Turning to God

HaGefen’s goal is to serve the churches in Israel in their God-given task of evangelism and discipleship. We work to fulfil that goal mainly, but not only, through publishing. We recognise that one of the many needs of the growing church in Israel is evangelistic material. As Jewish people show increasing interest in the gospel there is need for literature that explains why Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.
Our latest publication is an evangelistic booklet, Turning to God, written by Tuvya Zaretsky of Jews for Jesus, in which he clearly explains from the Scriptures and the Jewish writings man’s need for repentance and what that entails.

This booklet was published by HaGefen in 1987 and reprinted in 1991 but, despite a need for the publication, it has long been out of print. Thankfully, there is a growing demand for evangelistic material as more churches and individuals become involved in preaching the gospel.

As technology has advanced, our digitally saved files have become irretrievably obsolete. However, new technology has also provided the means for recovering lost material and in 2007 HaGefen purchased software that converts scanned pages into a digital format. Turning to God was scanned and carefully proofread to correct mis-identified letters, during which process minor editorial changes were also made.

The book’s jacket needed to be updated no less than the text. One of HaGefen’s objectives is to train graphic artists, writers and editors, so two young graphic artists were asked to propose sketches and a concept for the cover. The most suitable one was chosen and the artist made minor changes to the fonts, colours and so on.

For better or for worse, Israelis judge a book by its cover and, to inspire interest in the booklet, we needed to be creative in the design. Since the book talks of repentance, we chose a picture of a child being led by the hand along a sandy beach, with words from Isaiah 53:6: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way”. The idea was for the biblical text to emphasise the reader’s need and for the picture to arouse his curiosity regarding the solution. The final product is before you!

The initial print run was 5,000 copies and as 4,000 copies were distributed in just two months, we are now considering a reprint of at least another 5,000 copies. We are thrilled to think that within a few weeks hundreds of people could have read Turning to God. In addition, we have received positive reports about the way the booklet is being used. To see the fruit of our labours both encourages us and confirms that there is a demand for the literature that we continue to publish.

Please pray that the Lord will use the booklet for his glory, and to call his people to himself.

David Zadok

For HaGefen Publishing

This article first appeared in the Spring 2008 edition of the Herald

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