Los Angeles Annual Rose Bowl Outreach
Volunteer Carl Kravitz prepares to greet parade-goers with the gospel at the crack of dawn
JFJ missionary Cyril Gordon reports,
"This year was unique in that we handed out cards at the Rose Parade instead of broadsides. The theme of the parade, 'Oh the Places You Will Go' was based on a Dr. Suess rhyme, so we accordingly created a card with a rhyme of our own to engage people. The card was well received and the team handed out about 10,000 of them, as well as another 20,000 of our usual pamphlets/score cards (Front | Back). These went out like hotcakes at the Rose Bowl game, with a total of 29,475 pieces of gospel literature hand-delivered by five staff and fifteen volunteers during our two-day outreach.
"It seemed as though there were more than the usual amount of Jewish people attending the game, possibly because Stanford was playing. Most of them had heard of Jews for Jesus, but some stared at us like they were seeing a ghost (the Holy Ghost?). A couple were willing to give us their contact information to hear more. At one point, Mal Monroe (one of our co-laborers) was approached by a Christian and his Jewish friend, Hilda. She asked some deep questions about Jesus that Mal helped answer, and seemed elated to meet a Jew who believes in Jesus when Mal pointed her to me. Though Hilda was not ready to give us her contact info, she expressed interest in visiting a Messianic congregation in her area. I suggested a couple such congregations and took the opportunity to encourage Hilda to continue her search for the truth. Please pray for her salvation."
New Year's outreach in New York City
Missionary candidate Arielle Randle reports,
"Karol Joseph and I spent the afternoon in Times Square for a New Year's sortie (tract-passing expedition). We experimented with distributing an evangelistic postcard created for the purpose. The cover looked like a chalkboard with the words 'Happy New Year' and on the back our brief message explained how, because of Jesus, this could be the year that you wipe your slate clean. We handed out 2000 postcards in total. People really liked them and we saw several taking pictures with them!" You can see the post card above.
Sylvester in Israel
What or who is Sylvester in Israel? We're not exactly sure why, but New Year's in Israel is called Sylvester. And as many Israelis celebrate in ways not unlike partygoers here in the U.S., "Sylvester" is a great opportunity to meet people with the gospel.
Susan Perlman, first assistant to David Brickner and director of Jews for Jesus communications was in the midst of it all. Here's what she had to say:
"I just returned from Israel and our ministry in the Land is going strong. I took a group from one of my supporting churches, College Church in Wheaton, to work with our Tel Aviv branch doing outreach over the New Year's celebration time. Most of the team had done short-term missions trips before, but none had actually done our kind of street evangelism in a cross-cultural context. They loved it! The trip began with two and a half days of training with our missionaries and the group was more than ready to minister alongside our staff.
"I had never handed out gospel tracts on New Year's Eve in Israel before and it was great! The Israeli celebration was similar to many here in the States, but the opportunity to give out good news to my people at a time when good news is so needed was especially meaningful. Yes, we had some opposition, but I was so proud of the staff and our church volunteers who were willing to make themselves available and vulnerable.
"One volunteer remarked to me, 'I never encountered this kind of rejection as well as openness to Christ, and it helped me to gain a new appreciation for what you and your staff go through on a daily basis.'"