Shalom in our Messiah, Jesus. I am so grateful for all those who have sent us messages of goodwill in honor of our 125th anniversary as a ministry. I am also very grateful for those who have given to our CPM 125th Advancement Campaign.
We have already engaged with more than 75,000 individuals online. To be specific, we now have their names, home addresses, and e-mails for follow-up. By God’s grace, two thousand of them are Israeli non-believers who we met through our Hebrew Isaiah 53 campaign.
We are expecting to meet thousands more as 125 staff and volunteers will pour out into the streets of New York City during the last week of July and first week of August for our Shalom New York outreach! The volunteers are subsidizing themselves, but we are providing the funds needed for our staff to come from across the globe. We will even have a team of Israelis from Israel reaching Israelis in New York City.
If it sounds exciting—it is! Our local New York missionaries, congregations, Bible studies, and disciple-makers are ready to do the follow-up with those seeking the Lord. So please pray often, give generously, and consider joining us for Shalom New York! There is still space available for you. Visit shalomnyoutreach.com for more information!
Holocaust Memorial Day
The United States Congress established May 2 as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many of us have expanded this to the entire month of May and are holding various lectures and memorial services to commemorate this terrible moment in Jewish history.
As a Jewish person, I grew up under the dark shadow cast by the Holocaust. My grandparents were pre-Holocaust European Jewish immigrants to the United States. Like so many others, they never talked about those tragic days. They did not walk through it personally but knew a lot more than they would ever tell us. Perhaps they wanted to spare us from the horrific details of this nightmarish chapter in Jewish history. I was raised with photographs of my aunts and uncles that I would never meet because they died in the Holocaust.
As a Messianic Jew, I wondered if my relatives who lost their lives in the midst of Nazi terror ever heard of God’s grace through Jesus the Messiah—either before or during the days of the Shoah (Holocaust). Knowing the answer to this question became somewhat of an obsession for me over the years.
I began to wonder if there were instances of God’s presence during the Holocaust. As the president of Chosen People Ministries, with access to our archives stretching back to 1894, I knew that our Mission had a significant ministry during those desperate days.
I began looking through these documents to try and discover what transpired through our ministries in Europe at that time.
I was astounded by what I found. I want to share these amazing accounts of grace and mercy with you. There are so many stories of how our ministry served Jewish people during the Holocaust.
Chosen People Publications
The publications reflect the writings of Joseph Hoffman Cohn, the son of our founder, Rabbi Leopold Cohn. Joseph became the director of the Mission after the death of his father. The reports are from before, during, and after the Holocaust and are drawn from The Chosen People newsletter and The Shepherd of Israel, an evangelistic publication.
If there was one outstanding lesson I gleaned from these stories, it was simply this—the Lord uses tragedy to draw us to Himself. The story of the Jewish people during the Holocaust can be compared to the Book of Job. God created and chose the Jewish people to be His light in a dark and broken world. He made promises to our forefathers that He would never allow His people to be destroyed (Jeremiah 31:31–37, Romans 11:28–29). God confirmed His Word again through the prophet Jeremiah: “‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever’” (Jeremiah 31:36).
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob assured us that He will be faithful to His promises.
Hitler murdered at least six million Jewish people, but never completed the job he started, as God would not…and could not…allow it!
God’s grace is sometimes hidden in the midst of life’s greatest difficulties. Tragedy opens our eyes to His presence in ways that good times never will. It is during the difficult times that we recognize He is always present and powerful, and that even death and destruction cannot keep us from Him. This is why the Apostle Paul writes so powerfully,
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Remembering the Holocaust
It is good to remember the Holocaust and evil intent Satan has in mind for God’s ancient people. The Devil still wants to destroy the Jewish people to prevent God’s promises from unfolding. This should motivate us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to remember His grace in the midst of life’s difficulties.
We must never lose hope as He is still Lord and in control, even though humans and Satan himself are guiding humankind on a path to total destruction.
In reading these stories, you might very well be brought to tears. I was! I also hope you discover the Lord of all comfort who will point your heart and soul to His goodness and the salvation He brings through the death and resurrection of His only begotten Son. If we learn one thing from the cross, it is that great suffering leads to even greater glory.
God’s best for Israel and for the Jewish people is still ahead, as Paul promised,
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written. (Romans 11:25–26)
I pray you will find the reports meaningful and that you will oppose antisemitism whenever and wherever you see it! Thanks again for your faithful prayers and generosity!
In His grace,