The Scriptures speak a great deal about working together in the body of Messiah to accomplish God’s purposes. That thought finds a special meaning during our Summer Witnessing Campaign, as Jewish believers from all over the globe come together to raise high the banner of Messiah in New York and other cities in New York.
This year each team of four campaigners resembled a miniature United Nations, with individuals from Russia, South Africa, England, Argentina and Israel. When encountering someone whose first language was not English, often we could refer him or her to a fellow campaigner across the street who spoke that person’s native tongue.
Sometimes, however, the problem is not a foreign tongue, but the lack of any spoken language. Such was the case with Bernie, a Jewish man I met in the Wall Street area. He took a broadside from me and walked a few paces away before coming to a stop as he began to read it. While his back was turned to me, I called out, It talks about Jewish people believing in Jesus. What do you think?”
Bernie didn’t move as he continued to study the broadside. I took a few steps closer, so that I was at his right side, and said, “It talks about Jesus…” Bernie was still riveted on the broadside, and I was beginning to wonder why this guy was ignoring me, so I stood right in front of him and said, “So, what do you think of that?” To my surprise, Bernie didn’t move. Then he suddenly looked up with a shock and took a step back. I admit I felt embarrassed when he signaled to me that he was hearing impaired.
I apologized for startling him, and took out my memo pad to write out an introduction. We exchanged names and a handshake. Then through the use of my pad, we had a lively written discussion on spiritual matters. I could tell that Bernie’s heart was open to the Good News, and I was excited at the possibility that one of our campaigners, Kina, would be able to “sign” the gospel to him during our follow-up process. Bernie did not want to pray with me to receive the Lord during that noon hour, but he made a point of expressing his keen interest in talking with Kina at a later date.
Kina did meet with Bernie—not on a regular follow-up visit, but on the streets. I had told her about Bernie, so when she met him they were both ready for the encounter. God had been speaking to Bernie since our conversation, and he was prepared this time to accept Yeshua as his Messiah. Together, Kina and Bernie prayed that Bernie would invite Yeshua into his heart. What great joy it was when Kina came back to the office later that day to tell me about her “accidental” encounter with Bernie!
Please pray for Bernie and his spiritual growth in the Messiah, that some day he, too, will be able to proclaim the Messiah to others.