Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
We have had a great year, and already 2014 is upon us. We had so many opportunities to speak to many people about the Gospel with handing out and distributing much literature, lots of New Testaments in Hebrew and Arabic. We are looking forward to continuing with evangelism and being a part in encouraging others to do the same.
Our purpose as Christians is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, and part of that purpose is to make Him known in word and indeed, it’s our moral responsibility to do this. Evangelism is for all believers, for and in every place, and at every time, in season and out of season, when it is convenient and not.
Here is a summary of 2013:-
Evangelistic Free Tours
Every Friday and Saturday we take people around Jerusalem. This is a good opportunity to share the Gospel with Russian speaking Jews and tourists who also come: Atheists, Orthodox, Muslims, and other guests from the former Soviet Union. All are of different background and age. During summer days there are around 25-30 people and in winter about 10-15. The number depends on the weather and we do not cancel tours even if it is cold or raining, even if one person comes we would spend time with them and take them to Golgotha, Gethsemane and other biblical places, speaking to them about the events of 2000 years ago and sharing the Gospel story. There are many who come with superstitions and distortions of what is actually written in the New Testament and seeing the contrast between what is tradition and what is actually written is an education of the eyes, allowing people to think for themselves.
Friday night in Tel Aviv
For more than five years every Friday night we have been travelling to Tel Aviv to distribute books and Bibles, DVDs and other literature to African refugees and foreign workers from many parts of the world, in languages of different nations such as Nepalese, Turkish, Chinese, Filipinos, Indians and many African nations.
We work on a street near the central bus station. We used to have a table among those who were peddling their merchandise but the local authority cracked down on the vendors so we cannot use a table but the Lord provided a shop owned by an Armenian and we place everything outside of his shop and distribute without any problems from the municipality. They know what we do but do not hinder us. We also meet Israelis, Hebrew speakers and Russian immigrants and are able to give them some books and point those interested to a local church. We have sometime not enough languages and have a need for Bibles in various languages, especially French, Tagalog and English.
Evangelism in Jerusalem and around
We also go out to the streets several times in the week, meeting people both local and foreign, Jew and Arab, and whoever we can speak to, handing out literature and encouraging them to read the Scriptures for themselves. We also try and go to the University and have had some good conversations. When we can, we go to the West Bank and hand out literature as we drive by nearby Arabs living in the villages and small towns, where it would be dangerous for us to enter, so we meet at road junctions and neutral places. Also we have found a mini market that sells alcohol, forbidden to sell in those areas, yet many Muslims come to buy, we sit outside and hand them New Testaments and other literature and most of them take: every time we go we manage to end up giving out around 80 New Testaments.
We were in Bethlehem for the first time this Christmas witnessing and were able to give a few interviews to the press and get the Gospel out. There we were given an opportunity to preach to several thousand people but the leader of the group that I was with would not allow us, which was sad. After Bethlehem we went to the Old City of Jerusalem and there were met some Israeli Jewish Carol Singers (secular, non-believers). They drew a crowd and we were able gave them gifts for Christmas! – In fact we handed out many Bibles.
We had a number of small groups that helped us throughout 2013. One particular group you can read about on our website: eight unusual women.
We like groups and for this the Lord provided a house so we can house some people. We do lots of evangelism and a little sightseeing and even the sightseeing is evangelistic. If you have a small group of 3-7 people, let us know and we can communicate through email.
Jordan: Syrian Refugees
We try and travel to Jordan every few months and have had the opportunity of visiting Syrian refugees and sharing with them the Gospel. We are working with a group in Lebanon and they have many needs for their work with the refugees that have fled Syria. This group is very evangelistic and we have sent them some support to buy blankets and other things. The war in Syria is so sad and many Christians are being killed by the ‘peaceful’ religion of Islam and most of the world is silent. The world around us is not peaceful one.
We have printed two books and a gospel tract by Paul Washer in Arabic as well as purchasing New Testaments in Arabic, including many copies of John MacArthur Bibles. Recently we printed a new leaflet – “Are you a good person?” – in Hebrew and Russian. It looks at the Law of God in the commandments and ends with a reading of Isaiah 53, making one think and ask how is one able to be righteousness before God, using what the Bible actually says and not our own ideas or tradition. Our purpose is to make all people think and truly seek truth, not just believe traditional answers but study for themselves.
Plans for 2014
This year in February we plan to go to Egypt for ministry and hope we will be in time for the Book Fair where you can buy New Testaments for an unbelievable 25 cents each. Lord willing we hope to be able to evangelize and reach out. It’s a little dangerous at the moment, so please pray for the Lord’s protection.
We will also be printing some literature, one is “The One True God” by Paul Washer, in Russian, and we are also hoping to also get involved in a Hebrew translation project of the New Testament. It is so sad that we don’t have a good Hebrew New Testament. It was Jewish people who gave the Scriptures, and all the authors of the New Testament, yet our translation today is not the best and has many errors.
Lord willing we hope to take a group of people to India in for three weeks in August for evangelism to meet Israelis and whoever the Lord places in our path.
There are many others things, too numerous to tell but as the opportunity comes and the ability to do so is there, we do try to be as busy as we can, helping in any area we can. It is a privilege to be able to do so.
Thank you all for your support in prayer and encouragement, and may we also encourage you. While the world is chaotic and messy, full of strife, conflict and war, our Hope is steadfast and sure, and He is sovereign. We can rest in Him even in a storm. For the year to come, may He be glorified in all that we endeavour to do.
Antony and Dona Simon