August 4 - Health Clinic Outreach
The health clinic table is always an amazing day! From the moment we opened, there was a steady flow of people. Their smiles and thank yous all around for doing health checks for free created a great buzz and friendliness around the tables.
Health Clinic Sparks Interest in Syrian Jewish Women
I was doing blood pressure checks when I was called over to translate in Hebrew for Lilly* and Sari*, two women who were asking questions about the table. Lilly spoke fluent Hebrew, and then translated my Hebrew into Arabic for Sari. They were Syrian Jews who had lived in Israel for some time and now live in Brighton Beach. We spoke a bit about their journey (years ago) and events now in Syria and Israel (where they still have family). After their health checks they said they'd be interested in ESL classes.
Lilly and Sari then asked why we had provided the health clinic for free. I replied, “To share God's love in word and deed.” They each attend a synagogue in Brooklyn, and find the Torah and feeling close to God very important. They said they had heard a bit about Messianic Jews in Israel, and I shared about prophecies of Messiah.
Another person at the table asked how we could pray for them. Lilly said 'in Hebrew from the Siddur'. I explained the prayers in the Torah are beautiful and we can pray those for them – but we can also talk to God and pray from our hearts, as David did in the Psalms. Lilly seemed really interested in this idea and said anything that gets us closer to God is good.
She then gave me her phone number and asked if we could meet so she can practice English and I can practice Hebrew and maybe talk a little more about Yeshua after she reads the book (Isaiah 53 Explained). Sari* could only communicate through Lilly, so it was a bit harder to know her interest level, but she is definitely interested in ESL.
Shalom Brooklyn team members giving out Isaiah 53 books and other evangelistic literature - with a smile!
Conversations about spiritual matters naturally spring up around the book table and health clinic outreach at Brighton beach.
Seeds Planted with Religious Couple
Later, a religious older Jewish couple came to the table. Dani* was already holding the Isaiah 53 book (they had talked to one of our team members for a while). He wanted all the health tests, and his wife Leah* waited nearby. While he was waiting for one of the tests, I went to chat with Leah.
I asked her if she and Dani had met in Ukraine or in the U.S. And she said "The Ukraine. In Jewish we have a word Beshert.' She asked if I knew what it meant (beshert is “soulmate” in Yiddish) and I said of course – I grew up in a Jewish home where I always got in trouble in Yiddish.
Leah suddenly opened up to me about her family. How somehow both her daughters married Hasidic men (she is Orthodox but not Hasidic) and at first she was very upset, but they are good men... and when the grandchildren came it made things great. I shared about my cousin who became a Hasid and how the family worked to find a relationship again.
She then took my arm and asked if she could ask me something very personal – how I can be Jewish and a Christian. She told me she knew a very nice Messianic Jewish family in Israel and watched them, but didn't ask and didn't understand. She implied she and Dani had experienced some anti-Semitism from certain “Christians” in Ukraine. That opened the door for me to share the Jewishness of believing in Yeshua (Jesus), things the Hebrew Scriptures say about the Messiah, and the root of all my faith being found in the Torah.
We had a great discussion about Messiah and the Scriptures, and our entire conversation was like we were old friends in some way. Finally, Dani finished his health checks and came over. The couple left with the Isaiah 53 Explained book in hand and I pray some seeds were planted!
As I looked down the table throughout the day, other team members were also engaged in deep conversations while others kept the tests going. This really is an amazing way to share God's love in word and deed.
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.