Let me tell you about Carlos and Tanya in Haifa, Israel. I sat in their tiny apartment sipping coffee and hearing the thrill and passion of their leading Arab and Jewish Israelis to Christ all around them. Carlos is a bold evangelist in Israel. He is Arab; his wife is Russian. Carlos was born and raised in Israel, and he is proud of it...!
Carlos and his brother Thomas, both trained at our partner institution in Israel, decided one day to go into the Western Wall Plaza in Old Jerusalem....
They were overwhelmed in the presence of so many Jews, since they are Arabs. They also felt a certain amount of dread, because they believe fervently in Yeshua, Jesus!
Surrounded by the Shabbat crowds in the overcrowded Western Wall area, Thomas felt it was “crazy.” They were in no way going to make an impact among such overwhelming odds.
Carlos, on the other hand, was “pumped” to be in such a place! It was like Peter and John going to the Temple to pray. Imagine being there — just the two of them, in the Temple crowds, just like Peter and John.
A Jewish man spoke to them; he was selling red yarn lucky charms at the Temple plaza. Carlos could not stay still. He chided the Jewish man. “Look at you,” he began. “You are selling lucky charms in a place like this? Your Temple lies in ruins and there is a mosque in its place. The Glory is absent, and you resort to tricks!”
The man was taken aback. But Carlos continued:
“I am here as a Gentile, longing for the Glory to be restored. I am anxiously awaiting the Messiah’s return, and you are not even aware of these realities, but only care to have people buy this yarn.
“Where is your God? Where is your awareness of God? Did you miss Him entirely the first time He came? Do you know He was here?
“He was here and your people did not recognize Him. He came here just like the Scriptures predicted, and you missed Him!”
The man was overwhelmed; he was knocked totally off balance by the staccato statements from this man — and more importantly from the Scriptures!
Carlos continued to share the way out of such a “predicament” — God’s plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles alike. The man was deeply convicted. Tears began to fill his eyes and God’s love overwhelmed his heart. He prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior there at the Western Wall Plaza — close to the “Holy of Holies”!
This is not an isolated incident for Carlos and Tanya. This is the young man I’ve written about before, whose father named him Carlos because he wanted the boy to be like “the Jackal,” a terrorist of the 70’s who wrought havoc in Europe. His boldness has found great expression in evangelism and church planting. And Tanya is his strong partner in evangelism, a loving and very supportive wife who prays constantly for Carlos even in the middle of these encounters.
God is doing a mighty work throughout the world ... and you and I are privileged to be part and parcel of what He is achieving for eternity!