Old Neighbors Reconnect for Bible Study
One of our staff members recently had the opportunity to share the gospel with his Orthodox Jewish neighbor. They have spoken over the phone a couple of times, and each time he asked our missionary about his faith. Recently, Shmuel* said he wanted to start studying a book of the Bible with him. When our staff member heard this, he could not believe his ears! The two of them are now studying the Scriptures together in the early morning when nobody is yet awake in Shmuel’s house. It is a very big deal that someone from the Orthodox community is speaking to someone outside of the community on matters of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Please continue to pray for Shmuel.*
A Grandson’s Faith
Recently one of our staff members received a phone call from Ira.* Ira is a Holocaust survivor and an important person in his community. Occasionally, Ira calls, especially after he receives a greeting card from our missionary for the Jewish holidays. Ira had a unique question during this phone call. Ira confided that his twenty-nine-year-old grandson recently “converted” to Christianity but told him that he was still Jewish even though he believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the promised Messiah. Our staff member reassured Ira that what his grandson told him is true, just as the identity of an Asian or an African is not altered by their convictions about Jesus. Ira told our staff member that he would love and accept his grandson no matter what he believed. Our staff member was not exactly sure why Ira wanted to share this news about his grandson, but sensed that the Holy Spirit was stirring in his heart and had been for quite some time. Pray for Ira; he is eighty-five now and one of the few Holocaust survivors still alive to share his story. There is still hope!
Reaching Jewish People through the Creative Arts
Since classes and church services have been shut down, an associate pastor asked our staff member if she would be interested in teaching a Sunday morning class in the creative arts studio at the church…in front of a camera. For our staff member, cameras were not exactly in her comfort zone. But she prayed, and God immediately directed her to say, “Yes.” For twenty weeks, our staff member prepared lessons and spoke to the audience beyond the camera lens. As it turns out, this audience included many Jewish non-believers. The Passover Seder she hosted was virtually attended by people from Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and South America. Since 2005, our staff member has taught Bible studies at a retirement community with an 85 percent Jewish population. Since the pandemic, they have enjoyed teleconferencing Bible studies. Several months ago, Daniel* shared, “I was always intrigued with the Bible, and now I’m really enjoying it. Our Bible study is my most favorite event of the week.” Following the study, our staff member called Daniel and asked if he could pray, “Jesus, Messiah, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” He responded with, “Sure, I can say that. I know that I’m a sinner. I believe that Jesus is the Messiah. What are those words?” Daniel prayed and became a new creation in Messiah Jesus.