Tag Archives: mission

Back to Normal—Hallelujah!

Shalom in His grace. We are living in exciting times. I never thought I would be thrilled about the ability to engage in the routine tasks of ministry, but after a couple of years of not being able to do this great work of reaching Jewish people in person—all I can say is I am ecstatic!

We are now in the midst of Foundations ’22, a campaign to support Your Mission to the Jewish People’s commitment to in-person ministry—proclaiming, discipling, and training others to reach the Jewish people for Jesus.

C. S. Lewis wrote, “Christians are Christ’s body, the organism through which He works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more.”1

I cannot agree more with the great British writer, whose insights into Scripture are profound and helpful. The Lord chooses and uses people to accomplish His holy purposes. He left us on earth to be His arms, legs, and voice to a dark and broken world.

Next month, I will be preaching at Moody Bible Institute’s annual missions conference in Chicago. The school is honoring the one hundredth year of its Jewish Studies program. I will be preaching on the well-known text that we often call the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20).

I will do my best to forge a link between the Great Commission with what I like to call the Great Mandate in Romans 11, in which the apostle Paul invites the church to make Jewish people jealous with the gospel message (Rom 11:11).

I have spent my adult life trying to make sure that Jewish evangelism does not become the “Great Omission of the Great Commission.” I am persuaded that reaching Jewish people and reaching the world are like twin sisters, both essential parts of God’s plan for the future of humanity. Jewish evangelism is not one of the side jobs of the church. It should be, according to the Bible, one of our primary concerns as the church reaches every nation, tribe, and tongue for Jesus.

I believe Jewish evangelism is at the very core of world evangelization!

It is the starting point for the Great Commission.

A well-known Messianic Jewish theologian, Dr. Jacob Jocz, wrote in his book, The Spiritual History of Israel,

If the Church has no Gospel for the Jews, it has no Gospel for the world.2

I realize that most Christians do not intentionally withhold the gospel from the Jewish people, but many do not always include the Jewish people within their call to reach the world. Reaching Jewish people for Jesus should be an intentional strategy for all Christians and churches because of the role God gave to the children of Israel as part of His plan of redemption.

THE GREAT COMMISSION AND THE GREAT MANDATE

In Matthew 28:19–20 (the Great Commission), Jesus gave His disciples three main tasks to accomplish as they go out to reach the world: make disciples, baptize, and teach those disciples to obey His word.

The apostle Paul added a more specific mandate for Gentile believers. He wrote,

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
(Romans 11:11)

Paul wrote these inerrant words in light of what he penned a few sentences later in his letter to the Roman believers. For Paul, knowing the future instructed them as Paul was referring corporately to the Roman church. The salvation of Israel in the last days is the last human step leading to the second coming of Christ. He wrote in Romans 11,

Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! . . . For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
(Romans 11:12, 15)

The nations have a role to play inching us closer to the second coming of Messiah—through reaching the Jewish people and adding to the expansion of the remnant.

Jewish evangelism should be a priority of heart for the church because of the role the Jewish people have played throughout sacred history and will play in the future.

A SUMMER OF IN-PERSON MINISTRY

Summer Camp

We had a great summer of outreach. We enjoyed a renewed and full participation of kids who joined our Camp Kesher (Hebrew for connection—to the Lord and one another). We held two camps—one on the West Coast and another on the East. Our East Coast camp had a total of seventy-two campers, thirty-six staff, four counselors-in-training, and one nurse for a total of 113 people. The theme for the week was “Own It!” through which we encouraged the campers to take ownership of their faith in the face of opposition. On Friday evening, after our service, we baptized two young counselors who recently rededicated their lives to the Lord.

Shalom New York

I also praise God for the couple of dozen staff and volunteers who hit the streets of New York City during the first week of August and spoke to hundreds of Jews and Gentiles about the Lord. The streets were packed, despite the heat. The team had some great conversations! Let me share the experience of one of our full-time missionaries:

On the first day of our Shalom New York outreach, one of the teams met a Jewish lady from Omaha, Nebraska, at a street fair. She was drawn to our I Found Shalom book table, but was hesitant to get into a conversation about faith or religion. One of our team members was also from Omaha! When she found that out, she was in shock. The conversation continued, and they discovered they were from the same community. As they shared some memories, her heart got softer. She eventually appreciated the conversation we had about faith and allowed us to pray for her. We finished our conversation and exchanged contact information. She would like us to keep in touch with her. That is definitely a divine appointment from the Lord, who graciously sent this lady to our team on the first day to encourage us to trust and depend on Him during the rest of the Shalom New York week.

There were many other great stories. We cannot do this work without our well-trained and dedicated missionaries who love the Lord and the Jewish people. We believe every conversation is precious and orchestrated by the Lord! Your prayers and support keep our missionaries in the field.

Serving Suffering Ukrainians

I was overwhelmed by the response of our friends to the needs of Ukrainians suffering as a result of the Russian invasion. We are still able to meet the physical and social needs of Ukrainian Jews and Gentiles in Ukraine, Poland, Israel, Germany, and many other places. We have especially cared for the hundreds of scattered members of the Messianic Jewish community in Ukraine, whom we have served for decades.

I believe we have saved lives by providing funds for food, medicine, and housing. This aid enables Chosen People Ministries and the local pastors to advance the Great Commission among these millions of displaced Ukrainians. We continue to do all we can to help!

WHAT’S NEXT?

We need your prayers as we will have dozens of Messianic worship services in celebration of the three major fall Jewish festivals: the Jewish new year, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. All three point prophetically to Jesus. While we plan to offer hybrid services, all our congregations and branches are also planning in-person services.

A HISTORIC CONFERENCE

This month, we are sponsoring a conference in Germany for Messianic Jewish leaders and missionaries—mostly from around Europe but also from the United States and Canada. We hope to build greater unity and infrastructure to continue our ministries to Ukrainians. The conference will be held and organized by Beth Sar Shalom, our ministry partner in Germany. We expect a few hundred leaders, so please pray and give generously if you can. We need to cover the costs for most of the attendees.

Finally, I want to let you know that, in the midst of all the struggles of the last few years, Chosen People Ministries has taken on more than a half dozen new missionaries and have also found some of our more veteran missionaries struggling to raise support.

The missionaries are serving everywhere from Israel to New York City, London, and other places that are expensive and/or where it is difficult to raise missionary support.

Thank you for your prayers as well as your generous and sacrificial support.

