Part 2 of our work through the eyes of a volunteer
My trip to Israel continued.
We continued throughout the week reaching out to the numerous nationalities with the Gospel, sometimes having good responses but at other times very negative responses.
We have been told on more than one occasion that in view of the tense situation, we should not continue with the outreach, particularly to the Jewish and Arab people. We have asked the Jewish people, “whom should we obey, man or Ha Shem?” We did not receive a reply! We have also been told, which was kindly meant, that when we give the New Testament to Muslims, they will be torn when out of sight, however many of the recipients have been very thankful for the Scriptures and have told us so. One lady with who I spoke and who I thought was a Muslim because of her clothing whispered to me that she had been a believer for three years. We have prayed for all the people with whom we have come into contact that The Lord would reveal Himself to them and bless them with salvation. Sometimes it is almost as if one can see the veil in front of their eyes. Those who claim to be Christians have been encouraged to either share their faith or challenged about their beliefs. There seems to be a mishmash of opinions as regards beliefs within the Christian community.
The Friday evening outreach to Tel Aviv was different from the two previous insomuch as rockets were being fired from Gaza, two of which we observed being taken down by Israel’s Iron Dome. (anti rocket missile) The air raid sirens sounded beforehand, however no-one seemed to be in a hurry to go to the bomb shelters but rather continued on with what they were doing prior to the warnings. Throughout the time, both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the air raid warnings, a sense of God’s peace was evident in all the group of believers doing outreach.
The number of tourists appears to have dropped dramatically during this last week so our outreach has been mostly to Jewish and Muslim people; nevertheless we’ve still had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with others. Even though some of the European and American young people have been brought up in Christian homes, it has been so sad to hear that they have since turned away into believing that there is no God. We have questioned some by asking them where they think they would go if they died that night. It is a most relevant question at the moment considering the situation here in Israel. There aren’t many atheists around when one is faced with one’s own mortality and quite a few have indeed considered their views again. We are only His vessels and can lead no-one to the Messiah but we have been given the privilege of sharing His wonderful good news to these people who are lost and don’t even know it, yet it is His Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner.
On two occasions we travelled near to the Egyptian border where there is a Detention Centre for the Sudanese and Eritrean refugees many of whom are Muslims. They have a certain amount of freedom as they can come and go as they please within each day but must report both prior to leaving and again when returning. The possibility of their survival if they returned to their native lands is almost nil yet here in Israel they have found some sanctuary. Sadly all the men are without work and consequently are very bored with having nothing to do all day. We gave out the Scriptures in their native tongues and shared the Gospel when able plus we showed ‘The Jesus Film’ to a few of the Sudanese who watched it in their native tongue. Oh the wonder of modern technology yet The Lord uses all things for His purposes. During the time travelling to the centre, we stopped for drinks at roadside cafes where we met several IDF soldiers some of whom willingly took both the New Testament and the book “Betrayed” by Stan Telchin, a Jewish believer who came to Messiah as a result of his daughter becoming a believer while at University.
We again visited the roadside cafés particularly to speak with the soldiers. Some were reticent and refused the Scriptures or even to speak to us, however many were happy to and with them we shared The Gospel. One young soldier with whom we spoke laughed at what he was told and sadly three days later he was killed in Gaza. Occasionally the Police would visit these roadside cafés and they too received the Scriptures which we found rather interesting particularly after having been told by a number of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish people both at the roadside cafés and in other places, that what we were doing was illegal! An article appeared in an Israeli newspaper which was initiated by Yad L’Achim (anti missionary organisation) about the missionary work we were involved in.
This is a continuing work which is both a blessing and very rewarding in so much as it was instigated by our wonderful Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ.
At present I am in Poland doing evangelism for two and a half weeks. Things are going well and we have managed to hand out literature and speak to people about the Gospel.
Please pray for success in the Gospel and that we can encourage the churches to evangelize (the ones that are a sleep).
Thanks and be blessed,