FIFTEEN JEWISH FAITH DECISIONS IN MOSCOW
Mira G., our gifted evangelist serving in Moscow, was conducting a special outreach service that was attended by about fifty people, most of whom were Jewish. Finding herself quite tired at the conclusion of the evening, she prayed for the spiritual and physical strength to present the Gospel clearly and invite those present to receive the Lord.
The Lord answered her prayer in a mighty way. She writes, "I found myself standing in the center of the hall and praying with almost all of the guests together with me opening their hearts to the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Fifteen Jewish people made a faith decision for the first time! Praise the Lord, who is never too tired to save!"
JEWISH SEEKER IN TORONTO FINDS GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS
A young Jewish man stepped into our headquarters in Toronto seeking guidance and help. Jorge Sedaca, our Canadian director, sat with him as he shared about his life, his lack of a job and his family needs (he has a wife and two children). Jorge prayed for him and then asked him to return in two days' time.
Two days later, the young man returned in excitement. He said, "Rabbi, I have great news. The same night after I came to see you, my cousin called offering me a job for the next six months! That is an answer to your prayer!" As they rejoiced together, Jorge shared the Gospel with him. He is open and has promised to attend our Messianic congregation. Pray that this young seeker and his family will meet Jesus soon!
GOSPEL OF PEACE PROCLAIMED IN UKRAINIAN TURMOIL
Michael Z., who directs our Israel ministries, traveled to Ukraine in response to an invitation extended some months ago to lead a conference on Jewish evangelism. Who knew then that Donetsk, the city where Michael was invited to teach, would be one of the most violent locations in the recent turmoil?When he arrived in Donetsk, barricades covered a good half of the city.
Even in the midst of the violence, almost 700 people came to the conference to hear the Word of God. Michael writes, "It was absolutely astonishing to see how the people in the middle of a war were listening to the need to pray for Israel and the Jewish people. Some among those who came received Jesus right there."
IN MEMORIAM - RUTH WARDELL
Ruth Wardell, a retired Chosen People Ministries missionary (who never really retired), peacefully passed away on May 16 at the age of 90. Following Bible college and other ministry training, Ruth went to New York City in 1946 to work with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now Chosen People Ministries) where God used her background and education to reach out to children and adults alike. There she began a missionary calling which lasted over fifty years.
Ruth had a tremendous impact on many young people in New York as she led Bible studies and ran camps and outreach meetings. In 1973, God took Ruth’s ministry to Los Angeles, where she trained and ministered to many senior adults and children. In 1993, Ruth settled in Plano, Texas, where she continued to minister until almost 90 years of age! Ruth was affectionately known as “Miss Wardell” and then later as “Ruth with the Truth” by all who knew and loved her.
Just a Walk in the Park
Staff member Michael Cohen loves to share the Gospel in everyday life. While walking in a park near his home in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Southern California, he began to converse with a woman who turned out to be Jewish - an Argentinean who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community.
Using the tract entitled, Is Jesus the Messiah?, Michael shared the Gospel with the woman, who listened attentively. Then he asked if she wanted to receive the Lord. She said yes, and they prayed a simple prayer of faith. Please pray that her new faith will become established as the Cohens begin to disciple her.
Jewish Senior Finds "Childlike" Faith
Cathy Wilson, one of our most gifted and faithful evangelists, has a wonderful ministry to seniors in her Scottsdale, Arizona community. She excitedly reports that one of her Jewish friends, who has been attending weekly Bible studies for the past six years, has received the Lord. This friend, while often antagonistic, always assured Cathy that their time together "was a pleasure."
Cathy writes, "Her approaching death has made her disposition somewhat childlike. The week prior to Passover, I shared the Exodus with her and focused, again, on Jesus. This time she did not balk. As I began praying aloud for her, I asked if she would like to confess her sins and place her trust in Jesus. In her 'childlike' way, she consented. Glory to God!"
The Power of Prayer Brings Healing to Jewish Man
Congregational leader Steve Fenchel, who ministers in New York City along with his wife, Carol, can testify to the power of prayer. The Fenchels have been praying with a Jewish man who has recently come to faith; this man's brother had been diagnosed with cancer. Recently, when the doctors did a biopsy, they found that the brother's cancer was gone! Steve writes, "Praise the Lord! What a testimony to this new Jewish believer and to his family."
Faith Comes Through a Phone Call
Jeff Siegel, Chosen People Ministries' New York Area Director, followed up with a seeker whose Jewish husband also had many questions about believing in Jesus. He agreed to call her when her husband was home.
