Noam’s story inspires us to see how God is still pursuing prodigals today, and when we join Him in prayer and persevering love for them, He does wonders!
We have quite a history with Noam* (see Once an Enemy, Now a Brother). A young Israeli from a religious Jewish background, he saw our evangelistic videos and spoke with us years ago, initially resisting strongly and even cursing, but ultimately turning to Jesus, Yeshua, as his Messiah. At the time, he was briefly connected to believers, but didn’t ever get baptized or have discipleship, and unfortunately he fell away into a secular lifestyle.
He fell into a morally dark pit, and even reached the point where he was doubting whether God even exists.
Several months ago, the Lord laid it on our hearts to pray intensively for and then follow up with contacts who hadn’t answered us or been in touch for a long time. Our God is, after all, a God of second chances, and even third and fourth!
I called Noam, and to my surprise, he actually answered and wanted to talk. I listened as he shared what he’d been up to these last years – his army service, university studies, work, lifestyle. Then I started sharing the Gospel with him again and some testimonies of Yeshua’s supernatural work.
He responded, “You know, I’ve been feeling recently after everything that I’ve been pursuing that maybe I’m missing something…something big. Maybe I need to look into Yeshua again.”
I sent him our evangelistic video about who the real Yeshua is, which had an impact on him, and then later met on Zoom with him, together with my brother and co-worker Avi, who had shared with Noam quite a lot in the past.
Just about all of Noam’s questions for the first hour were related to whether God actually exists and whether we can know the Bible is actually from Him. God helped us to answer well, and we could see that he was touched and listening intently, but he was kind of keeping us at a distance.
Then he said, “Well, maybe I’ll think about visiting a congregation again sometime. Thank you guys and we’ll be in touch!” It sounded to me like the classic non-commitment that would result in no actual movement.
Even though he had strongly indicated he wanted to end the conversation, I felt a fire burning in my heart for him and couldn’t end it there. I said, “Noam, listen, I’m glad we could talk about all these evidences about God’s existence. But it’s important to recognize that what we’re talking about is an issue of where you’ll be for all eternity – there’s nothing more important in this whole life than making sure you have forgiveness from God and eternal life instead of eternal punishment.” We then briefly reviewed the Gospel with him again.
At the end he said, “You know what? I think I really should go to a congregation and learn more about Yeshua again. Can you connect me with one in the new area I’m living in?”
Praise God for a breakthrough! We connected him with good believing friends in his area (our graphic designer and her husband!), and he began visiting their congregation and experienced God’s love there.
We kept praying for Noam – that his eyes would truly be opened, that God would reveal Himself anew to him, that he’d realize his need for Yeshua.
A few weeks later, Noam sent a text where he shared the conclusion of his search, and when I read it, I literally shouted, “Hallelujah!” He wrote, “I believe that Yeshua is the Messiah and Lord!”
And this time, he recognizes that there’s a real spiritual battle happening and he can’t make it on his own. He earnestly asked, “Please pray for me, that I’ll be strong in faith in Yeshua, and that I won’t fall into temptation!” He also confessed that he struggles reading the Bible on his own and needs help.
When we told him about our discipleship group, he said, “Yes, I am definitely in! That’s exactly what I need!”
Then just last Saturday, he came up to meet with us, visit our congregation, and be baptized. At the last minute, he said he was bringing a friend with him, who actually turned out to be an atheist!
Noam’s friend, Sasha, clearly had no idea what to expect, but was also clearly interested. As Sasha looked around, he bombarded Noam and Avi with whispered questions about what he was experiencing in this new setting.
The teaching that weekend was about the Sword of the Spirit, and Sasha as a fencer connected with the message on a personal level. Based on Hebrews 4, our pastor attested to the power of God’s Word to penetrate us, divide between soul and spirit, and transform us. At that moment, Sasha whispered excitedly, “Wow, this is a really powerful message!”
After the service, we all drove down to the beach for the baptism. I took the opportunity to ask Sasha, “You know, we are all on a spiritual journey in life. How would you describe your spiritual journey?”
Only then did I hear that he was an atheist, but he still was relatively open to Yeshua.
Then Noam jumped into the conversation, “To be honest with you guys, I’ve only known Sasha for about a month. He heard that I was Messianic and wondered what that meant – are we religious fanatics? So I told him, ‘I’m going to a congregation this Saturday and getting baptized afterwards. You wanna come watch?’”
Noam continued by sharing his testimony, spanning eight years, with Sasha. What an experience!
As we all approached the water, Avi reminded Noam of the parable of the prodigal son – how, after leaving, to his father’s great sorrow, that son finally returned and found great joy in his father’s house again.
“That’s like what’s happening with you!” Avi gleamed, and Noam agreed.
Even though Noam knew the Gospel, so that Sasha would have a chance to hear, we shared the full Gospel again and tied it into baptism.
Then we said to Noam, “So are you ready?” He said, “What, you think I drove two hours and did all this so that I’d turn around at the last second?! Of course I’m ready!”
And so his old man was buried in baptism and he was raised in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). In fact, as we approached the shoreline on the way back, he commented, “Wow, I feel so refreshed physically and spiritually!”
A new beginning, a new chapter, a second chance. Hallelujah!
Noam’s story highlights the great need for discipleship in Israel for new believers. Without a solid foundation and fellowship, many have sadly fallen away. Today we can rejoice with Noam and we pray that we can rejoice with many others soon, as well.
Please Pray with Us:
- For the discipleship video series and program – As we work intensively on this, please join us in fervent prayer, just as Paul labored in prayer for his spiritual children, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth pangs again until Messiah is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
- For the evangelistic videos and street outreaches – that God would grant great wisdom, direction, inspiration, perfect timing, and powerful impact, leading to the salvation of many in Israel and around the world.
- For all the new believers (see more stories here), including:
– Shai, a young new believer that we connected with a local congregation, but is struggling with family issues. His parents are divorced and his father suffers from Huntington's disease. Shai is watching many videos about the faith, and he started discipleship with a local pastor. He also plans to join prayer meetings and a home group. Please pray that he will continue to grow and will put God first in everything he does.
- For the follow-up with thousands of Israelis online and on the streets, including:
– Sadik, a Druze homeless drug addict we've been reaching out to for many years. After a series of miracles, he decided to begin rehab, but almost immediately he was out again after he was caught with drugs. It was heartbreaking for us, and we’d appreciate your prayers for a real change of heart for him and a desire to actually be free and follow Yeshua.
- For our Pro-Life and Gospel Campaign, including:
– We finally had a partial breakthrough where our hotline is receiving more calls again after a day of fasting and prayer recently – thank you and praise God! Let’s pray that the line will not only be fully restored, but that we’ll even be able to help more Israelis choose life!
– A few of the women, after we helped them choose life for their last child, are considering abortion for the child they’re currently pregnant with, including Hila who just gave birth a few months ago. Please pray for a permanent change of heart – that God would remove hearts of stones and give people soft hearts, where they turn to Him, the living God, and turn in compassion to their own flesh and blood.