Faces of Berlin
In a country as postmodern as Germany, you might wonder whether people would stop to talk with a stranger about spiritual things. But our Jews for Jesus staff and volunteers can assure you that the age-old search for peace is very much alive on the streets of Berlin. Not only have we found people of all backgrounds more than ready to talk, we’ve been blessed to hear their stories.
Paula met Saad,* a young Syrian refugee who described the ordeal of coming to Europe in an overcrowded boat from which several women and children drowned. Paula asked permission to pray over him in the name of Jesus, to thank God for sparing Saad’s life. He allowed her to pray, then listened patiently and intently to the gospel. He said he would think about what Paula said, took the Arabic translation of Scripture she offered, and gave his contact info.
Paula also met four Israelis who stopped to ask what she was doing. She told them that she is a Messianic Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. Two of the Israelis responded, “Have nothing to do with her, she is one of ‘them,’” but Paula challenged the group by asking if she could send them something in Hebrew from their own Tenakh (Hebrew Scriptures). “Does that threaten you?” she asked. Two of the Israelis agreed to look into it, and gave Paula their email addresses.
The blue shirt asks the question in Hebrew “Who is He,” and in English, it says “ThePeaceMaker.”
Janie-sue met a Jewish man in his 70’s named Bruno,* who said he converted to Christianity during World War II. He lives now in Norway. Janie-sue asked Bruno if he knew what it means to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him, and he said it has been more of a “going through the motions” kind of thing. Bruno shared how, during the war, he’d had many narrow escapes. Janie-sue said to him, “See how God has been so gracious to you—He saved your life on a number of occasions. He sent us both here to have this conversation about the most important thing in life…knowing Him!” Bruno gladly gave Janie-sue his contact information to stay in touch.
Our team went to the Brandenburg Gate to ask people what they think about peace. A young woman approached our volunteer, Daniel, and as they chatted, he asked her nationality. She replied that her parents are from Lebanon. They talked for a little while about Jesus, then Daniel invited her to write what she thinks about peace on a sticker and post it on our board.
The woman hid what she was writing, then posted a “Free Palestine” note, and hurried away. A few minutes later she returned and confessed that she had lied. “I was afraid to tell you that I’m a Palestinian,” she said. Daniel took this great opportunity to share why he is not angry at Palestinians, and how Jesus is the only one who can bring us peace She was shocked that someone with Jews for Jesus would respond to her in love. We pray that the love of Jesus won’t just surprise her, but will transform her life.
*not their real names