Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the most somber day in the Jewish year. So imagine the surprise of joy our staff in South Africa felt when God brought a new daughter into His kingdom on such a day! Missionary Aden Friedman reports from Johannesburg:
“My aunt April* first showed interest in what I do about two years ago. I invited her to come to Beit Y’shua, our local Messianic Congregation, which Jews for Jesus runs. April attended a Shabbat service, enjoyed it. Johannesburg branch leader Michael Sischy and I continued to reach out to her to talk about the Bible and about who Messiah is.
Aden shares the gospel message at the Yom Kippur service
I got April her own Bible, and she was so proud of it that she had it covered and her name printed on it. I asked her to read Isaiah 53. She did and exclaimed, “But this is Jesus!” without any prompting. Michael and I knew that God was at work in her heart.
Months later, we invited April to come to a Jews for Jesus Rosh Hashanah service. She attended with her daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. She really enjoyed it and expressed to me how nice it was that she was able to learn more about the biblical meaning of Rosh Hashanah.
To my delight and encouragement, April also attended our Yom Kippur service ten days later. I was the speaker, and so I decided to issue a challenge to receive Yeshua as Messiah during the service.
Inspired by the traditional Jewish prayer shawl (called a tallis), I invited anyone who wanted to get married to Jesus there and then to come up and stand under the chuppah, the canopy under which Jewish wedding ceremonies are performed, which we had made with the tallis. April came confidently forward and prayed a prayer of repentance and forgiveness for her sins on the Day of Atonement—how fitting.
I saw her recently and she was wearing a wedding ring for the first time in ten years! (Her husband has passed away.) And she said to me she is now married to Jesus! Praise the Lord for his indescribable gift this Yom Kippur!”
April receives Jesus as her atonement under the tallis.
*Not her real name