1 C. S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis: Readings for Meditation and Reflection, ed. Walter Hooper (San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1996), 18.

2 Jacob Jocz, Spiritual History of Israel (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1961), 160.

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Filed under Conference, evangelism, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

Win & Disciple a New Generation of Believers in Israel

I recently returned from Israel, and what I saw was immensely encouraging! It is incredible how much Israel’s Messianic community has grown and changed since my first trip to the land back in 1976!

There are many more Israeli believers now than there were five or even three decades ago. Since then, so much has changed amidst the growing body of believers in the Holy Land!

For so long, most of those who came to faith in Israel were older immigrants from the former Soviet Union. However, many of today’s Messianic leaders in Israel are younger and grew up within the Messianic Israeli community. Many of them are also the grandchildren of those Russian-speaking immigrants in the post-Perestroika era.

Many of these young Messianic leaders’ kids have followed a similar path to that of their parents and grandparents. They had godly parents, were raised attending solid Messianic congregations from childhood, served in the Israeli military, traveled the world, studied at universities, entered the workplace, and now serve in their local congregations. Many of these men and women have also married and are now raising children of their own.

Partnering with and equipping these dynamic young leaders is my passion and priority. As a result, we introduced Living Waters almost a decade ago—an annual three-day mentoring retreat in Israel for the whole family. This discipleship effort allows young Israeli believers to meet one another and develop friendships for the future, as this generation will lead the Messianic community in Israel during the twenty-first century. It is an incredible privilege for Your Mission to the Jewish People to invest in this next generation and beyond (as we also disciple their children)!

Living Waters has fostered alliances among these young leaders, their congregations, and their ministries, resulting in even greater efforts to reach Israelis for Jesus. These alliances allow for deeper fellowship and for the participants to learn more about each other’s skills and gifts. Through teaching, worship, prayer, and many great discussions, we are advancing the general Bible knowledge of these young adults and addressing practical training issues, including leadership, counseling, and biblical ethics.

We have excellent Bible teachers training the Living Waters community. There are also some professors, business people, and others who know what it is like to stand for Jesus amid a challenging and sometimes hostile environment. Over the years, Living Waters has helped create a sense of unity in the Messianic body in Israel and has also offered the participants meaningful fellowship with believers throughout this small country.

This past June, Zhava and I were delighted to speak at Living Waters 2022. It was an honor to encourage these young leaders, but their passion for serving the Lord wherever He places them also profoundly inspired us. Here is what some of the participants had to say about their time at the retreat last month:

“Thank you so much for your work and love! I think there was a lot of honesty at the conference, and that is something that was important for me to experience and hear from young believers.”

“It is encouraging to see so many young people living out their faith, especially in this country.”

“Living in Israel is so hard and often exhausting, especially as believers. Having a ministry that just feeds into and loves on you for an entire weekend is such a blessing and an encouragement. I also really love the opportunity to meet so many other believers at a similar stage of life from around the country that we otherwise would not easily get to meet or know (particularly for us, being from the North).”

“We both felt so refreshed, encouraged, and more determined to do God’s work here in Jerusalem.”

We are in the midst of a second-generation Messianic Jewish movement within Israel and doing all we can to invest in their discipleship training for the Lord. We believe that what they learn through the teaching, personal conversations, and one another will serve them well as leaders in the growing Israeli Messianic movement as they bring the good news of the Messiah to fellow Israelis.

We believe that, along with Living Waters, many of our other activities at our center in greater Tel Aviv, such as our monthly Sabbath dinners, our weekly Bible classes, and outreach concerts, all contribute to serving this growing younger group of believing families and to equipping them to tell their own generation about the Lord.

God is at work in Israel, the Middle East, and the world. The passion and energy of this generation of Israeli believers are powerful evidence of God’s faithfulness. Now is an exciting time to be involved in Jewish ministry, especially in Israel!

I look forward to seeing how God will work through today’s Israeli Messianic community. Those in our Living Waters program, I have no doubt, will play an influential role.

What can you do to help us win and disciple a new generation of younger Israelis?

Your prayers are essential as the enemy of our souls is also doing all he can to stop this movement. We often have anti-missionaries trying to disrupt our activities in the greater Tel Aviv area. However, we are hoping to see some future “apostle Pauls” among them as the Lord reverses the hostility of the ultra-Orthodox and others who come against the good news and opens their hearts to receive the gospel message. We have already seen some openness among those who oppose us.

Thank you so much for caring! I am so hopeful for the future! I am already looking toward what God will do among this now-growing third generation (post-1948) of kids. They will grow up loving the Lord, speaking perfect Hebrew, and following the path blazed by their parents, who also attended Israeli schools, served in the army, and walked faithfully with their Messiah.

Many blessings, and may the Lord prepare our hearts for the great coming day that the apostle wrote about in Romans 11:25–26, when “all Israel will be saved”—through Yeshua the Messiah, of course.

I feel like we are on our way!

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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Russian Israelis, Uncategorized

Building Chosen People Ministries for the Future

How can we possibly have hope in a world filled with despair, war, disease, and poverty?

As always, we find the answer in the Bible!

Paul wrote to his young disciple, Timothy, and told him how to find hope in a disappointing world.

“It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1 Tim 4:9–10, emphasis added).

We can have hope when we grab hold of the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

OUR HOPE IS ROOTED IN THE CHARACTER AND PROMISES OF GOD

Psalm 42 is one of my favorite psalms. In this song to the Lord, the psalmist is in painful despair, and this psalm captures his conversations with God as he journeys from darkness to light—from grief to praise. Finally, at the conclusion, the psalmist summarizes and sings,

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Ps 42:11).

Somehow, the psalmist escaped his despair and despondence and found hope in the Lord.

The psalmist wrote, “Hope in God.” In Hebrew, this phrase is הוֹחִילִי לֵאלֹהִים (hochili lelohim); the root word is yachal ( יחַָל ), which can be translated as “hope” or “to wait with expectation.”1 The word “countenance” literally means “face.” I believe hope transforms us from the inside out and is most visible in the face of someone who smiles when hopeful. You can see hope in the cheekbones of the hopeful!

The journey to hope is difficult for most of us and especially challenging in times of hardship. But finding hope is critical for the soul’s survival. Moreover, it is at the core of our witness to those who do not yet believe. So, where should we look for hope?

We find the most soul-satisfying sense of hope when we strip away all the standard props of dependence upon people, material things, and circumstances, and we recognize that the only hope we have is in God Himself.

