Too much love in the Diamond District

Today was my day to be a campaigner! I wanted to see if I could handle a 3 sortie day, so Todd switched jobs with me and he cleaned for me and took care of Josh so that I could go out on the streets. In preparation for today I had 2 prayer requests. 1- That I would get a good night sleep (I have few good nights of sleep), 2- That God would connect my brain and my tongue. God totally answered both requests. 

1st Sortie of the day is a rush hour sortie. We went to Grand Central Station and I was given an area and left to pass out as many broadsides as possible. I had a good area and was able to pass out about 500. At the end of my sortie a Jewish woman came up and told me that I shouldn’t call myself Jewish. She said I could be a Christian, but not to call myself Jewish. I told her that she couldn’t take my birthright away from me. We had a bit of a debate. The funny thing was that she didn’t believe in God, heaven, or hell. But she wanted to use the Bible when it suited her then deny it’s authenticity when she wanted. She didn’t want to sit and talk just argue. For me one of the fears in sharing the gospel is fearing that I won’t know what to say when asked a question. This was an amazing encounter in that I was able to answer her objections far better than I thought I would be able to- this was God! The problem was I spent too much time with her in an unfruitful discussion. 

2nd Sortie was in the Diamond District. The Diamond District is a few streets around 47th and Broadway where many Jewish owned Jewelry stores are located together. This is not an easy area to try to get up a conversation because Jewish people are not supposed to talk to us and with all the Jewish businesses around they would be seen. The idea of this conversation is to talk to people. The tracts we hand out are only to help get conversations going. I only handed out about 75 tracts, but met a missionary couple who wanted to get the newsletter so they gave me their contact information. Getting contacts is a really good thing. This time of the day is where I was getting tired. It was hard to be mobile on a busy corner and hard to keep smiling and talking. About 30 minutes before the end I was watching the time and ready to be done. There was a man in his 50’s who came across the street and asked me what I was handing out. I showed him the tract and we talked about the Bible. He was standing close to me, but that is not abnormal on a crowded NY street. Later I think he was standing too close. I showed the man the contact info on the tract and then he gave his card and told me his cell phone number was on it. He wanted me to call him. there was a $20 bill folded up under the card. I saw it and gave it back saying we can’t take money. I don’t know what he really was thinking, but YUCK!!! Thankfully we were about to go back and I was really ready to take a break. Sore achy feet!

After lunch we get a little break. I took a nap and that really helped me get some energy. I also grabbed a cup of coffee and a few almonds.

3rd Sortie is the pm rush. We found out that we were going back to the diamond district. I wasn’t really excited about this. This is a hard place and to be here twice in the same day seems to not be making good progress. Going to our location I noticed how tired I was getting. My feet still were sore because I didn’t bring an extra pair of shoes to alternate. We arrived on site and my teammate and I decided to trade corners since we were at the same place. I liked this new corner so much better. Something about the way the traffic moved on the corner made it easier to keep up with. I had 6 Jewish men with Kipas take tracts from me and they didn’t throw them away as far as I could tell. I had a crazy person who came up and talked to me. He was weird and he was wasting my time and blocking my corner. So I convinced him to take the tract in an effort to get him to leave. He took it and said he wanted to hug me. This guy was a big tall black man in a camo hoodie. He didn’t smell like a homeless person, but he was a few missed showers to being one of the crazy homeless guys in NY! So I turned my shoulder towards him and he gave me a hug and them kissed my temple. YUCK!! What is with these guys?!  A bit later an older couple came past. The man warned his wife that I was a Jew for Jesus. She was annoyed with me she poked my arm kinda hard and told me that I should read the Torah and then I wouldn’t be like that (She means it would fix me from a wrong belief). I kinda laughed and then asked her if she reads the Torah. She wouldn’t answer me and that was what I thought. Later on we spent the last 30 minutes of our sortie in the subway station. The take rate was much better. A man was with his mother. He took a tract and she started in on him. She said in Hebrew something like, “She’s Jews for Jesus, get rid of that!” He didn’t listen to her and she was nagging at him. He stood in the station below my position and read the tract and then was watching me. I was praying that God’s word would go into his heart and his eyes would be opened. The last track I was able to offer was to an elderly lady that was hunched over and pushing a cart. I didn’t recognize her as Jewish until I heard her accent, unfortunately she looked at me and said F*** You. I didn’t expect that one. All in all I gave out 175 tracts and met one person who wanted the newsletter. 

