Jews for Jesus sent the Snyder family and Elizabeth T. to the Soviet Union in 1991 with two goals: first, to make the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people in the collapsing USSR; and second, to build a new and indigenous generation of Jews for Jesus missionaries. From the very beginning of the work, we hoped and prayed that a day would come when national missionaries from Russia and Ukraine would conduct all of the daily evangelistic activities, and would even go out to carry the gospel to Jewish people in Eastern Europe, Israel and the United States.
God has truly smiled upon our labors by turning the hope and the vision into reality. Today, there are no American-born Jews for Jesus serving in the former USSR. Instead, thirty indigenous Jews for Jesus staff proclaim the Gospel from five base cities in Russia and Ukraine. Ella Libkina and Igor Barbanel lead the staff in Moscow; Igor also provides coordination for the formative work in Dnepropetrovsk. Leonid Wasserman conducts the outreach team in Odessa and supervises the newly established work in Kharkov as well. Leonid Kruter leads the mobile evangelistic music team, Messiah’s Shofar, and supervises the work in Kiev when the team returns to that city from its tours. Larissa Savelieva coordinates Operation Decapolis, our ten campaigns in ten cities throughout the former USSR. Some of the cities in which we’ve conducted our evangelistic campaigns are: Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Donetsk, St. Petersberg and of course, Moscow.
Elizabeth T., who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, left Odessa in 1995 to work with the Russian Jews in New York City. Avi Snyder returned to the U.S. in June with his wife Ruth, son Joel and daughters Leah and Elizabeth. Avi is now based in New York City, where he coordinates our outreach to Russian Jews world-wide. Since Perestroika, large pockets of Russian Jews have sprung up in Israel as well as throughout Europe and North America.
If you have access to e-mail and would like to receive a prayer letter keeping you posted on Jews for Jesus outreach to Russian Jews worldwide, you can subscribe to our online bulletin at [email protected] On the subject line, type in the word subscribe” and in the body of the message, also type in “subscribe.” After you do this, you will receive regular prayer requests from us. Please do not request this prayer letter if you cannot receive it on your computer as we are not presently set up to do actual mailings.
If you know of a Russian Jewish person who needs to know Jesus or who knows Jesus and needs fellowship with other Russian Jewish believers, please write to Avi Snyder at the New York branch: 109 E. 31 Street, NY, NY 10016 or e-mail referrals to [email protected]