primed & ready
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings . . .” (Isaiah 52:7a). And, beautiful feet that “publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion” (52:7b), must always be primed & ready.
Great Commission ministry “to the Jew first” cannot and should not be about numbers, but it is about divine appointments; and for these, the preacher and the colporter must remain vigilant. At any moment and in any place, a lost sheep from the House of Israel might be found. Two recent examples come to mind.
The Zerayim VP was browsing Charlotte’s Southern Christmas Show with his wife couple of weeks ago. He had “randomly” snagged his IDF hoodie that morning on the way out the door. Later, amidst the commotion of stylish whimsy and more than 450 holiday merchants showcasing their wares, he heard someone hail, “Hey, the IDF.” What resulted was a fruitful conversation about the Messiah with a young man from Israel manning, of all things, a Christmas booth. Orel gladly received one of the Trekker Tracts we often share with the Israeli backpackers.
Recently, my son and I had opportunity to attend a college football game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I wasn’t initially excited about it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and a memorable experience for a little boy and his dad. When the game was over, and as we were exiting the stadium, one of the staff was holding open the door. He was a young man with what seemed an Israeli visage, and I couldn’t help but notice the black woven kippahi atop his head. That morning, I had shoved a few Zerayim Cards into my pocket, muttering to myself “just in case, highly unlikely, but just in case.” These cards relay a brief Messianic message in Hebrew from Zechariah 12:10 and share how someone can request a free copy of the Hebrew Scriptures or a free Hebrew-English New Testament from us. I had to act fact as the crowd was pushing and the moment was in chaos. I patted the young man upon the shoulder and said, “I am a friend of Israel and the Jewish people.” I handed him a Zerayim card as the throng moved me out the door, and I blessed him in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whom I serve. Talk about the need to be primed & ready. Praise God I grabbed those Zerayim cards that morning.
On the opposite side of the globe, nearing the end of the Israeli backpacker season in Nepal, the Trents were also reminded to remain primed & ready. Along a four-day trek near the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas, they surprisingly found no Israelis and virtually gave up on the prospect. Instead, they seized opportunities to share the Gospel with Nepali guides, porters, and guesthouse caretakers, as well as Gentile tourists from the UK, France, Spain, Ecuador, Germany, Poland, Austria, and Italy.
But alas and after all, the trek didn’t prove a bust in terms of Jewish outreach! Sure enough and when least expected, an older gentlemen came scampering down the trail with his two boys. This Israeli father gladly received a pen-drive with the Hebrew Scriptures contained thereupon and learned that he had friends of Israel from America who worship the God of Israel and the Messiah of Israel. He responded with appreciation.
I’ve said if often, and I’ll affirm it again: One of the great things about Jewish ministry is that it puts a whole slough of unique opportunities with Gentiles into one’s path. For these, we also have to remain primed & ready.
After the trek described above, the Trents traveled with Brother Bishnu and an American doctor out to a remote area of Western Nepal where I have never even been, and in the words of Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere man, I’ve been everywhere.” From Pokhara, they drove all day on treacherous roads and slept in the vehicle as temperatures plummeted outside. The next morning they set out with horses loaded full of medical supplies and Gospel materials appointed for a group of poor believers who live near Palma. The first day’s hike was eight hours over a 13,000 ft. pass. The second day involved a 5-hour descent into Palma. Over the next couple of days, 216 villagers were seen and prescribed basic medicines along with the spiritual medicine of the Word of God. In the evenings, Bishnu led the local believers in some discipleship training sessions, and the Trents helped distribute Gospel materials for evangelistic use by the surrounding poor village churches. Always primed & ready to equip other believers to shine as lights in their own dark corners of the world is imperative for any Great Commission laborer.
Back in Kathmandu, Eric messaged me just yesterday. He wrote, “Talked with three different Israelis in Thamel today! They’re definitely still here, even at the end of the season.” Obviously, the brother had been primed & ready.
I couldn't let my guard down either. On the way out the door, I got an email from Baltimore. It read, “Shalom! I am Jewish on my grandmother’s side and would very much like a copy of your bilingual Bible. I am going to be starting a Biblical Hebrew course in a couple weeks and I would benefit greatly from having a copy of a bilingual Bible. Thank you so very much!” Occasionally, these requests come from our outreach website, zerayim.org, and it is always a great privilege to send out copies of God’s Word in the mail. It went out yesterday. Please pray for this young man.
If anyone has actually read this far, I covet your prayers in the coming days. On Monday, I will be leading a small team of local church pastors and evangelists to Nepal to labor with the Trents as they close out the season there. The team will return on December 16, and Lord willing, I will return with the Trents to the United States on December 21. We will be very busy, and there is a lot I need to get done there administratively to prepare for next year. For those of us with Zerayim, it’s needful to travel right now but also very expensive. Please pray for the Lord’s provision here at the end of the year.
As 2018 comes to a close, please prayerfully consider giving to this work. Your help is needed, and God has appointed it that way (I Corinthians 9:14). Moreover, He promises a special blessing to those who love the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:3, Psalm 122:6). The best way that we can love them is to tell them about their Messiah, to support our Jewish brethren in the Body of Christ, and to be fellowhelpers (cf. III John 5-8) with those who carry the Gospel “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). All contributions to FPGM or Zerayim are tax-deductible. For more information, CLICK HERE.
For the Word of God and the Testimony of the Messiah,
Jesse Boyd, just a servant