It was a great day because I survived. I learned a lot and was able to see God strong in my weakness. All for His glory!! My total of 750 tracts isn’t a lot for one day, but God knows that the ones who get them are most likely the ones who need the message. Praying for all of the ones I met and talked to today. These are the highlights of my day, but not every conversation. There were so many more people I talked to and I am just one campaigner. This really helps to see how much happens in a day of Campaign. And for all of this there are so many thousands who don’t take a tract. But we are walking billboards and they see us. We won’t know until eternity what the effect of these outreaches are, but we do know it is all God’s work. Todd takes over again tomorrow and I am ready for bed!

 

Advertisements

Tuesday Night Lecture Series

Every Tuesday night in July Jews for Jesus opens their doors and invites the Jewish community in. The purpose of this evening is to allow those Jewish people who are seeking Jesus to have time to learn and discuss key issues. There is a nice nosh prepared (snack) and couches all to encourage discussion and encouragement. Not all who come are seeking Jesus, many have found Him. It is always a nice night of discussion and visiting. Below are the links to the lectures online.

1)Afterlife According to the Hebrew Scriptures http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGqINd-YbA&list=UUAq17NCfdQi07qaz70hq14w

2)Yesterday’s Guilt…Tomorrow’s Fear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kKN9J2SvE8

3)Future Shocker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kKN9J2SvE8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUAq17NCfdQi07qaz70hq14w

4)

Feel free to watch live next Tuesday’s lecture.

Happy Birthday Todd!

2013-07-15_19-03-22_991

2013-07-15_19-03-20_480

2013-07-15_19-03-18_373

Today is Todd’s Birthday! Most people spend their birthday celebrating themselves. After all that is the point of a birthday, to celebrate the day you were born because having you on Earth is such a great thing. This year Todd was sharing the gospel in NY for his birthday. He had nice conversations and was really happy all day. What a great example Todd is! There were no gifts today. I know some are on their way, but that wasn’t the point of the day.  There were phone calls from family and that was nice. The dinner tonight was amazing (better than I could have made): Tri tip steak, baked potato, salad, asparagus and a homemade birthday cake. Another missionary has a birthday today to share the day with Todd. Amazing day. Amazing man!

Happy Day of freedom!

Yesterday was the 4th of July. Jews for Jesus has a tradition of sending everyone out on a sortie to give out special broadsides before the fireworks. With the stewards joining the fun it makes for a lot of people. To enlarge the circle of influence 3 of the campaigners headed out to Boston and another one to Philadelphia. We left at 7PM to go to our areas and start handing out broadsides. Todd, Josh and I went with Wayne our campaign cook. Josh was in his stroller which was really smart considering I had no idea how far we were going to walk. We walked about 10 blocks to the Hudson river. There were thousands of people at every street around the river. We went out in small teams of 2 or 3 people so we could give out the gospel to as many people as possible. I did see a handful of Jewish people on our street, but they were the minority. The take rate was good last night. I was so proud of Todd! I stood with the stroller a bit behind Todd and on the other side of the sidewalk. Those who didn’t take a track from Todd or were out of reach for him were the ones I approached. Most people took from Todd and he was so natural to watch him giving out the broadsides.

2013-07-04_19-51-05_993

2013-07-04_19-51-14_625

 

2013-07-04_19-51-51_84

 

2013-07-10_11-53-33_979

2013-07-10_11-53-49_274

 

 

Across the way from us is where Wayne was. He had a great place in the street where the sidewalk closed and there were cones that directed people right to him. He had so much joy in handing out the broadsides. People really took a lot from him. My favorite was when a group of twenty somethings came through. They had their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. They ran past Wayne and took broadsides form him as fast as he could grab another to give out.