OUR HOPE IS IN THE LIVING GOD

Our hope in God rests upon His character, His promises, and, to some degree, His people. But it is always in Him, through Him, and about Him.

We have a forever-hope because our God is eternal. He is the living God. Therefore, we can live today in light of the glorious future He promised us, guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. When we have this hope and allow it to fill our souls, then we need not despair as we—through the Messiah—are eternal heirs of His grace and will live with the living God for all eternity.

Paul wrote so poignantly and 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).

A BIT OF HISTORY

Before I share with you some of our hopes and dreams for the next twelve months, let me take a quick moment to look back. Zhava and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth year of leading Chosen People Ministries, and it might be a blessing to you to read how we came to where we are today. I often joke that Chosen People Ministries is now in its 128th year—but I am not the founder! The Lord has led Zhava and me to this place for this season of twenty-five years. Knowing this makes the future all the brighter and more hopeful for us.

Zhava and I began this phase of our relationship with Chosen People Ministries on May 1, 1997. However, our Chosen People Ministries story goes back quite a few years to when Zhava became a believer as a young teenager. At that time, Chosen People Ministries was called the American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ), and she came to faith at Fairfax High School in a very Jewish area of Los Angeles.

She came to the Lord through the witness of some Gentile Christian young people at her high school. While this was happening, I came to faith as a nineteen-year-old Jewish hippie in San Francisco. I met the Northern California representative of Chosen People Ministries, who encouraged me to go to Bible college back in New Jersey, which I did because I wanted to witness to my parents, who were living there at the time.

Zhava and I met after I graduated from Bible college. At the time, I had begun my graduate studies at the Talbot School of Theology and had been working with Jews for Jesus, which used to be the San Francisco branch of the ABMJ but had broken away. Zhava and I met at an ABMJ young adult outreach held at Pat Boone’s pool house. The rest is history!

When I left Jews for Jesus, I knew I wanted to stay in New York City and continue in Jewish ministry, but I did not know if I would serve with another organization or start something myself. It took about a month after I left Jews for Jesus for Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel Ministries to contact me and ask if I wanted to serve with that mission. We thought and prayed about it for a little while and decided to do it. So I worked with Ariel Ministries from January 1996 until April 1997, when the Lord gave me the joy and privilege of becoming president of Chosen People Ministries. After a few months, our Chosen People Ministries director of communications left, and Zhava took that position. She has been full-time with Chosen People Ministries ever since. She currently teaches Jewish studies and Hebrew at the Feinberg program and directs our department of information technology.

NOW FOR A SPOOKY BUT TRUE STORY!

A couple of months before Chosen People Ministries approached me, I was praying and asking God for His leading for our future. Somehow, I got the impression while praying that God was going to call me to lead Chosen People Ministries. So, I told Zhava that I believed God might have been leading us to be part of Chosen People Ministries—to become the president even! She, of course, asked me if anybody from Chosen People Ministries had talked to me about it, and I said no. She then said, “Wow . . . you think highly of yourself!” It was my fault for marrying an outspoken Jewish girl!

But I was pretty confident it was God’s voice, so I was not overly shocked when a Chosen People Ministries board member called and asked me to have dinner with her a couple of weeks later. At dinner, she asked me if I was interested in the position of president of Chosen People Ministries. Of course, in light of what God had spoken to my heart, how could I say no?

So, there we were, in Brooklyn, where Chosen People Ministries had started in 1894. Our little office on Ocean Parkway—the gateway to Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn—became our new Chosen People Ministries New York headquarters.

After some time in Brooklyn, we bought a building in Manhattan with some of our leftover reserve money that was quickly running out. Then, after we sold our headquarters building in Charlotte, North Carolina, we bought a facility in Florida. The Lord has blessed our ministry and expansion ever since!

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE MINISTRIES OF THE FUTURE

So, where are we going as a ministry in the days and years ahead?

I believe the future will probably be much like the past; Chosen People Ministries should not change too much! We will remain faithful to Scripture and Leopold Cohn’s vision to reach Jewish people for Jesus and help others do the same. Our priorities, as expressed in our mission statement, will continue:

Chosen People Ministries exists to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same.

We will continue what we are doing but also innovate as the Lord leads. We have the capable staff to lead us forward! Let me articulate some of our goals and direction for this fiscal year (July through June).

  • We will wrap the gospel message in appropriate, creative, and compelling ways for our distinct audiences—religious, culturally-committed-but-secular Jewish people, and the vast streams of faith marking the church in our generation.
  • Our ministry to the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) will grow and become more significant in the days ahead.
  • We will focus on the land of Israel and continue to make people and resources available for God to use in the Holy Land. This ministry also includes an intensive effort to reach Israelis wherever they live or travel and to build a global hosting network for traveling Israelis in the days ahead.
  • We are praying about buying a facility for our work in Tel Aviv.
  • We are committed to discipleship and training and will seek to find opportunities to invest in the lives of individuals and communities.
  • We hope to encourage Jewish believers in their walk and witness and to be faithful to their historical and covenantal identity as Jews.

May our hope be fueled by faith, ever ready to embrace the destiny God has prepared for each one of us and for our ministry.

1 William Lee Holladay and Ludwig Köhler, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, 12. corr. impr. 1991, reprinted (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 133.

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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City, Uncategorized

Esther: The Right Place at the Right Time

Your Mission to the Jewish People will soon celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim. This holiday is one of the most joyous on the Jewish calendar. I am sure you know the story, but please allow me to summarize these critical events in Jewish and biblical history and share a few thoughts and lessons we can learn from them.

INTRODUCTION

During this festival, Jewish communities read the entire background of Purim in the book of Esther. The story describes the Jewish people’s deliverance from certain destruction at the hand of Haman, a leader in the Medo-Persian Empire during the reign of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). Ahasuerus ruled from 486 to 465 bc.

In the story, lots (or purim in Hebrew) were cast in the presence of Haman to help select the date for him to carry out his plan to destroy the Jewish people. Hence the name of the holiday, Purim, comes from the Hebrew word for “lots.”

It is important to recognize the tale’s heroes and how God used them to deliver the Jewish people from Haman’s wicked plan. By God’s providence, Ahasuerus chose Esther to be his new queen through a national beauty contest. She replaced Queen Vashti, who had refused the king’s command to appear at a banquet celebration. The other hero is Mordechai, Esther’s cousin (Esther 2:7), who raised her and played a critical role.

