Paris branch leader Joshua Turnil reports that during the month of December, he and faithful volunteers handed out 38,000 broadsides in Paris and Lyon, and received the names and addresses of twelve unsaved Jewish people who want to receive more information about Jesus.
From Los Angeles, Cyril Gordon reports on the New Year’s Day outreach: To start the new year of 2009, the holy name of JESUS was lifted up high for all to see at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Five staff and 34 volunteers hand distributed 37,950 broadsides at the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl game and float viewing. One soul entered God’s Kingdom with joy and thanksgiving.
“Myron is homeless and was looking through garbage cans for bottles when he found one of our broadsides. He soon spotted me wearing a Jews for Jesus T-shirt and poured out his heart, confessing that he was tired of playing games with God, and that it was time to get right with Him. As hundreds of football fans streamed towards the Rose Bowl, Myron prayed to the Lord Jesus for salvation and a fresh start in life.”
Rob Wertheim, the director of our San Francisco branch, reports: “With assistance from several Jews for Jesus headquarters staff, volunteers and the always faithful help of 21 volunteers from St. John’s Anglican Church of Petaluma, our team distributed 45,650 broadsides during the month of December! On the last full day of outreach, I met two vacationing Israelis. They noticed my Jews for Jesus sweatshirt and inquired what this meant. I explained and asked if they had ever heard about or seen our ads in Israel. They had! I asked if they would be open to hearing from us when they returned home and they agreed, giving me their contact information to pass on to our Tel Aviv branch. Please pray for continued openness and for salvation for Gil and Rami. Thank you!”
Karl deSouza, who leads our Montreal work, shares the results of an unorthodox (pardon the pun) outreach:
“Leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas, our Montr?al outpost sent out an evangelistic message to over 3,300 phone numbers in the Hassidic (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish) community. We received many negative responses, but we had the opportunity to share a full gospel message with eight people. This might sound discouraging, but remember the Hassidic community is extremely closed to outside influences. Many, if not most, have never heard a gospel presentation. Praise the Lord for those eight opportunities!
“Jacob is one Jewish man who received our message on his answering machine. He called back a week later. Our conversation was amazing. We talked about Messianic prophecy, the evidence of the Resurrection, even the Talmudic evidence pointing to Jesus as Messiah. Though Jacob didn’t invite further contact, he promised to read Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9. I know he was challenged that day. Please pray for Jacob and all those who heard the words of Jesus ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’ (John 8:12).
“One Jewish woman asked what our organization is all about. I explained that we’re Jews who want to encourage others Jews to read passages in the Tenakh (Old Testament) about the Moshiach (Messiah) that predict He would come and die for our sins and rise from the grave, and we believe that Y’shua (Jesus) is the Moshiach. To my surprise, she exclaimed, ‘I believe that, too!’ After speaking with her further, I don’t believe this lady is yet a believer, but she does want more information and fellowship with Jews who believe in Jesus. Her family doesn’t know about her interest and will be upset if they discover it. Please pray for her and us as we minister to her.”
Here’s a report from Michael Sischy, who leads our branch in South Africa:
“Thank you for praying for us during our December outreach in Cape Town, which ran from the 20th to the 28th. Since this outreach took place over the Christmas and Hanukkah period, we named the campaign ‘Light of the World,’ as we wanted to make the light of Jesus unavoidable to many from the different parts of the world who would be visiting Cape Town.
“One of our prayers, besides raising the image of Jesus amongst the many holiday makers and tourists visiting Cape Town during our summer, was to have fruitful conversations with Israelis. God answered that prayer as we engaged with many Israelis and had critical conversations about who Yeshua is.
“Our bright green T-shirts proclaiming Jesus as Messiah in English and Hebrew sparked many conversations. Doron, an Israeli, said that he would be willing to talk about this matter in further detail when he gets home to Israel. He willingly gave me his telephone number and said that he will be expecting a call from one of my Israeli colleagues. Please pray that this brief interaction will be the beginning of Doron’s interaction with Messiah Yeshua.
“We were very grateful for the prayers for good weather, because if the wind picks up, the beach empties. The night before Christmas, there was a howling wind. On Christmas morning, one of our days for outreach on the beach, not a leaf was moving and the sun was bright and blazing – perfect beach weather!
