Report on November Tel Aviv Outreach
Bimini Cohen reports, “Last month, we conducted a week-long outreach in Tel Aviv with twelve volunteers from our home church in Hercules, California, as well as others from San Diego and Washington and a few from Denmark. Altogether, we handed out 8,930 tracts and received the contact info of 38 Jewish seekers and 22 Gentiles wanting to know more about Jesus.
“Most of the time our staff were on the streets with the team. But one afternoon a few of us stayed at the office for a couple of hours. During that time we received phone calls from five Israelis who had just received our tracts. They were all very open and wanted books about Jesus! One woman who gave us her contact info said, ‘Would you please, please, please send me this book?’ Another of the callers asked, ‘So what is this tract about? What are you trying to tell me?’ After we shared the gospel with him, he gladly requested a book about Jesus.”
Some of the interest came in response to the anti-missionary activity, which staff and volunteers withstood daily.
For example, staff member Oded Cohen (Bimini’s husband) said, “I spoke to a nice religious soldier and asked, ‘Have you ever considered the Messiahship of Jesus, not based on our traditions or what the rabbis say, but what the Scriptures actually say?’ As we spoke, a man on a bicycle rode up and started yelling at me. He also scolded the soldier, ‘Do you know what you are doing when you’re talking to him? You are cooperating with them.’ After he discovered that the soldier’s mother is working with an anti-missionary group, he added, ‘You are spitting on your mother by talking to them.’ The bicyclist then grabbed the tract out of the soldier’s hand and tore it. But the soldier asked me, ‘Please can I have another one? They tore my pamphlet.'”
Volunteer Cecile Rose said, “As I was handing out my literature, I gave one to an older religious woman who became quite upset. She went back and forth between the bicycle man (mentioned above) and me.
“She kept shouting at me, ‘What are you doing here?’ I answered, ‘Yeshua came to die as a sacrifice for you to atone for your sins and mine.’ She said, ‘No, no, I don’t believe in Yeshua. He is your God. I only believe in one God.’ I told her, ‘I believe in the same God.’
“She went back over to the bicycle man who yelled obscenities at me and blocked our pathway with his bicycle. During a quiet moment, a nice man approached me and we had a meaningful conversation.”
Oded added, “It was a busy spot, with a constant flow of people, and we were able to share with most all of them. Another religious man came and he was extremely upset. He became physically aggressive and was making threats. As I called the police he quickly disappeared.
“While all this was happening, many people who passed by came to our defense. They said, ‘Why are you shouting at them? Why are you cursing them? We are allowed to think for ourselves and to talk to them. Who are you to tell us not to talk to them?'”