Friends in Unexpected Places
Bob and Emily Seemar recently traveled to Indiana, where they had several opportunities to speak in a few churches. One of these meetings was a home group at which there were about 16 Burmese Christians from Myanmar, and Bob and Emily had to speak through an interpreter. Bob spoke about Chosen People Ministries and Emily shared her testimony. They did not know how these dear people could possibly identify with them and our ministry. But to their surprise and delight, the group turned out to love God’s chosen people! They even quoted Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” What a blessing!
Making Them Disciples...
Our Midwest director continues to meet regularly with a Jewish man who recently came to faith, helping him understand what it is to be a believer in Yeshua. He was introduced to the ministry by one of the men who came to Israel on a tour. Join us in lifting him up in prayer.
A Life Worth Living
Neal and Kim Surasky, who serve in the Washington, DC area, recently shared: “We recently attended a funeral of a friend who died from brain cancer. His ‘going home’ celebration was attended by over 600 people and many were not yet believers. I know that the Lord was pleased, as each of his friends and family took the stage to speak of how his life was such a strong testimony for Messiah! May the seeds that were planted that day grow abundantly!”
From the Corners of the World Back to Jerusalem
Jorge Sedaca, our Canadian Director, shared the following: “The Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) met in Jerusalem this year. Leaders of missions and other organizations working with Jewish people met for a week of worship, teaching, discussions, fellowship and future planning. We also got a glimpse of the evangelism efforts being carried out in different ways by various groups to reach Jews all over the world with the Gospel. The final day we approved a declaration that speaks to the importance of Jewish evangelism as we get closer to Messiah’s return. Pray with us that God blesses our efforts and strengthens our resolve.”
Jesus Boldly Preached on Campus
Robert Walter, our Director of the Feinberg Messianic Center, had a fruitful evangelistic conversation at New York University with Abraham,* a 19-year-old Jewish Marxist who was using street art to call for a revolution. As they spoke about the state of the world, Abraham admitted that mankind is sinful. Robert began sharing with Abraham that we will never have true peace until the Kingdom of God comes down to us. Abraham balked at the idea and went on to question why in other cultures there seems to be a higher moral standard. The example he gave was that of a Native American chief sacrificing his own food in order to save his whole tribe from starvation. Robert was able to use this to make the connection with God’s kingdom. Just as the chief willingly laid down and sacrificed his own sustenance, his own survival, for the sake of others, so too God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Robert shared the entire Gospel with him and he listened. Please pray for Abraham’s salvation!
Reaching Israeli Backpackers in Argentina
For the next six months, our worker Steven A. will be serving at a guest-house ministry in Bariloche, Argentina. This guesthouse is only open from November to May and many backpackers will hear the Gospel. Please pray for Steven and his ministry. Typically, these backpackers are very open to discussing spiritual issues. Pray that this guesthouse will be seen as a safe place to discuss religion, God, and of course, Jesus the Messiah.
Isaiah 53 Continues to Make an Impact
Ben Alpert, who serves in South Florida, was blessed with a special time of outreach by attending “Jewish Heritage Day” at the Miami Marlins baseball game. Because the game was against the New York Mets, there were thousands of Jewish people from New York in attendance. Many of them were taking pictures of Ben and his group with their Isaiah 53 t-shirts on and visiting Isaiah53.com on their smart phones. They had several great conversations and were even invited to afternoon prayer by a group of Orthodox Jewish men. Please pray for the seeds that were planted as a result of this outreach.
Physical and Spiritual Healing in Germany
Vladimir Pikman, who leads the Chosen People Ministries Messianic congregation in Germany, reported that a Jewish member of the congregation became seriously ill and fell into a coma with the expectation that she would soon die. Her daughter, Ilena,* came from California to say goodbye to her. The mother was praying for Ilena and had been sharing the Gospel with her for a number of years, but Ilena was not interested. Because of the circumstances of her mother’s illness, Ilena decided to attend the Yom Kippur services at the congregation.
While the congregation was praying and worshipping, the Spirit of God touched Ilena’s heart, and she decided to pray. God instantly responded to her, filling her soul with joy, light, love, and the understanding that she is forgiven! She could not stop talking about new life with Yeshua! And, at that very moment as the congregation prayed with her for her mother at the service, her mother opened her eyes and woke up from the coma! She left the critical care unit and was taken to a regular room. The doctors could not believe what they saw—but we can!
Israeli Journalist Experiences the Love of Christians
Scott Brown shares an encouraging story from New Zealand and the work at the Zula Lodge: “God’s blessings continue to overflow in our backpacking ministry. Eitan,* an Israeli journalist, was so moved by the free accommodation and loving hospitality that he experienced that he is writing an article about the Zula Lodge. He asked me dozens of questions about my faith as a Jewish believer in Jesus, which gives evidence of his own seeking heart.
Eitan was particularly moved by the love of the Christians in New Zealand. He wrote in his article:
“As an Israeli, I was very surprised to see the amazing love and support I was given by the [Christians in NZ who host Israelis in their homes]. It was incredible to see that in the place which is the furthest away from Israel—
the other side of the world, literally!—we are so loved, while in other Christian countries, such as in Europe, we are not treated in a similar way, and sometimes even treated in the opposite way! How do you explain the fact that in New Zealand [there are so many] Israeli-loving Christians?”
Eitan is one of many thousands of Israelis whom God is touching in the uttermost parts of the earth. Pray for him that he finds Messiah Jesus.”
