From Shalom Brooklyn team member Chris:
Our group went out to do evangelism in Washington Square Park. Unlike previous times when I've been to the park using the literature questionnaire, no one seemed interested and I was getting somewhat discouraged. Then I met an older gentleman standing next to me who does photography for a hobby and he was taking photos in the park. I asked him if he had time for some survey questions and he replied, "Actually I have some questions for you."
The man's name was D. and he surmised from the Shalom Brooklyn shirt and backpack that I was from a "religious organization." He identified himself as Catholic, though he had not been to church for many years. We discussed some spiritual questions, and it was clear that he did truly believe that Jesus was the Son of God who died for his sins. However he told me his wife M., who is Jewish, did not.
I asked D. if he would be willing to share the Isaiah 53 book and some of our literature with M. when he gets home, and I'm happy to say he took a sample of everything! We exchanged information and I plan on following up with him soon. Although I didn't get the privilege of sharing the Gospel with M. personally, my hope and prayer is that D. will. Please pray for them.
Later in the week, I was in Washington Square Park again. A woman was trying to feed some peanuts to squirrels, and she ended up being mobbed by pigeons – one of which even got caught in her hair. I helped her shoo the pigeons away. Grateful for my assistance, she was willing to do the questionnaire.
Her name was L. and she said she was Jewish, though not very observant. When I read the excerpt from Isaiah 53 and asked her who the prophet was talking about, L. said that the passage "sounds Christian." I happily agreed with her that it seems to be talking about Yeshua (Jesus) and assured her that this passage was in fact written by the Jewish prophet Isaiah.
Although L. did not take any of our literature, seeming to become uncomfortable with the conversation, I encouraged her to look Isaiah 53 up in her own copy of the Hebrew Scriptures at home. Praise God for the opportunity to plant a seed - and please pray for L., that the seed would take root and grow (and not be snatched away by the enemy).
Tali, one of the Shalom Brooklyn team members, started out the week thinking, "Great, all these people have the gift of evangelism, and I don't. What am I doing here?" She spent all of Sunday really confused and afraid of what to do, but her husband encouraged her to love people and be more lighthearted about talking with people.
On Monday, she was impassioned to step out in faith. Seeing a Jewish young woman on the street, Tali asked with a newfound boldness, "Have you read Isaiah 53 before?" Tali was surprised to hear the woman respond, "Not yet!" It turns out the Jewish woman was working through reading the entire Tanakh (Old Testament), and had not yet reached Isaiah 53.
Tali then discovered that she and this woman had a similar name; there was an instant connection and Tali and her husband Travis were able to share about Yeshua and give her evangelistic materials. This victory was the highlight of Tali's week!
Another team member, Gale, was very intimidated about doing evangelism and "thinking on her feet." When she was at Kings Highway, a man took a Russian Bible and asked Gale, "What do you believe?" Gale then proceeded to share her testimony, emphasizing that Jesus came to the Jew first and that the New Testament is a Jewish book. Word after word poured out of her mouth, beyond what she imagined to be her ability. She prayed for the man and realized that she could do all things through Messiah who gives her strength - including sharing the Gospel!
Prayer & Conversation on the Streets of New York
R., a 30-something young lady, came up to Jerry and Israel. She is from Jerusalem, but spoke like a New Yorker. R. has dual citizenship, two kids, and lives in the Judean hills outside of Jerusalem. "As I walk the Judean hills, I feel the spirit of Jesus there. It's a faith thing," she said.
Israel said that it was no coincidence that he met her! He gave her a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained in Hebrew, as well as The Report. She was more than happy to receive them and eagerly gave all of her contact information. Definitely a divine encounter!
Kathleen and Robynne met L., a 90-year old lady and a third-generation Jewish New Yorker. She wasn't interested in talking about the Messiah until Kathleen said that the Messiah brings comfort to people. This made L's face change and she was immediately interested in hearing more. "Everybody needs comfort," she said. Robynne found out that she had a lot in common with her, and gave her a copy of The Report.
Kathleen met D., an Israeli student. He started chatting with the team about Israel, and then the conversation progressed to talking about the Lord and Scripture. He stuck with the team for hours, and accepted all of the evangelistic materials.
Kathleen and Bobby met S. in Washington Square Park. 93 years old. She did not want prayer at first, but she really fell in love with Bobby and his sharp wit. She eventually allowed Bobby to do a blessing over her. She accepted a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained, and said she would read it.
An Orthodox Jewish woman and her children were walking along the water in Brooklyn and stopped to look at the bridge. I approached them, and they could see the outreach team in t-shirts not far off. I greeted her and offered her something to read. She said "I know about Messianic Jews".
I asked what she knew, and she replied "Enough".
I then asked if she knew about Yeshua (Jesus). She thought for a moment and said "No" - so I said the best way to know about Yeshua was from the Torah(five books of Moses), Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) and His own words. She thought again, nodded her head okay and accepted the literature.
Please pray that as she reads she would discover the true Biblical Jesus who loves her. By the time I walked back to the rest of the outreach team, there were several people in long conversations with Orthodox Jewish people sitting on benches by the water.
Our Shalom Brooklyn team members are constantly meeting people who are interested in hearing about Messiah in a Jewish way!
Patty met a Russian lady who had heard about Jesus before and was interested in some of the books on the book table. She said that she worked for a Jewish family and was interested in learning more about Messianic prophecies. She took one of the Russian-language Isaiah 53 Explained books. The next day, the lady called Patty on the phone and said that she wanted a copy of the book in English, because she was so excited about what she had read and wanted to give a copy to the Jewish family!
Kathleen visited Brooklyn Tabernacle for an evening service and went to the front during the altar call for prayer.The pastor asked that those at the front should pair up to pray for each other. Kathleen’s partner was an African-American lady. Kathleen mentioned Yeshua (Jesus) during her prayer, and the lady asked her if she was Jewish. Kathleen replied that she wasn’t, but that she was visiting Brooklyn to share the Gospel with Jewish people.
The lady then proceeded to explain that she was married to a Jewish man who had not been religious when they met, but recently had become more and more involved with Orthodox Judaism. This was creating problems in their marriage, since the husband was becoming more hardened against Jesus and the Gospel. Kathleen got the woman’s contact information so that Chosen People Ministries staff can fullow up and start encouraging her.