Over the weekend I met up with a Jewish student that I had met at book table a week and a half earlier or so for lunch. I remember handing him a flier for our Chinese New Year celebration during book table. This student had then walked back and returned to flier to me after taking a glance because it had said something like “Sponsored by Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship” in the corner. He said that he was Jewish, and did not want me to waste a flier on him. I told him that I too was Jewish, a Messianic Jew at that, and so was my former roommate who was handing out fliers next to me. I then said that we should get together sometime and talk, so he gave me his information and went on his way. I prayed that God would open his heart and grant me favor during our meeting. This student was a Reformed Jew, and as opposed to Orthodox Judaism, Reformed Jews are not against messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Jesus as the Messiah). As for their religious activities, they celebrate the main holidays and try to live a moral life, but do not hold strictly to the Law.

As I was meeting with this student, I was shocked at how little he really knew about Jesus. One of the first questions that he had asked me was how old our religion was. At first I thought he was referring to how long Chi Alpha had been at UCLA. He thought the concept of Jews believing in Jesus was a new thing. I explained to him that Jesus was Jewish and all the disciples and writers of the new covenant were Jewish as well, and at the time did not consider themselves Christians, but was a term outsiders derived and started calling them. He had no clue that the last super was actually a Passover meal, and never heard the concept of Jesus dying and them coming back to life. He asked me what it meant when they say he carried the cross. It shocked me how someone living in the United States could really not know the message and truth of Jesus, and yet we as Christians take this for such granted. He told me that he had never heard of any of this stuff that I was telling him, and neither had his parents, who are from the Los Angeles Area. I highly encouraged him to come to our service tonight, and explained to him what the service would look like. He asked if he could sit in the back and just observe, and I recommended he do so. I am excited for the service because we have a guest speaker in town speaking tonight, who flew all the way in from Sacramento to be here, and we will have an opportunity to connect deeper with the students afterward because we are supplying free food.

In anticipation of this speaker, we gave out free Panera Bagels, pastries, etc, along with starbucks coffee and hot coco on the UCLA campus yesterday. We were able to get a lot of contact cards filled and make a push for attendance tonight. The speaker, Curt Harlow is in charge of all West Coast Chi Alpha, and is one of the best story tellers I have met and am extremely excited for our service tonight. He led a leadership training last night with the staff, interns, and student leaders, and did an incredible job. Before tonight’s service, he is also going to lead a session for the interns. I still reference material from the last intern track he did, and am excited for a successful day in ministry.