Montreal APRIL 24 AND 27
Two teams walked around a large park in a Jewish area on Saturday afternoon the 24th.
One team encountered a Jewish couple sitting in lawn chairs and chatted for a while. They accepted both the anti-Semitism tract and a New Testament, although later the wife brought them back, saying she worked in the synagogue to promote Judaism and would not look at our material when she realized it spoke of Jesus. She emphatically said that anything that said “New Testament” could not be Jewish. The husband did not want to give back the materials and so he finally accepted our pamphlet on some Talmudic commentaries of Isaiah 53.
One Jewish man said he had no religious or political beliefs and declined our tract, like many others.
The team had a long conversation with an ex-Catholic who had studied religion and accepted some of our literature. In all, the team gave out half a dozen anti-Semitism tracts to curious Jews and Gentiles.
The other team encountered an elderly couple sitting with a male friend. The wife did not want any literature, but the husband insisted on accepting it. After a short conversation, they also accepted a bookmark with messianic prophecies.
Three women were walking together. Although the first said she was not concerned by anti-Semitism, the other two said they were and took the tract, even though they said they were not religious.
The team met an elderly man, M., who was walking his dog and spoke nearly 20 minutes with him. He was open to hearing about Yeshua as the Messiah and resurrected Son of God, although he said one could not be Jewish and believe in Jesus. They spoke about how to biblically define a Jew and also that the Messiah would be divine.
After the two teams shared their experiences at the end of the afternoon, they prayed and then one team member left to go home. Walking toward the cars, they were strongly drawn to a young woman sitting on a bench with an infant carrier next to her. She told them her little boy was four weeks old that day. A team member asked if we could pray for him and she gladly agreed. After praying for both him and her, she told us she was Muslim. We spoke briefly about Jesus as the only way and asked if she had a Bible. “No”, she said, “but I have wanted one for a long time.” She looked up and said this was a sign from God and that she was going through a difficult time. She finally had time to read due to the beginning of her maternity leave. Very touched, and clapping her hand to her heart, she kept exclaiming how it was from God that we had spoken to her. We invited her to Beth Ariel and pointed out our contact information on the tract. She had never met Jewish believers in Jesus. We offered to continue praying for her, S., and her son A. Later, the team learned it is extremely rare for a middle Eastern mother to take her newborn outside before being a few months old, and that it was nearly miraculous that she had. What a beautiful encounter!
Then on Tuesday April 27, a team of two went outdoors to a shopping center in a Jewish area with many people out running errands at midday.
An elderly couple stopped to speak with us at length, thanking us for sensitizing people to anti-Semitism.
An elderly man who had great difficulty in his movements declined a tract at first, then came back a few steps to ask us for one. We then talked for a while and he thanked us for speaking to him, doubtless a lonely individual. He couldn’t hold the paper well but smiled widely as we carefully folded it and put it in his pocket before he continued limping on his way.
A self-proclaimed newly religious young Jewish woman tried to lecture us on which rabbinical writings we needed to read. She kept speaking about the Torah but was actually referring to Talmud. But she refused to take our Talmudic comments on Isaiah 53, saying we had the wrong perspective since we were missionaries who believed in Jesus. She denied that blood sacrifices were needed, even when we quoted Leviticus 17:11 and referred to recent animals being “offered” near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Levitical priests. We pray something we said will cause her to search outside her “approved” readings.
A Gentile woman begging for money eagerly accepted tracts from us after we said we weren’t carrying any money but could offer her something else.
A man who has been volunteering at the Holocaust Center for 25 years spoke to us at length. He is unsure there is a God after reading holy books from many religions and saying a worldwide flood was impossible. Still, he took the tract on anti-Semitism.
Another Jewish woman said anti-Semitism would never end, but we said it will when Messiah comes. She said we have been waiting for millennia, but he never shows up. We said He had already appeared and that it was Yeshua. She hurried off afterwards.
A young man eating a quick lunch while standing in the parking lot caught our attention. He was quite open, coming from a Conservative Jewish background like one of the team members. He happily took everything we offered him.
While speaking to him, an elderly Russian Jewish woman came over to speak to us. She wanted to see what we were giving out. She told us she already had a Tanakh. When we presented her with the New Testament, she clasped it as a treasure, saying not many had the opportunity to read that book. She was thrilled to receive it, and we encouraged her to begin with Matthew. Since we only had one in English, It left us unable to offer one to the young man, who was in a hurry to go back to work. Next time, we’ll be sure to carry more with us. May they both find the Messiah who loves them and wants to offer them permanent atonement.
We gave out around twenty tracts to Jewish people on anti-Semitism, some also receiving bookmarks of Messianic prophecy and/or the one on Isaiah 53.
Please be in regular prayer since the teams are often going out twice weekly. Thank you for your partnership!