An Attitude of Thanksgiving
We at Chosen People Ministries, both missionaries and administrative staff, are thankful for your faithful prayers and support, which help us bring the good news of Jesus “to the Jew first!” (Romans 1:16). This Thanksgiving season, we want to relate the stories and work—which you make possible—of our missionaries who reach Jewish people with the gospel in nineteen countries and more than a dozen American cities.
Shalom New York
Every year, your prayers and support allow Chosen People Ministries to accomplish a summer mission outreach called Shalom New York. This year, we had a team of thirty Chosen People Ministries staff members and volunteers from around the country hitting the streets and subways of New York City to proclaim the gospel, pray with people, and distribute Bibles in English, Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish to widely diverse Jewish communities.
One of our missionaries on this trip had an impactful ninety-minute conversation with Jacob,* a man in his thirties. Growing up, Jacob wanted to believe in God, but was confused by the many different opinions about the Bible, God, and the topic of Messiah. As part of his search, he converted to Orthodox Judaism in his twenties and moved to Israel to study in an Orthodox Jewish rabbinical school. Upon returning to the United States a handful of years ago, he experienced another crisis of faith and began to doubt the very existence of God.
During this conversation, our missionary found the depth, intimacy, and authenticity of Jacob’s questions amazing. Our staff member felt the very presence of God directing his responses. He lifted Jesus up as the real Truth in a way Jacob had been yearning for! Jacob eagerly gave our staff his contact information and asked if they could talk more. Our missionary gave him a pocket-sized New Testament (with extra teachings about messianic prophecies) as well as materials written in Hebrew, including the Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
The next day, others from our outreach team were riding on a New York City subway car at a different time of day on the other side of the city. Seeing their Chosen People Ministries T-shirts, a man approached them. He asked if they were from the same group as the missionary from the previous day and proceeded to tell them about their conversation. Jacob and our staff member are still in touch. As surely as God orchestrated every detail of this story on the field, He used your prayers and generous giving to make it all happen from start to finish!
We are so thankful for you! But do not just take our word for it—here is what two of our other staff members in Israel have to say:
We are doing what God has called us to do: share the gospel, make disciples, and share the love of the Messiah with the people around us. Of course, our ministry would be impossible without your prayers and support. I want to bless you, dear friend. I would like to bless whoever prays for us and supports our ministry with the special blessing that God promised to Abraham. God promised to bless whoever blesses his descendants. May the blessings of Abraham be upon you, dear friend, in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
Dear friend, thank you so much for your prayers and support for Chosen People Ministries. We are so blessed to have you as our faithful partner. We praise our God for He is good and sustains us so that we have no shortage of anything. We have a beautiful community of believers around us, and we minister together with our team to spread the good news of the Risen Messiah.
Katz’s Deli and Conversation
Another staff member recently had an unexpected opportunity to engage with Israelis while visiting Katz’s—a famous Jewish deli on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. While in line, our staff member overheard a conversation among a group of four people right behind him. It was busy and loud, but he recognized that they were speaking in Hebrew. So he turned around, smiled, and asked, “Are you guys Israelis?” They said yes and asked if he spoke Hebrew. He replied (in Hebrew), “I’m not Jewish, but I love Israel!”
They appreciated the sentiment, and immediately one of the young men asked, “Are you an evangelical Christian?” This response surprised our staff member, but when he answered yes, it was like the Lord opened wide the door for a great conversation about Jesus! One young man, Reuben,* said it was evangelicals who funded his flight when he first made aliyah (became a citizen of Israel), and he was very grateful. Then he started asking questions about the rapture and the second coming. He had clearly investigated some traditional Christian beliefs, so our staff asked him if he had ever read the New Testament. He shyly said he had not and when offered one, he politely declined. They discussed the Messiah but eventually received their sandwiches and went separate ways to sit down in the restaurant with their respective groups.
Fifteen minutes later, Reuben came over to where our staff was sitting and picked up the conversation again. They discussed Psalm 23, the state of our culture today, and the need to cling to God amid the dark valleys of life. While Reuben did not want to share his contact info to stay in touch, this staff member believes the Lord is working in his heart and continues to pray for him.
Sending Thanks from Israel
Thanks to your faithful partnership with us, Chosen People Ministries also has a robust ministry to children both in the United States and in Israel. Training the next generation of Messianic Jewish leaders is a core part of our work—and has been for decades. Hear what this staff member in Israel is saying about the children’s camps:
Our children’s ministry brings a lot of joy. The children missed the camps very much during the pandemic, and the number of those wishing to participate is beyond our capabilities. I am grateful to the Lord that everything turned out well after the pandemic. We especially are thankful to our helpers and leaders. I was afraid the team would not return. But my fears were in vain! Most of them continued to help with joy, and the Almighty sent new people who wanted to serve. In general, working with kids is very interesting. Often the fruit appears only after many years. Recently, I was invited to a church to preach. There, a man approached me and said he was in one of our first camps seventeen years ago, and it helped him accept Jesus into his heart many years later!
Thank You for Holding the Rope!
We know that sometimes a simple “thank you” can appear rote or routine. So here is an apt illustration our staff member in Florida wrote to express our immense gratitude toward you:
In a fictitious story, a man sees a boy falling down a well. He realizes he can go down the well with a rope, but needs strong people to lower him down, and then raise him back up after he secures the boy. If someone said that man rescued the boy from the well, that would not be accurate. It would be accurate to report the man and those who took hold of the rope together rescued the boy. Thank you for holding the rope through your prayers and support so I can reach Jewish people here in South Florida and other places with the gospel. What an encouragement it is for us to know you stand by our side in ministry.
This story illustrates exactly how we think about partners like you who support our ministry through giving, praying, and telling others about our work. Fulfilling our mission—to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same—is a team effort. Just as it took several people, not one, to pull the boy out of the well, it takes many to make ministry projects like Shalom New York and children’s camps successful. Our missionaries are often those who go down the well and interact face to face with those who need to hear the gospel. But without people to hold the rope, their work would be impossible.
Our administrative staff, donors, prayer warriors, supporting churches, and volunteers all play essential roles in what God is doing through Chosen People Ministries. As you cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving—especially this month—please know that we are thankful for you!