, and also for Yosef’s living situation.”
Also from Oded, “There was a big event, the 70th birthday of my kibbutz. My younger brother (who lost his wife a year and a half ago) was unable to take his eldest child, and so I took her instead. We had a wonderful time. I saw many old friends and had great opportunities to share. My niece made a good friend, a little girl who was adopted, so they both shared the experience of having ‘lost’ a parent.
“After a memorable and fun weekend, I gave my niece’s new friend and her mom a ride. As we were talking, the mom began asking questions about how I came to believe in Jesus. I shared my whole story with her while the two girls were playing and talking and laughing in the back seat. We didn’t think they were listening to us. But after sharing my story, we both suddenly heard my niece repeating my story to her new friend, especially about how God healed our paralyzed little rabbit. We were surprised that they’d been listening, because they seemed so engrossed with one another.
We heard my niece repeat how I tested Jesus (during the time that I prayed to Jesus, ‘If you are who they say you are, let’s see you heal this little rabbit!’ and instantly our little bunny, Chloe, who had been paralyzed for over a year, suddenly leapt up and hopped around the room!) This new friend said, ‘Well, that means it’s true. That means that Jesus is the promised Messiah!’ My niece thoughtfully responded, “Either that or maybe the spirit of Dr. Doolittle came and healed the rabbit.’ The friend replied,‘No, it’s impossible. Jesus and God came together and healed the rabbit.’ Her mom wasn’t at all upset by this. In fact she said to me, ‘You see, Oded, you have a follower.’
As we got to the intersection where we were to drop them off (the woman’s husband was going to pick them up), the daughter began to worry a bit because it was not only isolated, it was also rather hot and without shade. She asked her mother, ‘What if Dad doesn’t come soon?’ So I gave them my phone number and reassured them, ‘In the worst case, you can call me and I will come get you and take you to my house until he comes.’ She quickly interjected, ‘Or we will just pray to Jesus.’
“I don’t know how much of the gospel this little girl understood, or what her mother might have told her after I dropped them off, but I know that it was no coincidence that all this happened. Please pray that God will protect and nurture the gospel seed that was planted that day!”
*Not his real name.