JEWISH WOMEN FIND MESSIAH IN THE PASSOVER
We had an enormously busy Passover season, with staff members presenting Messiah in the Passover in hundreds of churches around the world.Vladimir Pikman writes about this wonderful fruit of his labors:“We had a couple of Jewish ladies come to a Messiah in the Passover presentation I was privileged to lead.They were sitting in the very first row. When I was explaining how Yeshua (Jesus) initiated the Lord’s Supper with the unleavened bread and the third cup, one of them started crying and could not stop till the end of the presentation. God was at work! Afterwards she came to me saying, ‘Tonight I understood that Jesus is my Messiah!’ Praise the Lord! What a joy!”
NEW LIFE IN MESSIAH AND A NEW WIFE IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Manuel Goffman, who ministers among Spanish-speaking Jews in South Florida, is rejoicing about a new member of Messiah’s Kingdom who came to faith through the witness of Ana,* a health care professional who is a member of the Messianic congregation Manuel leads. Ana bore Gospel witness to a patient she was caring for, Jacobo,* a Hispanic Jew. Jacobo began to attend the congregation with her. After a short time, he received the Lord….and more recently Ana and Jacobo were married.
STREET ARGUMENT LEADS TO GOSPEL DECISION
The bold Gospel witness of our evangelism team in Portland, Oregon, has reaped a harvest in past weeks, with six people coming to faith in Messiah Jesus. One was Kenneth.* Walking downtown to his car after a discipleship meeting, our ministry representative could hear two men arguing rather vocally. As he approached them, one of the men left. Kenneth was extremely nervous and upset, almost in tears. Our representative asked if he would like prayer. Kenneth agreed. The ensuing conversation centered upon Kenneth’s life problems. After hearing a powerful witness and hearing the Gospel, Kenneth received the Lord and is now being discipled.
FOUR FAITH DECISIONS AT ONCE
Anna and Vladimir Bortsov, who serve in the Toronto area, befriended a young man, Ronald,* who recently emigrated from Israel with his wife, Sarah,* and two kids. As a trusting relationship developed, the Bortsovs shared the Gospel with them. Little by little, Ronald and Sarah opened up to the Lord. Finally, as they gathered together for tea and conversation, Ronald and Sarah made decisions to pray. At that moment the doorbell rang. Another neighbor, Violetta,* dropped in. She began to ask questions, and the Bortsovs explained the Gospel. As they did so, Ronald and Sarah’s twelve-year-old son, Samuel,* who had been sitting on the sofa listening quietly, came to the table and announced that he also wanted to receive the Lord. So did Violetta. Thus four new souls became children of God!
MESSIANIC MINISTRY STRENGTHENED IN FORMER SOVIET UNION
Kirill Polonskiy, our man in Moscow, reports that a Chosen People Ministries’seminar for leaders of Messianic congregations drew participants from all over Russia, the Crimea, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. He writes, “We had three amazing days of training and communication. Our Mission is the only Messianic organization in Russia doing such seminars for Messianic leaders. We believe that training and equipping of leadership is an essential part of our ministry that will give stability to the local Messianic communities.” The seminar was attended by Alexander Royanov, leader of the Messianic Jewish congregation of Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine.The Messianic community in Mariupol is continuing its ministry there, despite hardships.
CELEBRATING 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF JERUSALEM CENTER
“We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the purchase of our Jerusalem Messianic Center. This beautiful facility in the heart of Jerusalem (only a 20 minute walk from the “Old City”) has been a great blessing to our growing staff in Israel and to the many Jews and Gentiles who have found this Center to be an oasis of spiritual refreshment. The Center serves as the nerve center for our ministries in Israel and hosts Bible studies, outreach events, housing for short-term missions teams and much more. Please continue to think of our Center and staff in Israel when you “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps.122:6).
* names have been changed
From Work to Worship
Scott N. has relocated the Messianic congregation he leads in Southern California to a historic landmark theater in the heart of downtown Culver City, the “Heart of Screenland,” one of the centers for film and television production. As part of the rental agreement, the theater company provides a “host” to open and prepare the facility for services. The man who has graciously hosted the congregation informed Scott that someone else will be taking his position in the future. He then told Scott that he would be back anyway, because he wants to be part of their fellowship. He said he had been looking for a spiritual community, but has not found a place where he truly felt welcomed, and that even though he was working during the service, he had found that place with them.
Jewish Mother Finds Messiah at Brooklyn Messianic Congregation
Fruit is growing bit by bit as the Messianic congregation Rich Flashman leads at the Brooklyn Messianic Center takes root and celebrates its one-year anniversary. A friend of the worship leader brought Sarah,* her unbelieving Jewish mother, to a service. Prior to the service, when Rich was introduced to her, she seemed a little uneasy. But as Rich issued a call to faith at the end of his message, he noticed a flurry of excitement where Sarah and her daughter were sitting. The cause? Word quickly spread that Sarah had prayed to receive Yeshua (Jesus) as her Messiah!
“Isaiah 53” Van Sparks Faith Decision
One of our evangelists in the Great Pacific Northwest has led a Jewish man, Joshua,* to Messiah. Joshua was sitting outside a coffee shop two blocks from the university at which our worker was planning to evangelize. He parked his van, which had “Isaiah53.com” prominently displayed on the back and sides of it, in front of the coffee shop. Noticing Joshua, he greeted him in a friendly way. Joshua asked him, “What’s the Isaiah about? I’m Jewish!” Joshua had been raised in a secular home, with little emphasis on Jewish religion or culture. Our worker asked the challenging question, “Who do think Jesus was?” After about fifteen minutes of deep discussion, Joshua received the Lord and is being discipled weekly.
Patient Witness Brings Jewish Man in South Florida to Faith in Messiah
At the conclusion of a special church service some months ago, missionary Greg Savitt of South Florida encountered Seth*, a non-believing, 22-year-old Jewish man who gave Greg his card and said, “I need to meet with you.” A first meeting led to bi-weekly coffee talks over some months as Greg and Seth probed deeply into spiritual matters prompted by Seth’s insightful questions. Greg gave him a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained, which helped Seth see the need for atonement and a redeemer. Bit by bit, Seth’s objections to the Gospel were answered. Finally, he was ready, and Greg helped him to accept the Gospel. Now Seth is voraciously reading his Bible and has already told several of his Jewish friends of his faith decision.
Roy Adams, a faithful servant of Messiah whose love of the Jewish people was expressed in a multitude of ways in service to Chosen People Ministries, has died at the age of 90. Born and educated in England, he and his wife, Ella, to whom he was married for 67 years, immigrated to Canada in 1954. Roy became a board member of what is now Chosen People Ministries (Canada) in 1970. In 1980, Roy was invited to join the U.S. Board, where he served for over thirty years. In 1985, Roy was appointed as the Executive Vice-President of Chosen People Ministries (US). He served in this capacity for more than five years and regarded those years as the most fulfilling years of his life. In his words, “I developed a passion for Jewish ministries which has never left me!”
In addition to Ella, Roy is survived by his son Duncan, his daughter Jeanette, their spouses and two grandchildren.
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.”