Government Persecution Leads to Salvation

Dynamic play buttonGovernment Persecution Leads to SalvationGovernment Persecution Leads to Salvation

We’re so grateful for all of your prayers for the recent outreaches and evangelistic campaigns – God truly answered, but definitely in some unexpected ways!

Massive Campaign for Day of Atonement

During this season of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, by God’s grace, we had over 1.25 million views of our evangelistic videos and articles (with an emphasis on content about atonement) during just a 10-day period! Praise God!

An Israeli man from the center of the country who had been searching in Buddhism and Orthodox Judaism decided to follow Yeshua just a few days ago. Hallelujah! We hope to share more of his story soon.

Feast of Tabernacles Outreaches

During Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, we held two street outreaches and were able to interact with thousands of Israelis. We went out with dozens of believers, as Jewish and Arab followers of Jesus, Yeshua – “one new man” in Messiah. We showed God’s love as we gave out free lemonade and chocolate, and shared the Gospel and evangelistic materials with many.

Government Persecution

But this time, we had some unexpected visitors. Several Orthodox Jews, including from an anti-missionary organization, came and blasted their speakers next to us for a while and tried to dissuade our team from sharing.

Then inspectors from the municipality came and told us we had to shut everything down. We showed them a written statement we had received from the municipality saying we didn’t need a special permit to set up a few stands and posters, but they still insisted they would fine us. They cited us for being an “obstruction,” even though we left a full 4 meters (13 feet) in between our stands so that people could easily still walk through. 

It was obvious that this had nothing to do with justice or public order and was merely an attempt to hinder the spread of the Gospel.

When we pointed out that this was ridiculous, they then claimed that we were blocking the public benches, although we were only even close to (and not completely blocking) one out of many in the area. They even said that if someone was so sick that he was about to fall over, maybe he would specifically need our bench, even though there was another one just 1 meter away!

Later, we spoke with another group that had similar stands to ours in that same area and they also didn’t have a permit, but no one bothered them!

Basically, it was obvious that this had nothing to do with justice or public order and was merely an attempt to hinder the spread of the Gospel. So we kept sharing the Gospel in spite of it. They fined me personally since I was in charge, but we will appeal this, Lord-willing.

Breakthroughs for the Gospel

So how, you might ask, is this part of an answer to prayer?

First of all, “the Word of God is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:9b), and in spite of the opposition, there were many Israelis who stopped and spoke with us in depth, listened intently as we shared the Gospel, and asked questions out of a genuine desire to find the truth.

God opened up the doors to share with people from all different backgrounds – Orthodox Jews, Arab gang members, Jewish people in the New Age, secular and atheistic Jews, Muslim and nominal Christian Arabs, etc. 

God opened up the doors for many fruitful conversations

We were able to pray with a number of people right there on the streets, and quite a few people said that they want to meet with us and/or come to a congregation again. One half-blind lady even invited some of our group into her home right there and heard the Gospel in great depth. Praise God!

Amazingly, some people started talking with us because they saw that the municipal workers were bothering us, and not only ended up agreeing that it was irrational persecution, and one of them, after hearing the Gospel, even decided that he wanted to visit a congregation!

It was during that time that we usually wouldn’t have been there that some of the best conversations and even salvation occurred!

Also, when those who were praying during the outreach heard that there was opposition, they stepped up the prayers to a whole new level.

And since several of us had had to deal with the inspectors for quite some time, we decided to continue the outreach until later than usual. And it was during that time that we usually wouldn’t have been there that some of the best conversations and even salvation occurred! 

A few of the highlights out of dozens of such stories:

Finding the Source of Life and Joy

One lady who came right at the very end named Katya* was intrigued by our shirts that said “Unconditional Love,” and wanted to know who we were and why we were doing this.

When we shared our faith with her and said that what God wants is a real relationship with her, she responded that she thought she had a connection with God before and felt joy, but now feels such an emptiness and didn't think that she could ever experience real, long-lasting joy. She thought it was great that we were so excited about Yeshua, but warned us to not get our hopes up too much, because at some point it could all just run dry and we could lose our joy.

Then you never have to be dry spiritually again, because you have a relationship with the living God and His Spirit is like a river of life inside you!

