September brings what I call “learning season.” Yes, of course, learning is year-round, but the Autumn brings a new crop of students. This semester I have 15 high school-aged students that I tutor in Classical Conversations (www.classicalconversations.com), and 6 new seminary students who are learning to share their faith in a Jewish context. Additionally, I have had opportunity to write for a new book coming out by Concordia Publishing House called The Christian Difference, and work with LCMS Witness and Outreach on their new missions curriculum Every One His Witness.
All of this stuff, in addition to the mission society and the congregation, keeps me pretty busy. But it all serves the mission of the Church, so I am happy to do the work. But, nothing brings instant gratification! Everything in missions takes time and perseverance. The book isn’t coming out until 2019 and I rarely hear from the students that I work with. So it was with great joy that I received the following e-mail:
“Hi there–remember me? My husband and I are in SC now. We started a church here 12 years ago. We have about 40 members now. I have become friends with a really interesting Jewish lady who makes me think of you and times I spent with your church. She came to our Christmas eve service in 2016. We have had several discussions and she is now willing to take classes with Keith to become baptized and join our church. Thought you might be interested in hearing about her. Her parents escaped the Holocaust and came to New York City.”
This dear Jewish lady, Carol, is 77 years old and was baptized in August. What a blessing! The pastor and his wife were involved with our ministry while he was a student at Concordia over 17 years ago.
Back in the ’50’s, Pete Seeger wrote “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” (Judy Collins sings it here) an almost verbatim rendition of Ecc. 3:1-8. We have a Hebrew lithograph of that text on the wall of our sanctuary. I look at that on occasion and have to remind myself that God’s timing is always perfect, so I just have to wait. And occasionally, He blesses me with a glimpse. He did that through that e-mail! Keep Keith, Judy and Carol in your prayers, as they walk together in Y’shua, especially during this High Holy Season. Now Carol’s name is truly written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! Shalom, Peace.