Bits from the Branches
New York City
|Stewart blowing the shofar
Stewart Weinisch reports: “I met Gregory* (Jewish) at his sister’s funeral. His sister, a Jewish believer in Jesus, had told him about the gospel many times, but he never believed. Following the funeral, I met with Gregory a few times as he was awaiting a major and potentially dangerous surgery. I called him up the day before the surgery and asked if he was ready to receive Yeshua. He asked, ‘What do I have to do?’ I explained that he needed to believe in his heart what Jesus has done for him, repent, and pray to surrender his life to the Lord. He said he didn’t want to pray over the phone, but he would think about it. Shortly after that call, I received a text from Gregory’s brother-in-law John,* who has also been witnessing to him. He told me that Gregory had called him up and told him that he received Yeshua as his Savior.”
From Kata Tar: “‘I don’t need a mediator. I speak to God directly,’ Klári stated during our recent meeting. This 62-year-old Jewish lady works in a Jewish home for the elderly. We met her a year ago during our summer campaign. I kept phoning her and inviting her to our meetings, but she had not been able to come. She expressed, though, that she was not satisfied with the synagogue services, finding them lifeless, especially since the prayers are in Hebrew, which she doesn’t understand. She had told me about her Catholic grandmother, who was proud of having a Jewish daughter-in-law, since Jesus was Jewish.
“From this mixed background, Klári had developed a special mixed religion. ‘The God of the Old Testament is cruel,’ she told me. ‘He had Abraham sacrifice his son. Jesus, on the contrary, is cool. He is cheerful and forgiving.’ When I reminded her that Jesus served and fully obeyed the same God revealed in the Old Testament—who is actually His Father—it just made it worse. She said she would not believe in a God who is able to sacrifice his own son. She liked Jesus, but without taking seriously that she can approach God only through Him. And while she prayed to God, she hated Him for the Holocaust and for sacrificing His Son.
“‘Oh dear Holy Spirit,’ I sighed inside, ‘Please talk to her.’
“‘Listen, Klári!’ I said. ‘You can be like Abel, who approached God the way He required, or you can be like Cain, who approached God the way he wanted, then got offended for God not accepting him.’ Suddenly a light came into her eyes. ‘I have recently learned a protocol, a detailed instruction of how to handle a client,’ she said. ‘I can set it aside and do it the way I think is best, but then the result is uncertain. However, if I follow the protocol, I can be certain of a good outcome.’ ‘Exactly!’ I exclaimed, inwardly thanking the Holy Spirit for giving her such a good idea. ‘The Bible is just like a protocol. If you follow it, you can be certain of the good outcome.’ Klári was pleased about her insight and promised to come again. Please pray that God would give her more and more understanding into why she needs a mediator—the Messiah, Jesus.”
Click here if you are interested in the original (English language) version of Survivor Stories.
From Alan and Lyn Bond, as reported by Lyn, “We began serving with Jews for Jesus here in the Bay Area in 1975. We have since served in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. This year we were given the opportunity to come back to San Francisco and make a full circle move to where it all began. The following is a small slice of life as we readjust to our ministry here.
“Alan and I backed our blue PT Cruiser out of the garage of the Rosen home where we were temporarily living with my mom. I dropped Alan off at the freeway exit close to AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play baseball. Tract bag slung over his shoulder, he had hundreds of pamphlets titled, “I’m good,” spoken, in the cover illustration, by a woman with her palm raised as if to refuse something being offered to her. Alan headed off to where people were gathering to watch the game so that he could distribute the gospel seeds.
“I drove across the Bay Bridge where I had an appointment to bring a Bible study to a Jewish man in his early 40s. Larry can see how Jesus just might be the Messiah, but he has determined to read the entire Bible before he will decide whether he believes. He has faith in God and he says he has prayed and seen God answer his requests.
“Our lesson this particular week was on Jonah. Larry acknowledged that disobedience to God’s will lead to unpleasant consequences. He promised to read the book of Job for the following week.
“I drove back across the Bay Bridge to find Alan waiting, his tract bag empty and a smile on his face. We can’t be sure what impact those brief gospel pamphlets will have, but they had scripture: Isaiah 53:6 and 1 John 1:8–9—and we know that God’s Word does not return void. Please pray for us, that God will give us opportunities to meet and have one-on-one Bible studies with many more seekers in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the number of Jewish residents has more than doubled since we lived here last.”
