Campaign close ups . . . Lots more to come next month!
(Click on each photo to view a larger version.)
Sandy: I work as an admin assistant in the New York Branch and I answered a call from a man who had received one of our broadsides at Grand Central Station. Though not Jewish, he has great respect for the Jewish people. He wanted to ask a few questions about our ministry and he also shared about his journey. His wife is Catholic and he had attended her church but was looking for more. He had just bought a Bible. After asking him a few questions, I could tell that he believed in Jesus but had never had a spiritual rebirth. I asked him to turn to John 3 in his new Bible and I shared the simple gospel with him. He was so impressed with how clear the truth was. I asked him if he would like to pray and receive Jesus as his Savior-he said yes and he repeated the sinner’s prayer after me. It is amazing how ‘one plants, one waters and God gives the increase!’ He is faithful!”
Moishe, a Hassidic guy, called the New York office. He said he had questions and the staff invited him to come by. He took the train in from Queens and first met with Jeremiah and Sam, and together they looked at the prophecies in the book of Isaiah. Stewart then joined the group and took him through some other passages. He was very curious and told Stewart that he would come to the Bible study on Tuesday!
Sam: “I talked to a guy named Louis, who came up to me crying and asking questions about God and Jesus. So I explained the gospel and asked if he had ever received Jesus. He said he always prayed that God would accept him, but never felt like He really did. I explained that you only have to ask once, and the Holy Spirit will be given to you. And with tears in his eyes, Louis came to know Jesus as his Savior.”
David: “I met a man named Isaac in Union Square who spoke Yiddish. He had recently had a stroke and had forgotten much of what he had learned. I said, ‘I’m a Jew also, but I don’t speak Yiddish. However, I believe Jesus is the Messiah.’ Isaac told me he didn’t think his family would be happy if he became a believer. Isaac then told me that he had a son named David. I said, ‘That’s funny, because I have a son named Isaac.’ And Isaac the unsaved Jew said, ‘Well, you know what’s funny-I raised my son to be a Yankees fan and now he’s a Red Sox fan.’ And I replied, ‘Well that’s sort of funny because it’s kind of like me.’ And Isaac the Jew said, ‘What? You play for the other team?’ I said, ‘Well yah, sort of, but I am still playing baseball!’
“I was sortieing at 59th & Lexington. A woman who picked up one of our tracts off the ground handed it to me. I thanked her. Then she left but came back to talk. Maggie was raised a Catholic, but for a number of years had been an atheist. She recently decided she wants to connect with God, has read halfway through the book of Matthew and is open. I got her contact info and invited her to this week’s lecture.”
Ron: “A guy came and ripped up the broadside in front of my face. The next guy came up-same thing. The next person came up and said, ‘God bless you.’ And the next came up and was ready to receive Jesus! It showed me that even though we have opposition, God had planted someone to encourage me and someone right after to come and receive the Lord.
“I met Larry, who told me, ‘I’m a Muslim.’ I said, ‘Okay, but who do you think Jesus is?’ Larry prayed with me to receive the Lord.
“I approached Dwayne at a street fair and asked him if he knew who Jesus was. He said yes he did, and I asked if he knew Him as his personal Savior. Dwayne said no, he thought only 144 people could be saved. I told him Jesus was for everyone and shared Romans 3:23 with him, then asked Dwayne if he would like to receive Jesus as his personal Savior today. Dwayne said yes and prayed with me right in the middle of the street fair. He went away rejoicing, saying that he was going to go home and read his Bible.”
“I was on the Upper East Side and was on a break when a woman approached saying, ‘Help me, help me!’ She then explained that her boyfriend was in big trouble. I didn’t know what she might say next, but to my relief, she told me that she’s a believer, her boyfriend is Jewish, and she desperately wants him to believe in Jesus! Then her boyfriend, Alvin, showed up. I was able to present the gospel to him and he got saved! They both hope to come to our Tuesday lecture series.”
Alex: “Rebekah and I were on a sortie last night. I encouraged her to go and talk to a group of religious guys. She was a little reluctant but went ahead and asked Niv, an Israeli guy, ‘Have you ever read the New Testament?’ He responded, ‘Oh, I dabbled in the New Testament. I think He [Jesus] could be the Messiah, maybe.’ Rebekah said, ‘Are you serious?’ He gave her his contact information. Rebekah said, ‘Niv was one of the easiest contacts I ever got!’
