In the spring we invited those of you who wanted to help with our 30th year anniversary to write your thoughts. Thanks to all who wrote letters, though we could only print a few. We feel these letters represent the quality of our friends as much as they reflect any qualities we may have. So, as we celebrate what God has done and has allowed us to do, we celebrate all of you who have prayed and cared and helped us to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide. Thanks—you all rock!—ed.
My name is Glenn Harris, but I have been called a lot of other names, particularly since I am Jewish and have been a follower of Jesus for 22 years now. For a little over 10 of those years I served on the staff of Jews for Jesus. They were some of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life.
Three of those years were spent traveling on a bus with The Liberated Wailing Wall. Spending those years on the road with other Jewish believerstaught me that I was capable of accomplishing more than I had ever imagined.
I spent a little over a year in the Approved Student” program, which Jewsfor Jesus established to help Messianic Jews like myself complete a collegedegree in biblical studies, and graduated from Northeastern Bible College in 1989. In exchange for an additional year of service with Jews for Jesus, my last year of undergraduate studies was completely paid for! It was during my tenure in New York that I met and later married my lovely wife, Alexandra.
Ministry in almost any capacity is very demanding, physically and emotionally.It goes without saying that sharing the gospel with Jewish people is “an uphillclimb.” Yet the challenges to my faith and my Jewish identity were accompanied by marvelous friendships and the privilege of seeing both Jews and Gentiles come to know the Messiah.
I left Jews for Jesus at the point when I anticipated that, in time, the demands of leadership would ultimately be more than the combination of my abilities and willingness would meet. I was told in no uncertain terms that both Alexandra and I, and our contribution to the organization, would be missed. Not only were we treated lovingly and respectfully, but David Brickner also assisted in helping arrange my present place of congregational service.
From Alexandra: One of the important lessons I learned while working at Jews for Jesus headquarters and on the road with The Liberated Wailing Wall was the blessing of perseverance. The commitment is greater than any of the potholes along the way. I have noticed that a number of people these days are readyto switch churches over the least misunderstanding or perceived offense. They don’t allow themselves to endure. The result of endurance is worthwhile, and I learned that serving with Jews for Jesus.
There were times when it was tempting to “throw in the towel” but that just wasn’t an option, and it forced us to grow in grace and humility, and in retrospect, I am grateful for those lessons. Some of the Jews for Jesus staff members I have known, especially those who continue to serve with the ministry, have made a great impression on me. They are truly dedicated to God, and have also managed to maintain a sense of humor and humility. I count a few of them as dear and lifelong friends.
Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.
First Presbyterian Church
My exposure to Jews for Jesus goes back to 1973, and I have known their founder, Moishe Rosen, since the early 1960s. Sadly (to me), I cannot take a public stand in favor of every organization identifying itself with Jesus. But Jews for Jesus is #1 on my list of missions worthy of respect, trust and support.
For one thing, I respect Jews for Jesus as a thoughtful group of people. Don’t be fooled by their good humor. They certainly are fun and innovative. But they take seriously their responsibility to think things through with solid, credible answers for intelligent seekers.
I respect their humility. They have made themselves accountable to the highest standards of theological and financial governance. Our church donates money to Jews for Jesus with every confidence that it will be managed responsibly. If I have a question, I get an answer, not an evasion.
I respect the courage of Jews for Jesus. They love a challenge, because they know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life for everyone everywhere. Maybe that is what makes some people mad. In a world of radical uncertainty, confident principles can be perceived as threatening. But then, didn’t the prophets of ancient Israel get the same reaction? The real motive for opposing certainty is a proud unwillingness to face the possibility of truth-claims.
If I had two lives to live, I would spend the first one fulfilling my present calling. Then in my second life I would apply for a position with Jews for Jesus. It would be a privilege to serve with them. But would they take a Gentile like me? As I said, they have a sense of humor.
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful web site and organization. I am a new believer in Christ, raised Jewish. Your site has been so helpful to me. The information presented on the holidays is wonderful.
I first came to know of your organization when I attended Rutgers University. You made quite an impression. I was walking along College Avenue when one of your missionaries handed me a witnessing pamphlet. When I looked down and saw the words “Jews for Jesus” on the front, I felt enraged, although I didn’t know why. I immediately threw the paper in the garbage and dismissed the thought.
Well, the Lord didn’t let it end there. I came to Christ about seven months ago, and it wasn’t until then that the importance of our meeting hit me. I recall the emotion I felt upon (quickly) contemplating the idea that Jesus could be the Messiah. Although then I thought it was anger, I realize now that it was a need, a yearning for the truth to be discovered. It was a pain that had always existed and it flared at the sound of the truth…that Jesus is Lord. Please thank your young man who spent some time at Rutgers College in the year of 97(?). Upon coming to Christ, it helped me know that there was a growing community of Jews who knew and accepted Jesus as Lord.
Thank you for all that you do! Keep it up!!!
Dear Jews for Jesus Staff,
I am writing to share a praise with you. I have been meeting with my Jewish friend, Traci, for about eight months, doing evangelistic Bible studies and discussionsabout Jesus Christ. I have shared many of your materials with her, and she has received your information in the mail. She has gone from seeking to prove that Jesus could not possibly be the promised Messiah, to accepting Him as her Lord and Savior this past Monday, April 1!
The turning point came after she listened to a message on tape by Stan Telchin, based on his book. She closely identified with his journey, and eagerly looked up the Scripture references, only to decide once and for all that Jesus died for her!
I hope that Traci’s salvation is an encouragement to you. I am a Gentile believer and I have used your resources for several years to reach out to my Jewish friends. Thank you for your faithfulness in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Upstate New York