Three days of training and five days of outreach—that’s all it took for our team to connect with 150 as yet unbelieving Jews and 73 Gentiles who gave their contact info to hear more about Jesus. They handed out their entire supply of 44,000 broadside tracts.
We’re especially pleased that the outreach was a joint effort with St. Petersburg Central Baptist Church. Four JFJ staff (Maxim and Sveta from Moscow, Igor and Larissa from Odessa) two of our trained volunteers from Moscow (Marina and Valentina) and one of our former outreach workers, Elvira were joined by 35 volunteers, mainly from the church, throughout the week.
Following the street outreach, God continued to move! We had an evangelistic concert in partnership with the same local church. Outreach leader Maxim Ammosov says, “We expected 30 people to come; instead there were about 300. The whole first half of the concert we were bringing chairs for people who came and came. It was by God’s hand that we’d rented a room big enough!
“The church participated with their youth choir singing Jewish songs. Then I sang three songs, spoke about ‘the Bible and music’ and gave a brief gospel message with an altar call. About twenty people answered the altar call, but unfortunately we did not get to speak to everyone. We did speak to two Jewish people and one Gentile who prayed to receive Jesus that night, and they gave us their contact info. We also received contact info from sixteen new Jewish seekers and thirteen new Gentiles that night.’
Here are some highlights from Igor Barbanel, who is the director of all our branches in the former Soviet Union, and from Maxim, our Moscow branch leader.
Igor: “I was doing a sortie (handing out tracts) at the Chernyshevskaya metro station not far from the Jewish Community Center, praying that God would draw Jewish people who are interested in knowing Yeshua and even those who have been prepared to accept Him. Soon I met Eugene, whose father was Jewish. As we were speaking, a woman approached and began to interrupt. I turned the other way to continue the conversation with Eugene. A minute later the woman came up to me on the other side. It seemed she was trying to hinder me, so I paid no attention as I got Eugene’s contact info. When I turned to continue handing out my literature there was the same woman, standing in front of me. She held a tract in her hand and asked, ‘Could you give me one more?’
“It turned out that Gitya is Jewish and believed that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah, but did not know where to go from there. Finnish Christians had come to her mother’s home, and Gitya overheard as they witnessed to her. Gitya recognized herself as a sinner and wanted to be forgiven. I offered for her to pray the sinner’s prayer, and she repeated it after me. Crowds of people passed by, but Gitya kept praying! Praise God for answered prayer! Please pray for Gitya’s spiritual growth and for Eugene’s salvation.”
Maxim: “I was asking God to send me Jewish people who would be interested, and not be in a rush. I’d had some brief conversations and made a couple of contacts, but even those who gave their contact info were in a hurry. But God heard me! Two young people approached, saying, ‘Tell us, what is this about!’ I was happy to share the gospel in a relaxed manner, without having to rush. These two friends—Abram (Jewish) and Alexander (not-Jewish, but has some Jewish roots)—were students. After I shared the gospel with them and answered their questions they both wanted to read more information and left their contact information. Praise God!
“On a windy and cold day, people were running to their work and it was really hard to get anyone to stop and talk. But then Lena approached me with her questions and she wasn’t in a rush! Lena works at a Jewish community center and is very open to the gospel. She gave me her contact information and I invited her to our music event and was so happy to see her there two days later—sitting in the first row! I introduced her to our volunteer, Elvira, and they arranged a meeting for the next week. Praise God!”
Pastor Anton, one of the staff from the participating church, was very active during the whole project and is very enthusiastic about doing more joint outreaches with us. Please pray for fruitful follow-up and many more outreaches like this one!