2013-07-04_19-50-59_818

After handing out for a few hours most of the campaigners had given out all of their broadsides (emptied their bags). In the stroller I had another bags worth of tracts and was able to bring some to teammates a block away. There were others who had spare bags of tracks so they could bring them where needed if someone ran out early. As a group we handed out 21,900 broadsides. There were also 7 people who want to talk more about who Jesus is and gave a phone number so they can keep in touch. The group from Boston also handed out 6,000 broadsides.

When the fireworks began we took a break and watched the show.  The fireworks were shot off of 3 different barges. They all shot off the same ones at the same time. The show was quite beautiful. 2013-07-04_21-29-22_72

2013-07-04_21-29-51_422

These guys were my favorite! Josh liked the fireworks and wasn’t bothered by the loud noises that have bothered him other years.

2013-07-04_21-30-48_470

There was even a happy face firework. After about 30 minutes of the show we started to get back to the main street so we wouldn’t be trapped by the large crowds. We headed back to the branch and were the 1st team back. We arrived about 10:45. Then Josh went to bed, Showers and late night pizza party with the other teams. It was a really fun night.

Juice for Jesus

Over 40 and knees are sometimes an unhealthy combination. Todd and a few others are feeling their knees already. This is a great thing to pray for. The health of the campaigners is always under attack. One creative way for the gospel to be given out is with the free offer of juice or water for those who pass by. New York is a more secure place. There are bars on the windows and elaborate locks and security systems to screen those coming in. You might even have to show your ID at a doctors visit. With all this security it is not easy to make a building inviting and open.

One creative approach to reaching out to the neighborhood of Murry Hill involves free beverages. To spare the knees of a few campaigners Todd was involved with a cucumber water stand on Monday, a citrus water stand on Tuesday and lemonade (Juice for Jesus) on Wednesday. There is a great response from the neighborhood. Some are curious about what the building is. Others have eternal questions. The goal is to get contact information and follow up with those individuals. The gospel is presented to anyone who will listen. Enjoy some pictures of the outreach. Josh likes to go out and hand cups out as well.

2013-07-01_18-30-39_137

2013-07-01_18-28-54_673

2013-07-01_18-28-29_310

 

2013-07-01_18-28-16_398

 

 

 

2013-07-02_11-49-14_63

2013-07-02_11-49-12_185

2013-07-02_11-47-47_903

2013-07-02_11-48-19_799

 

 

 

 

 

Campaign Begins 2013

Today was the beginning of campaign. It was an early start at 5:30 for Todd and I. Here is the basic schedule:

1st light breakfast 6:45-7

Sortie 7:15-9:45

Brunch 9:45-10:15

Chapel 10:15-11

Sortie 11:10-1:45

Lunch 1:45-3:50

Sortie 3:50-6:30

Dinner 6:30-7:30

Devotions7:35-8:10

 

 

 

2013-06-30_16-08-25_189

Josh is having his dream of going on the subway come true. Josh loves trains and riding the subway is just like riding the train! We are on our way to Times Square to take a group picture. Our picture came out great and after it is made into a postcard some lucky supporters will get a copy for their fridge.

 

2013-07-01_07-04-49_525

Todd getting ready to go out on the 1st Sortie of the day, Day 1 of Campaign!

 

2013-07-01_07-11-49_121

 

2013-07-01_07-04-45_327

Campaigners getting ready to go!

2013-07-01_07-11-56_991

Campaign leader Sarah reading a scripture to encourage the campaigners!

2013-07-01_07-12-05_544

2013-07-01_07-11-56_991

2013-07-01_07-12-30_473

Ready set go!

 

This year’s theme is The Time is now! 2 Corinthians 6:2

for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”–

 

 

2013-07-01_16-10-56_136

 

While the campaigners were out Josh played with Mr. Weinisch, one of the staff missionaries.

2013-07-01_09-21-56_47

Josh helped me clean all the residential floors.

Day 1 was a long day. Only 27 more campaign days to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying goodbye to a friend.

Everyday people are born and others die. Today one of the deaths is a friend. Jhan Moskowitz went to be with the Lord today.