“Our team of Russian-speaking Jews for Jesus went to Brighton Beach (where there are many Russian-speaking Jews). I met an older Jewish man who at first didn’t want the broadside but ended up taking it. Then he said to me, ‘Okay, so what does that mean?’ When I said it was about God, the man responded, ‘I don’t believe in God. I believe in numbers. If I can add it up, then it makes sense.’ So I took him to the book of Daniel and told him that it speaks of numbers, the dating of when the Messiah will come. The man said he would think about it.
“I tried to hand out as many tracts as possible during the Fourth of July celebration and wasn’t really expecting much by way of contacts. However, towards the end, around 10:15 PM, I heard someone with an Israeli accent say, ‘Mi Hu?’ I answered, ‘Y’shua.’ Then I had an animated conversation with two Israeli girls and one Israeli guy. They all wanted to know more about our faith and what it could mean for them. One of the women, Shelly, gave me her contact information.”
Ofer: “We were at Macy’s and there were numerous Israelis there. ‘What’s your name?’ I asked one of them. ‘Pele,’ he replied. I asked him if he knew where it was from. He did. (The Hebrew word ‘pele’ means ‘wonderful.’) He quoted Isaiah 9:6, and was open to finding out more about why we believe Jesus is that Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. I got his contact info.
“At Union Square, I met a 20-year-old Lubavitcher named Mendy. His parents had traveled to Brooklyn to the Lubavitcher headquarters to study. He had good questions and Amer got to share with him and invite him to our lecture series.”
Isaiah encountered two Orthodox men who asked him what Jews for Jesus was. Isaiah replied, ‘We’re Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah.’ They seemed open, but said they couldn’t talk long, so Isaiah gave them invitations to the lecture series about Jesus here at the branch. Both took them, but one threw it away saying, ‘My friends would kill me if I went to this.’ The other placed it in his pocket and walked away. Please pray for them.”
Tamar: “We were on the Upper East Side. I was on the corner, handing out broadsides, and gave one to a woman, Linda, who was in a helpless state. She really was looking for spiritual answers. Her father was Jewish and her mother was Catholic (very similar to my own situation) and so I was able to minister to her and eventually pray with her to receive the Lord.”
Sorcha Porter: “Tuesday night Jeremiah Zaretsky gave a lecture on Jesus’ title, ‘Prince of Peace’ and how we can tell that Y’shua is the Messiah, because he gives inner peace. The public was invited, but we were surprised when three Orthodox Jewish men walked in, including a Hassidic rabbi. After the lecture, there was a time for questions and answers, shmoozing and nosh. During the shmoozing time, I took the opportunity to speak with the Orthodox men. I asked the rabbi a few questions, including why he came to the lecture when he didn’t agree with the topic of discussion. He answered me by saying, ‘I teach the Jewish people and love them, and there are Jewish people, so I come.’
“After speaking with the rabbi, I turned around to see another Orthodox man standing behind me. I was holding my Bible, and he asked, ‘What is that, the red letter edition?’ I replied, ‘no, it’s the English Standard Version,’ and we got to talking. We talked about the Messianic prophecies and politics and our individual faith. He looked at me at one point and said, ‘Well, you understand, being a religious girl, even if someone brought you all the facts you’d still believe what you believe.’ I looked at him and said ‘No,’ which caught him off guard. I think he assumed that all us Jews for Jesus were closed-minded. I continued by saying, ‘If I were to be proven wrong, I would listen. I don’t think faith is something that should be practiced just for the sake of practice. I make my decisions based on truth, and if what I believe could be proven wrong, I would listen and stop practicing it.’ He was taken aback by my statement; he just kind of widened his eyes, looked confused and changed the subject. I continued talking with him and the other two men up until it was time to leave. They all said they would be back the next week to hear the next lecture about the Messiah. Please pray that they have ears to hear and hearts that are open to the truth of the gospel, that they might hear the truth and decide to follow it.
“Yesterday I was at the Staten Island Ferry site. I met this young guy sitting on a bench and asked him who Jesus is. Craig didn’t know. I gave him our proposal statement. He told me of problems in his life and finally he said to me, ‘I don’t know what to. I screw up all the time. What would you advise me?’ I told him that I didn’t have answers for his life, but that God did. So I said, ‘I would get down on my knees and ask God for help.’ He prayed with me to receive the Lord.”
Stewart assured the rest of the campaigners that even if someone throws your tract away, it doesn’t mean they are not interested. One such person called up the office and told Stewart that he threw a tract on the ground in front of a campaigner, and it bothered him enough to call. After Stewart’s conversation, the guy said he was coming to that night’s lecture.