Our European Board will be meeting later this month, and we’d appreciate your prayer for wisdom for these dedicated men and women as they exercise their oversight.

Next month we will be holding our Council Meeting, which is a time of interviewing potential staff as well as discussing opportunities, challenges and future strategies in making the Messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide. It’s also a time for our executive director to direct our senior staff’s attention to a leadership lesson, usually interactive, on a topic that deals with the spiritual health and well being of our staff. Please pray for the preparations and logistics of this important meeting.

Thank you for praying for our December outreaches, and particularly for praying for evangelistic events in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, as well as praying for Hanukkah events in our various branches.

Los Angeles

Tuvya Zaretsky reports, “Twenty volunteers joined our five Los Angeles-based missionary staff for a New Year’s outreach at the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena on January 2, as well as at the float viewing venues on January 3. Starting before dawn on January 2 and finishing at sundown on January 3, we handed out 31,150 broadsides. I’d like to commend Cyril Gordon for his work in preparing the outreach.

“We printed 5,000 special ‘Game Day Player Rosters’ tracts for January 2. I wish we had printed twice as many! The colorful logos of each team’s school were really eye catching. People lined up around us, knowing it was offered by Jews for Jesus, to get their free roster, with a Scripture and biblical question on the back. We will definitely repeat that format next year.

We met forty people who wanted help witnessing to their Jewish friends. Two Jewish seekers also asked for more information. If you live in or near the L.A. area I hope you’ll think about joining us next year. It is a wonderful way to begin a new year-encouraging people to seek Yeshua!” Click here to contact our Los Angeles branch.

Washington, D.C.

Stephen Katz reports, “It’s hard to gauge the effect of our Hanukkah mailing to local Orthodox neighborhoods, but we do know that there were 73 views of our web article (56 from computers, 17 from mobile phones which scanned the QR code). The average time spent at the page was 52 seconds, which I’m told is longer than the average amount of time for other websites. We only got a couple direct responses, (no contacts for follow-up) but we hope that those who visited our website will return.”

Israel

Yulia Mitnisky reports, “We had our annual Hanukkah Party for the children of different Messianic congregations in cooperation with Jeannie Goldstein, who helped with organizing the venue for the event and inviting J.M., who led the music for the party. The event took place on December 27, with most of our Israel staff taking part in leading different games and entertaining the children. I would like to mention specifically Eli Birnbaum, who did an amazing job at giving the message on the topic of Hanukkah and how Yeshua is indeed the Light of the World. Eighty-seven children came, and each of them got a little prize and a Hanukkah donut, ‘sufganiya.’ We saw the kids having fun and hearing about Yeshua, and had much positive feedback from the parents.”

Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Michael Sischy reports, “For a week this summer in South Africa, (remember December is summer in some parts of the world!) we proclaimed the Messiahship of Jesus in the small coastal town of Plettenberg Bay—as well as in the surrounding towns of Port Elizabeth, Knysna and George.

We knew that Plettenberg Bay was a popular holiday destination but we’d never been there, so our week long outreach was a “probe” to assess the potential for evangelism in this area.

Our two-person team consisted of myself and Michael our intern.

As we looked for evangelistic opportunities we found that we were able to be very visible by means of a banner that proclaimed “Jesus is Messiah, Read Isaiah 53.” Two points along the main road leading to the main beach and the main shopping complex in the town proved good places for us to take our stand with the banner. This brought us many positive thumbs up and waves from passing cars as well as frowns and thumbs down from those who did not approve of us lifting up the name of Jesus. During the course of the week we met some Christians who had seen the banner and told us how encouraged they were by it.

The beach at “Plett” and the main streets in nearbye Knysna and Port Elizabeth afforded some opportunities for broadsiding; shopping malls were areas we were able to expose people to the idea that Jesus is for Jews by walking through in our Jews for Jesus T-shirts.

While handing out literature on the beach we encountered a very angry Jewish man who approached us as we arrived on the beach, cursing at us. He tried to grab our broadsides out of our hands. Many witnessed his behavior and the story of Jesus’ Spirit which kept us calm. Once the man left, we were unhindered from handing out tracts and conversed with people on the beach about Jesus.

On our last day in Plettenberg Bay we found out that there is a second beach where a lot of our Jewish people would be. We did not have a permit to hand out tracts on this beach, but the two of us were able to be visible in this area as we prayed for courage and then walked the length of the beach knowing that we would be the living letters to our people with our very visible Jews for Jesus T-shirts.

This probe taught us that due to the small size of Plettenberg Bay, the sortie sites (places to hand out tracts) are quickly saturated. As far as we can tell there are two beaches for sorties, and two bannering spots. However, the small size of the town with its few main roads in and out do make the bannering very worthwhile.

One disappointment: Plettenberg Bay is known as a hot spot for matriculants (high school grads) but apparently our timing for encountering them was off. We arrived just as the schools had closed for vacation, only to discover most matriculants had come and gone, apparently having finished the year much earlier than the rest of the school going population. Consequently, some of the nightspots we hoped to reach were “dead.”

We concluded that one week and two people are sufficient for outreach to this area, and we intend to return at a future date to implement lessons learned this first time around.

Please pray for:

Maoz, an Israeli whom we met near the casino in Port Elizabeth. He saw the Hebrew on my shirt and was excited to meet two more Jewish people. He found it interesting that we believed in Jesus. Maoz was somewhat open to the gospel but had his own strange mix of Jewish mystical thought concerning Him. Please pray for the fullness of the gospel to penetrate his heart.

Joshua, another Israeli, who has just arrived in Plettenberg Bay and started work as a chef in one of the hotels. He was interested to meet us; pray for him to meet believers in Jesus who will be able to plant seeds of the gospel in him as he spends time in South Africa.