As I write this post I have departed New York enroute to Dallas and on to Tulsa. I have been reflecting on the previous 17 days and all that God has accomplished. Every single day had an extra special blessing that highlighted the day. It’s just like The Lord God to save the best for last when I thought each day couldn’t be topped.
Yesterday, I wanted to go to Williamsburg, which I think is the largest population of Hasidic Jews outside of Israel. I asked Anna Marie in the Jews For Jesus office which was the easiest route to take. She told me to hold on a minute and she picked up the phone and called somebody. She asked the person on the other end for the best train stop in Williamsburg and also if he would go there and meet me. I could tell from listening to her end of the conversation that he was asking questions about me. The conversation ended with “I’ll see you soon”.
Anna Marie turned to me and said “Herman will be here in about 45 minutes”. I asked her “who is Herman”? Then in her heavy New Yawk talk she begins a long story that I shall shorten for times sake.
In 2006, Jews For Jesus wanted to make some inroads into the Hasidic community and the only way to do this was undercover. All of the workers dressed as Hasidics as well as lived there in a hotel for one month. Hasidics are a very closed community and outsiders are not really welcomed. Even in Williamsburg, NY the signs and school buses are all in Hebrew.
The missionaries would stand on the streets individually and quietly ask people passing by if they would take some literature. They soon became discovered and were followed so they began changing rental cars and hotels every 2-3 days and didn’t leave their rooms except to pass out literature. At this time the workers also compiled addresses for the mailing of a cd.
When the month was over they had not received any positive feedback from anyone and they began sending out the cd’s. Anna Marie was sitting at her desk a few days after the first mailing and the man at the other end said “what are you people doing, have you gone crazy?!! She said “excuse me, what are you talking about”? He said “you are mailing out these cd’s to everyone in my community about Jesus and we hate that name and want nothing to do with it. Stop your madness”!!
Anna Marie replied “why do you hate Jesus, He is your Messiah and He is a Jew. He is the One all of your prophets talked about, and He fulfilled all of their prophecies written in your Hebrew Bible”. He told her he had never heard of these things. She invited him to her home in Brooklyn and he said he would meet with her. She asked him his name and he replied “my name is Herman ****””.
Herman arrived at Anna Marie’s home just as he promised. She, along with her mother with whom she lives, greeted him and invited him in. Her mother sat in the corner praying as Anna Marie opened up her Bible to Isaiah 53. As they read in her English Bible Herman said he had never read of such things. She told him it was from his own Bible and to look at his Hebrew text. He opened his Bible to the same chapter and read. She said Herman looked up at her and said “I have nothing to say against this. It is as plain as daylight that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah. She explained to him what one must do to accept Him as their Messiah and Savior, and he did so. God opened Herman’s spiritual eyes and heart.
That was 8 years ago. Yesterday, he and I talked for almost an hour about our families and of The Lord Jesus. It was totally an amazing experience. What an amazing, saving, and gracious God we serve. What He won’t do to call in His lost sheep. It still blows my mind after all of these years.
Next time, I will tell of my trip back to Williamsburg with Herman.
Until then, Lord willing,