But the true hero of the story is God Himself, who sovereignly arranged all the events to work toward the good of the Jewish people. The name of God never appears in the book of Esther, but His presence and providence are evident throughout the book.

He is not silent! We hear His voice through the actions of Esther and Mordechai!

JEWISH PURIM TRADITIONS

Jewish people celebrate the deliverance from Haman’s evil plot by reading the book of Esther, shaking groggers (noise-makers), and yelling out “boo!” every time the reader mentions the name of Haman and “yay!” when we hear the names Esther and Mordechai. During Purim, we also eat hamantaschen, cookies shaped to resemble Haman’s hat or ears. Children celebrate by dressing up in fun, colorful, and creative costumes and by putting on plays that re-tell the story of Esther (yay!) and her triumph over wicked Haman (boo!).

In Israel, people flood the streets in costume to celebrate, and some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men drink alcoholic beverages until they cannot tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.

THE MAJOR THEMES OF PURIM

During this time, we center on God’s power to orchestrate the events of life while remaining behind the scenes! Purim shows us how the hidden hand of God guides, empowers, protects, and accomplishes His divine purposes on earth.

The festival of Purim focuses on God’s covenantal faithfulness. It celebrates the deliverance of God’s chosen people and shows the Lord’s faithfulness to the covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1–3:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “. . . I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Gen 12:1–3)

The promises of this magnificent covenant play out through the story of Purim—the destruction of Israel’s enemies, the exaltation of the nation’s heroes, and the blessing upon those who bless Israel, like King Ahasuerus.

THE RIGHT PERSON IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

One of the great lessons of Purim and the book of Esther is that God puts His children in the right place at the right time to do His will. The first puzzle piece is that the king chose Esther as queen and put her in the right place at the right time.

The God of Esther is still putting His people in the right place at the right time today! Revisiting the book of Esther during Purim greatly encourages us to accept the places where God puts us as well as the people He puts in our lives!

Mordechai also saved the king’s life by being in the right place at the right time to hear the plot of the two assassins who had lost their jobs in the palace (Esther 2:21–23). Of course, Esther was in the right place at the right time to receive the information from Mordechai to save the king’s life. Ahasuerus was also the right “pagan” king for the right moment—another king might not have ultimately listened to his wife!

The story reaches its zenith with Mordechai telling Esther, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). As a result, Esther took the challenge and approached the king even though she could have died for visiting uninvited!

The Lord went before Esther, and she received a favorable outcome to her request to save the Jewish people. So, the Lord switched the lots. Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he prepared for Mordechai, and the king permitted the Jews to fight back and destroy their enemies. So, Mordechai became the king’s most valuable advisor instead of Haman.

Purim is a reminder that God’s all-powerful and invisible hands hold and guide us during difficult times. The Lord is always good and has a purpose for our lives, just as He did for the Jewish people. Indeed, He often allows us to experience suffering so that we may become more and more like His Son.

HEROES FOR THE MESSIAH

Esther was a heroine and was willing to die for her people. Yeshua also loved His people and was ready to perish for them. The history of the Jewish people, the church, and Chosen People Ministries is filled with stories of brave and godly women who served the Lord faithfully, who faced dire and challenging circumstances, and even risked their lives to bring the gospel to the Jewish people.

Allow me to introduce you to one of these godly ladies, a founder and early pioneer without whom Chosen People Ministries would not exist today. Her name was Augusta Sussdorff.

Born in 1867 to German immigrants, Augusta Sussdorff was one of the Mission’s earliest workers. Rabbi Leopold Cohn spoke at her youth group at Hope Baptist Church and invited people to come and sing at the Mission. Augusta and a friend volunteered. Their presence drew more Jewish women and girls to the ministry. Previously, the Mission’s audience was primarily male. Rabbi Cohn was passionate about women studying Scripture and encouraged Augusta to join the Mission full time, which she did around 1912.

She conducted many programs at the Brooklyn headquarters, including mothers’ meetings, sewing school, and Bible classes. Augusta also made home visits, greeted people at the medical clinic, brought clothing to the poor, helped English-speaking immigrants find jobs, and served on the board of Chosen People Ministries when this was quite unusual within Christian work.

She served with the Mission for more than fifty years and continued volunteering long after her retirement.

Ms. Sussdorff was incredibly dedicated to faithfully serving the Jewish people so that they would experience the love of Jesus and hear the message of salvation. To honor Augusta Sussdorff, we are creating a scholarship in her name for women in the United States, Israel, and around the globe who are serving with Chosen People Ministries but have trouble raising their missionary support.

This scholarship is part of our Foundations ’22 campaign, as encouraging godly women to serve the Lord with Chosen People Ministries is a part of who we are. We are praying that more and more women will join the ranks of Chosen People Ministries as missionaries, students at our Feinberg program, volunteers in our VIP program, and so much more.

What better way to re-affirm our back-to-basics approach to 2022—refocusing on evangelism, discipleship, and training—than to help future Augusta Sussdorffs give their all for the salvation of Israel!

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Brooklyn, evangelism, Holidays & Festivals, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jewish Holidays, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

Serving in the Land of Yeshua’s Birth

I am writing to you at a time when Israel is again battling against the new coronavirus variants, shutting down Ben Gurion Airport to visitors and restricting various everyday activities for all Israelis.

The pandemic hit Holocaust survivors in Israel harder than most as they are physically vulnerable and already some of the most emotionally traumatized people on the planet.

We all know the pandemic made life difficult for everybody, in every country, every community, and household. But imagine what it would be like if you were an eighty-six-year-old Holocaust survivor living in a cramped apartment for a year and a half without a computer or knowing how to use modern technology.

Israel went into lockdown because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, which resulted in the closing of the state-funded social clubs for Holocaust survivors in an effort to protect them from the spread of the disease. This created an opportunity for our staff at Chosen People Ministries—Israel to show His love by serving the survivors. Our staff received special permission from the government to visit these precious souls in their homes and provide them with food and other supplies. But almost more importantly, these visits provided personal connection, prayer, and comfort as our staff was able to share the good news of the Messiah with those who were open.

Our team sprang into action, and we taught dozens of Holocaust survivors how to use computers and even Zoom for virtual meetings. From Bible studies to live online concerts with worship music and teachings from Scripture, we provided a steady stream of hope and personal contact through Zoom events designed for those unable to leave their apartments. We must also remember that, during some of this time, the survivors lived in terror as missiles from Gaza were regularly flying overhead, and some of the rockets that were not stopped by the Iron Dome hit the ground near their apartments, which are very close to the border.