Jeff writes, "What a great phone call. This Jewish man asked me how I came to know Yeshua (Jesus). He put me on speakerphone and I shared my testimony with both him and his wife. A defining moment in our conversation came - and this man and his wife invited Jesus into their hearts, repented of their sins and asked me to baptize them soon."
Reaching the Hidden Jews of Germany
Vladimir Pikman, who directs our work in Germany, is reaching what he terms a new and growing Jewish group that is composed of Jewish people who grew up in Germany without any idea that they have Jewish descent. Fear of antisemitism and the Holocaust trauma pressured their parents and grandparents to hide their families' Jewish background.
Vladimir writes, "Now these children and grandchildren, who have become aware of their Jewish heritage in one way or another, do not know what to do with this newfound identity. Please pray for us to help point them to Yeshua (Jesus), in whom being Jewish receives its fulfillment and significance."
Plan EARLY on your church calendar and book a Messiah in the Passover presentation at your church for next year!
Call 1-888-405-5874 or visit www.chosenpeople.com/church
HOSPITAL STAY BRINGS SPIRITUAL HEALING
Vladimir Bortsov, who serves in Toronto together with his wife, Anna, was recently recovering from a serious illness. While in the hospital, he shared a room with Sandro,* a 35-year-old man who has suffered from diabetes for many years and was quite depressed. His family members came to see him often, yet he was not cheered by their visits. When Vladimir saw this, he felt deep compassion. After asking God to give him the right words, Vladimir began to share the Gospel - and Sandro's eyes filled with hope. He listened without interrupting, and then prayed with Vladimir to receive the Lord. From a person who had been filled with despair, Sandro became a person full of hope. After Vladimir was discharged from the hospital, Sandro hugged him and thanked him for introducing him to Yeshua (Jesus).
Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern food made from mashed chickpeas, olive oil and other tasty ingredients. Staff member Zohar Gonen, who ministers at the hospitality house in New Zealand that caters to backpacking Israelis, is a master at preparing this popular dish. He and Scott Brown organized a Hummus Night for their Israeli guests.
That evening, Zohar met a woman whose profession in Israel is to mediate between parties who are in conflict. He used this as a springboard to share with her how much the New Testament speaks about reconciliation. The woman was intrigued by the various verses that speak about peace and reconciliation and was very eager to receive a New Testament to start reading it for herself.
JEWISH WOMAN COMES TO FAITH IN GERMANY
Eugene I., who serves in Germany, reports that after one of the Sabbath services, a Jewish woman who regularly attends asked for prayer for a problem she had. After they spoke about it, Eugene, who has developed a good rapport with her, felt specially led to ask if she wanted to receive Messiah. She immediately answered that she did. Eugene writes, "Filled with joy and boldness, we prayed the prayer of teshuvah (repentance) together and the Lord filled the room with His shalom (peace)!"
HEALTH UPDATE – NERIYAH A.
Neriyah A., whom many know as a gifted evangelist in Israel, has suffered from kidney disease for many years. After Neriyah received some years of benefit, a donated kidney he received failed, leaving him with no alternative but to return to dialysis. About a year ago, a pastor from New Jersey came to Israel and was willing to donate his kidney, but the transplant couldn't be accomplished because of other health issues. However, these issues have now been addressed, and Neriyah has received the go ahead to have another kidney transplant. Please pray for God's timing.
ISAIAH 53 ISRAEL CAMPAIGN
The Isaiah 53 Campaign is Israel is going well. We have sent 80-plus Hebrew versions of Isaiah 53 Explained to Israelis. The Tel Aviv area is showing some openness and we are praying about increasing our staff in this great city to reach younger and more secular Israelis. We have also added the Spanish Isaiah 53 web site as well, and are concentrating ads in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Please continue to pray!
Chosen People Ministries notes with sadness, but in firm hope of the resurrection, the passing of retired missionary Jean Ambro. Jean had an active ministry, particularly with intermarried couples in the San Fernando Valley in California. She retired from the Mission in 1987.
Let's celebrate! As the Psalmist writes,
The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad (Psalm 126:3).
Your Mission to the Jewish People is filled with joy because of all the Lord has done. The Charles L. Feinberg Messianic Jewish Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn is now completed and paid for, and we are in the process of moving in and using this wonderful facility for God's glory!
This has been a massive three-year effort and has reminded me that we serve the God who does the impossible! He has again revealed His deep love and concern for the salvation of His chosen people.
I remember the day I stood outside of my favorite Orthodox Jewish bookstore across the street from what is now the Feinberg Center - one of the most popular religious bookstores within the Jewish community - and it immediately hit me.
