How am I doing? Amazing by God’s grace

07 Nov

Aaron Trank and his younger brother Sean were both on staff with Jews For Jesus. Sean went to be with The Lord earlier this year. Aaron went on a sabbatical as you will read below. It is an inspiring story and I wanted to share it with you all.

How am I doing? Amazing by God’s grace


Sabbatical is a wonderful thing, no wonder God told Israel to do it!  A time to reflect, to stare beyond the horizon, to ask the hard questions, to grieve and rejoice, to be a more attentive father, a more intentional son, and a better spiritual leader in my home.  This has been a time of deep prayer about our future as we’ve sought the Lord for vision and direction, and the Lord has been faithful to answer.  There have been good days and bad days, peace filled moments and moments boiling over with anger, but through it all we’ve felt the Lord’s favor and experienced His presence.

I anticipated a life of ministry alongside my brother, but the future belongs to the Lord and no one can alter His plans.  Sean’s life was shorter than anyone would have imagined, but he lived and died in rare company among men who gave the best years of their lives in service of the Gospel and It’s declaration among the Jewish people.  For this I am deeply grateful: that my baby brother has become my greatest inspiration.

Over the past month or so, we’ve explored each possibility regarding our future: leaving San Francisco and leaving Jews for Jesus, leaving San Francisco but staying with Jews for Jesus in another role, moving to Portland to study full-time in seminary while continuing our work with Jews for Jesus, staying in San Francisco but leaving Jews for Jesus to return to software development, and finally staying in San Francisco while staying with Jews for Jesus.  With each possibility we prayed long and hard, seeking God’s direction, submitting our dreams and desires to Him.  We began sensing various doors closing as our prayers became more and more focussed.

I’ve gained a sense of clarity.  My goal in life is massive impact.  Perhaps it takes a level of hubris to say it that way, but I don’t think grand vision is limited to people like Steve Jobs.  I know I wouldn’t be satisfied by personal, financial, or career success; I want to change the world, and I believe this is what God has called me to do with my life.  I have great confidence in the Rock that my feet is planted on, and the great truth that undergirds our postmodern world – that God sent His Son into the world to save us from sin and death, and that a day of reckoning is coming for all mankind.  I cannot leave ministry because I have tasted the water of life springing up from the bed of death, and this water, once tasted, makes all other taste sour.  My thoughts echo Peter’s in John 6:68 – to whom shall I go?  Only Jesus has the words of Eternal Life!

So I will stay in ministry, working with grand intent to change the world, as God has set my heart ablaze with passion for the salvation of my Jewish people.  Because there is nothing that will have a bigger impact on this world than a spiritual revival among the Jewish people.  I stand on Paul’s words in Romans 11:15 – For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Furthermore, I will stay in ministry with Jews for Jesus, as I believe in this organization: its values, its staff, and its great future.  I’m proud to strive, along with my fellow ministers in Jews for Jesus, to contextualize our proclamation of the Gospel around the world, to question our methods as we seek to communicate the Gospel in more effective ways, and to wrestle with our past as we fervently seek the Lord for our future.

Yet with clarity and certainty I say that the future of Jews for Jesus is built upon Gospel: it’s explanation, proclamation, and transformational power.

Our goal isn’t to be liked, but to be heard.  Our intent isn’t to offend, though the message of the Gospel is often an offense, but to clearly communicate the transformational message of God to his once and always Chosen People.  Our communication must be tempered with both truth and love, our interaction with the Jewish community must reflect God’s heart for the poor, the suffering, and all who are lost.  Our personal lives must be lived in submission to the transformational power of the Holy Spirit – with actions reflecting the Fruit of the Spirit and words spoken in love.  Our community must reflect the characteristics Peter lays down in 1 Peter 3:8 – “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”

My sabbatical continues through the end of 2014, but in 2015 I will be back – in San Francisco, in Jews for Jesus, and in the Minister-At-Large role with renewed passion and vision for the future of the Messianic Movement, Jewish Missions, and Jews for Jesus.  My brother has passed on to glory, but I honor his memory and faith by raising higher the banner of Jesus, who has reserved for Sean a seat of honor at the banquet table of the Lamb.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support!

God Bless,





  1. Dariea Rosenberg says

    November 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Well said! Sean must be very proud of his big brother and you will change the world!! Love & blessings!!

  2. Kyle Teese says

    November 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Aaron. I’m deeply moved by the way you’re walking through this season… it’s giving me vision for how to do the same in the pain, frustration and uncertainty of my life. Great catching up at the Missionary Dinner… let’s chat again soon.