Pet Chameleon Brings Witnessing Opportunities
One of our faithful field workers in Israel sends along this unusual witnessing opportunity that shows how the Lord can use all creatures great and small. “A friend gave me a chameleon. His name is Rocco. He is super cute and gets a lot of attention when I take him out. When I was at a cafe with Rocco and a friend, we met David,* who was fascinated by Rocco. We talked awhile and decided to meet again. Over coffee the next day, I began to share the Gospel. He asked some really good questions about how I can know Jesus is the Messiah. Pray for David. Within just a few days after this talk, we met in the market and on the street twice more. Each time he has ‘just one more question.’ I’m so thankful for my super-cute chameleon!”
Congregation Finds Vision for Ministry in Brooklyn and Beyond
Earlier this year, Beth Sar Shalom Brooklyn (BSSB) held its first congregational “Mission, Vision, and Value Meeting.” A good turnout and a lively discussion led to a clear calling. As one leader expressed it, “In essence, we believe God has called us to not only establish a vibrant witness for Yeshua (Jesus) in the local Jewish community, but also to be the catalyst for a Messianic congregational movement throughout the greater New York City area and beyond. Our strategic position as the congregation that meets in the chapel of the only Messianic Jewish seminary in the country affords us the unique training resources and the steady flow of committed and equipped workers for the Jewish mission field.” Please pray that the Lord will bring that vision to fruition.
Chinese Businessmen Meet Messiah’s Messengers in Israel
While in Israel, staff members Randall and Luda Ford shared a meal with three Chinese businessmen overlooking the Dead Sea. One of them asked. “How can a country of a few million people rival Silicon Valley? We do business in Europe and North America, but this nation is the most remarkable. The progress of Israel is impossible to explain.” Luda and Randall both showed from the Scripture how Israel’s reestablishment demonstrates God’s faithfulness and confirms that the prophecies about the Messiah are true. At the end of the conversation, they carefully wrote down the first verses of the book of John, which Randall was able to quote in Chinese! As a result, these business travelers felt convicted to make Christian connections upon their return to China.
Spanish-Speaking Messianic Congregations Growing in Israel
Chosen People Ministries’ David Sedaca, whose South American roots make him particularly knowledgeable about Spanish-speaking Jewish people, notes that over the past decades, many Spanish-speaking Jewish people have immigrated to Israel. The largest number came from Argentina, but there are Jewish people now in Israel from almost every Latin American country. While recently in Israel, David responded to requests to teach and preach in Spanish-speaking congregations in Haifa, Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod. He reports, “In spite of opposition, the Lord is moving in a mighty way and hundreds of Spanish-speaking Jewish people are receiving Jesus.”
From Evangelism to Discipleship
Robert Walter, a Feinberg Center graduate now ministering in Brooklyn, has been spending time with a young Jewish man, David,* every week, studying the Bible, beginning in the Old Testament. When they reached Exodus, Robert sensed it was a good time to make the clear connections between the Passover and what God has accomplished for us through Jesus. Robert writes, “The time was right so I asked David, ‘Do you believe this is true of Jesus?’” When David answered yes, Robert led him in a prayer to receive the Lord then and there. They continue to meet together and Robert says, “What began as evangelism has become discipleship. Please pray for David’s growth in the Lord!”
JEWISH MAN: FROM SEEKER TO DISCIPLE
Leading Bible studies has been a cornerstone of Roy Schwarcz’s ministry for many years. But each new soul who comes to faith is as great a blessing as ever. For some time, he has been leading a Jewish man in a study of Genesis. Now, after a season of questioning and soul-searching, this man has come to faith. Roy reports, “He and his wife have been attending a church in the suburbs. At a service, an invitation to accept the Gospel was given and he went forward to publicly receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. We are now beginning discipleship.”
CONCERT IN MOSCOW STIRS MEMORIES AND FAITH
Kirill Polonskiy, our man in Moscow, helped coordinate a concert for Holocaust survivors and veterans of World War II. He reports, “We sang well-loved traditional Jewish songs and songs of the War era. Everyone who came to the concert received great joy and had much fun. I had the opportunity to share my testimony of how I came to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. I saw how my words touched the hearts of the Jewish people there. I offered to pray, and some people accepted Yeshua as their Lord. One of them told me that he had never in his life experienced so many emotions. Our Lord loves His people!”
JEWISH BUSINESSMAN FINDS RIGHT NUMBER TO CALL
Jeff Kipp received a phone call from a Jewish businessman who explained he found Jeff’s name and number on the internet. Jacob* said, “Rabbi, I think I need to talk with you.” They met the following week for breakfast and Jacob confided that several people in his life through his business had shared the Gospel with him, but that he had questions that he felt he needed answered from someone with a Jewish perspective. After Jeff answered his questions, he seemed satisfied and said he thought he might be ready to accept that Yeshua was his Messiah.
Jeff said. “Jacob, why wait any longer. Would you like me to help you pray to receive the Lord?”
Jacob answered, “Yes, let’s pray.” Jacob was so happy afterwards that he gave Jeff a huge hug right there in the middle of the restaurant and again in the parking lot!
ISAIAH 53 DRAWS ANOTHER JEWISH SOUL TO MESSIAH
Field worker Mike Cohen in Southern California had the opportunity to share Isaiah 53 with a young Jewish man he met at University of Southern California through one of the Christian ministries on campus. He writes, “When I did share this amazing prophecy, he was very impressed, but not ready to make a decision. Recently, he came to faith and is now a believer in Jesus. Please pray for him that he gets baptized and continues to grow in his new faith.”
“SENIOR DAY OUT” BRINGS JEWISH FAITH DECISION
Ron and Paula Michelson, who minister in Southern California, host a Gospel-oriented, weekly event they call “Senior Day Out.” One Jewish man who heard about it rode his motorized wheelchair several blocks to attend. After his second week, he stayed behind with many questions. Another Jewish man, who had recently come to faith and was well along in his walk with Messiah, stayed also and answered many of the questions this man in the wheelchair had. Two hours later, the man gave his life to his Messiah, Jesus.
* name has been changed