Report from the field 2021-02
Normally in the past I would be thinking about and preparing for summer outreach at the CNE and on the streets of Toronto. The CNE has been cancelled for the second consecutive year.
Since going to the streets is not possible at this time I thought I would share a couple of my favorite stories from the past.
Fern approached the booth with her sister Debra and looked around. She quickly asked the question “what are you guys about”. I directly told her we are Jewish people who believe that the Messiah has already come. That Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel. She quickly responded by saying; “I do not think my mother would approve”
My first response was to ask her, “Does your Mother approve of your tattoo?” (She had a large tattoo clearly visible on her right shoulder) I caught myself and thought, do not be judgmental, I knew that she was here to receive a message. I went on to ask her if she believed in the idea of the Messiah? To which she responded that she was not sure, but she knew what I was talking about. My co- worker and I went on to give her some evidence from the Jewish Scriptures, all of which she was very attentively interested in hearing.
She gratefully received a copy of the twelves sons of Israel and the Messianic Prophesy books, I threw in one of my “Connecting Jewish souls with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob contact cards” Fern said she was going to read the books and contact me if she had any questions. Under my breath I thought the seeds are well planted, may the Holy Spirt water well, as she entertains the idea and may God himself reap the harvest in His time?
She told me she had gone to Hebrew school and I asked her if she had ever read the Brit Hadassah (New Testament) she said yes and that it sort of made sense.She went on to ask me why I believed it and I said that it had gone from my head
to my heart.
I suggested that she pray to God to reveal the truth to her and re read it. The seed is planted and I will water it with prayer.
Shanny a young Israeli girl who now lives in Toronto stopped by the booth. She read the entire Jesus made me Kosher sign before checking out the rest of our stuff. When she saw the Shema rings she asked why they do not have the second line. I told her that there is not room on the ring. She responded that the second line was more powerful to her than the first. I said yes I agree but people would not recognize it as the Shema.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
She asked me if I was Jewish and went on to say “and you believe in Jesus”
I responded as I often do “If Jesus is the Christ of the Church, then He is the promised Messiah of Israel, If Jesus is not the promised Messiah of Israel, He is not the Christ of the Church” and The Messiah is not coming as the Old Testament prophesies clearly state He will come before the destruction of the Second temple, and it is no longer.
Shanny told me she had gone to Hebrew school and I asked her if she had ever read the Brit Hadassah (New Testament) she said yes and that it sort of made sense. She went on to ask me why I believed it and I said that after reading it, it had gone from my head to my heart.
I suggested that she pray to God to reveal the truth to her and re read it.
The following day I gave her a gift of a New Testament in Hebrew and a copy of the Messianic Prophesies book along with our contact information. This is one of the nice things about sharing with other vendors, you get to go back and talk to them again.
Orthodox Jew a young man wearing a baseball cap approached the booth with his wife, and when I asked if I could help him. He said he was just looking. After a short time, he sincerely said he had a question. He asked if I was Jewish and could I explain my shirt and what I was doing here. After I explained that I believed that Yeshua (Jesus) is the promised Messiah he declared, “I am an Orthodox Jew and exploded into “combative conversation” Telling me that there never was a person named Jesus and all about the other Christian lies. Once done with this he launched a personal assault on me and the fact that Jews who do not practise Judaism are lost. He went on to say that he and other Orthodox Jews pray for Jews that do not practice Judaism. But Jews like me are really not Jews and they have special word for us and write us off as lost!
All this time I stayed calm and collective and reached over to shake his hand. At first he was reluctant but then we did shake hands as I told him; “Now we finally agree, there are lost Jews and you are one” for you do not know the truth of the very Messiah you seek.
This set him off again and he challenged me to say this to his JDL friends. (Jewish Defense League) is a group of tough guys who fight anti-Semitism. He ran off challenging me by saying, “why don’t you come outside!” Please pray that at least one person should stop and realise that eternal freedom comes from belief in Jesus.
Please pray for the front line workers who are preforming essential services.
Pray for all those who have lost loved ones to be comforted in these times.
Pray that everything goes safely as things begin to open up.
Pray for provision of continuing finances for the Toronto Jewish Mission, so that this ongoing work of 127 years will continue in these days where it is needed as much, if not more so, than ever before.
The Toronto Jewish Mission depends solely upon the gifts of individuals and congregations who recognize the need to share the gospel with all people. We welcome your support and are encouraged by your prayers.
If you are not a supporter of Toronto Jewish Mission, consider becoming one.
Please visit our web site: www.torontojewishmission.com
You can contribute through Canada Helps: www.canadahelps.org
Credit card donations can be made by calling 647 439-2936
Or by cheque through good, old-fashioned Canada Post:
The Toronto Jewish Mission
PO Box 10070
North York, ON M2N 0B6
You can reach me, Alan Friesner, at: 647-294-2757
Or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org