We had been married for two years when we joined the Liberated Wailing Wall. We were on the road for almost three years (Jan. 1999-October 2002) with two different teams. When we started out, we only planned to be on the team for 18-months, which was a pretty serious commitment. We didn't know too much about Jews For Jesus. In fact, we were surprised when we found out that street evangelism was a weekly part of our job.
For those of you that don't know, the Liberated Wailing Wall is a mobile evangelism team that brings Jewish Gospel music presentations to churches, messianic synagogues, universities, schools and street corners. Unlike most touring groups, the musicians are on tour consistently for 15 months with very few breaks. Between six and eight people live on a 45-foot tour bus in very close quarters. One can imagine that living in such close proximity to each other caused some tension and it did. We got to know each other very well.
On our first tour, our team struggled with speaking the truth in love and it ate away at us and nearly caused our destruction. But God was faithful and merciful, and as he often does, he used these extreme circumstances to refine us, deepening our walk with him and teaching us to be like our Messiah. In the end, our first tour was one of the hardest experiences of our lives and also one of the most rewarding because of what God taught us. Our first tour was so hard at times that we were really looking forward to the end, never dreaming that God had other plans. We were one-year into our 18 months when God completely changed our hearts and showed us that he wanted us to sign up for another tour. Josh was asked to lead the team and we became really excited about living on the bus Xfor another tour. We knew we were a little mashugina, but when God tells you to do something it's always best to obey.
The second tour was by no means a cake-walk, but it was much easier at the beginning, thanks to the lessons God had taught us the first time around. One of our major prayer requests was that this team would never have a blow-out. We had learned that almost every team throughout the thirty-year history of the Liberated Wailing Wall had experienced at least one tumultuous time of intense personality conflicts. We knew what this was like from our first tour and we were determined to avoid it. We knew that we couldn't make this happen without God. So we all joined together and prayed daily that God would preserve us and allow us to communicate openly and honestly with each other. God honored our prayers and we never reached a point in our relationships were we felt like giving up.
God used our time with Jews For Jesus to change us in many ways. We not only became better communicators, we also grew in our boldness to share the gospel. When it's a daily experience to share the good news of Jesus the Messiah, your faith naturally grows. We were constantly searching the Scriptures so that we would be ready to defend our faith. Our individual relationships with God grew as did our marriage relationship. We learned to love our team members and treat them like family. Both times our tours ended and we went our separate ways, we felt like we were saying goodbye to part of our family.
We are back in Sacramento, California now and are actively involved in our local Messianic Synagogue, Beth Yeshua. We are more involved in leadership now than before we left because we are better equipped to serve in ministry. We know that we are different people now because of our time being polished with Jews For Jesus. There were definite times when we wanted to give up because of the hardships we faced. God blessed us for finishing the race that he set before us.
Josh and Rosemary