Tag Archives: mission

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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Filed under evangelism, Holocaust Survivors, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians

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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Filed under Conference, Digital Media, evangelism, Israel, Messianic Jewish, New York City, Uncategorized

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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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jewish Holidays, Passover, Uncategorized

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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Three New Missionaries Join Us in Israel!

Shalom in His grace. As you probably know, we had a wonderful year celebrating our 125th anniversary. As we turn our eyes to the future, I want to take a moment to honor God by remembering the past. Rabbi Leopold Cohn—our founder—along with hundreds of missionaries, board members, prayer partners, and faithful supporters are now part of that host of heavenly witnesses cheering us on towards the future (Hebrews 12:1–3)!

We now must move forward in serving the Lord among His chosen people until He comes again!

Our missionaries will continue our everyday ministries, presenting Jesus the Messiah one-on-one and heart-to-heart to Jewish people in the dozens of cities and nineteen countries in which we serve.

We will continue teaching Bible studies, planting and leading Messianic congregations, serving poor and elderly Jewish people, and hosting children’s camps through the leadership provided by our Messianic Centers in densely populated Jewish communities such as Brooklyn, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and another half-dozen cities around the world.

Our leadership has prayerfully decided to focus on three distinct essential ministries.

We are calling this effort our To the Jew First campaign. As Paul wrote in Romans 1:16:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Allow me to summarize the three parts of the campaign:

ISRAEL

We will continue to build our work in Israel. We now have twenty-five staff members serving in the Holy Land, but we need more! We are finding that Israelis are more open today to the gospel than ever before, and we want to seize the moment!

DIGITAL MEDIA

We will intensify our ministry through digital media—utilizing the web, social media and videos—using all these modern tools God has made available to us to proclaim the gospel and disciple those who come to faith.

THE JOSHUA INITIATIVE

Finally, we will invest more time, treasure, and talent in mentoring the next generation of missionaries to the Jewish people. We have started new and unique ministries on many campuses, training more and more new leaders at our Charles Feinberg Center in Brooklyn, and bringing young adults together in training conferences to send into the harvest.

GOD IS DOING AMAZING THINGS IN ISRAEL!

Our ministry over the last two decades in the Holy Land has touched the lives of thousands of Russian Jewish immigrants and elderly Holocaust survivors, children through our camping programs, and many others through church planting and the general work of evangelism.

The Lord brought the right people to the right place for the right moment of ministry!

We are thrilled to see a second-generation movement of the Holy Spirit within Israel.

Many of those who are now serving the Lord in Israel are young Israelis whose parents became believers decades ago. This new generation of Israeli Messianic Jews is serving the Lord among their friends and family members in the Land.

They were raised in Israel, speak fluent Hebrew, served in the army, and many want to serve in full-time Jewish ministry. We are focusing on this next generation of Israeli young adults and families.

We will certainly not forget the older and very precious Israelis. But now, we must turn our attention to the next generation of Israelis, especially those who live in the greater Tel Aviv area, which has the largest population in Israel. For example, we are now active in a suburban community called Ramat Gan, which is adjacent to Tel Aviv. Ramat Gan and the surrounding area has about a half-million Israelis without one congregation or church. And—until we moved into the area—there were no missionaries serving them at all.

We now rent an attractive sixteen-hundred-square foot center in Ramat Gan, where we have some younger staff members already in place. Yet, for the last two years, we have been specifically praying for God to bring new staff members who are native-born Israelis and are willing and able to serve the Lord with Your Mission to the Jewish People.

Praise God—over the last twelve months, He has answered our prayers!

I have now served as the leader of Chosen People Ministries for twenty-three years, and what a joy it has been. I must say, that in more than two decades of service, I never thought that I would see such openness in Israel, nor such high-quality young people with a willingness to serve.

We now have three wonderfully gifted young Israelis who are well-trained and ready to move forward in service for the Lord. In fact, we have already taken two of them on our staff, and the third is just about to begin. These three staff members are currently involved in the ministry in the Tel Aviv area; meeting with younger adults and families, conducting Bible studies, mother’s groups, outreach concerts, Sabbath dinners for millennials, and hosting a series of regular public lectures that are gospel-centered and appealing to the more secular Israelis living in the area.

