Those who remember or have studied recent history know how difficult life was for sincere Christians in Germany during the Third Reich. We thank God for the many who risked their lives to help our Jewish people and who spoke to them of the Messiah’s love. Sadly, many others who might have wanted to speak were frightened into silence.
Today the Christians of Germany have a God-given opportunity to declare along with the prophet Isaiah, For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest” (Isaiah 62:1). You see, many thousands of Jewish people have emigrated to Germany from the former Soviet Union in the past few years. Some sources place the number as high as 100,000 arrivals since 1991!
Understandably, many German Christians reflect on the events of WW2 and are very cautious about saying anything that Jewish people might consider offensive or even threatening. We Jews for Jesus need to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters in Germany that the best way to show love for our Jewish people is to tell them of the Jewish Messiah.
Picture the exuberant young Jewish believers of Messiah’s Shofar singing in German churches to inspire our brothers and sisters to witness to Jewish people. Imagine them handing out gospel tracts on the city streets there and visiting in the homes of Jews who are willing to hear the gospel! This could happen, in fact we believe it will happen—but we need your prayers (see page 7).
Avi Snyder has laid much of the groundwork for our outreach to Germany through his Russian-Jewish knowledge and contacts. He says, “Perhaps we Jews for Jesus are dreamers. But we envision a day when, side by side, Jewish and German Christians will declare the message of God’s salvation throughout the entire land. What a witness that will be of the reconciling power of the cross!”
Jonathan Bernd (director of Jews for Jesus in the U. K.) has also done a great deal of preparatory work in Germany. His first foray into Germany was October 1995 and he has returned every two months or so for durations of ten to eighteen days. He sought out areas of Jewish population and interest and also spoke in churches and lectured in Bible colleges. He visited quite a few Jewish people in Dnsseldorf and returned two months later for a Purim event held in conjunction with a local congregation. Twenty-five Jewish people attended that celebration, ten of whom made decisions for Christ!
Over the past three years, Jonathan has seen close to twenty Jewish people make decisions for Christ during his trips to Germany. He has also met new Russian Jewish believers who are eager to become trained evangelists.
In September of 1997, we had a historic occasion: the first German Board meeting for Jews for Jesus in Berlin. In April 1998 we were registered as an organization in Germany. We have taken on a part-time administrator named Marion Tegruende and are looking for another administrative helper who can also serve as a translator.
Jonathan says, “Russian Jews in Germany are hungry to hear the Good News. If ever there was a case of praying that God would send laborers into the harvest because the harvest is ripe and the workers are few, this would be it.”
P.S. If you know of German churches who might welcome a Jews for Jesus presentation, please contact our German branch online or write to Jews for Jesus,174 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6BP UK; phone (dial 011 first from U.S.) 44-171-431-9636.