February 24, 2021 | View All Stories

Compassionate Display of the Love of God Leads Holocaust Survivor to Faith in Yeshua

Isaac can still hear the cries of anguish, the pleading voices. Memories of the horrors of the Holocaust remain imprinted on his mind. His heart still shudders at the harrowing pain and harsh persecution he and his loved ones went through. The unspeakable atrocities they suffered drew Isaac farther and farther away from a belief in the existence of God. 

One day Isaac met Rabbi Stewart of Reach Initiative International, a Messianic Jewish ministry partner of ANM. Co-founded 27 years ago by Stewart and his wife, Chantal, it “seeks to practically meet people’s needs and love people into the kingdom of God one at a time.” The staff and volunteers of this ministry reach out to Holocaust survivors in Israel and Belarus with acts of kindness and compassion. 

Their demonstrations of love and selfless service toward the members of this group piqued Isaac’s curiosity. His traumatic Holocaust experience could have numbed Isaac’s heart permanently. Yet, the loving-kindness sincerely and consistently shown by Rabbi Stewart and his team was chipping away at the hard shell of his soul. Isaac wanted to know a little bit more about what made this Jewish man and his team do what they do — and ultimately about their faith.

Some time after they first met, Rabbi Stewart had the opportunity to sit down with Isaac over a meal in his home for two days in a row. They had a wonderful time. “We laughed together and talked about many different subjects,” Rabbi Stewart recalls. They opened the Scriptures together. They had very candid interactions, and at the end of those two days, Rabbi Stewart asked Isaac, “So what do you think?” Isaac replied, “Well, I’m not quite there yet. But I’m closer.”

Then Isaac went through a difficult and distressing time when his wife had a heart attack and stroke and almost died. Yet Isaac was not alone during that challenging season in his life. Members from Reach Initiative International sought him out every day to encourage him, uplift him, and pray with him. 

The spark that had been ignited in Isaac’s spirit years ago was stirred by Reach Initiative International’s repeated expressions of love and concern toward him and his community. He was captivated. While sitting with Isaac in a café to discuss their future work, Rabbi Stewart said, “Isaac, maybe we should have a little word of prayer before we start.” Isaac responded, “I’ll pray.” From out of Isaac’s heart flowed a gushing river of thanksgiving, all in the name of Yeshua.

Today, Isaac reads the Bible consistently, prays in the name of Yeshua regularly, and has a growing and thriving relationship with the Lord. With the donations ANM receives, we help equip our partners in Israel and other parts of the world to demonstrate the transformative love of Christ to His chosen people.

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Marlou Barredo

Marlou is ANM's Co-Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

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