“A man on the beach told Vaughan, one of our volunteers, of his unsaved Jewish friend Gerald, who has been admitted to hospital with heart failure and does not have long to live. My co-worker Jason and I went to visit him that afternoon. After speaking with Gerald for a brief while, he allowed us to pray for him. Pray for Gerald, that Yeshua would give him a new heart.
“Vaughn also had the privilege of leading five people to Christ on the streets of Cape Town.”
Click here for photos from our “Light of the World” outreach in South Africa.
Russia and Ukraine
We conducted one-week street outreaches in Russia and Ukraine in the five cities where we have branches. Here are the results:
In Odessa, 6 outreach workers and 23 volunteers distributed 54,000 broadsides, and 28 Jewish people requested more about information about Jesus. At the holiday Shabbat service, 65 guests attended, and one Jewish and one Gentile person prayed to accept Yeshua.
Our Moscow branch distributed 25,000 broadsides, received contact information from 20 unsaved Jewish people, and prayed with one Jewish person to receive Jesus. At the Hanukkah party, of the 79 guests who attended, 18 were unsaved Jewish people, and 3 of them left the party as Jews who now know Jesus!
In Kharkov, our staff distributed nearly 20,000 broadsides and got contact information from four Jewish people willing to hear more about Jesus. Three unsaved Jewish people were among the 21 who attended our Hanukkah Shabbat meeting.
In Dnepropetrovsk, we handed out 16,000 broadsides and got contact information from 7 Jewish people interested in knowing more about Jesus. Our staff in Kiev handed out 18,000 broadsides and made contact with 5 Jewish people who are willing to hear more about the gospel.
In addition, these 5 branches shared the gospel via phone calls with 144 Jewish people.
Here are some direct reports from our missionaries:
Tatyana Bolotov, Dnepropetrovsk
“I love mini-campaigns dedicated to the Jewish feasts. When we hand out broadsides on regular days, many Jewish people, who have been intimidated by threats of a local rabbi, run past us with heads hung down hidden, like ostriches. But when a feast comes, their curiosity overtakes their fears. Maria, a Jewish woman, came up to me and asked when Hanukkah started. When I answered, she explained her interest was her hope to receive a food ration from a Jewish organization. I asked Maria if she had problems in her life she couldn’t cope with. She said that she did. I offered her our literature, in which you can read about the One who helps to overcome problems. Maria hesitated a little and then agreed. When she heard that we would pray for her, she attentively checked if I had written down her address correctly. Praise God! Please pray that my Maria’s heart will open to Yeshua.”
Galya Bogomolova, Odessa
“December 25 was the third day of our Hanukkah project, and I used our broadside entitled ‘Christmas is a Jewish Holiday.’ People, both Jewish and Gentile, read the title, stumbled over it and said, ‘Are you out of your mind? Christmas is a Christian holiday!’ Many broadsides were torn to pieces and many abusive words were spoken. But a Jewish person and a Gentile, both real seekers, gave me their addresses. I’m going to meet with Tanya, the Jewish one, this week. [We normally have pastors to follow up on new believers who are not Jewish.] Please pray that she would open her heart to Jesus. Our staff decided to continue handing out ‘Christmas is a Jewish Holiday’ in early January, as Christmas is celebrated on January 7 in our country.”
Maxim Ammosov, Moscow
“Every year, the Jewish organizations of Moscow arrange a big concert on Hanukkah in the best concert halls of the city. The last couple of years it was held in the main concert hall of the country, the State Kremlin Palace. It’s a great place to hand out broadsides: 6,000 Jews from every corner of Moscow come to the concert! We have done this every year for the ten years that I have been on staff. We get many Jewish contacts every year on this day.
“This year I saw a group of people walking in the direction of the Kremlin Palace. I asked them if they were going to the Hanukkah concert. They said yes. One of them asked a woman, Emilie, to continue the conversation with me. Emilie explained, ‘I am a leader of this group. We are a family club from the Jewish congregational center in Vladimir (a four-hour drive from Moscow).’ I was surprised, because people from Jewish centers are not supposed to deal with Jews for Jesus. I thought she would quickly end our conversation. But I was wrong. Emilie gave me her contact information and agreed to receive literature about Yeshua! Please pray for salvation for Emilie and other Jewish people from the city of Vladimir.”