Maxim Katz, who leads our ministry to Holocaust survivors in Israel, described to me the ways in which hardship opened doors for ministry among hundreds of elderly Holocaust survivors and their families.

I am sorry to say that many Holocaust survivors whom Maxim and his team served, approximately seventy in total, passed away during the last year. To make matters worse, Maxim recalls that none of our staff were able to attend the funerals as only a few close family members were permitted to attend. This brought us to tears.

ANSWERS TO PRAYER

What encouraged us the most during this season were the hundreds of phone calls we received from Holocaust survivors and their curious, unbelieving family members asking for prayer. We spent hours upon hours talking with and praying for people over the phone.

One sweet ninety-year-old lady called Maxim and asked for prayer for her grandchildren, who are now in the army. The next day, Maxim received a phone call from an officer in the military who was this lady’s grandson. “My grandmother said you prayed for me,” he remarked. “Who are you, and why are you praying with and helping my grandmother?” he added. Maxim shared openly that he was a Jewish believer in Jesus and told him about our ongoing work among Holocaust survivors. Maxim’s testimony touched the man, and days later, he received a message from this officer saying he—an unbeliever—wanted to support the ministry financially! Not only that, but he continues to call Maxim to this day, asking questions about faith and sharing about his own spiritual journey.

Another precious lady in her late eighties called and asked us to pray for healing from cancer. Maxim and the team prayed for her and offered practical help as well because she had no family in Israel. She accepted Jesus as a result of our prayers and practical support. It was a beautiful picture of Jesus’ words: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

CHANGE AND ENCOURAGEMENT

Recently, an eighty-six-year-old man asked Maxim, “How did you come to the faith? How did God find you? Because you weren’t born a Christian. So, what happened?” After two hours of Maxim and even some other survivors sharing their testimonies, the man came to faith in Jesus!

Pray for these precious Holocaust survivors. We try to help them spiritually and practically, but we are also fighting the clock as many, especially during the pandemic, have passed away. Please pray that God will continue to open the hearts of the survivors and that He will send additional laborers to serve on our team who can especially help with home visits. It requires a lot of time to make these personal visits as the survivors are often so lonely.

The harvest is plentiful in Israel among Holocaust survivors! But the time is short. Matthew wrote, “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest’” (Matt 9:37–38).

So, please pray for new laborers and think about sharing financially in this urgent ministry so that we can take on some new workers for this effort…again, the time is short.

You can help us in this wonderful ministry through your prayers and support of new workers!

MAXIM’S TESTIMONY

Maxim was born in Siberia, Russia, in 1976 to a traditional Jewish family. Due to a problem at birth, he could not walk until he was nine years old, which made his childhood very difficult, especially making friends with other children. When he reached adulthood, he became very attracted to the world.

After some time, Maxim decided to move to Israel under the Law of Return, which allows Jewish people to immigrate to the Holy Land. He settled in the resort city of Eilat in the south of Israel with other immigrants from Siberia. But instead of finding a new life, he quickly became attracted to alcohol and chose the wrong kind of friends who were also heading down a path to nowhere!

But the Lord had His holy hand on Maxim and began drawing him to the Savior. He met some godly believers in Eilat and began to understand that there was a God who loved him. Going nowhere on his own, he prayed and asked for God’s help. Still, life became more difficult, and he ended up on the streets. Then, one day, Maxim called out to God for help as he knew that Jesus alone was the answer to ALL of his problems.

Eventually, God called Maxim to serve Him full-time, and he has been serving with Chosen People Ministries since 2002, teaching Bible studies, assisting the director of the work in Israel, and sharing the good news of Messiah with all who are willing to hear.

The Lord also brought Maxim a beautiful wife, Slavna, and together they minister for the Messiah in Israel among Holocaust survivors and among children as Maxim also leads our very fruitful camp programs.

THE ISRAEL PROJECT

Your Mission to the Jewish People has more than twenty staff members in the Holy Land serving the Messiah among His chosen people. Our Centers in Jerusalem and in the greater Tel Aviv area are again up and running, and Maxim and our other staff members are busy reaching Jewish people in Israel: Holocaust survivors, young adults, children, soldiers, and many others!

During this season of the year, when we think deeply about His miraculous birth and generosity toward us (Romans 5:8), please join me in prayer for the work of Chosen People Ministries in Israel.

Merry Christmas, and may He be glorified in all things!

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Looking Back on What God Has Accomplished

Dear friends,

I never expected the months after the joy-filled celebration of our 125th year would take us from the highest mountaintop to the lowest plane in such a short time. None of us could have ever imagined we would end up where we are today. The changes from July 2019 to June 2020 are unimaginable! And we have yet to reach our next normal.

Last July began a tremendously promising fiscal year. We had already enjoyed successful 125th-anniversary celebration events in three major cities, while also preparing for our Midwest Bible conference in Lake Lawn, Wisconsin, and Shalom New York, our most extensive evangelistic outreach to date. We finished our 125th-anniversary year with a Heritage Tour and Banquet at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, followed by a seminar at which three secular Jewish scholars, along with some of our staff, presented historical papers on the “Life and Times of Leopold Cohn.”

At the beginning of the spring coronavirus outbreak, most of us still had little idea of how the virus would impact New York City, and what it would do to our ministry, the economy, and all of the ramifications we have been experiencing since then. Thankfully, we were already using Zoom and online platforms for administrative work and evangelism. We had a Jewish man come to faith through one of our Brooklyn congregation’s first online services. We have also had several other Jewish people come to the Lord due to our Zoom Bible studies, services, and online evangelistic campaigns.

Like many organizations, we quickly set up routines and processes to work from home. We currently have several task forces meeting regularly to consider new ways of getting things done and maximizing the lessons we have learned during the pandemic. We are also studying longer-term issues, as this pause provides us with the opportunity to reflect upon the work we do and the way we do it. We plan on reopening wisely, productively, and safely. Our task forces will spearhead our New York and Florida offices reopening, and our congregations, as well.

We look forward to a gradual return to the office, but we do not expect to be back in our Manhattan, Florida, and Brooklyn buildings until late summer. We anticipate resuming our services, Bible studies, and in-person meetings slowly. However, we will repopulate our offices with three imperatives in mind—we must do it legally, safely, and according to what is most necessary for the work.

