Bits from the Branches
Chad Elliot reports, "I had the great privilege of leading a Jewish-Gentile couple to the Lord! ‘Rita’ was raised Catholic; her husband, ‘Larry,’ is from a Reform Jewish background. Rita contacted us via e-mail wondering what Jews for Jesus might be able to offer her family.
"I had a fruitful visit with them, during which they explained they wanted to give their children (four and five years old) religious instruction. I observed that it is difficult to give something (including faith) that one does not possess, and they agreed. I explained sin, salvation and our Savior to them, and they both prayed to receive Jesus! I will continue meeting with them, and they have expressed interest in visiting the Messianic congregation that I attend. Please pray for this family to grow in grace."
Bob Mendelsohn reports, "Andrew is a Christian who ministers to businessmen. He brought his friend Peter, an unbelieving Jewish man about 60 years old, to hear me speak at a local church. Andrew and Peter have been talking for a while, but going nowhere spiritually. After the service, during fellowship time, Peter agreed to consider meeting together, just the three of us. However, he was noncommittal and reluctant, when called, to agree to a time and place. We finally met at a cafe. Peter and I then planned to meet for lunch a couple of weeks later. I sent him a lesson on the healing of the blind man in John 9, but again he was reluctant to meet with me. When we finally met, it was so pleasant to hear his remarks as I went through the lesson. Later, I received an e-mail from him saying that our lunch together had been a ‘real eye-opener’ and that he enjoyed the lesson enough to do it again. We planned to meet the following week. Peter is impressed with the Bible and the person of Jesus. ‘I’m not going to convert,’ he insists, but God seems to be meeting Peter head-on. Please pray for his salvation."
Lena Gourtovaya reports, "During a sortie, a drunk man began harassing me as I was sharing the gospel with his friend (who was not drunk). The drunk man did not calm down; rather, he became more impudent. I asked him to stop harassing me, but he seemed not to hear. Then the Lord gave me boldness and I told him, ‘If you do not stop now, you will have to deal with my God.’ Those words made him sober in a second. He said, ‘I fear God. I am sorry.’ Then he left. Please pray for his salvation."
Maxim Ammosov reports, "We had a surprise from God at our Shabbat meeting. Instead of the Bible study and tea-break that usually follow the sermon, we were blessed by a half-an-hour presentation of the choir from a local Jewish organization! Victor, a member of the choir, had responded to the altar call at our Passover Seder in Mitino (in the northern part of Moscow) last March. Then he came to our Shabbat meeting in April and expressed his desire to follow Jesus once again. After the meeting, Victor told me that he was a member of the Jewish Center’s choir, and that he hoped the choir could come to our meeting to sing.
"I told him to give my phone number to the choir leader. She called me soon after. I asked, ‘Do you know who we are?’ She replied, "No," so I informed her, ‘We are Jews for Jesus.’ After a pause, she asked, ‘Those Jews for Jesus that were cursed by Ber Lazar (the head of the Russian Hasidim)?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘OK,’ she said, ‘We will still come. We will not discuss theology, but we will sing.’
"The choir of seven unbelieving Jewish people and one unbelieving Gentile (who was not born Jewish but was orphaned and raised by Jewish people) attended our Shabbat service. They sang with us during worship time, listened to my sermon and presented Jewish songs. Our regular people knew most of their songs, so we sang together—it was incredible. Moreover, they are willing to come again. It is a miracle. Eight people from the choir were open to fellowship with us, and probably open to the gospel. Praise the Lord and please pray for the whole choir to be saved!"