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Testimonies of Messianic Faith

Larry Feldman

Larry Feldman was born and raised in a conservative Jewish home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Larry came to faith in 1972 through the witness of his childhood friend, Mark Ellick, another Jewish believer who is on staff with the Mission. Larry attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He also graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Th.M. in Semitic Languages and Old Testament Studies. Larry was elected to the National Dean’s List (a national honors organization), and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Since joining Chosen People Ministries in 1974, Larry has done evangelistic work in Brooklyn, New York, and planted a Messianic congregation in a very Jewish area of northern New Jersey. Larry also served as camp director for Chosen People Ministries’ successful children’s camp program.

“My greatest joy,” says Larry, “is seeing Jewish people come to know the Lord and then grow in their faith!”

Larry and his family reside in Southern California, where he serves as our Southern California Director and leader of Congregation Shuvah Yisrael (Return, O Israel). It has been a long road from Larry’s roots on the East Coast to the Messianic ministry in Southern California. But Larry and his family will tell you that the Lord has been there every step of the way.

He is married to Fran, also a Jewish believer. The Feldmans have two daughters.

Luda Ford

Luda Ford’s life is a living witness to God’s faithfulness and leading. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Luda’s childhood in the 1970s was spent within a Jewish community that was rapidly disappearing. Jewish people were leaving Russia and its satellite countries by the thousands. Luda trained to be a nurse and midwife, and in 1979 she and her mother also left Uzbekistan.

The new immigrants settled temporarily in Ostia, Italy, where Luda met “real Christians.” After eleven months, Luda went on to New Zealand. It was there, in 1982, that she became a believer through some Christians who invited her to a home group. Growing as a Jewish believer, Luda began to form the vision that she would one day go to Israel. In seven years, that vision came to pass.

For the next ten years, Luda lived in Israel, taking part in Messianic congregations and working as a nurse. Then, through the encouragement of a friend, the Lord sent her in a new direction-to the Jewish Studies Program at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. At Moody, she met some of the Chosen People Ministries staff and joined the staff of Chosen People Ministries as a student outreach worker in 1998.

Luda is now a full-time missionary with Chosen People in New York City, where she ministers mainly to immigrants from the former Soviet Union with her husband, Randall, whom she met in Israel while he was studying Hebrew language and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Randall and Luda have a daughter.

Dr. Rich Freeman

Rich Freeman was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York into a very traditionally Jewish, though not religious, family. He did, however, receive religious training for five years in a conservative synagogue and received his Bar Mitzvah at age thirteen. Following that experience, though staunchly Jewish nationalistically, he drifted away from the synagogue and attended only on the special Jewish holidays.

In 1973 Rich married Julia DeBellis who was from an Italian Catholic background. It was primarily through Julia’s spiritual pilgrimage that God reached Rich. But first Rich met a born-again Christian, his supervisor at work. Though Rich responded angrily at first to this man’s sharing his faith, his life was a wonderful testimony of the peace and joy that comes to those who put their faith and trust in the Lord. The joy in his life made Rich jealous and opened his heart to what was to come. In August 1982, Julia accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and immediately began praying for her husband’s salvation. In January 1983, God answered that prayer. Through the ministry of Chosen People Ministries, Rich heard and responded to the gospel message and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

Immediately, God gave him a hunger to know Him and His Word intimately. He immersed himself in the Bible and was discipled by his pastor. In the summer of 1987 Rich and Julia responded to God’s call and moved to Dallas, Texas where Rich attended Dallas Theological Seminary. While in Dallas, Rich worked as a missionary with Chosen People Ministries. Before finishing the degree program at Dallas, Rich was called to pastor the congregation where he was saved, Light of Israel Messianic Congregation. He became pastor of that congregation in December 1989. In April 1994, Rich also became pastor of Dunwoodie Baptist Church in Yonkers, New York, which is where Light of Israel’s services were held. So, for five years of his ten-year pastorate he enjoyed the unique challenge of pastoring two congregations.

On July 1, 1999 Rich assumed his position as Vice-President and Director of Church Ministries and Conferences for Chosen People Ministries. Rich works with churches throughout the country and abroad. Rich teaches Bible Conferences on various topics such as Jewish Evangelism, Messianic Prophecy, End-Time Prophecy, The Church and Israel, The Feasts of Israel, and much more. He also ministers to local churches in Florida where he and his family reside.

Rich finished his studies begun in Dallas, at Conservative Baptist Seminary of the East, where he received his M.Div., in September 1994. Rich received his D.Min. at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in 2004.

Rich and his family are active members of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach. He and his wife Julia have three children and two grandchildren.

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