While in NYC last week I was asked by a couple of people if I would take them to the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. Williamsburg is a neighborhood of 113,000 according to the last census, and 73,000 of them are Chasidic Jews, mainly from Eastern Europe. It was established after World War II with many of them being Holocaust survivors. As I’ve stated before, It reminds me of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem that I’ve visited.
There is a fascination with many of Chasidic Jews because they remind us of an ancient people of the Book. They are very orthodox in their Judaism and have a basically closed communtity. If you read my posts regularly, I wrote of Herman, a Chasidic man that trusted Jesus as his Messiah and Savior, a few weeks ago.
The couple that I took had never seen anything like what they saw. I told them not to be seen taking pictures. There is a group named the Shomrim, which means “guardians” in Hebrew, that patrol the neighborhood. Even though I haven’t been in this neighborhood much I knew where I was going and where most of the main places we wanted to see were.
While walking one of the group asked if we had ever read a book, and I honestly don’t recall the name of it or the author now. The premise of the book was that a group had worked very hard witnessing in a particular neighborhood with little success. One of them on a visit asked the others if they would like to have a prayer walk around the perimeters of the neighborhood. They all agreed and they completed their walk. Over the next 5-6 years the whole neighborhood was transformed and many became born again believers in Jesus.
Our small group of 3 decided that we would do this in Williamsburg in a 4 block area that was home to 2 large synagogues. We walked the sidewalks around this area, first one praying and then another. We made no show of it and the people seeing and passing us I’m sure thought we were only talking. It will be interesting to see if God works in any of the hearts of these people. We know that He is able, and I’m confident that ALL of His sheep will be brought into the fold. Our job is to plant the seed and the Holy Spirit does the work. As Jonah said, “salvation is of The Lord” (Jonah 2:9).
I asked Stewart, a NYC missionary, if he and I can go back there when I return to NYC in a few weeks. He agreed that we would. He did tell me that we would start distributing broadsides (large tracts) on the upstairs doors in case we needed to make a quick escape down.
After saying all of this, I don’t want to leave the impression that this is modern day Jewry. Orthodox Jews I’m told only make up 13% of all Jews. They are a definite minority, but there may be some that will come to faith in Jesus. Who knows how many Hermans The Lord may have there?
Please remember to pray for Jewish missions. Were it not for the Jews we would have no Scriptures, and no Savior. I may post sometime the things that we wouldn’t have without the Jewish people. God gave me a special love and burden for these people 40 years ago and it’s a great privilege to be a part of working among them.
Until tomorrow, Lord willing,