Behold Your God Campaign
Our one-month WASHINGTON, D.C. Behold Your God campaign began August 18 and will end September 18. As of yesterday, September 14, the team has handed out 351,655 tracts, and received names and addresses of 28 Jewish people and 210 Gentiles who want to hear more about Jesus. We have also met 24 Jewish believers and 840 Gentile believers who want to hear more about our ministry. And one Jewish person and 27 Gentiles have prayed to receive Jesus.
From the start of the D.C. campaign, we’ve had amazing coverage by the media, all the way from national coverage on Fox news to an interview with a student from The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School today, with many local newspaper interviews and articles in between. Perhaps in part all the publicity is because this campaign is in our nation’s capital, but perhaps also it’s because our host church, McLean Bible, is well known in the area. Pastor Lon Solomon sits on our board of directors and he involved many people from his church in this outreach. But most of all, we know that the media is in God’s hands and as friends like you have prayed, we have been able to lift the name of Jesus in the newspapers, on the radio and on TV.
Challenges included a power outage at our campaign headquarters, and having our radio ad cancelled by one of the stations. In fact, on Wednesday, September 8, we held a protest rally in front of the Clear Channel office building in Rockville, MD. They canceled our radio ads after we tried to work with their demands and we produced three versions for them to air. The ads played on six other stations in various forms, but a top executive at Clear Channel canceled them after getting just 8 complaints.
It seemed like the media had settled down, but towards the end we’ve had another flurry: Campaign leader Stephen Katz had four interviews yesterday: The Washington Jewish Week, The Baltimore Jewish Times, The 700 Club and The Wheaton Gazette. Pray for the articles that will be printed over the next couple of days.
Second in command Larry Dubin had a team at the Capitol South metro station at lunchtime when a crew came from Christian Broadcasting Network to film them. They then came to our headquarters in D.C. to take some footage of what actually happens behind the scenes.” The show will air Wednesday morning at 10AM EST on CBN.
Our two-week DENVER campaign began August 29 and went through September 12. The team handed out 113,619 tracts, and received names and addresses of 37 Jewish people and 118 Gentiles who want to hear more about Jesus. We have also met 52 Jewish believers and 676 Gentile believers who want to hear more about our ministry. And 32 Jewish people and 53 Gentiles have prayed to receive Jesus.
We were also surprised at the amount of media coverage we had in Denver, albeit local. The “Intermountain Jewish News” had several articles warning against us and printed a letter from one of our staff in response. The “Denver Post” and the “Rocky Mountain News” each interviewed campaign leader Robyn Wilk and printed stories. The Associated Press also interviewed Robyn, and we saw the article in the “Daily Camera,” a Boulder paper. Robyn was also interviewed in television segments that showed on channels 6 and 9.
We were thrilled to have two local messianic congregations standing with us, Roeh Israel, and Yeshuat Sion. Several people from Roeh Israel went on the streets with us. Chaim Urbach, leader of Yeshuat Sion, was a big help in our showings of “Survivor Stories,” where seven Jewish Holocaust survivors who believe in Jesus give their testimonies. Chaim’s father, Eliezer, is one of the seven. We had planned to interview him following our showings in Denver and Boulder, however his health did not permit him to participate. Chaim graciously stepped in to help.
Our three-week DETROIT campaign just started on Saturday, September and goes through September 24. As of yesterday, the team has handed out 50,625 tracts, and received names and addresses of 29 Jewish people and 97 Gentiles who want to hear more about Jesus. We have also met 6 Jewish believers and 244 Gentile believers who want to hear more about our ministry. And 1 Jewish person and 22 Gentiles have prayed to receive Jesus.
Detroit BYG is the venue we chose to launch showings of “Forbidden Peace: the Story Behind the Headlines.” This film features Tass, a Palestinian believer and Moran, an Israeli believer, as well as several other Palestinian and Israeli believers, who tell their stories. Unfortunately, one of the major venues cancelled the showing, but we have still had two showings to date. Also, Tass has a group of Arab believers going out with us to hand out tracts. His group is called “Hope for Ishmael.” What a blessing to work side-by-side with them!
Another distinctive of this campaign is the delivery of 250 Rosh Hashanah baskets. If you’ll look at the photo link for Detroit, you’ll see them being assembled. Murray Tilles, former Jews for Jesus staff member and founder of Light of Messiah Ministry in Atlanta came up with the idea. Christians give names and addresses of Jewish friends whom they would like to receive a Jewish New Years basket. Jewish believers then deliver the baskets on their behalf. Loren Jacobs, previously on staff with Jews for Jesus, has been leading a local messianic congregation, Shema Yisrael, for many years. Loren is serving as chaplain for our Detroit BYG campaign, but he and his wife also personally delivered 30 of the baskets. One well-known Jewish public figure greeted Loren and said he’d been wanting to speak with him for some time. Pray as Loren makes plans to visit him.
