Our team of twelve Israeli believers in Jesus ended their journey having had 270 gospel interactions (explaining that they are Jews who believe in Jesus); 305 gospel conversations (having some interaction concerning belief in Jesus) and 40 Visits (a lengthy conversation where the gospel is discussed more in depth, including mention of Scriptures). They also gave ten New Testaments and eight “Yeshua” books (explaining Messianic prophecies) to people who were especially interested to learn more.
Two especially encouraging things about this year’s Israeli Massah:
- The enthusiasm of many Israelis to continue using what they learned about reaching their peers with the gospel
- The wonderful potential of following up with many of the people they witnessed to when they get back to Israel, which is made that much greater by the Moishe Rosen Center
Here are some highlights from the last part of the trip:
Team leader Eli Birnbaum reports, “We walked to a town called Pulga, found a place to stay and went to a restaurant. Immediately I was asked, ‘So what is your story?’ I grabbed the chance and shared the gospel, ‘So you’re missionaries,’ the guy said. I answered, ‘Always. We must share God’s love.’ We then got into a great conversation and gave away a book. We continued to sit at that corner and, as groups of Israelis came up, we got to share with them.
|Boris at open mic|
“Then back in Manali, we were able to participate in an open mic. Team member Boris sang the song ‘Eizo Mein Ahvava Zot,’ which talks about Y’shua going to the cross to pay for our sins. This brought up a lot of conversations. The open mic is always packed with about 40-50 Israelis every night.
“During a bus ride, the team was sharing with two Israeli guys that we were Jewish believers in Jesus traveling together. Immediately they called their five Israeli friends over and told them, ‘You need to hear this.’ I then got to share the gospel with them and said that each of us has a responsibility before God and that although we have teachers, we are all responsible to study the Scriptures for ourselves. This tapped into a big discussion that they told me had been going on for days now; they said I had come just in time. I found myself in the midst of a heated discussion of a group of young people who were trying to determine the right way to worship God. It was an incredible encounter and, as I left, one of the guys said, ‘I need to read up on a lot of the things you said. You have enlightened me. I appreciate your way of worship.’”
|Some Israelis we shared with at a
friend’s coffee house
Shoshana and I took a day off to celebrate our anniversary, but the team continued to share the gospel, meet new people and start planning for Shabbat at a ministry house run by friends of JFJ. Sixteen Israelis showed up. Randy and I met a dozen people at the guesthouse where we were staying and brought them with us to celebrate Shabbat. Again, I briefly shared the gospel during kiddush. Everyone felt at home, and we had conversations galore. Some people heard the gospel for the first time. Shoshana and Barbara had an intense conversation with two young women. They showed them prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures, and the women were open enough to gladly receive a New Testament each. Even a guy who had not seemed curious or open during Shabbat dinner had a long talk with team member Yam the next morning over breakfast and accepted a New Testament.
“So many times we met people we had either seen in another town or who had heard of our team. I have also overheard conversations of five or six people at a time talking about us and what we believe. Many people want to continue to talk with us and are digging deeper.
“Our last night in Manali we hosted our own open mic at the coffee house run by our Christian friend. About 40 people showed up. Team members Randy and Boris played a few songs, and then I did a comedy routine. At the end of the act I challenged the audience to consider that believing in the most famous Jew in the world is much more Jewish than all the dope smoking, yoga, meditation, etc. that they are doing. I then challenged them to read the New Testament. We ended the time with a joyous jam session. Many people joined in playing guitars, drums and even a flute! We got into lots of conversations. Some of our team members did worship, and my comedy routine worked well. We also handed out chocolates while introducing people to the Uriel 23 Facebook page, which is set up for the gallery/venue at the Rosen Center.”