Thanks for praying for our High Holiday events and for our Massah programs. We’ve got some holiday highlights and a great report from Massah South America. Also, if you’ve been wanting to read “Called to Controversy” socially, you no longer have to have an iPad or iPhone to do so. Read on!

Holiday events and outreaches.

We were excited to receive the following report from our Moscow branch leader, Maxim Ammosov:

“On September 29, we conducted our Sukkoth celebration. We had 80 people in the room, including about twenty Jewish seekers. Seven people had come for the first time to one of our events. Our program included a viola soloist presentation and a vocal soloist as well as our own musical group leading the celebration. Our joy was complete when two Jewish men answered the altar call! One of them, Vladimir, is a brother of our outreach worker Victoria Negrimovskaya, who serves with us in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Both new believers returned for our next Shabbat meeting on October 6. Praise the Lord! Please pray for them to be growing in faith.”

It was also great to hear the following from our New York branch:

Rebekah Pill reported,

“On the second day of Rosh Hashanah a number of us went to some of the more Jewish neighborhoods of Manhattan to share greetings for the New Year. We handed out bright green apple-flavored honey sticks that we’d attached to business-sized cards. On one side was our wish for a sweet new year (5773 according to the Jewish calendar), with the information for the Jews for Jesus New York center printed on the other side.

“It was wonderful to wish so many New Yorkers a sweet year, and to have positive interactions with some of our fellow Jewish ‘Manhattanites.’ I had an opportunity to talk with a German woman named Irma who was raised culturally Lutheran. She had always assumed that she was a Christian, though she had never given much thought to Jesus outside of this cultural identity. Recently (in the last month), an ailing aunt decided that it was time to reveal the family’s true identity–they are Jewish!

“Irma, now in her early 70s, found herself entering 5773 considering Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year for the first time. She is recalibrating who she is and what she thinks about God. We had the opportunity to speak about the importance of Jesus and the importance of finding one’s identity in God first. I prayed with her that she would be able to navigate this new information and come through it with a greater understanding of who God is and a greater desire to know Jesus. Please pray with me for Irma to become a new creation and that Lutheran or Jewish, she would want to find her identity as a follower of Yeshua.”

Aaron Abramson added,

“I met a Hebrew-speaking Holocaust survivor at our Rosh Hashanah service and invited her to our Sukkoth celebration (with a booth in our backyard in Midtown Manhattan!). I was glad that she not only came, but is open to meet and study the Scriptures. Pray we will connect and that our meeting will be fruitful.”

Praise report from Massah South America

Jews for Jesus staff members Eli and Shoshana Birnbaum led a team of nine Israelis on Massah South America this summer. Eli reports,

“Shoshana and I arrived in Argentina on August 18th. We were able to get our bearings and meet our hosts from the Evangelical Baptist Mission. The team arrived a few days later, along with Aaron Abramson (our New York branch leader who has been involved in Massah from the start). We spent the first few days going over basic evangelism training and went to do a sortie (tract-passing expedition) at the train station on our third day, using a Hebrew-Spanish broadside. We did a few more outreaches, which included handing out invitations to the event we were hosting at the Sababa Messianic Center along with our hosts. About 29 people showed up to the event, including a Jewish seeker from New York. 

Our training time in Argentina dealt with people’s fears about evangelism as well as touching on discipleship topics, apologetics and Bible study. The team was very blessed to have Aaron with us as he connected with them and really encouraged them in their faith. 

Our first stop after training in Argentina was Lima, Peru, and we went straight to a hostel run by Israelis. The size of our team immediately brought attention to us and we were able to share at least for a brief moment with most of the guests. That Friday I was asked to do the Kiddush (traditional Jewish blessing over the celebratory bread and cup) for the whole hostel. 

After hanging out in Lima for two days we headed to Cusco, the “Israeli South American capital.” We went to a hostel where at least 30 other people were staying. The team was a little hesitant in starting to share their faith, but with the help of some more experienced evangelists on the team, everyone began engaging in conversations. We then split up into two teams: four of us joined 25 other Israelis on a rafting trip, and the rest went on a horseback riding trip. During this week we had over 70 gospel conversations and about ten visits (more in-depth conversations).

Another week we split the team up further as smaller groups were able to meet even more people. All of the team visited Machu Picchu. Before we left, we spoke about doing a Rosh Hashanah event on Sunday evening, September 16. Scott, an American missionary we connected with, agreed to host us at his place.

That Sunday the whole team was back from our various trips and we began preparing the meal. This was a long day’s work but was very worth it as eleven Jewish guests showed up, each knowing who we were, but wanting a more relaxed homey feeling for the holiday. (There were four Rosh Hashanah events going on in the city.) Later, many people told us that they would have preferred coming to our event had we publicized it, (we only promoted by word to mouth). Nonetheless we were packed out in Scott’s room. I gave a short gospel message from the traditional passage, the Akedah (Genesis 22). The whole room was attentive and listening. We spent the rest of the evening (from about 7-11pm) sharing the gospel with all our guests.

One guest, Andreas, was an Israeli from a Latin American Jewish family of believers. Unfortunately, the congregation his parents attended fell off the spectrum of sound theology and eventually closed its doors. One of our teammates who was able to sit and study the Bible with him challenged him to visit a Jerusalem congregation when he returns. I also challenged him that God hadn’t given up on him, and there was a reason he had met us.

Two of our guests were a brother and sister who were out trekking that day; they wouldn’t have celebrated the holiday if we hadn’t met at the hostel where we were staying. I invited them to join us and was very happy they showed up; we got to spend about an hour talking to them about the validity of the New Testament.

Two women who were very fascinated with our team stayed until the last moment, and thanked us for a tremendous evening. Later that week we were able to give them each a New Testament. I pray that our relationship with them will continue as we follow up on their reading.

After the holiday, we met as a team and got refreshed spiritually. That night a team of five went to La Paz, Bolivia, while four stayed in Cusco and Shoshana and I joined a group that was going to Machu Picchu. 

The team that stayed in Cusco organized another meal and had fifteen Jewish guests–they shared the gospel with them for about two hours. The team in La Paz split up and joined other Israelis on the trail. Shoshana and I also got to share with the team we were with.

It has been an incredible time; I have enjoyed seeing the team grow as they looked for opportunities to share Yeshua. We recorded conversations with 173 people and interacted with at least 50 more. We gave out seven New Testaments.

I am excited to continue the relationships we began in South America, and to see the impact it may have on our evangelism in Israel as people we met return to their homes there. These are people who I can’t imagine we would have been able to reach in any other way. Please pray that God will continue working in their hearts and give us opportunities for follow up.

An Inside Look at “Called to Controversy”

Now you can read “Called to Controversy The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus” socially via BookShout! on any Internet device! Get the free application at bookshout.com or from one of their applications.

(BookShout! has added native apps for Android in addition to the existing Apple iOS versions. They have also launched a web-based reader which allows you to access your books from any browser.)

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If you don’t have an electronic version of “Called to Controversy” you can purchase it from BookShout! Or, if you already have a Kindle or Nook edition, you can import it. BookShout! allows you to follow inside comments by the author (and others) that you won’t find anywhere else. You can also use it to set up a reading club and trade your own comments and observations with friends.

“Betrayed!” The story of Stan Telchin is still touching lives after three decades

This month marks 30 years since this extremely influential story book was published. This is a classic, timeless story of a Jewish businessman who felt shocked and betrayed when his daughter announced that she believed in Jesus. We’ve put together a retrospective of this amazing story; please check it out here and share it with your friends.