I have included their pictures and a little more information about each of these young missionaries with so much potential, talent, and willingness to serve the Lord.

rsz_motiMordechai “Moti” was born in 1984 in Haifa, Israel, the only child of an Orthodox Moroccan Jewish family. As a young adult, Moti learned radio broadcasting and served in the Israel Defense Forces between 2003–2006. Moti traveled to the United States in 2007 pursuing his dream of becoming a photographer. He took classes at Photo Manhattan in New York while also working as a kosher supervisor on the Upper West Side. During this time, he became acquainted with Chosen People Ministries. He was challenged to read the Bible for himself and seek God on his own terms. After much prayer, thought, and study, Moti came to believe that Jesus was, in fact, his Jewish Messiah. When Moti returned to Israel in 2010, he signed up for classes at the Israel College of the Bible (ICB) to learn the Bible in a deeper way. Currently, Moti works with youth, soldiers, and students, teaching the Bible and sharing the good news in Israel. Moti and his wife, Orel, are both passionate about reaching their fellow Israelis, especially working with youth and young adults.

AyeletAyelet was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was raised in a Messianic Jewish family. She came to believe the Bible and placed her faith in Yeshua at an early age. By the age of five, she was sharing the gospel. In her teens, she became active in camp and youth ministry. Ayelet always appreciated the cultural diversity in Israeli society, with Jews from all over the world. The Lord led her to study anthropology, Bible and theology, and apologetics, with a desire to minister to her diverse people in a culturally sensitive and biblically accurate way.

God has given Ayelet a heart for Israel and the nations, and she feels called to the work of discipleship, biblical teaching, evangelism, and missions. She recently completed her studies at Talbot Seminary, where she received a Master of Arts degree. Ayelet is excited to serve at the Ramat Gan center in outreach and discipleship. She desires to equip and challenge Jewish Israeli believers, calling our people to faith in Yeshua.

rsz_davidDavid was born in Latvia to a family of Jewish believers in Jesus. As a teenager, he moved with his family to Israel and then served in the Israel Defense Forces. David committed his life to the Lord at the age of seventeen while reading John 3:16 in a weekly congregation service. God’s love for him suddenly became so apparent and alive, he was amazed and devoted his life to serve and live for Him. David and his wife, Victoria, have always had a heart to share the gospel and make disciples by opening their home for fellowship, evangelism, and studying the Bible.

Currently, David is volunteering as the associate pastor at a large Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. In 2019, David joined the staff of Chosen People Ministries. David and Victoria are wholeheartedly committed to ministry at the Ramat Gan center, facilitating Café and Music nights, seminars, Sabbath dinners, and many other events. They have two children: Orel and Emanuel.

I know that so many more Israelis will hear the gospel and be saved because we invest in the lives and futures of these young missionaries. Three young Israelis like these do not come along every day.

We have a big vision—to share the gospel with hundreds of thousands of Israelis in Ramat Gan and the surrounding neighborhood. Finally, by God’s grace, we have the available people to serve!

I believe the Lord is about to do something marvelous, and you and I can have a part in this!

I hope you have enjoyed this brief introduction to David, Moti, and Ayelet.

For Jesus and for Israel,
Mitch

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To the Jew First in the 21st Century

Dear friend of the Jewish people,

Shalom from New York City. I recently visited South Florida where I enjoyed some warm weather and spoke at our To the Jew First Conference.  This was a Bible conference on Jewish evangelism held at the First Baptist Church of Boca Raton. Boca Raton is the epicenter of the Jewish population of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. It was an exciting conference and hopefully the first of many regional conferences on Jewish evangelism hosted by Jewish-friendly local churches.

Hosting a conference like this is a great way to introduce your church to the importance of Jewish evangelism. You can also invite a Chosen People Ministries speaker to your church for a Sunday or special service.

The name of the conference reflects the statement of the Apostle Paul: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

These conferences can be scheduled for a Friday evening through Sunday, or a Saturday morning. Whoever speaks can then be invited to give the sermon on Sunday, as well. You could even invite other churches in the area to join in the joy of learning more about God’s plan and purposes for Israel and the Jewish people. The Chosen People Ministries speaker will help you learn how to pray and share the gospel with Jewish friends and family.

If you would like to help make one of these events happen in your area, simply fill out this form, which will let us know you want us to approach your church to schedule a To the Jew First Conference in 2020. We will provide the program and help promote the conference.

The Importance of Romans 1:16

I hope you enjoy this month’s special article, penned by Dr. Albert Mohler, the current president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Mohler is a great friend of the Jewish people and for many years he has encouraged the church to reach Jewish people with the message of Jesus. Some years ago, Dr. Mohler gave one of the best messages on Romans 1:16 I ever heard at the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach. We adapted this sermon into an inspiring booklet, a portion of which you can read here.

