Behold Your God Israel Wrap Up
We completed our most recent Behold Your God Israel campaign last month, reaching the area of Shfela (pronounced Shfay-la) which is south of Tel-Aviv. Campaigners were housed some twenty minutes away from the place where David slew Goliath. The cities in the area are filled with people who have never heard of Yeshua (Jesus). Some were very angry that we were there, but many were curious and gave their information so that we can send them a New Testament.
We received contact information from 716 Jewish seekers and eighteen Jewish believers we had not known before. Twenty-two people prayed with us to receive Jesus, fourteen of whom were Jewish. Campaigners handed out 33,890 broadsides, connected with 632 people as they went door-to-door, and spoke to 3,990 by phone.
Reflections, Reports and Photos of the Shfela BYG Israel Campaign
|Click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture below. Scroll down for reports.|
Campaigners Reflections and Reports
“Everything we do here is tilling the soil so that the gospel can keep going forward in this land. Every police report against abuse paves the way so that we have the right to share. A security guard twisted my arm as she tried to take away my broadside tracts when a hostile mob formed against us. Just as it seemed we might be seriously hurt, the police showed. This was a miracle because the police had not been showing up when called. Nevertheless, T’zaki and I were thrown out of the city because the security guard lied and told them I had hit her. The worst part was spending four hours at the police department filing our statements.
“An elderly lady got out of her car and began yelling because she didn’t like our banner. She was calling for the police, saying that what we were doing is illegal, [it was not illegal.] She called for reinforcements; three guys came and proceeded to destroy our banner. I was taking photos and she grabbed my camera and threw it on the concrete. The police watched the property being destroyed and did not intervene.”
In the midst of all the balagan over the banner, a minivan full of Muslim young men pulled over. Meir and I went to talk to them and two of them gave their contact information, wanting the New Testament in Arabic.”
“As a man was drove driving by our banner, he attempted to spit at us, not realizing that his window was up!” [Ed note: that That one was a little gross, but it really is a metaphor for the opposition. Those who aim to harm us are always harming themselves more, regardless of where their blows (or spit) lands.]
Also from Casey:
“I wandered away and went near the bus stop and saw a lady reading our broadside. So I engaged her in conversation and asked if she was looking for the Messiah. She said she was really looking to be healthy. I explained how Jesus came to heal her from her sin and she agreed to pray. Afterwards she hugged me and said that her daughter [or perhaps she said sister] is also a believer. I know that I was there just to catch the fruit. Her name is Lena.
“I had been making phone calls, meeting with a lot of rejection. Then I dialed the last number of the night and instead of the ‘no’ I expected, the man, Amit, allowed me to share the gospel with him. He said he was religious Orthodox so I started telling him the prophecies from Daniel. He asked me, ‘How do you know it’s Yeshua?’ And we talked further. He was so calm and humble as I shared with him; I asked him if he knew who I was talking about and he said, ‘Yeshu… the one who was crucified.’ As the conversation was ending, he said, ‘Please take my number and call me.’ When I told him that my husband would call him again, he was very pleased. Please pray for his salvation.”
“Lots happened in one day. Before we went door-to-door, I started to call and one lady received Jesus on the telephone. Another gave me permission to send her a New Testament. Then we began visiting people and one woman told me ‘I’m not sinner.’ I replied, ‘You must be God.’ And of course she acknowledged that she wasn’t. I explained that God alone is without sin. In the end she prayed to receive Jesus. The last home we visited, two people were home and they listened carefully to all we said. Both of them received Jesus! Last but not least, a Gentile employed as a home attendant to a Jewish person we came to visit also received the Lord.”
“I gave a young man wearing a set of iPod earphones a broadside. He took it and then invited me to listen to what he had on his iPod. As I took the ear buds, I heard, ‘man shall not live by bread alone.’ This young man was searching! His parents are religious but he is open to the truth and wants to know more about Jesus. His name is Tomer.”
“As we were bannering, three Orthodox young people charged out of their car and tried to grab the banner from the team. A policeman came and told them that even if they didn’t agree with what we were saying, we had the right to be there. Two of our opposition then tried to block the banner from people’s view by holding up a large plastic bag and a broken umbrella that they had pulled from the trash. The police told the Orthodox that they were simply drawing more attention to us, helping our cause. But still, they tried to block the banner. Suddenly Sergio surprised us all (and himself, too) by saying that they can cover the banner but they cannot cover his mouth. He recalled a chapel message from Ezekiel 3 and told the opposition that the blood of those whom they prevented from hearing the gospel would be on their hands . . . and one man was visibly shaken by this. Sergio then proceeded to shout with a strong voice the message on the banner: ‘Yeshua, the Messiah, King of the Jews! Yeshua, the Messiah, King of the Jews!” The opposition soon left.
“We were doing music in City Park in Rishon and it was great! One of our campaigners, Yuri, is a professional violinist and as he played Ha Tikvah (the Israel National Anthem) and other Jewish songs many people (mostly Russian) came to hear him. He even took requests! We all were reminded of the verse ‘and a child will lead them’ (Isaiah 11:6b) because the kids were the first coming to hear. They even began to dance, and soon their mothers/grandmothers/caretakers came to watch. They didn’t seem to mind that we wore Jews for Jesus T-shirts, and after a while we were able to speak to several people and even got a contact or two. Then a couple of religious women came to stop us. They were yelling that what we were doing was illegal. They called the police, which was good, because when the police arrived and saw what we were doing, they told them to leave us alone! Begrudgingly they did.”
“We were stickering (putting gospel stickers up on public kiosks and boards where others post bills) at about 2:30 AM and I had just finished my area when the commotion started. Casey and Steve were still working on theirs, and Elizabeth was cleaning up the litter. I was on the way to the car when I heard noise and someone running. Suddenly Peter (who had driven the car and was waiting for us) called to Steve and Casey to get into the car. Elizabeth was still cleaning up the trash. I ran back, grabbed her arm and said, ‘Get into the car!’ Which she did—making a perfect swan dive right into the back seat. As the car doors closed, I heard rocks hitting our car. As Peter sped away, four or five were in hot pursuit and chased us through two lights. Nothing was broken, though the car did have one baseball sized dent in it.”
On our last day of the campaign we decided to do a walk through of each town that had been included in our campaign territory. All of the teams went out in ‘colors’ (our Jews for Jesus T-shirts) and were instructed to simply be walking billboards but not to pass out tracts or seek to engage people. Our purpose was simply to demonstrate peacefully that we were still here and that we had not been chased or frightened away. The first place Sergio’s team stopped, one of our campaigners was immediately approached by an interested woman who gave her contact information to learn more. Soon after, the opposition showed up, and eight religious men surrounded the team, yelling and screaming for them to leave. Sergio recognized one of the men who, earlier in the campaign, had attacked and threatened him saying, ‘If you ever show your face here again, you’ll see what will happen.’ Sergio took some satisfaction in having the opportunity to look this man in the eye once more and see what would come of his threat… nothing did.
“Another team was doing their walk through inside the Rehovot mall when several young religious men hit and pushed Vovo (not a large man) to the ground. One of the seven was on top of him and was beginning to choke him. Vovo’s teammate, Steve (a large man) intervened and easily ‘rolled’ the opposition off of him. Steve said the guys looked very frightened, thinking perhaps he would fight back, but of course he didn’t. An Israeli soldier came at that point and scolded the opposition saying ‘I don’t agree with what they believe either, but they have every right to be here in peace.’ It was encouraging to hear the soldier’s words, reminding us that as people see the way the opposition behaves (and the way we respond) it’s a story to them.”