Thank you for Praying!

Last month we promised a wrap-up and some photos from the three-week evangelistic campaign in Odessa. You might recall that it was marking Jews for Jesus’ twentieth year of ministry in Russia and Ukraine, which began in Odessa.

We’re delighted to tell you that, all told, our campaigners met 289 Jewish people who gave their contact information to hear more about Jesus, as well as 203 Gentiles also wanting to know more. Twenty-nine Jewish people prayed to receive Jesus and so did 76 Gentiles! The team handed out a total of 231,635 broadsides.

Here are some reports from the campaigners:

Elizabeth T.: “The people take broadsides willingly. I witnessed to a woman and her daughter about the love of God, and they both prayed to receive Yeshua. Another man who received the Lord many years ago said that, on reading our tract, he wants to change his life.”

Olga Vasserman: “I met with the mother of one of my schoolmates. She shed tears for her daughter’s salvation so we phoned her daughter and she repented in a prayer.

“A young fellow came up to me after hearing our concert the previous day. He said the singing touched his heart and he wanted information about our Saturday services.”

Nadya Komarkova: “A man and his wife prayed with me to receive Yeshua. Four Jewish people I met on the street said that they would come to our Shabbat meeting.”

Igor Barbanel: “I met a Jewish woman who was looking for Russian dolls to send to her family in Boston. Their neighbor in the States, a Syrian, has spoken to her about Jesus. The woman gave me her contact info.”

Alexey Kosin: “On an evening sortie (tract-passing expedition), I met a sister from the Baptist church. She wanted to see Avi Snyder. Fifteen years ago her neighbor had brought her to our Shabbat meeting and she heard Avi preach from Isaiah, chapter 6. The woman recalled how she shed tears as she prayed that day. She repented before God and was baptized, and has been living all these years with the Lord. It was so encouraging to hear about the fruit of our ministry.”

Valery Bolotov: “There were very few people on the street during our sortie in the Cheremushki district. I prayed and continued to try to hand out tracts, although almost nobody took them. Then the Lord blessed me by sending me four Jewish people who all were open to the gospel. They took DVDs with gratitude and left their addresses in order to receive literature about Jesus!”

Slavik Meyta: “I shared the gospel with a Jewish man during a sortie. He is from France and knows that there are Jews for Jesus in his country. He has also seen our missionaries in London … and now has met Jews for Jesus in Ukraine!”

Larissa Savelieva: “On a sortie, I met a man I had spoken with two years ago. He did not remember me, but I called him by his name, Pavel. Another man who was passing by us was surprised that I had remembered a virtual stranger’s name. We spoke a little, and he left me his contact information.”

Natasha Krouter: “We, the music team, sang in the street. After our performance and message about salvation, an elderly man said the sinner’s prayer. I wrote down his address and invited him to a service. He promised to come.

“I distributed tracts near the seashore and asked God for Jewish contacts. The Lord not only gave me two Jewish contacts, but I spoke to an aged Jewish man who eagerly gave his address, was glad to hear the gospel, and repented sincerely.”

Maxim Ammosov: “During a sortie, I started a conversation with an elderly Gentile man. He prayed with me to receive the Lord – then gave me the contact information for his Jewish sister-in-law.”

In addition to the street evangelism, the team had a parade, starting at the center of Odessa. Leonid Vasserman reported,

“Wearing bright orange Jews for Jesus T-shirts (inscribed in three languages), we marched in two columns of two, proceeding through the most crowded parts of the city and finishing the parade in front of a pizzeria back in the very center of Odessa. Many passers-by stopped to watch, some asked what it meant, and believers greeted us and blessed our work.

Leonid also reported on a celebration service at a local congregation:

“The Light of Messiah Messianic congregation offered us their Saturday service time and actively participated in preparation of the celebration service of the twentieth anniversary of Jews for Jesus in the former U.S.S.R. There were 350-400 people at the service, including local Jewish contacts we had invited. The program included a violin solo, music from the Central Baptist Church choir, the Light of Messiah congregational worship and dance groups, and a performance (also from Light of Messiah) of ‘Life in a Jewish Shtetl.’

“Three of the local pastors spoke and our colleagues Elizabeth T. and Galya Bogomolova gave their personal testimonies. I gave a PowerPoint presentation on the work of Jews for Jesus in the former Soviet Union. Igor Barbanel preached. Valentine Sviontek, the pastor of the Light of Messiah congregation, took up an offering on behalf of our ministry. The service was broadcast on the Internet and recorded on video.”