Prayer with a Promise

I believe that bringing the gospel to a Jewish person is the best way to bless God’s chosen people! The gospel is the Lord’s greatest gift to us and the best gift we could ever give to our Jewish friends. In Psalm 122:6, we are told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” There is a promise attached to this prayer as the Psalmist adds, “they will prosper who love you.” The Hebrew term used for “prosper” refers to the internal peace, quiet, and calm that we receive from the Lord when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

This prayer with a promise was also mentioned in Genesis 12:1–3 when God made His foundational covenant with Abraham, our forefather. At that time, He outlined the role the Jewish people would play in His plan and purposes for mankind. God tells Abram that He will bless the world through the Jewish people: “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” (Genesis 12:3). In other words, the Jewish people were created and called for the benefit of the Gentile nations! The Jewish people formed God’s bridge of redemption to a dark and broken world.

The prayer with a promise in this instance is profound since two different Hebrew terms are used, which are both usually translated into English as “curse.” Let us look at the text carefully for a moment.

God promises that those who are not physical descendants of Abram will experience His blessing for blessing Abram and his descendants. Additionally, those who curse Abraham’s seed will be cursed. The Hebrew word used for curse in the first instance literally means to make light.1 The second word translated curse2 refers to the usual term for judgment, often used in both Deuteronomy chapter 28 and Leviticus chapter 26. The play on words should not be missed: Those who devalue or make light of Israel and her role in God’s plan or who in some way disparage the Jewish people will experience the very same curses God warned would fall upon the Jewish people for disobedience to His law.

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus speaks of the judgment awaiting those who mistreat His followers by allowing them to go thirsty, hungry, sick, and uncared for (Matthew 25:41–44). He takes this mistreatment personally as the Lord says, “…‘ Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:45–46).

Many scholars believe the mistreated ones referred to by Jesus are the Jewish people. Whether you believe the Savior is speaking of the Jewish people or His disciples among the Jewish people and the Gentiles, it is clear that the Lord does bring a unique judgment upon those who mistreat His people.

Simply stated, the Lord wants us to understand and appreciate the role of the Jewish people in His plan and to act upon what we know! This also means that those guilty of antisemitism, which is on the rise today, will experience His judgment!

I do not equate a lack of sharing the gospel with the Jewish people as cause for judgment, but withholding the good news from the Jewish people is certainly not taking advantage of a promised blessing. After all, what greater way to bless the Jewish people is there than to bring the message of Jesus to our Jewish friends and family?

The gospel is the greatest gift we can give to a Jewish person.

A Survey of Evangelicals

In the recent survey by LifeWay Research and sponsored by Chosen People Ministries and Joel C. Rosenberg, we discovered that one of the areas where the church needs to be strengthened is in its efforts to bring the gospel to the Jewish people.

The survey of more than 2,000 evangelical participants revealed that 32 percent of evangelicals shared the gospel with their Jewish friends in the last year.

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Additionally, only 35 percent prayed in the past week for the salvation of their Jewish friends.

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The survey results show how important it is to understand the biblical argument for why Jewish evangelism is important. I am sure you will appreciate Dr. Mohler’s article.

Join Us on the Journey!

We are now in our 126th year of ministry! In addition to our regular everyday work of Jewish evangelism, we hope to especially focus on three critical areas of ministry: reaching Israel; proclaiming the gospel through digital media; and our Joshua Initiative, by which we hope to train a new generation of workers among the Jewish people! This three-fold emphasis is what we call our To the Jew First Campaign.

This is going to be a great adventure, and I hope you will prayerfully partner with us on the journey!

Blessings in our beloved Messiah,

Mitch

קָלַל1 (kalal)
אָרר 2 (arar)

 

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I am excited about 2020—are you?

Shalom in our Messiah!

Happy New Year! Your Mission to the Jewish People is now entering our 126th year of ministry. We had many wonderful celebrations for our 125th year including conferences, banquets, and evangelistic ministries in New York, Israel, and around the globe.

We spoke to more than 5,000 Jewish people about Jesus during our summer outreach in New York City and housed almost 2,000 young Israelis traveling in New Zealand who heard the gospel through our staff and volunteers. We also met almost 10,000 Jewish people online, many of whom asked for the free copy of our evangelistic book, Isaiah 53 Explained, in English and Hebrew!

Our I Found Shalom video testimonies were viewed by millions!

We prayed with Jewish people to receive Jesus as their Savior everywhere from New York City to Tel Aviv, as well as Jerusalem, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, and in many other countries around the world.

What a year, and by God’s grace we have now expanded our ministries into nineteen countries!

