This month is our BYGest” ever in terms of the number of campaigns taking place. The two campaigns we introduced last month, Denver and Washington, D.C., are continuing until September 12 and 18 respectively. In addition, three more campaigns are taking place this month: Detroit, San Diego and Paris. With five evangelistic campaigns going on simultaneously, many staff are away from their regular positions, so we need lots of prayer for the ongoing branch work of Jews for Jesus. And of course, we need you to pray for the campaigns!
Shaun Buchhalter is leading this campaign, with Abe Sandler, Jr. as his co-leader. Training is September 3-5 and the campaign will run from the 6th to the 24th.
More than 100,000 Jewish people live in the Detroit area, making it home to the Midwest’s second largest Jewish community. Detroit also has the largest Arab community in the United States, giving us a unique opportunity to reach out to two groups that are largely unreached with the gospel. We chose this campaign to publicly launch our new evangelistic film, “Forbidden Peace”** featuring stories of Israelis and Palestinians who, through faith in Jesus, have found peace with one another. In addition to showing the film, we will also have live public interviews with some of the people who appear in it.
Of course we will be conducting street evangelism, as well as campus evangelism at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (which has 2,000 Jewish students). We will also be phoning many Jewish people to see if they are interested in hearing more about Jesus.
This time of year, many Jewish people have a heightened awareness of spiritual matters as they prepare for the Jewish High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We are hoping to use evangelistic mailings and holiday services to provide Jewish people with chances to encounter their Messiah. We have also borrowed an idea from another Jewish mission leader, Murray Tilles. He developed an outreach of delivering holiday baskets to Jewish people at the request of their Christian friends. We are eager to try out this idea in the Detroit area.
We look forward to working with various Messianic ministries and key churches in the area to have the largest impact ever on the Jewish community in Detroit.
Rob Wertheim is leading this campaign with Dave Garrett as his co-leader. Training is September 16-18, with the campaign to follow through October 11.
San Diego has approximately 100,000 Jewish people. Rob has been making trips from Los Angeles to minister to people in the San Diego area for years, but now he’ll have a whole team of people eager to help him reach out. With campuses back in session this month, we will have a presence at San Diego State University as well as the University of California, San Diego. We will hand out broadsides at special events, like the San Diego Padres baseball games and Oktoberfest (billed as the largest celebration of its kind on the West Coast with an estimated attendance of 200,000 during the weekend of October 8). We will also be at the Gaslamp Quarter shopping/dining district, beach areas and local farmers’ markets.
We are planning at least two public showings of “Survivor Stories” in at least two venues. Rob’s father, Fred, gives one of the featured testimonies in that film of Holocaust survivors who came to faith in Jesus. Perhaps Rob will be able to coax him to come and give his story live after the film.
Joshua Turnil will lead this campaign with Moshe Shuai as his co-leader. Training will be September 22-25 with the campaign following through October 24.
Nine million Parisians make up the city we hope to reach with the gospel this month and next. Have you ever been to the City of Lights? One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Paris is also home to one of the largest Jewish communities. With some 350,000 Jews of both Sephardi (Spanish, Portuguese and Middle Eastern) and Ashkenazi (Eastern European) backgrounds, Paris boasts one of the most unique Jewish communities in the world. The city is also a bastion of anti-religious thought.
In this very gospel-resistant society, we need to proclaim the Good News in a bold, creative and uncompromising manner. In the past, anti-Semitism and fascist political factions have posed difficult challenges. These are still very real factors and the situation has been rendered even more difficult by laws that virtually prohibit freedom of religion in public places. We need your prayers to meet these challenges; we know that we serve a great God who can overcome far bigger obstacles than Paris presents. Pray for us as we reach out to tourists as they visit the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees, Place de l’Opera and Place de la Bastille. We will also be reaching out to shoppers and to students. As of this writing it is uncertain whether we will have venues for showing “Survivor Stories”; the way that separation of church and state is interpreted in Paris makes it very difficult to have any “religious” events outside of a religious institution, and we try to schedule our showings in neutral areas where people will feel most comfortable. Please pray that God will provide just the right opportunities.
** “Forbidden Peace” is available in VHS or DVD. If you are planning to view and discuss it with an unsaved friend, we recommend you also purchase the study guide, “Forbidden Peace: An Invitation to Recall, Reflect and Respond.” You may order them by going to http://store.jewsforjesus.org/ppp/product.php?prodid=773 on our website, or you can call our Purple Pomegranate Productions customer service at 415-864-2600, extension 180.