Our 2015 Behold Your God team is now over a week into its outreach campaign. These men and women continue to be out daily on the streets along the southern shore of Israel, reaching our Jewish brothers and sisters with the gospel message. We have handed out nearly 24,000 broadsides, taken the contact information of 189 unsaved Jewish people, and spoken to 1,800 people over the phone about Yeshua. Praise God!
Another Esther Chosen for the Kingdom
Valery Bolotov, one of our missionaries, reports: “Today while we were making calls, a 90-year-old woman named Esther answered the phone. I told her that hers was a great Jewish name and shared the story of Queen Esther and how God used her to save the Jewish people. I explained to her how Jesus did the same thing, but in an even greater way. I expounded on the nature of sin and she agreed that she is a sinner in God’s eyes. This discussion opened the way for Esther to say a prayer of repentance and receive Yeshua. I was surprised that at the end of the prayer she declared aloud, ‘Jesus is my Lord!’ I believe the Holy Spirit gave her those words and opened her heart to receive.” Please pray for Esther as she begins her new life in Messiah; may she choose to become a part of the local Body of Messiah and dedicate the rest of her life to serving and following the Lord.
God’s Timing: Protected from the Opposition
Early one morning, one of our teams, while holding up a banner alongside a busy intersection, was approached by two ruffians who were yelling and looked ready to fight. Praise the Lord that the local police had stopped by just moments before to talk to our teammates. As the screaming men approached them and tried to destroy the banner they were holding, the police quickly got between the men and our team in order to protect them. As our group was packing up to move locations, one member noted, “We saw the police putting handcuffs on the men in black.” We thank the Lord that no one was injured and that He sent sympathetic police officers to be there just as the opposition arrived. Please continue to pray for God’s protection over our campaigners.
Our Spin on the Latest News Coverage
Earlier we reported to you about two negative articles that had been published in the local news sites. Recently, Arutz 7 (Channel 7), one of the top Israeli news agencies, published an article which strongly supported the Yad L’Achim anti-missionary organization and its efforts to thwart our current Behold Your God campaign. Even though their coverage was biased, they did report on our opposition’s name calling and finger pointing. Alex, one of our campaign leaders, observed that the article said that we were “flooding the area” with the good news!
Similarly, Vladimir Mitnitsky, also a campaign leader, looked on the bright side of the coverage: “They were anti-Christian articles, but what I liked about one of them is that it said ‘they are trying to convince people that Yeshua is the Messiah.’ They actually used Jesus’ name correctly in Hebrew! They went on to show a picture of our tract and put it in the article. They explained our message, that Jesus is the Messiah, and displayed our contact information! In the other article, in the Ashkelon newspaper, they showed an unfolded picture of our broadside which states, ‘Yeshua Saves.’ It is easily readable. Both of the articles stated proudly that they didn’t allow Jews for Jesus to place ads in their paper. We should thank the newspapers for their free publicity!”
Two More Testimonies
While every one of our 30 campaigners has at least one story to share from the past week, below are a couple more testimonies that resonated with me and I’d like to share them with you:
Igal Vender, one of our interns, reports: “I went out with Laura to do bannering even though I wasn’t on her team. Suddenly a man in a car pulled over and began speaking harshly to us. Then the driver addressed me directly, shouting, ‘Put your banner down and stop what you are doing!’ I removed my sunglasses and walked over to him. He immediately recognized me and said, ‘Hey, I know you. We were in prison together in 2002! You are different now than you were then.’ I answered, ‘Look, Jesus changed me into a good man.’ I was able to share the gospel with him. The man threatened that he would soon come back with his friends. (He comes from a large mafia family.) I let him know that I wasn’t planning to leave. I believe it was truly God’s will that I ran into him again.”
Tatyana Bolotov, one of our missionaries, reports: “We were doing surveys on the street. I had attempted to speak with ten people but no one wanted to talk. So, I started to pray and asked God, ‘Isn’t there anyone who is looking for you, Lord?’ At that moment a woman approached me. She answered all the questions in the survey and even listened to my testimony. Then she started to cry. She said, ‘I am Jewish, 76 years old, and I never knew that Jesus cared about us Jews.’ She asked me to please send her the ‘Yeshua’ book. Please pray for her, that the book may stir her heart and draw her closer to Him.” Praise the Lord that He is orchestrating our meetings and bringing us people who are willing to listen to the good news of our Messiah.
We ask that you please continue to pray for:
• The 500,000 people who live in the South Shore of Israel and who don’t yet know the Lord
• The campaigners to be strengthened and rejuvenated as they continue to witness daily
• Wisdom for the campaign leaders in making strategic decisions
• The teams to stand strong in spite of any opposition (physical or spiritual)
• Esther and all of the new believers in the Land to be strengthened in their faith
We can’t thank you enough for your prayers. They are vital in bringing breakthroughs in the lives of those we are trying to reach. We hope you’ve been touched by some of these stories, and we hope to bring you another update early next week.