  3. Ruth says

    November 5, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Praise God for answered prayer….but I also praise God for your commitment to Him and your willingness to seek His will in your life.

  4. Sita Shearer says

    November 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Isn’t The Lord great? He answers our deepest cry clearly. Without that we could not proceed and endure. So we support your decision heartily.

  5. Mari Grhm says

    November 5, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    I am still praying for your family. I am so happy to read it post. I think you are an extraordinary minister in your own right, with your own voice, your own talents, and your own really great dream from our God. God bless every single good work you do:)

  6. Sarah M. says

    November 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Wow, Aaron, this is fantastic. I can hear your passion loud and clear and it’s reviving some discouraged places in my own heart. Love you guys so much. So glad you’re staying!

  7. Lynne Roose says

    November 6, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Again you have moved me to tears. In only one month God has moved mountains in your outlook. I rejoice with you as you pursue the passions that propel you onward. Praise God!

  8. MICHA COHEN says

    November 6, 2014 at 4:06 am

    AMEN!!!!! Brings tears to my eyes that you are pressing on!!! And i love your old Supertones shirt. They were a great band.

  9. Janice Burdsall says

    November 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Thank you Aaron for sharing your heart. It is hard to comprehend moving on with out your beloved brother beside you, but surely the Lord has great plans for you and Sean’s legacy and love goes with you always. Our prayers are with you, your family and the Jews for Jesus team. God bless you.

  10. Liz Thompson says

    November 6, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I’m so glad you are keeping us updated. Sean’s blogs really inspired my friend going thru chemo for colon cancer. She is now cancer free.
    God is so awesome in the way He works in lives. Yes there are hard times, crushing times but He never leaves us or forsakes us. I love the way God always shows us exactly where we are to go and what we are to do or say. I’m glad you are staying with Jews for Jesus. They have been a part of our lives for many years.

  11. Wayne Dunham – NC CLIM says

    November 6, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Shalom Aaron..I have never personally met you or Sean… but I followed Sean’ s entire battle.
    I was deeply moved by this post..I too lost a brother 16 years ago, who was an atheist up until 2 weeks before his death…at which time the Holy Spirit moved upon him and he prayed with me to confess his sins and invite Christ into his heart!
    So glad you reached the decision to remain with JFJ!!!

  12. Wayne Dunham says

    November 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Aaron….I read My Utmost for His Highest this morning and thought of you….hope you will understand why.

    November 7th.
    “All things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28
    The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at al , but the Spirit of God understands. God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions in order that the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line. Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say – I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that. Al your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to enter into the agony of intercession, but to utilize the common-sense circumstances God puts you in, and the common-sense people He puts you amongst by His providence, to bring them before God’s throne and give the Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them. In this way God is going to sweep the whole world with His saints.
    Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being indefinite, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession, and the human side is the circumstances I am in and the people I am in contact with. I have to keep my conscious life as a shrine of the Holy Ghost, then as I bring the different ones before God, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for them.
    Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, but the Holy Ghost makes intercession in our particular lives, without which intercession someone wil be impoverished.

  13. Fran Yankee says

    November 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Aaron….you don’t know me …but I am a long time Jewish believer and friend of J for J….
    Your decision is an inspiration…..I am so glad that the Lord answered your prayers…he is faithful

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10 responses to “How am I doing? Amazing by God’s grace

  1. Sue C.

    November 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    God bless you as you go forward in your walk with our Lord. May you touch many with His abiding love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. atimetoshare

    November 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. realchange4u

    November 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I lost my daughter in July Arona. Kelly was on staff for teen challenge of Oklahoma. I am sixty one years of age. Her death was a tragic death. It brought me clarity and a closer walk with God. It is through these losses that God is able to use us more effectively. I pray you have a heart to hear God and peace and blessings on your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Levi Thetford

      November 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Im sorry to hear of your loss Tom. The Lord has given you comfort. I can tell. Are you an Okie too. If so, whereabouts?


      • realchange4u

        November 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

        Oh yes Okie through and through. Live in Choctaw Oklahoma Levi


        • Levi Thetford

          November 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm

          Did not know that Tom. I’m a native Okie that lives on a farm between Tulsa and Bartlesville. Small world especially online. 😀

          Liked by 1 person


      November 11, 2014 at 4:00 am

      I am keeping you in my prayer Tom

      Liked by 1 person

      • realchange4u

        November 11, 2014 at 7:13 am

        Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.



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