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Jews for Jesus segments popped up on local television news stations, and a series of articles came out in the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and countless other papers—so there’s been an enormous buzz before our own paid advertisements even hit the papers.
By God’s grace and through the generosity of friends and supporters like you, we were also able to place full-page gospel ads in the Village Voice, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today (New York area only), NEWSDAY, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and several other papers.
Perhaps the most stunning of our gospel advertisements are the brightly-colored backlit posters in a subway tunnel that connects the Port Authority Bus Station to the famous Times Square. They simply say Jews for Jesus” and “Jesus for Jews,” alternately. See it at:
Mass Transit Authority of New York City has been receiving complaints from Jewish community leaders trying to get them to withdraw those gospel ads. The New York Post published an article titled “Holy Hell over Subway Jesus.” You can view it at:
The Post article was picked up by the wire services.
We also placed radio spots on ten different stations throughout the greater New York area. The radio ads include a toll free number for people to order Jesus for Jews, a small book of testimonies chronicling the faith journey of four Jews for Jesus staff members. We also sent out a direct mailing to the homes of Jewish people in the greater New York area offering the book, and so far we have received more than 500 requests asking for that book.
All of the media attention has amplified the gospel. We praise God for that, and know that He has orchestrated this way beyond anything that we could plan. Plus, when media stories like the one in the New York Post hit, with a photograph of one of the posters that showed our website, the number of hits to our site spiked up to 244 per minute.
Such attention brings with it greater opposition. Often that opposition shows up behind the scenes through complaints to newspapers or radio stations, pressuring them to withdraw our ads. One radio station accepted our ad but chose not to air it because the station manager feared complaints before they even started. Another station that began broadcasting the ads is considering discontinuing them because of complaints they have received.
Please pray that the opposition will not succeed in squelching our gospel ads in the secular media. We know in the end that God’s word cannot be stopped. God uses opposition for His purposes, too. But Satan does his level best to stop us, and that’s where your prayers are so important.
We noticed that the media began taking a much harsher stance in the second week, inviting us to be interviewed on television, only to make accusations and then continually interrupt to prevent us from answering. It would be easy to be disheartened over this type of thing but because of our name, Jews for Jesus, any time we are seen in our T-shirts or talked about, the concept of Jesus and Jews in the same breath is a message in itself.
We actually felt somewhat honored when Jewish Week magazine claimed that all four major denominations of Judaism have joined together–for the very first time in their history–to oppose our efforts. They seem to have a great deal of confidence in our effectiveness because they formed group that they call the “Spiritual Deception Prevention Committee.” This committee declared that they were taking out ads in 60 newspapers to warn people about Jews for Jesus and to urge Jewish people to avoid us.
We’ve also been promised that counter-leafleters would come to oppose us on the street corners, but we haven’t seen much of that or the advertising campaign as of yet.
It is a campaign of multiple methods of outreach, and so far we have handed out 1,022,200 gospel tracts one by one. We’ve gone door-to-door to 4,502 homes and completed gospel witness to 981 of those homes. We’ve phoned 6,317 homes and had gospel conversations on the phone with 2,019 people. All in all we’ve received contact information (i.e. address, or email address and phone number) from 4,713 people. That includes 1,422 from unsaved Jews and 724 from unsaved Gentiles. We have also prayed with 135 Jews and 153 non-Jews to receive Jesus as Messiah. Hallelujah!
Please pray for our missionaries and volunteers as we continue to reach out and follow up with contacts and individuals with whom we’ve prayed during the campaign. (The follow-up is running simultaneously with the campaign and of course will continue once it is over.)
Please pray also for the physical and spiritual strength of our campaigners. Efraim Goldstein, one of our campaign leaders, had to miss the whole first week because of an infection that required hospitalization in Israel. Richard Muller had to return home to Toronto because his wife developed a post-operative infection that required him to care for their two small children. Quite a bit of illness has hampered some of our campaigners here as well. I do believe that we are in a spiritual battle.
These types of evangelistic campaigns are grueling physically and emotionally. Once again your prayers are crucial to our efforts to stand and to fight in this battle. You may not be out on the streets with us physically, but you’re there with us every step of the way as you intercede and pray for us. If you would like to send words of encouragement or assurances of your prayers to our campaigners, please e-mail them to [email protected]. Write “encouragement” in the subject line and we will either post or read a selection of these to our campaigners daily.
I wish you could sense the enthusiasm of these campaigners. I wish you could see the joy on their faces as they tell the stories of the encounters that God gives each day as we minister. In fact, you can see some of their faces on our website. You will find many photographs and get all kinds of reflections and updates by clicking certain links on the homepage. Check out “DID YOU KNOW” for samples and to learn how to navigate the site.
I may sound a little bit breathless as I’m writing to you, and if so it’s because I’m feeling a tremendous amount of excitement over what God seems to be doing. We have to give all the honor and glory to Him for what’s going on right now—He really is doing something special. So praise Him with us, and please keep us in prayer as we continue on in our New York Behold Your God grand finale.
–David Brickner Executive Director