The greatly anticipated annual outreach, Shalom Brooklyn, was a tremendous success, once again bringing hope to the people of New York City – a hope that is found only in Jesus the Messiah! Rain or shine, dozens of volunteers from all over the country and abroad hit the streets, parks, and even the beaches of Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs of New York City to share the Gospel, giving hundreds of passers-by an opportunity to wrestle with life’s most important question: “What is the purpose of life?”
As Chosen People Ministries, we honor the biblical priority of proclaiming the Gospel to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. This mission was also reflected in the work of our teams during the two weeks of Shalom Brooklyn, as we prayed for meaningful encounters with Jewish people, but offered the Good News to all.
“I came to Shalom Brooklyn because as a disciple of Jesus, I want to do what He did,” said Sarah, a first-time volunteer from Iowa, who loves the Hebrew Scriptures and wishes more churches would teach them regularly.
Another volunteer, Naomi from South Carolina, adds that approaching the Jewish people the way Jesus would in His time is a good challenge for her: “It’s a great learning experience for me, as I have to know the right answers to their questions. I look at the Bible through a new lens thanks to our conversations.”
On the very first day of the outreach, at Caesar’s Bay in Brooklyn, two young Orthodox Jewish couples stopped by our Isaiah 53 book table, intrigued by the writings in Hebrew. They listened carefully to what we had to say about this unique chapter in the Jewish Scriptures and gladly engaged in conversation with us. We discussed the Messiah, who He may have been, and if it was Jesus, what that would mean for the Jewish people, as well as for Israel. Praise God for such an opportunity to inspire God’s beloved people to reach for His Word!
A group of volunteers spent a day at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, where they met many secular Jewish people who did not appear to be interested in religion at first. Astonishingly, despite their often self-proclaimed atheism or agnosticism, many were eager to talk about God and the Scriptures. Two Jewish men, after glancing at a passage from Isaiah 53, readily admitted that the chapter must be about Jesus. They confessed that their biggest struggle is accepting the idea of God taking on a human form. Nevertheless, they enjoyed talking about the prophecies and the Messiah, and gave it all a lot of thought.
We were especially encouraged by a Jewish lady named Sofia* who, years ago in Ukraine, had a Christian coworker often tell her about Jesus. “I was afraid to go to church, because I’m Jewish,” Sofia said, but added with enthusiasm, “My friend told me that one day the Jewish people will also come to church and we will be together!”
We believe that the Lord will use every seed sown in New York this summer and it is our prayer that as we follow up with those we met, the truth of the Jewish Messiah will bring healing and great joy to their lives. May these stories encourage and inspire us, as we continue praying for the Jewish people to know their Messiah and fellowship with other believers.
We thank God for another wonderful outreach this summer and we look forward to watching Him move in the hearts of the Jewish people we encountered. We could not continue this great work without you and are blessed by your continued prayers and support.