Behind the Scenes in Berlin
For me, as a German, it is really something very special to take part in this campaign. It gives me much joy to share the gospel with other people, together with Jews who love Jesus. But it is not always very easy, especially because I’m German. In one sortie, toward evening, I handed a broadside to an elderly woman. She immediately began asking me if I could imagine how it was to survive the Holocaust—she had spent nine months in a concentration camp. It was difficult to help her understand that Jesus wants to heal her. Thus I hope and pray that she will read the broadside, and that Jesus will save her and fill her with His love. This happened on our first day, and it once more made me see how important it is to go into the streets TOGETHER as Jewish people and German people, and to tell about others about Jesus.”
—Susanne Heydel, volunteer campaigner
“I was broadsiding (handing out tracts) on a street corner in Berlin when a German man stopped to take a tract. I asked him who he thought Jesus was. He looked at me for a moment and then replied, “Jesus wasn’t Jewish and doesn’t love Jews.” He claimed to be a Christian. As I talked him through the gospel, I said how much Jesus loves all people. His eyes teared up and he thanked me for being willing to come all the way from London to Berlin.”
—Julia Pascoe, staff member/campaigner
“Before the campaign I was out having lunch with Gregory Furman on Oranienberger Strasse (a street with many Jewish establishments), when an elderly Israeli couple stopped by our table. The woman asked me in German about the meaning of my Jews for Jesus T-shirt. I explained that Jews for Jesus is an organization of Jewish people who believe Jesus is the Messiah and wish to make that fact known worldwide. As a matter of fact, I said, if she wished to meet a Jewish believer in Yeshua, she could talk to the gentleman across from me. I gave Chava my business card, and Gregory got their contact information so that a Jew for Jesus can visit them in Israel.
—Paul Rostig, volunteer campaigner (and alumnus of the Behold Your God Portland team)
“Being here in Berlin on the Jews for Jesus “Behold Your God” campaign is quite fascinating. Sharing a room with two Ukrainians and a young Welshman creates an interesting language mix. German is commonly spoken, but conversation may switch to Russian or English (Welsh English) at any time, and you don’t know when.
“Not being a campaigner, I’ve not much to tell about street scenarios, but being responsible for German-English, and especially English-German interpretation, I have experienced the hand of God in no small amount. When the campaign started, my throat was horribly sore and scratchy. The next day I translated for about six hours (training sessions and orientation). The day after that, my voice was very quiet. I wondered if I could get through the day at all! But, thanks to the Lord (and also because of regular breaks), we got through. And I’m quite thankful that I can do “whispering translation” (for fewer people) today. So, although we just started, I am really experienced God’s blessing—His help with the ‘small stones in the shoe’ that are usually more troubling than the larger rocks on the way.”
—Lars Killian, office staff/worship team musician/translator
“For me, as a “German for Jesus,” my main prayer request before the campaign was for us all to experience oneness in Christ. God showed me beforehand that, even in full view of the evil German past, we find grace at the cross. It’s such a joy to see the open hearts and arms, and the embraces, of our Jewish brothers and sisters who came from all over the world to help us fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:19, Romans 1:16).
“Although it is only the beginning of the campaign, God binds us together in His love, and I believe that He will greatly bless the campaign, as He promises in Psalm 133. Hallelujah for the forgiving, healing, loving power of the cross!
“I think that this campaign is the fulfilling of two promises: that the Jews would be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), and that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20). So far, [this was written at the end of the training days] five Gentiles have been saved and guess through whom? All through Jewish campaigners!
“Please pray for the protection of our oneness in Christ.”
Ellen Seuss, volunteer campaigner
“I was broadsiding in Berlin when a man in his thirties stopped. He looked puzzled. “What is that?” he asked, pointing to the literature. I told him that we are Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Christ who want to share the gospel. I asked him, ‘Who do you think Jesus is?’
He answered, ‘Well, I’m a Muslim.’ So I told him who Jesus is and what the gospel is about, and that Jesus came to save him. He said that he had never heard that before. He took the broadside and left. I was praying that the Muslims would get to know Jesus while they stay in Germany, so it made me happy to share the gospel with this man. Please pray that the seed that was sown will bear fruit.”
—Sabine Geller, campaigner
“It has been very interesting on the BYG campaign. My teammates come from the U.S., Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Canada and Israel. Most of us are Jewish believers, and the rest are Gentile believers.
One of the leaders is Grisha [Gregory Furman], who was originally from Ukraine but is now a U.S. citizen from New York City. He gave up his work in films and theatre to become a full-time staff member for Jews for Jesus. We also have musicians, a former astronomer, and an internist, to name just a few. Please pray for unity among the team members, because people with such diverse backgrounds have different opinions on how to do things—until they see the superiority of my ways! J Pray for us and have fun.
—Jack Delmonte, campaigner
“The BYG stewards are working every day to supply the earthly needs of the campaigners and campaign staff, and we have quickly become well-organized in our tasks. One of us (Christina Palmqvist) is from Denmark; one is from Texas (Angie Payne); another is a Florida native who lives in Germany (Susan Brabanec-Page); and two of us (Linda King and I) are from Kentucky.
“Our daily duties include packing the campaigners’ tract bags with broadsides (tracts) as many as four times per day, before each street sortie (tract-passing expedition). We prepare and serve dinner as well as many lunches, and that requires walking to neighborhood supermarkets and carrying home vast quantities of beverages and food to feed as many as 35 people at each meal.
“Fortunately, we have been blessed with excellent help in the form of assistance from German believers who worship Yeshua in local churches that are standing with us in this historic campaign. Several days each week, teams of friendly, hard-working church members arrive with hot food for lunch; and another team, led by Juliane Both, arrives twice weekly to collect our dirty clothes and clean them in their own homes.
“What a blessing they are to all of us! Please pray that God will richly bless them for their kindness to us. It isn’t easy for German believers to stand with us in the face of opposition from churches that have thrown away their Bibles and do not understand the meaning of Romans 10:1: ‘Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.'”
—Mary Alan Woodward, chief steward