But then we explained the difference between founding our life based on emotion versus founding it on the truth. Emotion is like the leaves, truth is like the roots of a tree. If you try really hard to grow healthy leaves, but don't have good roots, it will never work. But if you have solid truth that your life is founded on, then ultimately, every other part of the tree, including the leaves, will be healthy and fruitful. Katya was fascinated by this and then went on a quest with us to find the truth.

We explained what God Himself said about what separates us from Him: our sin. You could see her sensing the conviction of the Holy Spirit as we spoke about how we’ve all broken God’s commandments. As we shared each point of the Gospel with her, including about Yeshua’s death and resurrection, she was agreeing with us and soaking it in. 

Many Israelis listened intently to the Gospel

We then said, “On this very feast, when Yeshua was here on earth, He stood up and proclaimed, ‘“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”’” (John 7:37b-38).

We explained, “Once we repent of our sins and believe in Yeshua who died for our sins and rose again, He cleanses us on the inside and fills us with His Holy Spirit. Then you never have to be dry spiritually again, because you have a relationship with the living God and His Spirit is like a river of life inside you! And even if you fall, you can repent and immediately receive His forgiveness and joy again. Or if you have tough circumstances you can remember how Yeshua showed the greatest love possible toward you and saved your soul, and you’ll be refilled with joy.”

We asked if she wanted to repent and give her life to Yeshua. Katya thought deeply for a moment then replied, “Yes, I want to!” When we asked if she’d like to do it right now, she said, “Sure, why not?!”

After she prayed, we prayed a blessing over her, and that she would be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we finished she said, "Wow, I feel something very powerful here." 

Here’s the crazy thing: we wouldn’t have met her if it weren’t for the persecution! What the enemy intended to use to shut us down, God used to help us reach someone we wouldn't have reached and for her to come to faith! What an awesome God we serve!

Weeping Because of God's Great Love 

A woman named Larissa who just immigrated from Moscow during the war met with a believer named Chaim who went out with us. After speaking about how we were there to show God's love to everyone, he told her, "You know, God loves you and has blessed you in bringing you here."

She decided to give her life to the Lord right then!

Larissa, filled with all sorts of fears and worries and struggles from the past year,  encountered the love and presence of God, and suddenly placed her head on Chaim's shoulder and started weeping.

He then shared about the great love of our Savior, Yeshua, who laid His life down for her. She decided to give her life to the Lord right then!

Shaking the Foundations of False Religion

Another man named Dor who attends synagogue every week spoke with us in depth. We asked him if he was sure that he would receive eternal life. He explained the traditional Jewish view that because he’s done lots of good works he thought he had a good chance. We showed him the Scriptures that all our righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and that it’s only through the blood of a sacrifice that we can receive atonement (Leviticus 17:11). 

Dor looked in shock and said, “Wow, that’s what God says?” As we went through each point of the Gospel, you could see a holy fear growing in his eyes – he started to realize that these beliefs he had held his whole life (he’s about 70) weren’t founded in God’s Word. Now he suddenly realized he was in trouble with God. 

He listened closely as we shared how the prophets foretold the great solution that God has now provided – atonement through the death of the Messiah, Yeshua. Then we prayed for him, he took evangelistic materials, and he earnestly told us he’d search out the matter more.

Please Pray With Us:

  • For fruitful follow-up – that all those from the outreaches and online campaigns who want to meet either to hear more, to visit a congregation or for discipleship, will indeed connect with us and become true disciples of the Lord
  • For those who heard – that the seed of the Gospel would grow in their hearts, that they wouldn’t be able to just continue as if nothing happened, and they wouldn’t rest until they find true life in Yeshua
  • For true justice as we appeal the fine they gave us – that just as the Apostle Paul used his legal rights to prevent illegal persecution and set positive precedents for the rest of the believers in the area, that this case would help prevent further discrimination against believers (Acts 16:35-40, 22:25-29)
  • For more laborers – we’re really sensing the need for more laborers, as we see the hunger for the truth growing amongst Israelis every year, and we don’t have enough workers to connect with all those online and on the streets who are interested in hearing!

An Apology: Recently God helped us to realize that there was a mistake in a video/article that we published about two years ago. We offer our sincere apologies for the mistake. We’ve edited it out, and here’s the new version, which still includes a powerful pro-life story.

What could be more important than saving lives? You can be a part of bringing life to Israel – life for children in the womb, and eternal life for all through the Gospel of the Messiah.
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