Dear friend in the Messiah,
Shalom in His peace. I hope you had a restful and fruitful summer and that you are ready for the flurry of activities beginning this month—kids back in school, college students back on campus, and local churches beginning their sermon series, Sunday school, and small group programs. Busy!
Thank you for taking the time to read this note and to pray for Your Mission to the Jewish People. We have an exciting upcoming ministry opportunity among a very significant Jewish community that I want to tell you about!
Training Russian Messianic Leaders
By the time you receive this letter, I will be in Kraków, Poland, which was once a great center of Jewish life and is about a 45-minute drive from Auschwitz. I am in this very beautiful city for a week to participate in a training conference attended by 150 Russian Messianic leaders. The group includes pastors of Russian Messianic Jewish congregations from all over the globe: Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Germany, and more.
It is sad that the Jewish community calls Poland the world’s largest Jewish cemetery, as about 3 million Jewish people died there at the hands of the Nazis. There were 11 million Jewish people living in Russia and Poland prior to the Holocaust, and almost half of them were murdered. It is hard to say how many were left and found themselves stranded behind the atheist Iron Curtain. Millions.
After the crumbling of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, many of the Jewish people living in these countries left for Western Europe, the United States, and Israel. Surprisingly, almost like a modern-day reenactment of Acts 2, the Spirit began moving in the lives of Russian Jews around the globe.
We have experienced an out pouring of the Holy Spirit upon Russian-speaking Jews, and tens of thousands have come to faith in Jesus the Messiah. Hundreds of Messianic congregations have been planted all over the world. Chosen People Ministries has more than forty Russian-speaking missionaries around the globe serving in those countries with large concentrations of Russian Jewish people. This movement continues, and some wonderful leaders have emerged to lead this great work of God. For example, the directors of our works in Germany and Israel are both Russian Jewish brothers. We have congregations in Moscow, Russia, and many throughout Ukraine, and it is a joy for me and for Chosen People Ministries to be a part of it.
A similar movement took place in Brooklyn. We have more than 200,000 Russian-speaking Jewish people living in the greater New York area, with the highest concentration in Brooklyn. I personally know of hundreds of Russian Jews who have come to the Lord in New York City over the last 30 years.
This global outpouring of the Spirit upon Russian Jews has not stopped! We continue in our outreach to this very special and large group of Jewish people through evangelism, discipleship, congregation planting, mentoring young leaders, and social ministries, including working with families affected by addiction and crime. In Israel, we have an amazing ministry among elderly Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors, very few of whom will be left after the next five years, making this ministry extremely urgent!
We will continue these ministries among Russian Jewish people for as long as we possibly can in the countries of the former Soviet Union, North America, and in Israel, where more than 1.6 million Russian-speaking Jews have settled since the early 1990s.
I believe this training effort in Kraków is important. In fact, we MUST train these leaders who will in turn provide leadership for thousands of Messianic Jews!
We offer training on biblical and practical subjects, taught by those with many years of ministry experience. This is exactly what they and their congregations need right now.
Here is just one testimony from a Russian Jewish leader who attended one of these conferences:
It is great to be a part of such a conference, as you can hear a lot of lectures, discussions, and sharing from our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in different parts of the world, learn about different situations, and pray for each other. However, the biggest blessing for me was not only to see again my old friends and co-workers for the Messiah, Jesus, but it was exciting to meet new leaders: the number of them is growing every conference. Praise the Lord for His work, it is so visible in events like this. — Klaudia
The Jewish Holidays: Your Prayers Will be Appreciated!
The Jewish community will celebrate the High Holidays in just a few short weeks. The Jewish New Year—called Rosh Hashanah in Hebrew—will begin on the evening of September 29, 2019. Ten days later we will observe the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and conclude the season with the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, which begins the evening of October 13, 2019. All of these festivals are found in Leviticus 23.
The Chosen People Ministries staff will share the gospel with many Jewish seekers who will attend our Messianic High Holiday services. Our services will point attendees to Jesus, who beautifully fulfills the holidays, which I believe are a roadmap to redemption. This coming High Holiday season, I will be celebrating my 49th year as a Jewish believer in Jesus. The Lord used these Jewish holidays, which I observed my entire life, to help me recognize that Jesus is Jewish, celebrated the Jewish holidays, and is my Messiah!
Please pray for the many Jewish non-believers who will be coming to our services. Thank you again for caring and praying!
A Fruitful Shalom New York Outreach
Meanwhile, Your Mission to the Jewish People is rejoicing over the success of our recent outreach, Shalom New York. More than 125 staff and volunteers came from all over the globe to impact thousands of lives. In fact, things are just settling down, and our follow-up teams have remained in the greater New York area to administer what I call “spiritual triage,” making sure that we are caring for those who are genuinely interested in the gospel. Please pray these contacts will be willing to meet with us individually or attend our Bible studies.
Additionally, we have rolled out our new video-based discipleship series for new Jewish believers and seekers, called “Follow Messiah.” This new follow-up tool is already working well, and we actually assign a mentor to each Jewish person who enters into the Bible study series, which is based on the Sermon on the Mount. This is the first online Bible study and discipleship series tailored specifically to new Jewish believers and seekers.
We cannot continue this work without your faithful prayers that allow us to minister and help so many, including Russian Jewish leaders in Israel and around the globe. Thank you so much for your love and concern for God’s chosen people.
Like you, I am looking forward to all that is in store in the exciting days ahead.
Your brother in Messiah,
P.S. I hope that you might consider coming to our gala on November 15, 2019 in Brooklyn to celebrate our 125th anniversary as a ministry. If you would like more information about this event, please visit chosenpeople.com/anniversarygala.