The Friends of Israel in Action Jul/Aug 2022
Bringing Hope To the University of Florida
College campuses are notorious for their hostility toward the things of God. Such animosity deters some people from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, but it doesn’t deter Fred Schweig.
Fred is our Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry (FOI) outreach representative at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville. With a total enrollment of more than 60,000, UF has the largest Jewish student population of any public university outside Tel Aviv.
Fred and his wife, Eva, are Jewish believers in Jesus who returned to America after living in Israel for 15 years. God burdened them both to reach college students with the forgiveness, salvation, and freedom found only in knowing the Messiah.
Since most young adults bury their faces in their cell phones and interact with friends online, Fred intentionally speaks with students face to face. And, as Jesus did in the Scriptures, he listens to them closely to understand their personal worldviews and ascertain the best way to share the gospel.
Young adults open up to Fred about the hurt and pain that haunt their lives; and he teaches them about sin, shame, and guilt. Some students break down and cry, but Fred is there to offer them hope in the Lord and forgiveness and acceptance in Christ. Fred and Eva have learned that most students have never heard the gospel and don’t know they need a Savior.
Recently, Fred talked with someone who was considering walking away from his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. The spiritually confused young man was looking for answers. Fred listened with concern and shared the truth that can only be found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.
Last year, the Schweigs shared Thanksgiving dinner with former UF students they discipled. These young adults have graduated, married, and now have jobs and families of their own. Through countless Bible studies and evangelism-training sessions, Fred and Eva taught them the errors of Replacement Theology, which they were learning in their churches. Today they understand God’s love and plan for Israel and the Jewish people and know how to share their faith.
God is using Fred and Eva to raise up a new generation of believers in the Lord. They cling to the verse, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentile]” (Rom. 1:16). The Schweigs know the same power Paul wrote about 2,000 years ago is available today for all, including college students, who place their trust in the Lord Jesus.
You an help support Fred and Eva Schweig and others like them serving in North American outreach with The Friends of Israel. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.
Sharing the Gospel in Israel
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is one of the most potent, battle-ready militaries in the world. Since its inception, the men and women who protect Israel’s sovereignty have faced unique challenges. Probably the biggest is the fact that Israel’s enemies lie on every mile of its borders, with the exception of the 120-mile-long coast along the Mediterranean Sea.
The Jewish state is extremely small, about the size of New Jersey, with a population of fewer than 10 million people. The IDF’s first point of military doctrine is that if Israel is to survive, the IDF cannot lose a single military conflict.
At The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, we couldn’t be prouder of the work our Israeli field representatives do, each of whom has happily served in the IDF. The Israeli government requires every citizen over the age of 18, men and women, to serve for two to three years in the military. One of our field representatives, Danny Kalisher, has chosen to continue serving in the IDF reserves as part of his ministry following his release from active duty. “Continuing to serve in the IDF,” Danny said, “gives me great opportunities to share the Good News with unbelieving Jewish friends in my unit.”
Because the IDF places reservists in units with the same soldiers they served with on active duty, Danny can continue building relationships and sharing his faith with the same men and women over many years. Danny also helps spearhead efforts to minister to soldiers serving and preparing to serve on active duty. He has partnered with other Israeli Christians to develop conferences and pre-army programs to introduce soldiers to Messiah Jesus, while helping them adjust to life in the IDF.
Recently, Danny finished a month of reserve duty (required every two years for reservists). It was intense, physically and mentally. But every time Danny gets the opportunity to spend time with his unit, he provides a voice of hope for young men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect their country. What a natural environment to speak the truth of the gospel!
Please continue to pray with us for our team in Israel as they seek opportunities to share Messiah Jesus with their Israeli brethren. We thank God for their dedication and creativity as they serve Him.
You can help support our Israeli team or other FOI ministries around the world. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.