Jews, Jesus and Jersey
Campaign leaders Josh Sofaer,Garrett Smith and Tuvya Zaretsky
Campaign leader Josh Sofaer can tell you that reaching people in the suburbs is a whole lot different than city street campaigns. “It’s not that there are no people . . . they are just all in their cars!” he explains. “The Jersey Shore was the best place for distributing literature and having conversations, though it’s quite a shlep (sometimes two hours) to get there. We also handed out tracts at the PATH trains leading into Manhattan and at the airport, which enables you to reach a variety of people, though not necessarily those from New Jersey.
“In addition to handing out tracts, we took to ‘bannering.’ We’d bring signs, usually about 10′ x 3′, to a residential or commercial area. Using six-foot poles, we’d lift them high, displaying our message to oncoming traffic with smiles on our faces and hands waving.
“The first day that I did bannering, I was frankly skeptical. I wondered if it had any evangelistic impact. That afternoon, a friend called to encourage us. He said that the Lord had impressed upon him a Scripture to tell me, but he had no idea why. It was Jeremiah 31:21, ‘Set up signposts, make landmarks; Set your heart toward the highway, the way in which you wen“Wow! This guy had no idea about our bannering that morning. Talk about a confirmation! Plus, lifting up a sign with the name of Jesus did evoke responses as people honked their horns, waved out their windows and some called the number written on some of the banners. Positive or negative, people responded to the message.”t. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, turn back to these your cities.’
Another way to reach people is by telephone. One day we focused solely on phoning and made 1,000 calls to Jewish homes.
Stan Telchin was on his sixth or so call of the day. After some conversation regarding a book we had offered in a mailing to her home, he asked the middle-aged woman who answered the phone, “Who do you think Jesus is?” She honestly responded, “I don’t have the faintest idea about who he really is . . .” Stan said, “Isn’t that strange considering the Messianic prophecies in the Bible? Have you read them?” She said she hadn’t read the prophecies and Stan replied, “Isn’t it amazing that we have been called the people of the book yet many of us don’t know anything about Messianic prophecies?”
The conversation continued and the woman confided to Stan that her son had passed away about a year ago. Stan prayed that the Lord would give her peace and comfort, which she appreciated. It opened a door for Stan to tell her about the gospel message and the promise of eternal life in Y’shua. Stan asked if he could pray for her and then with her to receive Y’shua. She warmly responded, “Please do.”
New Jersey may be more like a little grape than a Big Apple, but God has fields ready to harvest in the suburbs, too.