Thank you for praying for our Passover adventures! Here are examples of how God answered those prayers.
David Brickner reports,
“I was greeting people after sharing about Christ in the Passover at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. A woman approached me and said ‘That was amazing. I have been celebrating Passover all my life and I’ve never understood this until now.’ Then she began to cry. ‘Everything you said made so much sense to me, but I am afraid to believe in Jesus because I don’t want to betray my father.’
“As I spoke to this dear Jewish woman it became clear that she was on the very threshold of receiving the Lord. Her ex-husband, who is an Orthodox Jew, was aware of her interest in Jesus and had told her that if she were baptized she would become a Gentile and a shame to her father who had recently died. She was struggling intensely with feelings of guilt. I told her that I was quite sure that if her father could speak to her today he would want her to trust her Jewish Messiah. Then I encouraged her to listen to what the Holy Spirit was telling her in her heart and not the discouraging words of her ex-husband. With tears in her eyes she acknowledged the truth of what I was saying and that she believed Jesus was truly her Messiah.
“Please pray for Linda as she now contemplates baptism.”
Susan Perlman reports,
“It is always a blessing to minister to our Jews for Jesus friends and to their friends as we sit around the seder table at our Jews for Jesus Passover banquets. We held one of our Bay Area banquets at Valley Baptist Church in San Rafael, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco. Two of our young adult Jewish believers, Amy Moore and Jesse Danziger, presided and they did a superb job of taking the participants through the Haggadah as well as a very tasty meal!
“I was excited to be seated at a table with three Jewish unbelievers, my pastor and several other caring Christians. Ruth is an ’87-year-young’ Jewish great-grandmother. Her daughter came to faith years ago and has been praying for her mom ever since. Ruth and I shared some of our Passover memories and even softly sang a holiday song in Yiddish as we reminisced. Then Ruth said to me,
“‘They’ve been working on me a long time.’
“‘So what has kept you from accepting Jesus?’ I asked.
“‘My roots go very, very deep,’ she responded.
“‘That’s good, Ruth. Your roots should go deep, but that is no reason to discount Jesus in your life. You know he is the Jewish Messiah.’
“‘But I have tried and I just can’t get there.’
“‘Ruth, maybe you need to stop trying so hard and just let God do what He will in your life.’ She smiled and her Christian friend at the table added,
“‘I’m still praying for you Ruth and I won’t give up.’
“Howard is a Jewish man in his sixties. Earlier in the week he attended the Passover seder put on by the local Chabad group (ultra-Orthodox Jews). He pointed out to me that their seder started at 6:30 pm like ours did, but the meal they served didn’t begin until 11 pm! He was relieved we served the dinner at 7:45 pm. But more important, I think he took in a lot of the symbolism that was explained by our presenters as well as listening to how I, as a Jew, came to faith in Jesus. Howard was willing to hear more from us and gave me his email address.”
And the smaller seders we hold in our homes are encouraging, too!
Susan Perlman (whose report you just read) held a seder at her home on the second night of Passover. Present were nine Jewish believers and five as yet unbelieving Jewish people, including friends and family of the nine, as well as a San Francisco branch contact, Stan. Susan cooked and one of our staff, Rich Robinson, presided. Rich took the group through a traditional Haggadah, but added Messianic insights along the way. Conversations were plentiful and seeds were definitely planted. Please pray for the five seekers who came and experienced Christ in the Passover!
Postscript: Rich has kept in touch with one of the guests via Facebook and discovered that while his family were Turkish Jews generations ago, they converted to Islam along the way. Please pray for continued ministry to this young man as he seems open to meeting with Rich over coffee.
Andrew Barron reports,
“I had a very interesting witnessing encounter during my Passover tour. The pastor of a church in Battle Creek, Michigan let me know before I came that he had led a young Jewish man to faith and baptized him last year. His mother was enraged. The pastor told me it took many months for her to speak to him, but that he (the pastor) used the opportunity of my coming to invite her and he was praying that she would come.
“Sure enough, as I was setting up for the meeting she introduced herself to me and began peppering me with questions. It was too difficult to talk in the midst of the preparations, so I suggested that we talk during the dinner portion of the program. So, during dinner she told me her story. She was spiritually hungry, but said that her parents would never speak to her again if she believed in Jesus as Messiah. I asked, ‘If Jesus really was the Messiah, would you be willing to believe in Him no matter the consequences?’ She replied honestly that she did not know. I asked her to think about it. Following dinner, I finished the presentation. Afterward, she asked for my card and said we would be in touch. The pastor overheard our entire conversation and said that he would follow up. It was a great night!”
From our Moscow branch, Ilya Khaimovich reports,
“We had seventeen volunteers help us with a special street outreach for Passover, even with the frost and snow. The week began with frost and temperatures from -10-12° C; then the snowstorm started. The roads were covered with snow, and the snowdrifts were 50-70 cm high.
“I would like to make special mention of Pastor Sergey because nine out of seventeen volunteers came from his Messianic congregation. We went on ten sorties (tract-passing expeditions). The pastor and wife did a sortie, too.
“All together we handed out 16,400 broadsides. We prayed with two people to receive the Lord: one Jewish and one Gentile. We also received contact information from three Jewish seekers.
“Our branch held a Passover seder at the Central Baptist Church. Three Jewish seekers attended.”
Thanks again for praying for our Passover outreaches!