I have been blessed in my life to become friends with six survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust). Four of the six have passed into eternity while two still remain alive, including my dear friend Jack who is pictured with me to the left. I treasure my time with each of these precious individuals because they taught me so much about perseverance, endurance, survival, and forgiveness.
William, Rosalie, Agnes and Josef lost their families in the camps. Jack lost his father and would have died himself without the amazing fortitude of his mother. Vera is a testimony of survival that is beyond the imagination. They are heroes and I am a better person for having had these amazing individuals pass through my life.
Tomorrow (27 January 2015) is International Holocaust Remembrance Day as it commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. It has been 70 years since that horrible Death Camp was liberated and the survivors are growing older in age and fewer in number with each passing day. One questions if there will be any survivors at the 80th anniversary in 2025 and one wonders if the world will even care about the Holocaust in 2025.
Well … I care and I will never forget the legacy of “Wilson,” “Rosa,” “Agatha,” “Joseph,” Jack and Vera. I will never forget the message they shared with me. I will never forget sitting with them and hearing their stories of survival. I will never forget how I held Jack in my arms as he cried over the losses of his past. I will never forget how Jack encouraged me after this experience because I was overcome by what had happened to him. I will never forget. I will do all that I can to ensure that it never happens again. (Please note that some of the names have been changed for privacy’s sake)
Tzedakah Ministries will also work to share the truth of Messiah Jesus with the Jewish people, and this will not be a popular paragraph when read by many, because this is the highest means by which we can honor the Jewish people … by sharing/returning their Messiah back to them. For this is what Tzedakah Ministries affirms:
- We as Christian churches cannot change the past but we must acknowledge the sins of the past
- We as Christian churches must not allow our guilt of the past to cloud the present need of Jewish souls to hear the message of Messiah Jesus
- We as Christian churches must fight against the twin heresies of replacement theology and dual covenantalism in the Modern Church
- We as Christian churches must be prepared to respond to modern anti-Semitism and the next Hitler on the horizon
This is because Tzedakah Ministries affirms the argument of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who not only fought against Hitler and died a martyr’s death but also believed in Jewish evangelism when he stated:
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer –
Tzedakah Ministries cannot be silent when the world is growing increasingly anti-Semitic. Tzedakah Ministries cannot be silent when the Jewish people need Jesus so desperately. Tzedakah Ministries cannot be silent because we can never forget that Jesus is Jewish as well.
SPECIAL NOTE: My friend Vera Schlamm who survived Bergen-Belsen was a Jewish believer in Jesus and this truth can be found along with her testimony at the Shoah Foundation. A brief snippet of her testimony was once posted on this blog and can be seen here again. Please also check out her whole autobiography entitled Pursued. I am also overjoyed because Jack became a believer in Jesus as well a few years ago.