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Category Archives: Jewish Missions

Almost Home !!!

I write this while sitting on the initial leg of my flight home to Thetford Farms. I will publish it while on layover in Chicago. It’s been 54 days since I left home and I’m very ready to return. One can only be away from their own bed and family for so long. My mission work has been wonderful and blessed by God. I have many memories and experiences that I will always remember and cherish.
My journeys have taken me to Paris, London, and of course New York, my home away from home. Campaigns can be very arduous and long but God gives that extra strength and power that we may not ordinarily have. I have fared just fine physically and am in great shape. I’m only a little tired. In the course of this trip I have met some tremendous people which will be life-long friendships. I have adopted 2 new wonderful “kids”, Cara and Aden Friedman, Jews for Jesus South African missionaries whom I truly love. I have been able to share the love of Jesus with many, have prayed with many, and God has allowed me to reap some of His harvest as hearts have turned to Him. Not to forget some amazing meals. A real highlight was enjoying a “full English” breakfast with Paul Grace (Just Me Being Curious) while in London over some great fellowship.
People are the same the world over and have pretty much the same problems and concerns and hopes and dreams. I’ve enjoyed listening to these from hundreds of people and sharing and comforting as we sojourn together in this life.
I now understand Europe better than I have previously, and see more of where they come from. We Americans seem to think we are the world’s ultimate standard for everything. While we may be economically (possibly), I’ve learned that spiritually we aren’t. The warmest Christians I’ve ever met in my over 50 of being a believer were in 4 churches in Europe. These churches were the most loving, warm, inclusive bodies I have ever witnessed. They truly function as Christ body where the pastors and elders ministry is no more important than the rest of the body functioning. These churches didn’t  function by the micro-management of “the clergy”, or just sitting under a preaching/teaching ministry, but they minister to one another as I’ve never witnessed, out of love for one another and for the lost all around them. It was very refreshing to see. The label of type of church meant little them. Jesus greatest commandment to love God and to love their fellow neighbor as themselves is their driving force.
I just wanted to share a few thoughts today and will share some particular incidents and people in the days to come. It’s good to be back.
Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,
Levi

 

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What Was Meant For Evil God Used For His Good!!!!

I’m on the plane just having departed Laguardia for Thetford Farms = Home. It’s been a great 11 days in NYC. I truly am a blessed man living in the quiet countryside of rural Oklahoma, and then to be able to spend months in the hustle and bustle of big cities among the diverse people groups of the world.

This past weekend I had some really great encounters and shared Jesus wth several, mainly Jewish people, at Union Square. On May Day every year Union Square reminds me somewhat of how Paul described to us in Acts 17 of Athens.

The park becomes the place for public expression of every cause under the sun. Thousands and thousands of people are present, both to speak and to listen and to discuss. On Sunday a nice looking, very clean cut young man was on the steps speaking. I have to tell you that by appearance this guy looked like the kind of fellow you would want your daughter to bring home.

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I stopped to listen to him speak among only a small group listening to him. As I listened to his words I could hardly believe what I was hearing. He was spewing out the most anti-Semitic verbiage I have ever heard. He blamed all of the ills and problems of the entire planet on the Jewish people. He was again calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people.

There was a young lady standing next to me and I leaned over and asked her what she thought of his ideas. She stated she was Jewish and she was scared to death. I then found out that the only listeners standing were all Jewish as well. This is the first time I had ever stood before a person calling for me and the lives of my peoples deaths while he was standing so boldly in his proclamation.

This opened the door for me to have a 30 minute conversation with Hagit about Jesus the Messiah. This is the first time she had ever heard of the love of God through Jesus, and that He came to this earth to die for the sins of mankind so that we could become righteous if we would only trust Him. Please pray for Hagit that she will come to the knowledge of the truth.

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After my conversation with Hagit I went up to the venomous young man and asked him some questions, which he refused to answer, and then I shared some of my thoughts with him. He left immediately after my words. The terrible thing is he was speaking using some biblical language and a few verses as proof for his ideas. It sounds a lot like WWII Germany under Hitler. My prayer is that God will spare another Holocaust type event from ever occurring and that King Messiah Jesus will soon return and set up His kingdom of true peace.

That’s all for now.  I’m home for 3 weeks before leaving for Paris, London, and NY for 55 straight days. A busy summer is ahead of me. Pray with me that God will save many Jewish people in these 3 campaigns.

Shalom until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 

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A Personal Note

Hello, dear readers of my blog. I have taken an extended time off from writing. I have been traveling a lot, and to be honest, I’ve need a break. It has been a time of rest, reflection, work, and worship. I will only write something sporadically for the rest of the year. I will continue to post my daily Spurgeon and the John Newton poems on Saturday. I have much to do while I have a few more days here in Tulsa before I return to New York in December.

This next year is starting to take shape. I am working on joining The Jewish Federation of Tulsa where I can be more involved with the local Jewish community. We have a small community of only around 3,000 so this will be a great way to build relationships with more of them. I will also be in Paris for the month of June with Jews For Jesus in the outreach there. The month of July will be spent in New York for their summer outreach. I have been invited by the Washington DC branch leader to come and work with him when I have available time. I will probably wait until Spring and go on to DC from New York. And of course, I will continue to make my monthly trips to New York. That’s more than a third of next year away.

I will tell you all that there is nothing more that I would rather be doing. Sharing the Good News of Yeshua with my Jewish people, has been, and continues to be the burden of my heart. My prayer is that the church would once again catch the passion of Paul in Romans 10:1 and be burdened for them as well. ” Brothers, my heart’s deepest desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation”.  Many churches are apathetic to Jewish missions, and a vast amount are anti-Semetic. Both are totally unbiblical.

Please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,

 

Levi

 

 

 

 

 

 
42 Comments

Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Jewish Missions, Religion

 

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How am I doing? Amazing by God’s grace

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

SeanandAaron

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,

Aaron

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Comments

  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!!!
    Blessings,
    Wayne

  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.
    Respectfully,
    Wayne

    November 7th.
    THE UNDETECTED SACREDNESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES
    “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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