Today has been a really hard day, an emotional day. It has been a time of joy with good memories and well as grief. Today my brother in the Lord has left this earth and I am so sad. I am sad that this was sudden. I am sad that I won’t ever see him again. I am sad for his family, especially his wife and daughters. I am sad that JFJ has a hole in the leadership. I am sad that in NY we never got to say goodbye.

Today I have been dealing with and weighing the goodness of our God. God took Jhan suddenly. God could have done this another way, but He didn’t and God is always good and loving. I know God is good and loving. I know God does everthing perfect, but today I have had to remind myself over and over again every few minutes. This has been a hard day.

I think tomorrow will be hard too. I think that for a while I will feel the loss of my brother. So to remind myself of the goodness of God I am dwelling on the many wonderful things about Jhan. God let Jhan influence me and teach me. God let me have 3 distinct times to get to “rub shoulders” with Jhan in the last year of his life. God is so good!

The last memory I have of Jhan is now very precious. I think differently about it than I did at the time. During campaign Jhan came up behind us in chapel and put his hands on Todd and my shoulders. His hand came down hard and you couldn’t mistake it for a gentle tap, it was there purposely with confidence. He spoke low in his serious tone. He told us how thankful he was that Todd and I were there on campaign. He was serious that to him it made a difference that we came to serve. At the time I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was weird that he didn’t wait until after the song was over or until after chapel was over. It seemed very impulsive. Right now I see it a bit different. It wasn’t impulsive, it was making the most of the time. I appreciated his gratitude. I didn’t understand it, still don’t. Yes, we served and did a good job, but if it wasn’t us it would have been someone else. It was nice to be thanked, but I wasn’t a big deal. I am really glad that it happened. Not because our work was so amazing (It wasn’t) but because his gratitude is my last memory. I now think that waiting can be a mistake. Life is a vapor.

When it comes to Jhan I go a little unhinged. I am normally a good communicator and calm under pressure. There is something about Jhan that gives him celebrity status. He is a hero of the faith to me. He is one of the unsung heroes of God’s work. I think so highly of him that I get a little star struck when he is in the room. I can’t quite explain it, but I do not wax eloquent. I wax stupid. I get a jittery type of excited. Have you seen Cars the movie? Do you remember Fred? “He knows my name, He knows my name!” That’s me. So when Jhan talks to me (by name) I turn into Fred. Eventually I do better, but the 1st thing out of my mouth is usually something so stupid! Yet, the gracious person he is doesn’t let that stop him from speaking to me again at a later time. Usually the 2nd time I am much improved.

Watching Jhan has taught me many things.

1-Kindness. Jhan was kind. He talks to people who do not appreciate him or who are mean to him. He entertained us on our 1st trip to NY. He gave of himself and his time. He didn’t have to do that, but he was kind to us.

2- Truth. Jhan stood for truth. He had a standard of telling what was true and for no other reason would he personally sacrifice himself on the streets witnessing.

3-Faithfulness. Jhan was faithful to serve God till his death. What a great example.

4- Education. Jhan recently finished his Doctorate work. He valued education and wanted others to finish higher education as well.

5- Humor. Jhan usually had a good joke. He knew how to work a crowd.

6- Children. Jhan loved the children around him. He very often would stop talking to adults and give attention to children and building relationships with them.

7- Authority. Jhan had an authority when it came to getting things done. He knew how to set a deadline and give expectations. He had that stern boss side and the easy going side as well.

8-Busy. Jhan was able to relax, but he always seemed to be busy about something. He didn’t waste time.

9-Teaching. Jhan was a wonderful teacher of God’s word. He could explain scripture with such a familiar understanding of it. He could tell a story and when show how the story was word for word the teaching of the chapter you are studying. I can’t describe it, it was amazing.

10- Love. Jhan had a love for his wife, daughters, and JFJ staff. I’ll never forget him infront of our church telling his wife “You still look good to me!” He just adored Melissa!

Jhan I miss you already. I wish I were in NY to help in some way. You are a hero of the faith and heaven just got a bit sweeter.