Still, Your Mission to the Jewish People has been incredibly busy! I hope you enjoy this summary of our accomplishments since last summer and during this difficult time.

Your Brother in Messiah,
Mitch

Your Mission to the Jewish People has continued our evangelism and outreach efforts. We want you to know what has been going on:

Online Conferences held this year:

  • April 7 — Messiah in the Passover / 7,099 views
  • April 13 — Staff Town Hall / 114 views
  • April 22 — Donor Teleconference / 8,218 callers
  • April 22 — Eschatology Survey / 20,913 views
  • May 18-19 — Craig Keener Webinar / 5,406 views
  • June 5 — Music for the Mishpocha / 8,623 views

Many people viewed the ministry-wide “virtual” Messiah in the Passover demonstration. We also know of about fifty churches who showed the video to their congregants. The Zoom roll out of our Eschatology survey of 1,000 Evangelical pastors and our Bible conference with Dr. Craig Keener, the current president of the Evangelical Theological Society, were high points.

House of Living Waters

In September 2019, we initiated our new “residential” outreach near the New York University campus in Manhattan. Four young men lived in a rented apartment and ministered on campus during the past year. We received a two-year grant of $140,000 per year for this endeavor, so we will continue in the fall of 2021!

Youth Camps and Programs

  • Teen Winter Camp—Kesher Ice held in Maryland / 38 participants
  • Teen Outreach New York City—Kesher New York / 15 participants

The Charles L. Feinberg Seminary

We began offering courses by Zoom, enabling those who could not move to Brooklyn to take classes. We will continue to do this as well as provide more standard types of online, asynchronous classes. The total number of matriculating Feinberg students (including recent graduates) is 18.

Church Ministries & Missionaries

Our ministry in churches is uncertain for the moment, as we have yet to see how many churches will reopen and want us to come and preach as planned this fall.

This fiscal year, our missionaries completed only 501 church meetings (as compared to 1,144 meetings last year) that raised only $272,000.

Missionaries in the Field

  • US – raising support (paid) 72
  • US – raising support (unpaid) 6
  • Foreign – raising support 44
  • Foreign – deployed from US 13

International Centers

  • Argentina (2) (owned by CPMUS)
  • Jerusalem (owned by CPMUS)
  • Ramat Gan (rented by CPMUS)

Domestic Ministries Centers

  • Brooklyn Messianic Center
  • Manhattan Messianic Center
  • Boynton Beach Messianic Center
  • Chicago Kedzie Messianic Center

Domestic Congregations (8)

  • Sha’ar Adonai (Manhattan)
  • Beth Sar Shalom (Brooklyn)
  • Son of David (MD)
  • Kehilat Sar Shalom (Northern VA)
  • Beit Hesed (Chicago/Russian)
  • Yeshua Ben David (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Shuvah Yisrael (Orange County, CA)

Digital Campaigns

The ministry advertised the Isaiah 53 Campaign, I Found Shalom testimonies, and free booklet giveaways or downloads on Facebook. In response, we received approximately 79,806 contacts since last July.

Hebrew Isaiah 53 Campaign in Israel had 1,395 book requests

  • Jewish Believers: 86
  • Jewish Unbelievers: 1,158
  • Gentile Believers: 111
  • Gentile Unbelievers: 40

Video Testimonies

We now have 105 testimonies online at ifoundshalom.com, which have been watched more than 3,000,000 times on all of our platforms.

Our Hope Podcast

A weekly podcast is now available called Our Hope (ourhopepodcast.com). There have been more than 7,000 downloads to date.

Digital and Social Media

Our social media channels are very active and include YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, blogs, and videos that cross a variety of platforms.

We are developing Beth Sar Shalom, a stage one outreach site, and are still working on Follow Messiah, a second-stage seeker site and Chosen People Answers.

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Moving Forward in Hope

Shalom, dear friend in the Messiah.

I hope and pray that life is getting a little better for you and that you are adjusting to serving the Lord in a world where COVID-19 lockdowns are easing.

This infectious disease and our efforts to mitigate its rapid and terrible impact on human life came at a high cost. The shutting down of society has led to severe economic repercussions and the loss of a sense of wellbeing as a nation. This crisis has been felt across the globe. Hopefully, we are entering a new season where the virus is better understood and controlled, and scientists are closer to creating treatments and a vaccine.

Like you, I am trusting the Lord and approaching the days ahead with hope, looking forward to all He will do through Your Mission to the Jewish People.

Due to the pandemic, there were many missed events, services, Bible studies, weddings, funerals, and family celebrations. However, those losses pale compared to the more than 100,000 people in the United States who died from COVID-19 and the suffering their loved ones have experienced. We suffered considerably in New York City as the virus spread and killed countless moms and dads, grandparents, and others, as we are now discovering.

And we are not totally out of the woods yet! But, thank God, we are on our way.

The brothers and sisters who serve with Chosen People Ministries have also suffered a great deal of loss because of the coronavirus. We have missed seeing our loved ones face-to-face and worshipping in person with our spiritual community. I am especially sad for those who could not visit their elderly parents and for those who lost loved ones from the disease but were unable to have a decent burial attended by family and friends. Some of us are also tired of working from our homes. We are ready to cope with whatever changes will be demanded of us when we get back to our offices, from wearing masks to social distancing and the inability to eat lunch together in our common room!

MESSIAH IN THE PASSOVER AND YOUR MISSIONARIES

Due to the timing of the coronavirus lockdowns, Jewish people, including myself, were unable to celebrate the Jewish holidays in person, most notably Passover, which is always such a sweet and joy-filled, family-oriented time. Many of our staff and their families celebrated Passover Seders through Zoom because they were unable to get together physically. It was not easy to enjoy eating our matzo ball soup separated from the rest of our family! I imagine that Gentile Christians felt equally disappointed about
their Easter services, which are significant evangelistic opportunities for so many local churches!

During this Passover season, we were also unable to make our regular visits to a large number of churches. Throughout the United States, churches had scheduled Chosen People Ministries for more than six hundred “Messiah in the Passover” presentations during March, April, and May. All of these were canceled because of restrictions placed on churches during the pandemic. We also had scheduled evangelistic Passover Seders and banquets at our Messianic congregations, centers, and branches in the regions where we minister. Generally, during this season, we would personally meet hundreds of new friends, prayer partners, supporters, and the not-yet-believing Jewish friends of congregants who would view our presentations as an opportunity to bring their friends to church.