If you want to hear more about D.C., Denver and Detroit, read on . . . Or, if that’s enough BYG news for you, scroll to point 3, where you’ll find a link to fun photos of evangelism at the Republican National Convention in New York City.
P.S. San Diego BYG begins on September 17! Please pray for Rob Wertheim and the San Diego team.
Campaign Stories: Washington, D.C.
Claudia reports, “This morning, I was at Federal Triangle in D.C. handing out broadsides. A Jewish woman went past and took one; then she came back. She had tears in her eyes when she asked me if I was a Jewish believer in Jesus. She is also for Jesus and thought she was pretty much alone out there. She could barely contain her joy (in fact, she hugged me twice) when I told her how to find other Jewish believers. It was like meeting a sister.”
Elizabeth reports, “The sortie (tract passing expedition) was almost over when a Jewish man started a conversation with me. He had seen the movie, `The Passion of the Christ,’ and was really open to the gospel and to receiving further information. Please pray that he comes to know Yeshua as his Savior.”
Michelle reports, “On a sortie near a park in D.C., I handed a man a broadside, and he walked away. Later, I was walking through the park and saw the same man. When I slowed down to give him a smile, he said, `Hey, you’re the one who gave me that pamphlet.’ I began to share the gospel, and he told me he was a Catholic who fell away from the Lord during some hard times. I had the opportunity to pray with him, and he asked me to send him some information so that he could find a church. He said he was thankful that someone was out `doing this’ and that my prayers meant more to him than I realized. Please pray that the Lord would get ahold of his life in a new way.
David S. reports, “On a recent sortie, I had the opportunity to speak with a young woman who said that she had been raised in a Christian home but had rejected Jesus because `it wasn’t fair’ that only He had the absolute truth. Now, however, she was hungry and wanted to know more. God was obviously working in her heart, despite her tough exterior with multiple piercings and tattoos.”
Lynn reports, “While broadsiding, (handing out tracts) I met Aaron. He liked our broadside and explained that he was raised as an Orthodox Jews but doesn’t really `buy into it.’ He went on to say that he believes that Jesus performed miracles and even walked on water! He was happy to give us his name and address for further information.”
Campaign leader Stephen reports, “Tonight, on the way to doing some evangelism, a young woman in her twenties commented on our shirts, asking how Jews and Jesus could go together. She turned out to be an Israeli who just finished her degree here. She stopped believing in God at 16 when she toured the concentration camps in Poland. I talked with her for a few minutes and by the end of our conversation she gave me her address so I could send a DVD of `Survivor Stories,’ a documentary in which seven Jewish Holocaust survivors tell of how they came to faith in Jesus. Pray for her. Her name is Shoshi.”
Campaign Stories: Denver
Heather prayed with two Gentiles to receive the Lord outside of Taste of Colorado (we’re not allowed to hand out tracts inside). One of them, Francisco, seemed especially eager to know how he could grow in his new faith and commitment. Please pray for him.
Steve witnessed to 18-year-old Gary (not Jewish) at the airport, and gave him a card that spells out the whole plan of salvation and gives the sinner’s prayer in case someone is ready to repent. An hour later, Gary came back and wanted to pray the prayer. Heather had been on her lunch break, praying that Steve would have the opportunity to lead someone to the Lord.
Allen was grabbing a quick sandwich at Pearl Street Mall in Boulder when someone approach him and asked for a tract. The person later returned with a friend to hear more-the friend left, and Allen led the original man (not Jewish) to the Lord.
Ruth was at the Pearl Street Mall and heard some young people arguing about Jews for Jesus: `They are Jewish’ `No they aren’t they are Christians.’ She called over and said, `Why don’t you ask them, they would probably tell you what they are.’ That’s how Ruth met Erika, a Jewish girl who seemed somewhat open. Ruth asked who she thought Jesus was, and Erika said, `A good man, a prophet, but nothing more.’ When asked how she had reached that conclusion she got a little flustered. `I don’t know, I’m JEWISH.’ Ruth said, `So it is tradition to believe that Jesus can’t be the Messiah,’ to which Erika agreed. Ruth told her that we are here to challenge people to think beyond tradition and find out for themselves who Jesus is. She asked if Erika would be willing to read more about why we think He is the Messiah, and Erika said, `Sure.’ Unfortunately, when Ruth asked if she was 18 Erika said no. Ruth apologized and explained that we could not give her anything further without her parents’ permission. Erika nodded and said, `That’s cool.’ Ruth challenged her to keep thinking and to check us out when she is 18. Please pray for Erika.
While “cold calling” (from the phone book) veteran campaigner Steve K. had a first time experience. Someone began singing to him, “Jesus freak, leave me alone, you have reached a Jewish home, go away . . . ” Campaigner Karen M. was somewhat non-plussed when she asked the little high-pitched voice at the other end of the phone if mommy or daddy was available . . . only to discover that she was talking to an 87-year-old woman!
