Remarkable things happen when Jewish and Arab Israelis go to share the gospel together.
At our Bible College here at ONE FOR ISRAEL, we think it’s important not only to learn the word of God in classrooms, but also to go out and share the good news about Jesus with those who don’t know him. For several years now, we have been sending teams of Jewish and Arab students and staff to share the gospel among the nations.
Many European countries, like Germany and Sweden, have thousands of Muslim immigrants and refugees from countries closed to the gospel. But what happens when someone approaches them in Europe, speaking Arabic, and saying they are bringing a message of peace and love from Israel??!!
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:14-15)
Our bold team of witnesses shared the gospel on the streets of Sweden, and have some amazing stories to report, including two Muslims who put their faith in Jesus!
Many Muslims who had come to Sweden from the Middle East were delighted to meet us. Several times, they stayed chatting with members of our group for well over an hour, hearing about Jesus and the message of the gospel.
In one incident, one of the Jewish students had prepared hearts with the words “God is love” in Arabic and English, and handed one to a lady wearing a burka. She took the heart and asked where they were from. “Israel” came the reply. With that she gave the heart back to the girl, saying she didn’t want to take it because they were from Israel, and turned to board a bus. But seconds later, she changed her mind, got off the bus, and came back.
“Why did you choose to come and start talking to me?”
Moti, an Israeli Jewish believer, explains, “We told her that we were Messianic Jews and Arab Christians from Israel, who have come to share the good news of Jesus”, and she was shocked. The team soon found out the reasons that she had big issues with Israel. She explained that she was Palestinian, and that her grandfather had been hounded from his home close to the Sea of Galilee by the Israeli army in 1948, was force to flee to Lebanon, and ended up in Sweden.
“I looked at her and I told her, first of all, I’m sorry for what happened to your grandfather. I feel your pain, and I’m sorry that my people have done that to your people. It’s not my fault, I was not there, but I’m here to say that I’m sorry, and hope that you can forgive us”.
This soon led to an amazing conversation about faith, and they all ended up praying together.
She did not become a believer at that point, but she did take the heart that the Jewish student had made for her. We pray that she encounters more believers and that God opens her heart to the gospel of Jesus, the gospel of peace.
After sharing the gospel with a Muslim man in one city, the team had traveled on to Stockholm. There, they received a phone call from this man, saying that ever since their conversation about Jesus, he couldn’t stop thinking about what he had heard. He is eager to keep talking about Jesus, and even to stay in touch once the team is back in Israel.
Two come to faith in Jesus
The team also got to share with three Israelis while they were there in Sweden! It’s actually quite common to find Israelis traveling around but what was unusual was that one of them had been approached twice already by believers who had shared the gospel with her. She told our team if it happens one more time, she’ll believe! She had also been watching a lot of videos about Jesus in Hebrew – we have a suspicion about where she might have found those…
A Muslim woman prayed to receive Jesus after hearing the gospel from one of our students, and is very excited about her new faith in Jesus. We don’t want to disclose her identity, but there are pictures of her beaming with joy. Lastly, a Muslim man from Iraq prayed with Carlos to receive the Lord as well.
“For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed you as a light to the nations so that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’” When the Gentiles heard this, they were thrilled and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as had been inscribed for eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:47-48)