God can use art to open, first eyes, then hearts of people who might not otherwise stop to talk. Our Multitudes project is a series of original paintings by Steffi Geiser Rubin, illustrating passages from Matthew that refer to the Hebrew Scriptures. The project includes a beautiful “coffee table” edition of the Gospel of Matthew with the illustrations throughout. Most of the art includes Hebrew text.
We launched our gallery circuit in San Francisco, and the show has also been to New York and Washington DC. We look forward to having it in Israel this spring. It was exciting to have an opportunity to show at an art festival in South Florida recently, and that’s where these stories were reported.
South Florida branch leader Robyn Wilk reports: “Sue, a Hebrew school teacher, was especially drawn to the Multitudes painting. Sue explained that one of her daughters feels drawn to Jesus and that she also is willing to look at ‘other religions.’ As she was buying our assorted Multitudes cards, I shared a brief story of how I came to faith. Sue listened intently and although I didn’t get her info, she was willing to take mine. Please pray she calls me.
“I also met Nancy who went through an official conversion to marry an Orthodox man. Still, she has doubts and questions. She gave me her phone number and asked if we could to get together.Please pray for her salvation.”
Lisa Smolowitz, one of our South Florida missionaries, reports, “I was getting ready for our next sortie (literature-passing expedition) when a guy burst into the tent, began reading the Hebrew on one of the paintings and said, ‘This is fantastic, this art is beautiful!’ David loved the art so much he bought a pack of our cards. We had a great conversation discussing our Jewish journeys through Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and (for me), Messianic Judaism. David’s current interest is the Jewish Renewal movement.He did not want to give his contact information, but asked for my business card. I also gave him a piece of our gospel literature, the link to my story on YouTube, and a Multitudes pen just in case he loses his, he should have another one. When he left, it was like saying goodbye to an old friend. Please pray that David will find true renewal through the Messiah.
“An elderly man walked past our booth, got to the end of the aisle, and returned to stand in front of our booth again, looking intently at the art. I sensed he was able to read the Hebrew. Sure enough, a few minutes later his son came looking for him. The family lived in Israel for six years and understood exactly what the art represented.Marc and I explained in further detail how it reflected the Messiah (Jesus) from the Hebrew Scriptures to the New Testament. They took the promo flyer, and a pen.”
Marc Sternberg, who was the original “visionary” behind the Multitudes project, is part of our San Francisco headquarters team. He flew down to participate in this our first showing at an outdoor art fair. He reports, “A couple stood outside the tent, squinting to read the Hebrew on several of the paintings, so we invited them in to get a closer look. Turns out they teach Hebrew at their local temple. We explained the art and why we were there. They were fascinated, and stayed to talk at length. The husband and I share a hobby, cycling, and he invited me to come cycling with him and some friends, which I gladly accepted. I was amazed that having just met, and knowing where I work and what I believe, he wanted to spend time and maybe talk further!
“A mother and daughter entered the tent and were trying to read the Hebrew in the paintings. Seeing that they were having difficulty I pointed them to the Matthew 26 painting, knowing they would easily recognize the traditional Hebrew prayer over the wine. They told me they were not religious but when I asked if they would be interested in joining us for Shabbat in Fort Lauderdale, they said they would definitely like to come! Please pray our branch will be able to connect with this mother and daughter.”
These and other conversations were so encouraging, as were the nearly 6,000 people who received the gospel postcards the team was handing out, as well as 400 cards at the art booth. Please pray for all the gospel seed that was sown, and for further ministry to many of the people the team met.