Dear brothers and sisters,
Merry almost Christmas and thank you for your prayers and partnership. Chosen People Ministries, Your Mission to the Jewish People, is positioned to reach thousands of Jewish people during December, and I am excited. We could not be where we are today without God working through you!
I am especially pleased with the opportunities we have for online evangelism. We are now in the midst of evangelistic campaigns in the United States, England, and Israel. We are offering a booklet about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah entitled Hanukkah: A Bright Light for Dark Times, who we know is Jesus, the Light of the World! We have been speaking to Jewish people about Jesus on Zoom and in person as restrictions allow, and a growing handful of Jewish people in Israel and across the globe are coming to faith. We have baptized some new believers in the past few months too. God is moving!
No one, and nothing the devil can throw at us, can keep the gospel locked down!
FACING HARD TIMES IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Our dedicated missionaries are working through the many challenges facing them daily in their ministries. And the Lord is using these hard times, caused by COVID-19, to bring out the best in our staff. They are more creative, sacrificial, and dependent upon the Holy Spirit than ever before!
I am concerned, however, with our missionaries who have been enduring hard times in hard places! Your prayers can help our staff power through the challenges by His Spirit.
Let me tell you what these wonderful missionaries are facing.
Our staff in Israel and Brooklyn face regular opposition from religious Jewish people who protest our Bible studies and services—especially at our Greater Tel Aviv Messianic Center in the suburb of Ramat Gan. Some of our staff also face the challenge of having limited resources, as the regions where they serve do not have an abundance of local churches committed to Jewish missions. I wish we could send the staff everything they need, but we cannot as our resources in the United States are also limited.
Our missionaries here at home are also having a tough time because the opportunities to speak in churches—one of the primary ways our missionaries raise their support—is still severely limited because of the pandemic.
We are not sure when churches will fully reopen their doors to our ministries.
Our staff who work in hard places need the freedom to travel to other places to raise prayer and financial support, but it is impossible for our overseas staff to come to the United States to raise support right now.
Our global staff also face the challenges of working in countries plagued by government instability. For example, the governments of England, Israel, and Argentina are under pressure. Policies are changing and uncertainty rules, which make people hesitant to give to missions, even if they can.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
We have to admit that even though we have endured some tough times over the last nine months, we also know there is a lot to be thankful for!
I hope you were able to gather with your family to celebrate Thanksgiving. Yet, I imagine you may have limited the number of your guests to protect your more vulnerable loved ones as we did. Our heavenly Father also protects those He loves. In one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture, Isaiah wrote:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you (Isaiah 43:1–3).
Like our heavenly Father, we are “wired” to protect those we love!
We do have so much to be thankful for in the midst of hardship, including the freedom to express our faith, the availability of Bibles and other Christian literature, and loving families, even though we might have to see them via Zoom.
God is good—all the time.
Let me list a few reasons why I am so thankful this year.
1. Our online outreaches have been very successful.
2. Many Jewish people have come to faith during the pandemic.
3. There is growing interest in the gospel among ultra-religious Jewish people. We have never received as many inquiries from religious Jewish people as we have during the last few months.
4. The Chosen People Ministries staff is healthy. We are still working mostly from our homes, but some of us are also in the office a few days a week. And our congregations—at least some of them—are meeting again in person, following their own state and local requirements.
There is a lot to be thankful for each day, even in light of what we have lost. The Lord always makes up for our hardship, but in His way.
He promised Israel, “Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25).
He loves each of us so deeply and personally. Jesus taught His disciples this as well. Matthew wrote:
Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:31–33).
And He loves those who are preaching the gospel through Your Mission to the Jewish People.
I am grateful for you, too, as it is because of your sacrifice and generosity that the Lord cares for our dedicated staff worldwide, especially those serving in hard places! We currently have staff working in areas that cover 96 percent of the world’s Jewish population, which today is about 15 million!
We are thankful for you, and we pray regularly for the needs of our broader Chosen People Ministries family. Please feel free to send us your prayer requests at chosenpeople.com/pray. We want to thank God for what He is doing in your life and pray for your needs.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving and early Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!