These cancellations represent a considerable loss of opportunity to demonstrate the link between the Last Supper and Passover and how Yeshua, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world beautifully fulfills them both! It was also a loss of funding for our dedicated and faithful missionary staff.

By God’s grace, we did experiment with some virtual Passover celebrations. I enjoyed an online Passover Seder with my family and presented Messiah in the Passover to my broader spiritual family through the wonders of Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.

I am so grateful for the creative ways our missionaries found to preach the gospel online and reach out to Jewish people through one-on-one conversations by phone and Zoom meetings. They have also expanded their Bible teaching ministries, discipleship of new Jewish believers, and even continued their ministry to local churches using the excellent digital tools many of us have recently discovered.

Yet, we cannot truly recapture what we lost because we only celebrate the festival of Passover annually. You cannot turn back the clock! I am reticent to tell you how much money was lost that would have supported our missionaries during this season. Yet, a beautiful passage of promise in the book of Joel illustrates how the Lord is able and faithful to restore what the locusts have eaten. The prophet Joel wrote:

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. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; then My people will never be put to shame. Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame. (Joel 2:25–27)

LET’S CELEBRATE

I know the Lord will take care of our staff, and this is why I am planning another online video-based celebration on Thursday, July 23, at 7:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. We will join in Messianic worship and invite Chosen People Ministries missionaries from around the globe to share what God is doing in their lives and their work for the Lord. We will also pray together and have a brief time of questions and answers.

Thank you so much for your love and faithfulness.

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch

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Pentecost & Waiting with Hope

Shalom, friends.

I am writing this note to you from New York City at the beginning of April. Spring is in the air, and Passover and Easter are around the corner. Normally, I would be more upbeat, looking forward to the warmer weather, sunshine, and the beauty, believe it or not, of the parks and gardens in New York City.

But, not this year!

We are still at war with an unseen enemy.

As C. S. Lewis wrote,

War creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.
(C. S. Lewis, Weight of Glory, p. 44)

This has been so true of our battles against the coronavirus. It has pushed us all to the brink of our human frailty and weakness! For a born-and-bred New Yorker, I can tell you that the impact on our lives, economy, and especially our souls is devastating. We are at the end of ourselves and have only one place to look, and that is up to the heavens. So many are broken in health and finances and are now searching for spiritual answers as earthly solutions leave us hopeless.

This morning, I awoke to an email telling me that the relative of a dedicated Christian sister, a Jewish person who as far as we know did not know the Lord, passed away from respiratory complications due to the virus. And there are many others who will pass into eternity from this dreadful disease.

I wanted to bring you up to date on what it is like for us in New York City, which, if you remember, has the largest Jewish population in the United States.

THE STATE OF THE MISSION

We closed the Chosen People Ministries New York headquarters and Brooklyn offices, and we are working remotely to try to keep our staff healthy and in compliance with the mandated shutdowns of “non-essential” businesses. I did not mind doing this and thought it was the right thing to do, especially as much of our staff travels to work by bus or subway, where the density of people and space limitations are breeding grounds for illnesses—even in ordinary times.

Our administrative staff of more than twenty-five people meet “virtually” (by Zoom) for prayer every morning. This group represents the backbone of Your Mission to the Jewish People and handles our office tasks related to finance, print and digital publications, creating video content, church calling, development, and much more. These prayer meetings enable us to stay connected spiritually through prayer and worship. As a result, we are more unified than ever, and all of our administrative systems are working well…Thank God!

However, I noticed in our prayer time this week that more and more of us know someone who has the virus and a few who have died. At this moment (and I hope it has changed by the time you are reading this), my hometown is a battlefield, similar to what I experienced during 9/11!

Yet, in spite of the suffering that comes from the disease, isolation, economic uncertainty, and a massive shift in the way we live, worship, and work for the moment…I know that God is still in control!

I am glad that we had already started using the Internet for ministry years ago. We have now intensified our digital outreach and follow-up. We have more Bible studies with Jewish people happening right now than I can count. I am amazed by the way our staff has adapted to the new environment and are reaching out in new and creative ways to the Jew first and also to the Gentile!

This is not only true in the United States, where we serve in two dozen cities, but also in other countries, including Canada, England, Argentina, and Israel to name a few. Chosen People Ministries is in eighteen countries, and once the dust settles and a missionary family moves to Brazil to conduct ministry among traveling Israelis, we will add Brazil as number nineteen.

In Israel, where there is currently a severe lockdown and incredible uncertainty about the future, we continue our online Hebrew Isaiah 53 Campaign, Passover outreaches, and meetings with dozens of Israelis online who are seeking the Lord.

I am so glad our dedicated and innovative staff are finding new ways to meet these seekers through the phone, Zoom, Skype, and other tools which have enabled new pathways for personal communications.

Someone compared this new technology to the Roman roads of the first century—one of the possible reasons for the rapid spread of the gospel throughout the world. The good news is now traveling from place to place through disciples of Jesus using digital tools.

I am hoping that when life returns to “normal,” we will have discovered many new ways of reaching today’s Jewish community with the gospel and will continue using them.

A BEAUTIFUL JEWISH PRAYER

One of my favorite Jewish prayers is called the Shehechiyanu. The word simply means “has given us life.” The prayer is as follows:

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.”

We say this prayer at the start of something new—whether it be the first day of a holiday, beginning life in a new home, a new job, or after a season of hardship.

I look forward to joyfully reciting this prayer when this vicious virus has been controlled and conquered. Meanwhile, we will serve the Lord and wait for His deliverance. It is the waiting, especially in isolation, that is so difficult! God’s people learn patience by waiting. It is the Lord who allows us to experience difficult situations to teach us how to wait on Him.

HOPE AND THE DAY OF PENTECOST

Jewish people around the world are now counting off fifty days between Passover and Pentecost, which begins on May 28, 2020. I see a wonderful convergence between our waiting the fifty days and looking towards the day when the virus is gone.

The Shehechiyanu prayer is recited on Pentecost, The Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) in Jewish tradition. As believers in Jesus, we view this holiday through the lens of Acts chapter 2, when the Lord poured out His Spirit upon one hundred twenty Messianic Jews waiting in an upper room for the promise of the Spirit.

