Join us for 8 days of prayer
As we celebrate Hanukkah beginning tomorrow evening, I'd like to invite you to join us in eight days of prayer for Israel and for the Jewish people around the world. During the eight days of the holiday, we will be posting specific prayer requests on our Chosen People Ministries Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I cannot tell you how much we need your prayers at this time! We are still facing the threat of war in Israel. In addition, our Chosen People Ministries workers around the globe are meeting with Jewish people who need Messiah every day.
Let's unite our hearts in prayer for the Jewish people and most importantly for our efforts in bringing the Messiah Jesus - the Light of the World – to His kinsman according to the flesh. To receive and share the prayer requests, you can friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
Dr. Mitch Glaser
President Chosen People Ministries
Reflections on Returning from Poland
Just a few days ago, I returned from Poland, where I spent eleven days with a group of Holocaust survivors now living in Israel. We began the trip with two days in Warsaw, the capital, where a visit to the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial was a must.
We then traveled to the north of Poland. On the way, we visited the town of Plonsk, the birthplace of David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister. We also stopped in Olshtin, home of astronomer and scholar Nicolaus Copernicus, and Gdansk, which is said to be the most beautiful city in the country. The European Soccer Cup took place while we were in Poland, so of course we had to add some sports to the list of the group activities! We watched three teams as they competed fiercely for first place in various kinds of games. It was nice to see how these 80+ year olds felt young again.
We also visited one of the local death camps, where we prayed that a horrible event like the Holocaust would never happen again. That same evening, we had time for some people in the group to share their memories about it. One of the men who spoke spent three years in one of the death camps. He said, "I went to the camp as a young boy, when I was only nine years old, but I was an adult by the age of twelve when we were liberated."
On Sunday, we went to a local Evangelical church; the members were so happy to host a group from Israel. The pastor invited me to preach about God’s salvation, and a few people from the group shared their testimonies. For most of them, it was the first time they had ever visited a church, and they loved the experience. The most important part of our tour was the spiritual fellowship that we had every morning and evening, when we sang worship songs, exchanged experiences and learned from the Scriptures. I had the opportunity to teach about Israel as God's chosen nation, His plan of salvation for all people and about the way one should live after accepting the Gospel.
Every evening, different local believers visited us, sharing their testimonies and answering many questions. Many of the people who came on this tour began to read the Bible and pray for the first time in their lives. Once, when we were talking about biblical prophecies and how we are a part of their fulfillment, a lady stood up and said that this tour changed her life. A few others prayed with me, asking God to show Himself to them.
I am thankful to God for the opportunity to serve these Holocaust survivors through organizing and leading this trip to Poland. They were able to meet real believers, and they could feel the love of God. I believe that many of them will come to believe in Yeshua after this trip. Please pray for salvation for these dear people, as well as for the salvation of the whole nation of Israel.
Ministry in Finland and the Balkan States
Toivo Maki and his wife, Malla, enjoy ministering among the small community of 2,000 Jewish people that reside in Finland. Toivo had an established career as an architect when he received a calling to ministry. The Makis have also branched out to the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, where there are still 5,000-10,000 Jewish people, mainly elderly survivors of the Holocaust and oppressive Communism. Before World War II, the Baltic States had a large (250,000) and established Jewish community with many famous Jewish sages and rabbis. Today, there are opportunities to minister in unique and practical ways to this much-diminished group.
The focus is Latvia's capital, Riga, and second-largest city, Daugavpils, where there is a small Messianic congregation. Toivo received a special invitation to participate in a service for a memorial that was to be erected at the site of a mass grave from the Holocaust. He was interviewed by two newspapers, and had the opportunity to speak with the mayor of the city to explain his faith and how he hopes to help and minister to the people.
Finally, there is a ministry called "Bread For Latvia," by which large shipments of bread are distributed throughout the country. In Vilnius, a Jewish city once famous for its impact on Jewish tradition and learning, a small and needy Messianic congregation received word of the shipment and took the bread and distributed it among those in prison.
- Please pray for continued open doors for the Makis, that the favor they have received in the Jewish community will increase, and that opportunities to minister through Messianic congregations will expand.
- Please pray for the well-being of the Holocaust survivors, the elderly and those in prison whom they often visit.
- Please pray for the translation of the book, Isaiah 53 Explained, into Finnish — a project that is currently underway — to touch many lives.
NERIYAH A. HEALTH UPDATE
Many friends of Chosen People Ministries and Neriyah A., who serves in Israel, have been asking about his health after the failure of the donated kidney he received six years ago. Neriyah is receiving dialysis three times a week as he prays for another donor to arise. He has arranged to get treatment while sleeping, so that it will not interfere as much with his ministry and his home life. Currently, he is continuing to lead an active life of service to Messiah, as the Lord enables him to meet his health challenges. Please pray that he will continue in stable condition as he waits for his name to come up in the list of potential kidney recipients—and that the Lord will provide a good match.
LUNCH LEADS TO FAITH DECISION IN ARIZONA
After being introduced by her aunt, a Jewish believer, to staff member Cathy Wilson at a Bible study, Stephanie* was open to knowing more. Stephanie's aunt made arrangements for them to meet for lunch, and throughout the meal their conversation revolved around Jesus as they ate and read from the Bible. Cathy writes, "After the lunch plates were cleared, we held hands and prayed. Right there in a booth at a busy lunchtime spot, Stephanie confessed her sins, asking forgiveness and placing her trust in Jesus. Our new sister in the Lord was beaming—her face was radiant!"
MINISTRY OF MERCY IN MESSIAH'S NAME
Eugene L., one of our faithful staff members in Israel, began visiting an elderly Jewish lady. After establishing a trusting relationship, he patiently shared the Gospel with her and finally she accepted the Lord. Eugene writes, "I have no words to express my joy! She asked me to visit her frequently and read the Bible together." Not long after, the woman passed away. Eugene adds, "I am thankful for this opportunity to have brought the Good News to her shortly before her last breath—the Lord is merciful."
CAMPING TRIP BRINGS SALVATION TO RUSSIAN JEWISH WOMAN
Even when on a short vacation from their Toronto ministry, staff member Anna Bortsov and her husband, Vladimir, are ardent witnesses for Messiah. During a weekend camping trip, they encountered a number of Russian Jewish people at the campsite and began to witness to them through Isaiah 53. One man invited Anna and Vladimir to his campfire. He knew Isaiah 53 by heart in Hebrew and Russian, and they sat near the fire talking for a whole evening. His wife was listening, but did not enter the conversation. After about four hours of discussion, the man got up to go to sleep—but his wife came and sat down. She said, "I am ready to repent; help me to do it," and Vladimir led her to the Lord in prayer.