Click to see the “I’m Good” pamphlet Lyn mentioned.
Read the amazing thing God did for the Bonds when they moved back to the Bay Area.
With God, all things are possible!
| The Bonds dedicated their home with a mezuzah hanging ceremony on September 20.
Please pray with them that all who enter will know the love and peace of Messiah Jesus.
Lyn and Alan love Chicago, and have enjoyed ministry there. Still, after 17 years there, they were happy to return to the San Francisco area. That’s where they were married, and where their son resides, as do Lyn’s mother and sister. It took a leap of faith to sell their home in a buyer’s market, and move to a more expensive seller’s market. But our God is faithful! Within three days of putting their house on the market, the Bond’s accepted an offer that was more than the realtor had expected.
Lyn immediately began combing the Internet for homes and saw one she really liked in an area just 15 minutes south of San Francisco. However, the house they were selling hadn’t closed and they were on Passover tour . . . it wasn’t possible to make an offer. Soon, the house went off the market.
The Bonds returned from tour and began house hunting. They had a modest home in Skokie, so they were not looking for anything big or fancy . . . yet it seemed like everything they looked at was a big step down from what they’d left. Family and friends prayed that God would provide in a way that would uniquely show His hand in the situation. Lyn’s sister said, “You will only get what you need in this area by divine intervention. But God will intervene! You’ll see.” God answered prayer mightily! After seeing dozens of houses that either were not suitable or snapped up by other buyers, the Bonds were fighting discouragement.
Then one night their realtor called about a house he wanted to show them right away. It was none other than the house Lyn had seen during the Passover tour! An offer had been accepted, but the buyers had backed out when they realized just how much work the house required. The same had happened with a second buyer . . . and a third! Now the house was back on the market and all the inspections had been done by three previous “would-be” buyers. Lyn and Alan put in an offer significantly below the asking price—and it was accepted! (Homes in the Bay Area generally sell for over the asking price, so this was exactly the unique circumstance we had prayed for.)
God had set that home aside, only bringing buyers who couldn’t or wouldn’t go through with the sale. This put the house back on the market exactly when the Bonds were ready to buy, and after they had seen just how much they needed God’s intervention. Through all the work needed to repair the house, the Bonds could praise God—because had it been in move-in condition, they never would have had the opportunity to buy it. Isn’t God good? Have you seen Him work in a similar way in your life? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comment section.
Simon L. reports, “I was recently in North London with a volunteer, when we passed a house and noticed two parked cars, both of which had bumper stickers that said, “We want Mashiach (Messiah) NOW!” I decided to see if the owner of the cars was willing to have a conversation with us.
“When a lady answered the door I said, ‘I noticed your bumper stickers and I’d like to talk to someone about how we can recognize the Mashiach when he comes.’ Her husband, Jacob, a religious Jewish man, invited us in. I thanked him and said, ‘Before I accept your kind invitation I need to tell you that I am Jewish, but that I believe that Jesus is the Mashiach and I want you to know that before we come into your house!’
“Jacob looked thoughtful for a moment, and I expected the door to close on us, but then he said ‘Sure . . . come in,’ and we did. The living room contained a huge bookcase with many books on the Talmud and even a large photo of Jacob with Rabbi Schneerson, the Lubavitcher leader who died twenty years ago, and whom many Lubavitch Jews believe to be the Messiah. I asked Jacob what he believed about Jesus.
“Jacob explained that he thought Jesus was a real man, a Jew, a rabbi and a righteous man. But he was no more the Mashiach than he (Jacob) was. Then I asked him, ‘How do you know Jesus is not the Mashiach?’ Jacob changed the subject and asked me a question about myself. This gave me the opportunity to tell him my story. We had a good interaction. It ended as Jacob told me that he appreciated me telling him what I believed before I came into his house. But now, as it was the school holidays, he really needed to spend some time with his children. As we got up to leave, I asked if I could come back. Jacob said if we were in his area, it was fine to come back and see him. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to Jacob that Jesus is the Messiah and he will come to faith in Him.”
* (not their real names)