From August 4-18, over 100 staff members and volunteers from all over the world participated in Shalom Brooklyn, our summer outreach in New York City. After receiving evangelistic training, the teams shared the Gospel message through multiple platforms on the streets of New York.
We connected with hundreds of Jewish people through health fairs, baseball clinics, book tables, surveys, one-on-one sharing and passing out materials that present the message of Messiah in a Jewish way. Please pray with us for all the lives that were touched this year – that as we follow up with these contacts, many would open their hearts to receive Yeshua (Jesus).
This year's outreach included baseball clinics and health fairs
Intrigued by Isaiah 53
One of our team members, Israel, walked into Central Park to do a short religious questionnaire with people who were relaxing on the lawn. He met Daniel,* a religious Jew and a regular synagogue attendee. Israel asked Daniel about Isaiah 53, and Daniel replied that he had read the whole Jewish Bible thirty years ago in school, but he was a little rusty on Isaiah 53.
Israel read him the chapter and asked him whom he thought it was talking about – and was pleasantly surprised to hear him say that it could be the Messiah. Israel then offered Daniel some additional information about Isaiah 53 and the Messiah, for which he was thankful. Daniel gave Israel his email address and asked him to get in touch in a week or so, after he had a chance to read and consider the message of Isaiah 53.
Team members take the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah chapter 53 to seekers on the streets
Bible Study on the Boardwalk
While conducting spiritual questionnaires at the Brighton Beach Boardwalk, Brian approached Avi,* a religious Jewish man who was sitting on a bench. Avi noticed Brian's ring with Hebrew writing, and this led to a ninety-minute conversation about spiritual matters. Brian took him to Isaiah 53, which he had never read, and explained how the chapter points to Messiah. Avi responded, "I can really see the logic of what you are saying. It's definitely plausible. It's just not what my tradition teaches."
Avi was overwhelmed by Brian's love and surprised to hear about how the New Testament teaches that God will remain faithful to the Jewish people. At the end of the conversation, Avi gave Brian his phone number and asked him to call and continue the dialogue, because he wanted to learn more about Jesus.
Our evangelistic book tables led to many fruitful spiritual conversations
Encounters at Book Tables
Mark struck up a conversation with a Jewish man at a book table during the first Sunday of Shalom Brooklyn, and they discovered both their ancestors were Armenian-speaking Jews from Tabriz, in modern Iran. The man told Mark he is interested in biblical prophecy. After that meeting, they began to dialogue over the phone and are currently planning to get together to discuss spiritual things.
At another book table in a very Jewish area of Upper Manhattan, team member Israel met Jonathan, a Jewish college student who was doing a project on religion in New York. He asked to interview both Israel and Belinda, another team member. During the interview, Belinda gave her testimony and Israel shared how he came to faith through reading Isaiah 53.
After finishing the interviews, Jonathan turned off the tape recorder and asked, "So you are telling me that if I don't believe in Jesus and have a relationship with God, I will not go to Heaven when I die?"
Israel compassionately replied, "Jonathan, I don't want to offend you, but I really want to be truthful with you. Yes, I believe that for you, or anyone, to have a relationship with God and receive His free gift of eternal life, you have to believe in Jesus."
As Jonathan left, he said, "Thanks for telling me the truth."
* Names have been changed
Please pray for our follow-up with these seekers - and many others! You might also consider joining us for Shalom Brooklyn in 2013.