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Date Posted: 02:02:07 02/15/05 Tue
Subject: If this doesn't sound like UBF...
Taken from Jews for Jesus Website
"As I preparred to tell you about our final Core Value on the list of nine: "stepping out in courageous faith and taking risks for God," I thought about our circumstances compared to some heroes of the faith like Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming and Ed McCully. Who can forget the courage that led to their martyrdom? I think of William Carey, who risked everything to bring the gospel to India, who lost his children to disease, but stayed the course and laid the groundwork for future generations of missionaries. These people epitomized the kind of courageous faith that takes risks for God.
No, I don't think we Jews for Jesus are the most courageous or heroic people on the mission field. Yet courage and risk—taking are vital to us—so much so that we named them as core valuesÐbecause our mission would not exist without them.
Back in 1971, our founder, Moishe Rosen, had a comfortable position with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (the ABMJ, now "Chosen People Ministries"). Moishe believed God was calling him to reach out to young Jews in the counter-culture movement and he began stepping out of his comfort zone to do so. His superiors considered his efforts too "unconventional," but Moishe knew that he had to risk being unconventional in order to effectively reach this group. Consequently, he got himself fired.
Soon, he had offers from several other Jewish missions—but he could not accept any of them. You see, before his termination from the ABMJ, Moishe and some of those young, Jewish, ex-hippies for Jesus had committed themselves to staying together, working side-by-side for 12 months. So with no certain source of income to support his wife and two daughters, Moishe took a risk—and Jews for Jesus was born.
Twenty years later, Avi Snyder was successfully leading a Jews for Jesus branch in Los Angeles. His ministry was thriving—and there was that sunny southern California weather. But Avi felt God calling him to go to the Soviet Union. Gorbachev had just introduced perestroika and Avi felt compelled to seize the sudden opportunity to proclaim the gospel. His wife, Ruth Esther, and their three small children were ready to answer the call with him. The Snyders spoke no Russian, had no promise of safety and no experience to call upon. Yet with the help of a Russian Jewish believer named Elizabeth Terini, they journeyed to Odessa. Because of their courage and willingness to take risks, today there are 30 Russian Jews for Jesus staff members in the former Soviet Union: in Odessa, Moscow, Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. Most of those staff members came to faith through Jews for Jesus and we have seen thousands of other Russian Jews come to Christ.
Just this past summer, a newly married Israeli couple made plans to join our Witnessing Campaign in New York City. At the last minute, the wife was unable to secure a visa but they decided that the husband, Boaz, would come alone. Well, Boaz injured his knee during our training program. The doctor said it would heal and that Boaz could stand on it as long as he could endure the pain. Again, Boaz decided to follow through with his plans. Often, we would see him putting ice packs on his knee when he returned from handing out tracts. Then his wife called. It seemed his parents suddenly realized that this commitment to Jesus was not a passing fad. His father had threatened to disown Boaz—cut him off from the family—unless he returned immediately to Israel.
Now Boaz's physical pain was equaled by the pain he suffered as he thought about his father's ultimatum. Despite his anguish, Boaz believed that God wanted him to stay. What a courageous young man!
Most of our staff and many of our volunteers have faced situations that called for courage, that called for taking risks. It's a "crossroads" kind of courage that sometimes determines the direction of one's entire life."
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