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.”
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!”