The Spirit empowered them to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20), beginning in Jerusalem and, eventually, to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

These early disciples and my Jewish tradition teach me to wait. The disciples were waiting for the coming of the Spirit. I am waiting for a more “normal” existence—but even more so for the great day of redemption when the Lord returns to reign as King!

When this season of suffering and testing passes, I plan to shout the Shehechiyanu to the Lord.

I will thank the Lord for bringing us to this new season with more enthusiasm than perhaps on any previous Day of Pentecost! I plan to praise God for a new start after being reminded so powerfully of His priorities and that our lives must be dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel. It is all that matters, as this life is frail and momentary.

One day, every tear will finally be wiped away. Until then, we know what we must do!

We are called to proclaim the gospel as we await His return.

And if for some reason we are still in the midst of the crisis, my thoughts about the future will not change—just the dates. He is still the Lord, and He is in control. He loves us, and our future is not knitted to this world, but rather tethered to the age to come and to the One who gives us the gift of everlasting life—Jesus our Messiah.

Stay strong and serve the Lord,

Mitch

P.S. We know you have suffered as well, and we want to pray for you. Please include your prayer requests for our prayer teams to uphold you and your families before the Lord. Visit chosenpeople.com/pray.

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Do not let your heart be troubled!

Dear friends,

Shalom in the great name of Jesus our Messiah. I am writing a quick note to see how you are doing and let you know how Chosen People Ministries is holding up amidst the coronavirus crisis. I particularly want to ask for your prayers and give you an opportunity to ask us to pray for you.

You have probably been through times like this or even far worse, but I feel like I am a “crisis veteran,” having gone through both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

I must say I learned a lot from these other disasters. As believers in Jesus, we have a peace that is not tied to the world’s situation or condition. We have hope in the One who has overcome the world!

Two of my favorite Bible verses are found in John chapter 14. Jesus said:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

As you meditate and reflect on these passages of Scripture, may they fill your heart with Shalom—the peace that can only come from the Prince of Peace, who lives in our hearts by His Spirit.

Allow me to share a couple of the challenges we are facing, which I hope will become the focus of your prayers for Chosen People Ministries.

Israel

We are having significant challenges in Israel, as its response to the virus has been swift and severe—probably for the good!

  • If you travel to Israel from outside the country, you will be quarantined for two weeks the moment you land.
  • Our Israeli staff, who planned to travel to the United States to speak in churches are able to do so, but they must be quarantined for two weeks when they get home. It is also almost impossible to get flights out of Israel!
  • We cannot conduct large public meetings. As a result, we have had to stop our larger Sabbath outreach dinners and concerts, as well as our public events and ministry for Holocaust survivors.

On the other hand, we also see people—both old and young—who are far more willing than usual to hear about the peace we have in Jesus the Messiah. I experienced this during 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, as well.

This is not a time to be quiet and focus on our own survival; it is a time to reach out to those hurting around us who do not know the Lord.

Yet, we are so very human, and we confess that this is very hard to do…which is why we need to pray for one another.

At Home

We are experiencing significant challenges at home as well—especially during the Passover season, which began on April 8.

  • Most of the churches in which we were scheduled to speak have canceled the speaking engagements, including dozens of evangelistic Passover banquets.
  • Forty-five of our New York City office staff are now working from their homes, as we have been “shut down” by the government.
  • The same goes for a dozen staff members at our Florida office.
  • We need your prayers for good coordination, effective outreach, and good health for the staff. I am confident the Lord will lead us through it all.

I could go on, but I know you also are experiencing tremendous challenges. So please let us know how we can pray for you. You can visit and send a digital prayer request. Our prayer team is on standby and ready to receive your requests.

Thanks for reading this letter. I appreciate your prayers, and be sure to send your prayer requests, as we truly care about you and wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer.

“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16b).

Your brother,
Mitch

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation” (Romans 10:1)

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Please Pray for Our Mission

Shalom, friend.

I hope you are well and taking good care of yourself and your family at this critical time in our world’s history!

Your Chosen People Ministries family is doing our best to care for our staff and staff families, which number about 150 people serving in the United States, and we are linked to another 100 in 18 other countries around the globe.

Even in the midst of this global pandemic, we continue to reach the Jewish people with gospel through online Bible studies, virtual congregational meetings, as well as personal discipleship through digital follow-up of those who requested Isaiah 53 Explained. We are finding that more and more Jewish people are opening their hearts in this desperate hour. We do not want to scale back, but rather meet them in their hour of need.  Because of you and your love for the Lord and the Jewish people, we have grown as a ministry over the last decade.  I believe it is just another sign of His soon return (Romans 11:11–29).

The missionaries and administrative staff of Chosen People Ministries devote their lives to sharing the gospel with the Jewish people. As president of the Mission, it is my responsibility to care for the welfare of our missionaries. In light of this, I am writing to ask you to take a moment—maybe right now—and pray for the missionaries of Chosen People Ministries. Please also pray for our administrative staff, mostly in New York City and Florida, who are now working from home and are dedicated to serving the missionaries in the field.

James writes, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16b). Therefore, I would like to give you some specific things that you can pray for at this time.

  1. Please keep our missionaries, both in the United States and abroad, in your prayers. Many have needed to adjust their plans and goals during this time. A large part of their income comes from speaking engagements, and many of them are having to postpone their plans until it is possible to travel, conduct public ministries, etc.
  1. Pray for our Messianic Centers, which have been forced to close for safety: Brooklyn, Chicago, Florida, Jerusalem, Ramat Gan, Buenos Aires, and others.
  1. Pray for our digital ministries, such as online Bible studies, meetings, discipleship, and evangelism. Please pray that we can continue to reach Jewish people and have meaningful conversations with them about faith.
  1. Pray for our House of Living Waters (HOLW) outreach, which is our campus ministry. Even though the New York University students have gone home, our HOLW interns continue to minister to them both digitally and by phone.
  1. Please pray for the Jewish people at large—many are afraid and uncertain right now and need the good news now more than ever.

Please consider taking a moment now to pray for Your Mission to the Jewish People.

We cannot allow our ministry to the Jewish people to decrease at this crucial time, when Jewish people are seeking more now than ever before.

Also…let us know how we can pray for you!

We have prayer teams organized who would be more than happy to pray for you and your loved ones during this difficult time. Visit chosenpeople.com/pray to leave us your prayer request.

Thank you so much for standing with Your Mission to the Jewish People.

 

Blessings in Messiah and stay safe!

Mitch

 

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