Some time ago, an Alabama truck driver—who was also a Baptist lay preacher— called to tell me that he had gone to an Israeli consulate and offered to become an Israel Defense Forces volunteer. The Israelis couldn’t believe that this Vietnam veteran—now a Christian truck driver—was willing to travel half way around the world to fight, and possibly die, to defend the Jewish nation.
But his offer doesn’t surprise me; our supporters love Israel and the Jewish people.
Friend, you don’t have to travel half way around the world to get into the thick of
the battle—simply get on your knees and pray, share your faith, and help provide
I recently had the privilege of spending time with our international workers at the
AMMI conference in Jerusalem. What an incredible gathering! They come from a
variety of countries and communicate in many different languages—yet are truly
one Body. I was inspired by their enthusiasm, commitment, and visions for ministry.
Let me give just one example: Our wonderful Baptist partners in Belarus (a country
rife with anti-Semitism, and controlled by a totalitarian regime hostile to the
Gospel) are boldly proclaiming the Good News to the Jewish people; discipling new
Jewish believers; and providing food, medicine, and humanitarian aid to the sick
and elderly. Pastor Brutski, who oversees our work there, is brimming with ideas to
carry the Gospel into larger cities and even into Ukraine and Moldova—but he lacks
the necessary support.
I wanted to tell him that the resources would be immediately forthcoming, but
CJFM—like so many other ministries—is suffering financially during this lagging
economy. These summer months have been particularly difficult for us. I believe,
however, that now is not the time to faint or grow weary. “Do you not say, ‘There
Imagine you’re an 84-year-old living alone and being so frail that you are afraid to even wash or bathe yourself. That’s whom CJFM worker Tatiana recently encountered when she visited one elderly Jewish woman in Belarus. On this particular visit, Tatiana perceived the woman’s plight. Without a word, Tatiana immediately be- gan preparing a bath and helping this dear wom- an wash and refresh herself—Tatiana’sword s of love being confirmed by herdeed s of love.
Our workers consider it a great privilege to serve God’s chosen people in such practical ways. Af- ter helping the woman bathe, Tatiana shared the message of love and spiritual cleansing that comes from Yeshua, the Messiah. Meeting the physical needs of the elderly Jewish population, however, is only one aspect of our ministry in Belarus.
In the larger cities ofM i nsk andBobr u i sk, for example, our established messianic congrega- tions meet regularly for worship, study, fellow- ship, and service. They reach out to interested Jewish people who are drawn to their activities. The workers distribute evangelistic literature.
Many elderly Jewish believers (despite their frailty) regularly attend congregational meet- ings. Perhaps their commitment will motivate younger, unsaved family members to attend meetings as well—and ultimately come to know the Messiah.
The congregation inM i nsk (Beit Shalom— House of Peace) also recognizes and honors the Jewish people by observing their special holi- days. During April meetings, for example, the congregation focused on the Holocaust and the rejection of the chosen people throughout the centuries. On Israel’s Independence Day, they reflected on God’s protecting hand. The con- gregation also held special meetings to observe Passover and the Lord’s resurrection.
InMst i slavl, our worker is actively sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people and building a congregation. A Jewish group from Minsk re- cently arrived and submitted paperwork to es- tablish a synagogue there. They complained that our ministry leader wanted to turn all of Mstislavl’s Jewish people into Christians. Our brother rejoiced at the accusation! It is indeed
Red flags mark the cities and villages
where CJFM workers are currently
ministering. In some areas, the work
is already well established; in other
areas, the evangelistic outreach is
just beginning. Belarus workers lead
messianic congregations, conduct
evangelism campaigns, and provide
humanitarian aid to both the saved and
unsaved elderly Jewish population.
Jenya Drazman translates for
Russian-speaking pastor Gennady
Brutski at the recent AMMI
conference. Pastor Brutski oversees
our ministry in the former Soviet
Union. While supplying food,
medicine, and other necessities to the
Jewish people, workers also bring
news of God’s love.
his heart’s desire to see all of Mstislavl’s Jewish people come to know their Messiah. He is un- ashamedly doing everything possible to make that happen.
InGrod no, an average of 30 adults attend the weekly Shabbat meetings. Hebrew classes are conducted for those who are interested. At the meetings, they sing Jewish songs in Hebrew and Russian, the pastor brings a message, and they close with a prayer for Israel and Jerusalem.
In theBre st region of Belarus, near the Polish border, our workers are developing relation- ships with the people at a local Jewish Com- munity Center. They have been welcomed and even allowed to share their faith with the Jew- ish people there. Who would have thought that Jewish people would warmly welcome Baptist Christians? One of the pastors was even asked to speak at a special Jewish war memorial ser- vice. God has given us true favor with these dear Jewish people. We hope our Jewish friends will also someday allow us to use their facility for messianic congregation meetings, although
Our ministry is already reaching beyond the borders of Belarus. A messianic congregation in Moscow recently invited Pastor Alexander Firisi- uk (Minsk) to speak. He chose his message from the Book of Habakkuk, also borrowing thoughts from Gideon Levytam’s booklet, “How I found the Messiah.” Pastor Firisiuk (past-president of the Evangelical Union of Christians-Baptists) also distributed some of Gideon’s booklets, which had been translated into Russian.
We have many wonderful opportunities to grow this work—both inside and outside Belarus. Pastor Gennady Brutski, who oversees our ministry there, has a vision to take the Gospel to the Jewish people of Ukraine and Moldova— and possibly even Russia.
Praise God for our committed, enthusiastic partners in Belarus! We pray that the Lord will continue using them mightily on behalf of His chosen people.
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