I realized that I had simply been seeking a larger facility, but the Lord actually wanted to place us in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. The Savior's heart breaks for religious Jewish people, and on that day I knew that He had called Chosen People Ministries to reach this group of hundreds of thousands of sincere and devoted Jewish people!
May I tell you the story?
We started the Charles Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies program, a partnership with Biola University and the Talbot School of Theology, to train Jewish and Gentile brothers and sisters for the work of Jewish evangelism. Together, we created the first Master of Divinity in Messianic Jewish Studies program in the United States.
I had hoped that we would have four or five students per semester, knowing it is not easy to get young people to move to New York City because it is expensive and a difficult place to live in some ways. But to my great surprise and joy, we found ourselves with about fifteen students, which we always said would be our upper limit for the number we could effectively train! This is because we invest so much time in each student's spiritual growth through personal mentoring and supervising their local, on-the-job ministry training.
We decided that because we were running short on space, we had to move the seminary program - and eventually, with much guidance and prayer, we concluded that Brooklyn would be the best location. Not only was it less expensive than Manhattan, but also the area is extremely Jewish, and most of the students already lived there.
In other words, we had very logical reasons to search for space in Brooklyn. A week after we made the decision, I was driving down Coney Island Avenue in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn - just a couple miles from my house - and I noticed an Orthodox Jewish funeral home for sale. It was perfectly located, and the size seemed to be exactly what was needed for both the seminary program and for our growing array of Brooklyn-based ministries.
I inquired about the building with a real estate agent, a Jewish woman perhaps in her early 80s. I did not know if she would be willing to sell the building to us because of our beliefs. I knew she would come under quite a bit of pressure once the Orthodox Jewish community found out we were buying the building. But, thankfully, she agreed to sell the building to us, and we bought it. Then we began the long process of renovating the building - doing the work as we raised the funds.
We were praying and hoping that we would not have any debt on the building, so that we could use all the money we raised for ministry.
In time, as I watched our building develop stage by stage, my understanding also grew. I finally realized the reason why God had given us this incredible facility. It was not because of our space planning needs, as I had thought. It was not to give the students an easier commute, or any of the other practical factors I had originally conceived.
I realized that the real reason God gave us this beautiful facility in the middle of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn was because the Lord God of Israel wants His people to be saved!
And though the ultra-Orthodox Jews might seem difficult to reach, God has not given up on these precious people - and neither have I, nor has Your Mission to the Jewish People. As the Apostle Paul wrote,
...from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:28-29).
So let's celebrate the faithfulness of God together! He has once again taught us that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
THANK YOU! Because of your sacrifice and generosity we will now be able to use the building for ministry and training without any debt. All I can say is, Hallelujah! Feel free to shout it with me... don't worry about what your neighbors might think! He is our great and gracious Lord.
Our 120th Birthday Year!
There is another reason to celebrate with us today - we have now entered our 120th year of ministry. We will be hosting a number of events to celebrate our 120th birthday this year, which you will hear about soon. Chosen People Ministries was founded as the Williamsburg Mission to the Jews in 1894 by Rabbi Leopold Cohn, who had come to know Jesus as his Savior on the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1892.
As soon as Rabbi Cohn came to know the Lord, his heart was immediately broken for the salvation of his own people. After receiving theological training, he moved his family to Brooklyn and established what is now known as Chosen People Ministries. I am honored to lead an organization that has not wavered in its commitment to the Lord Jesus and the Word of God, nor in our mission to reach Jewish people with the message of salvation.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of Jewish people who have found Jesus the Messiah through Chosen People Ministries. What a magnificent legacy! And now we have a beautiful, paid-for outreach center in the heart of the most concentrated Jewish community in the entire world - Brooklyn (close to one million Jewish people) and in the heart of the Orthodox community.
We need your prayers, support and partnership more than ever before, because I believe that the day is coming when the Lord will return. So we must work quickly and fervently while we can!
A Birthday Present
Your gift will be used to help support the ministries of the Charles Feinberg Center; the congregations that we are planting (a new English-speaking congregation has just begun), evangelism, student scholarships, ministry among elderly Russian Jews and Holocaust survivors, and so much more.
In honor of our 120th birthday, would you consider giving $120, $1,200, or even $12,000? For your gift of $120 or more, I want to send you a copy of Leopold Cohn's testimony, To An Ancient People (if you do not already have one - you will love it!).
And we know that whatever the Lord leads you to give, He will multiply - because He loves His chosen people and desires their salvation. Thank you, on behalf of our worldwide staff, for your faithfulness and prayers.
Please write "Brooklyn Center" in the Special Designation box
With much love in the Messiah,
P.S. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your love and generous support... now, without debt, we can get so much done for the Lord. God bless you!