From Ruth, “Pray for Jennifer, a Jewish girl who was on her way to work but said she had heard of us and really wanted to talk with us further. As far as we know, she never did. Pray for God to continue working in her heart.”
Penny met an Orthodox man, David, with his two kids at the airport and asked if she could sit down for a few minutes and talk to him. David said yes and as they got into a conversation, Penny began telling him some of the prophecies that point to Jesus. David wrote down the references to check them out for himself. Penny thanked him for taking time to talk to her and said, “I really care about you.” David hesitated and then said, “Thank you. We don’t get a lot of that in our community.” Pray for David’s salvation.
If you go to the link for photos, you’ll see a couple of pictures of our bus stop ads. Jody R. called in after seeing one. “I just watched `The Passion’ last night and it moved me to tears. The very next day on my way to class I saw your ad. I think God is sending me signs!” Jody, a single Jewish mom, gave her name, address and phone number for further contact. Please keep her in prayer.
Martin and Doris saw our newspaper ad for the “Survivor Stories” showing in Boulder and called saying they wanted to come but needed a ride. Our Co-Laborer Megan picked up Martin and Doris and they were just wonderful. Both Holocaust survivors, Martin was actually in one of the camps. In fact he does some speaking on the subject. He is also an artist and they invited whoever might be interested to come and see the artwork.
Robyn and Larry stayed in Denver a couple of days after the campaign to help get the local follow-up people in gear. They went to visit Martin and Doris and had a very good time. Martin had questions and they were able to look at Scripture and pray together. Martin also told Robyn that he wanted to talk more with “that guy from Israel.” That guy from Israel is Chaim Urbach, the son of one of the survivors in the film as mentioned. Please pray for God to draw this dear couple to Himself.
Campaign Stories: Detroit
Shelley reports, “While at the Beats and Eats festival, I spoke to a man who did not want to talk more because he said it brought back uncomfortable memories about Catholicism, but wanted to keep the broadside, because he said, `I will give it to my shrink. He’s Jewish.'”
Dawn reports, “It was an interesting day on that hot afternoon during the BYG campaign at U of M in Ann Arbor. What a wonderful blessing it was that day to meet Lon, a young Jewish student. He was circling around me on his bike glancing at my T-shirt and watching me distribute broadsides. Finally, he hesitantly parked his bike and came over to me. He sheepishly asked, `What is a Jew for Jesus?’ As I looked into his searching eyes, I proclaimed the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Lon left his name and address with me, saying he wanted proof of who this supposed Messiah Jesus is. Please pray that God will work in his heart to reveal Himself to Lon.”
Janice reports, “I spoke with a young Jewish man who was sitting with his Gentile girlfriend. He saw my Jews for Jesus T-shirt and shouted, `Jews for Jesus, that is an oxymoron!’ I smiled and said, `I’m not an ox and I’m not a moron!’ I explained that I am also a Jew and I shared some Scripture with him. I saw his walls start to come down as I felt the Spirit of the Lord speaking through me. Please pray for Gidyson. He gave me his e-mail address and said he would read more information.”
Also from Janice (the next two stories) “A petite, young, beautiful Muslim girl with a pink headscarf approached me at the University of Michigan in Dearborn. Her eyes told me that she was searching. She graciously took the broadside that I was handing her. I asked her who she thought Jesus is. She told me that she thought that He was a prophet. I told her yes and that He is much more than that. I proceeded to tell her the gospel message and asked her if she wanted to receive Him as her personal Savior. She said yes and prayed the prayer of salvation. I saw her countenance change. She glowed. The burdens were lifted. The Spirit of the living God was so thick between this Muslim and me a Jewish woman. We embraced and I told her that God loves her.
“I spoke on the phone with Esther, a Jewish widow who is 86 years old. She opened up to me and told me that she lives in a senior citizen housing place with people of all colors, races and religions. She was seeing the world from a different perspective now. I invited her to see the movie `Forbidden Peace.’ She doesn’t drive and she doesn’t go anywhere with strangers. I would love to show this film at the community room in her senior citizen housing building. Please pray about this and for Esther and her salvation.”
Bruce reports, “I had a great talk with a health club director, Aaron. He is very open to the Messiahship of Jesus. He believes that He died for our sins and that He is the Son of God. He could not grasp the ideal of the Resurrection. I plan on sharing more Scripture with him and explaining it in more detail within the next week or so.”
Julia reports, “I met two Jewish girls at U of M on Wednesday. They stopped and asked me how on earth could I be Jewish and believe in Jesus? While they stood asking questions, a young man from Jews for Judaism was cutting across our conversation with his anti-missionary repertoire. Despite the distraction, the young girls were keen to hear my story of how I came to decide that Jesus is the promised Messiah. They took a broadside from me and I noticed them speaking to another Jews for Jesus campaigner a few minutes later.”
Here is a copy of the Jewish New Year Tract we’ve been handing out.