Last year, we took every opportunity to honor our spiritual forefathers who laid a solid and lasting foundation for Chosen People Ministries. But now, it is time to pivot toward the future and look ahead to the opportunities for Jewish evangelism in 2020 and beyond!

After all, we really do not know how much time we have until Jesus returns.

Do you believe we are in the end times? I do, and let me tell you why.

  • Israel now has the largest population of Jewish people in the world.
  • Israel is surrounded by enemies—especially the new coalition between Iran, Russia, and Syria in the north. This is especially dangerous, and we need to keep our eyes open and focus our prayers on this concerning situation.
  • Missiles continue to rain on Israel from Gaza, again funded by Iran.
  • Internally, Israel is in deep trouble because it has been unable to elect a prime minister, which creates instability within the country.

Followers of Jesus have been expecting His return at any moment since the day He ascended. I cannot imagine that Peter, Paul, and the other apostles thought it would take more than 2,000 years.  The fact that we have expected His return in every generation since the ascension does not mean we can become lax and not eagerly await His return today!

I still believe the Lord is coming soon! In fact, according to Zechariah 12:10, where the prophet tells us that Israel will ultimately look to the one who was pierced, Jerusalem needs to be in Jewish hands for this prophecy to be fulfilled. This happened, of course, in 1967!

When speaking of His return, it is true that “of that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36), but we should not ignore the obvious signs of the times!

There is a growing remnant of Jewish people in Israel and around the world starting to believe in Jesus. There are probably more Jewish believers in the world now than ever before with an increasing number of Messianic Jewish believers in the Holy Land. There are more than 150 congregations in Israel, and thousands of young Israelis are now serving the Lord….in the Land!  This is clearly a sign of His soon return in light of what Paul wrote in Romans 11:25–29!

Chosen People Ministries is in the midst of this exciting time through our ministries in Jerusalem, Ramat Gan (Tel Aviv), Galilee, and northern Israel.

I believe we need to preach the good news to the Jewish people more intensively than ever before!

Next Steps in 2020

This is exactly what your Mission to the Jewish People plans to do in 2020!

And this is why we are initiating our To the Jew First Campaign, based upon Romans 1:16, where Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

We will focus on three critical areas:

Israel

We are intensifying our outreach in the Holy Land—doing more and more as the Lord enables. We hope one day soon to purchase a center in Tel Aviv. For now, renting a center in the heart of Ramat Gan, one of the largest, most populated, but unreached suburbs in Israel. This has been an exciting venture as we continue to reach younger and more secular Israelis each week through our concerts, Bible studies, evangelistic lectures, and Sabbath dinners.

There were almost forty people who are not yet believers at our last outreach Sabbath dinner, along with protestors standing outside the doors of our little center in Ramat Gan!

We now have more than twenty staff serving the Lord in Israel, and most of them are native Israelis. Our efforts among Holocaust survivors, children’s camps, congregational planting, and much more is all going well!  Thank you for your prayers and for your ongoing support for this work in Israel.

Opportunities Online

We are maximizing the use of digital media in Israel, the United States, and around the globe for the gospel.

We now have more than one hundred testimonies of Jewish believers online.

Our Isaiah 53 campaign continues, and we are meeting lots of Jewish seekers online!  The campaign costs about five dollars per book, including advertising and shipping costs.

This year we will send out more than 10,000 Hebrew Isaiah 53 Explained books to Israelis!

We also developed a full range of online discipleship Bible studies so Jewish people seeking the Lord can study the Bible and grow in their faith once they become believers.

The Joshua Initiative

Finally, we are increasing our efforts around the globe to train young believers to serve the Lord.

This is what we call the Joshua Initiative.

This includes those seriously studying the Word of God and learning more about Jewish evangelism at our Charles L. Feinberg Seminary program in Brooklyn. Thank God, our beloved supporters enabled us to purchase the Feinberg Center’s facility without debt!

You can tell how excited I am about entering 2020 and beginning our 126th year of Jewish ministry!

I would rather be disappointed if He does not come today, tomorrow, or even this year. I still believe we need to do all we can with the greatest sense of urgency to proclaim the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles each and every day.

So, call me a fanatic!  I suppose I am and if you want to know why, please watch my testimony on our I Found Shalom web site and you will know why!

Please join me with your prayers and efforts in reaching out to a dark and broken world—to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.

Have a Happy New Year and know that our staff loves and appreciates you. We could not do all we do without your partnership.

Blessings in 2020—however long we have to enjoy it!

Your brother and fellow fanatic,

Mitch (Romans 1:16)

 

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