The Friends of Israel in Action Jul/Aug 2021
Lasting Fruit in Argentina
It was a beautifully mild, sunny, spring day when our field representative Dr. Juan Carlos Espinoza set up his table in a local park in the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He found his regular spot and began laying out his medical equipment and literature as he had done many times before.
One of the many wonderful aspects of The Friends of Israel’s (FOI’s) Argentina ministry has been free public health screenings and blood pressure checks, offered through our free medical clinic. For years these tests have been excellent opportunities to bless the Jewish people and care for their physical needs while sharing the truth of the Bible.
Buenos Aires experienced one of the longest lockdowns in the world (more than seven straight months) due to the COVID-19 crisis. The recent loosening of some restrictions on gathering in public inspired Dr. Espinoza to take advantage of the nice weather. Following all required coronavirus precautions, he and his team began screening people and talking with them.
It wasn’t long before an elderly Jewish lady approached them. “For a moment,” she said, “I thought you were Dr. Alfredo Espinoza.” Taken aback, Juan explained he was Alfredo’s son.
Dr. Alfredo Espinoza and his wife, Dr. Asunta Espinoza, established our FOI medical clinic in the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires in the early 1980s. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, bringing both physical and spiritual healing.
With joy, the woman related how she and her mother had stopped at the same spot many years earlier and gotten their blood pressure taken by Juan’s father and his team of volunteers.
She also explained how Alfredo had spent time talking with her and her mother, not only about their health, but also about “the one who transforms lives”: Jesus Christ. It was in that park, at that table, when they first heard about God sending Jesus to redeem them. In time, she said, her mother became a believer in Jesus Christ because of the conversation with Alfredo. A few weeks later, she also accepted Jesus as her Savior.
“Today I realize how thankful I am for God’s kindness to me,” she said. Juan was overjoyed to pray with her in the park and thank God for His goodness.
The faithful ministry of the Espinoza family is a wonderful picture of God’s enduring love for His people through all generations.
Give today to support our Argentina team and other FOI ministries like this around the world. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.
Sowers and Reapers
by Tom Simcox,
Church Ministries training coordinator and a Bible teacher
for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Many years ago, my wife, Lorna, wrote a book, The Search, a testimony of her journey to faith in Jesus Christ. Lorna’s book was a hit in our neighborhood as it made the rounds on our street. My mother gave a copy to one neighbor, who passed it on to another. Eventually, The Search reached our friend Will, whose story is a perfect example of 1 Corinthians 3:6–7: One sows, one reaps, but God gives the increase.
Will was an avid reader with a sharp mind. He was a retired NASA engineer who grew up Roman Catholic. I was surprised to learn he had worked on the Apollo space project. In The Search, Lorna mentioned the 70 Weeks of Daniel. Fascinated by the prophecy, Will asked me if I had anything else he could read on the subject. While I was compiling the material, I gave him Dr. Renald Showers’ book What on Earth Is God Doing? Will loved it so much he read it 12 times!
I suggested Will write to Rennie to tell him how much he loved the book. He took my advice, and Rennie graciously responded and sent him another of his books, The New Nature.
Will’s salvation was always on our prayer list, and we took advantage of every opportunity to make Christ known to him over the years. When the pandemic hit, my speaking engagements dried up, and my stockpile of Israel My Glory magazines started to grow. Knowing Will loved to read, I offered him a stack of Israel My Glory magazines. I was surprised and thrilled when he told me he was already a subscriber! For me, this was just another sign that God was at work in Will’s life.
In late 2020, Will took a turn for the worse. At age 96, he fell in his driveway. We knew this was the beginning of the end for our dear friend. He wound up in a nursing home where no one could visit him because of COVID-19. I wrote him a long letter telling him how much we loved him and shared with him the plan of salvation. He was later transferred to the hospital where I could visit him.
I read Psalm 23 and shared the gospel with him. On November 8, Will passed away. Lorna and I became depressed, unsure where our friend went for eternity.
Then someone close to Will contacted us. He said Will was like a grandfather to him. As it turns out, this man is a believer and shared with our entire neighborhood via email how the Lord had prompted him to go immediately to the hospital and pray with Will; and Will received Christ as his Savior.
He went on to explain that after Will prayed, a smile filled his face, and he said, “I feel so much better.” Lorna and I were so happy we cried. Now we know we’ll see Will in heaven. Rennie, Lorna, and I sowed; our neighbor reaped; and God gave the increase. How grateful we are for our gracious, prayer-answering God.
Give today to support the ministry of Tom Simcox and others serving in North American outreach with The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.