Paris Summer Outreach 2018
Over the course of the Paris outreach in August 2018, over 25,000 gospel leaflets were distributed, hundreds of conversations about the Messiah took place and twenty four Jewish people gave us their contact details so that our missionary in Paris, Aurel Vidal, and his team of local volunteers could follow them up and tell them more about Jesus. Many Gentiles also stopped to talk, including one tourist who professed faith in Jesus having heard the Good News from our team.
While we had a core team of 17 missionaries, mission associates and international volunteers, a large group of local volunteers meant that the team actually numbered over 80 people. Every day we had around 25-30 people out on the streets sharing Jesus with Jewish people and anyone else who would stop to listen.
Our colorful MiHu? (Who is He? in Hebrew) T-Shirts attracted Jewish people and we used music and art, to draw people into conversations about Jesus and direct them to our evangelistic website.
We also used Shalom boards, inviting those passing by to write down and talk about who they thought could bring peace to our troubled world. We were united as we shared the answer that Jesus, the Peacemaker, was the only One able to do this.
(the above is from the Herald September 2018)
All things to all men
CWI North America Missionary Mitch Tepper was in the Jewish quarter of Paris during the outreach last year, talking to tourists, when he was approached by a group of Ultra-Orthodox men who wanted to disrupt the conversation. He tried to speak to them calmly but they wanted to condemn him for sharing the gospel with the tourists.
When the men discovered Mitch was Jewish they insisted he put on tefillin (small leather boxes worn containing verses from the Torah). After initially refusing, he realized this was the only way he would be able to converse with them. Having recited the Hebrew prayers whilst wearing the tefillin, only then did they agree to speak with him. Mitch asked whether they actually knew a number of major scriptures including Isaiah 53 – they admitted they did not know.
More Ultra-Orthodox men then appeared and other CWI missionaries began speaking to them in Hebrew. Eventually, Mitch was left speaking to a young man called Meir, who was also from Brooklyn, New York - this gave them both an immediate connection, enabling Mitch to share his testimony. They departed with a hug and Mitch prayed they would meet each other again. To his delight, they did meet again – three times! Meir offered to exchange contact details and warmly invited Mitch to his parent’s home in New York.
Sharing Jesus with Holocaust Survivors
The CWI Paris outreach team used music to wonderful effect to draw a crowd, while colleagues began gospel conversations with Jewish people. This led to an unexpected opportunity for local CWI missionary Aurel Vidal to meet a group of Jewish holocaust survivors.
Having heard the traditional Jewish songs, a local music promoter invited members of the CWI group to play in a local Jewish coffee shop. Upon arrival, they found a group of Jewish holocaust survivors having coffee together talking about their childhood memories. With introductions made, it wasn’t long before everyone was talking, laughing and even crying together - there were painful stories shared from the past.
Aurel was asked by one of the women in the group about the Shalom boards they had been using and he enquired if she had real peace. He went on to explain that peace could only come from God. She was happy for Aurel to pray quietly with her, which he did, asking that God would grant her true peace.
The group were part of an organization of Holocaust survivors with over a thousand members worldwide. They were pleased to meet the CWI team, commenting they had brought a fresh and interesting dynamic to their gathering – inviting Aurel and the musicians back to play again.