Bits from the Branches
Susan Mendelsohn reports, “A Jewish-Gentile couple stopped by my literature tables at a concert series called ‘Music Under the Stars.’ Neither were born again, though the Jewish husband has been playing gospel music in a band. When I asked him what he thought about Jesus, he admitted, ‘I don’t know’ —and it sounded like he’s been thinking about it! The three of us spoke about getting together for coffee.
“That same night a Jewish woman named Lynn stopped to take some literature and give me her phone number. Please pray that I can meet with her as well, and that she, Jerry and Tina all will continue to journey toward Him and come to a saving faith.”
Editor’s note: did you know that we have a website as a resource especially for Jewish Gentile couples? If you or someone you know is interested visit JewishGentileCouples.com.
Jesse Townsend (who schedules our missionary speakers in Australia) reports,
“Today a young man named Shlomie walked into our bookshop and remarked ‘I’ve walked past your shop a thousand times and just felt like checking it out today.’ He was telling me about serving in the Israeli army, and how he and his partner were saved from enemy forces by a vision in the desert. Just then, a passing cyclist spat at the Israeli flag hanging in our window. Shlomie finished his story and was willing to hear about Yeshua (though he is not a believer… yet).
Please be praying for both Shlomie and the cyclist, that the Lord will lead them to salvation.”
David Liebman reports, “All of us here at the D.C. branch have been praying for renewed boldness and creativity in reaching the Jewish community of the greater Washington area. We have been participating in Jewish community centers, Hebrew language courses, Jewish learning classes, and more. It seems that momentum is building, especially as we participate in Meet-Up groups. Meet-Up is an online networking group that brings people with common interests together.
“As part of our exploration of the ‘Meet-Up’ world, I attended a group that is going through Amy Jill Levine’s book titled, The Misunderstood Jew. Levine, a Jewish New Testament scholar (from a non-Messianic perspective), attempts to help both Christians and Jews understand the Jewishness of Jesus. When I arrived, four others were in attendance, two of whom were Jewish non-believers. Sandy* (the moderator) explained that though Jewish, she has been fascinated with Jesus for a long time and was quite interested to read Levine’s work. It was exciting to be present as the group is focusing in on the person of Jesus.
“The nature of the meet-up made it quite natural to share my perspective on Jesus’ role in fulfilling the Jewish faith. Initially my connection with Jews for Jesus stirred up a bit of controversy, but I had good opportunities to share with the group. Please keep these sessions in your prayers, and pray that God grant me discernment and boldness. Pray also that Sandy and the others would be drawn to the truth of Messiah as we read, and discuss Levine’s The Misunderstood Jew, along with her annotated version of the New Testament. May all those in attendance who do not yet understand come to know the one who has for so long been misunderstood.
“We are looking into the possibility of forming our own Meet-Up as well. Pray for God’s guidance as we continue to look into this avenue. Most of all, pray for many opportunities to share Messiah.”
Dina Markova reports, “I called Nelya, a Jewish woman who said she didn’t want to talk about Jesus or the New Testament. But when I asked if she was interested in a Jewish calendar with weekly Torah portions, she said yes, and agreed to meet with me.
“On Saturday we read Exodus 15:1-2, ‘…The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation…’ I explained the connection between the Hebrew word salvation and the person of Yeshua (Jesus). I asked Nelya who she thought Yeshua was. She answered, ‘I can’t tell you exactly who he is, but maybe he’s the Messiah.’ By the end of our get together, Nelya’s distrust of the New Testament was gone.
“At another visit I sat down and read Exodus 10:1-13, 16 with Arkady, a Jewish man, and his wife, Mile. We agreed that the passage talked about the salvation of the Jewish first-born sons, and of the Jewish people’s redemption from Egypt—thanks to the sacrificial lamb’s blood on the doorposts. I pointed out that salvation takes place through sacrifice. I also mentioned that there is a "secret" haftorah portion, Isaiah 53, which used to be read in synagogues during the three-year reading cycle. Now there is only a one-year cycle and this passage has been cut from it.
“I suggested Mila read Isaiah 53 aloud and asked who they thought it was describing. Mila said, ‘Do you want to say that this is Jesus?’ I answered, ‘There were rabbis who didn’t doubt that it was about the Messiah.’
“Arkady said, ‘If something is "secret," it is something they don’t want to talk about, and if that’s the case, I want to know about that "secret."’ He didn’t have questions before, but now he wondered, ‘Maybe Yeshua is really the Messiah of Israel?’
“Please pray that God would continue to open the hearts of Nelya, Arkady, and Mile.”
Igal Vender (one of our interns) reports, “I sent Meir the New Testament and the book Yeshua, the Jewish way to say Jesus. When I called back and asked if he’d read them, he said that he’d read a few books from the New Testament. He also confessed that he and his neighbor had an argument that turned into a fight that resulted in him going to the hospital. I told him that when we call on Jesus and surrender our hearts to Him, Jesus gives us new life and new heart. I told him that Jesus gives us inner peace and a relationship with God. It touched his heart and when I asked if he would like to receive Jesus, he agreed and we prayed together. Please pray for Meir, that our Lord will bless and strengthen him.”
Avigail Rantanen reports, “I was making phone calls and had tried many people, but either people were not home or did not want to talk. A bit discouraged, I asked my husband Markus to pray for me to have good conversations. Then suddenly a religious man, 23 years old, called and asked: “Do you believe that Yeshua is only Messiah, or also God?” I explained our faith and he said that he’s been reading the New Testament. He wanted more information but he couldn’t give an e-mail address, so I directed him to our website.
“A few hours later he called back to thank me. He had been to our website and read a lot of the information there. He added that he believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, and that He is God. ‘What should I do?’ he asked, but was afraid even to tell me his full name because of his religious background. I asked if he had prayed to receive Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord. He answered no, and was eager to do so. I led him in prayer and then explained the importance of attending a believing congregation, prayer, and Bible reading. I gave him my phone number and invited him to our congregation but again, he answered that it is difficult to come on Shabbat since he lived in a religious neighborhood. Please pray for this young man to become completely free to have fellowship with believers and to follow Yeshua.”
*not their real name