SALVATION TESTIMONY OF
MESSIANIC JEWISH PASTOR
REUBEN R. W. DREBENSTEDT
Just about all my youth I wanted to be a private businessman. After earning my Business degree and spending several years subsequently in business management and marketing, I finally arrived in my own business. I was scared but happy. Content yes, in seeing the fruit of my efforts and dreams. I became very involved in civic and professional activities as I enjoyed making my personal goals financially; with all the prestige and power that came to me as well. I had achieved much and was working to achieve even ‘far out’ goals like my own office building having my heliport and, ultimately me becoming a world famous financial commercial investment real estate consultant and instructor. Not bad or selfish goals I thought.
You see, I believe I was always a good guy, philanthropic, a good employer, a good family man, a profitable businessman and, not hurting anyone. However, there came a day that I realized a deep unavoidable emptiness within me. I could not shake the thought that nobody really loved me just for myself. I felt that my employees, business partners (who bought into my firm), investors, clients, employees, family and "friends" were only with me because of what I could buy or do or supply for them!
One Fall Sunday morning in 1975I was sitting at home in my easy chair watching television. My then 3 year old daughter Lisa walked in front of the TV, stopped and changed the channel to a "religious" Christian program, then continued on her way playing cleaning lady. I immediately started to get out of the chair to change the channel, but I was just to emotionally tired to get up. Believe me, if I had had a remote channel changer then (I am still amazed that I did not have one) I would have switched the channel. Since I was alone in the room I resigned myself to remaining in my chair (actually found that I could not move) staring out a bay-window to avoid seeing the television. I do not remember what the half hour program consisted of but I know that at the end of the show as I turned to view it, the preacher pointed with his finger from the TV set as he said "God loves you!!!!". I felt a comforting presence all over me and remarked, "Well if that is true I am going to find it out." However I did not know how. I ordered the free book being offered, read it and started seeking for God; a God I soon re-realized I did not know. If you had asked me up to this point in my life about God I would have said that I believed He existed; but I knew that I did not know Him.
I did not at the time tell anyone about this experience nor of my search for truth and God. Seven months later at this same preacher's out of state meetings I had been invited to, I saw my first altar call and fled scared. The next evening I “checked out” the altar call. But, it wasn't until the 4th evening that I went again and gave my life to Messiah Jesus that the deep love void was filled. That empty "unloved" deep feeling never has returned! One and a half years later the Lord asked me to get off of my throne and allow Him to sit there. He also asked me to follow Him and become a preacher. With full trust and confidence in God's will for my life I turned my business firm over to my partners and stepped out of every financial holding. Despite being considered meshugah (crazy), I know that this dramatic change in my life was and is the greatest life for me. I have never looked back nor regretted my new life, walk and career with the Lord.
While there is much more that I could tell today, after being a Christian for over thirty years, an ordained preacher for over 23 years and a Jewish missionary for 20+ years, I can say that God has always loved me for just who I am. It was a heart condition which God needed to touch. I praise Him for coming into and using my life. God and His love is the answer for not just me, but for all Jews... for all people. John 3:16 Jeremiah 29:13 Romans 1:16
Reuben is an ordained minister . He has a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, a Masters of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary, is a Certified Biblical Instructor through the Evangelical Teacher Training Association and is pursuing work in Judaic Studies and early Hebrew Christianity. His background includes considerable management and private business experience.
After receiving the Lord in July 1976 at age 31, Reuben was subsequently called into the ministry in October 1978. He has served on the pastoral staffs of several churches as well as in rescue mission and other evangelistic ministries.
In May 1985, God answered Reuben's prayer and sent him to live the summer within the Old City walls of Jerusalem. While there he was able to gain insights into his own roots plus, to travel extensively throughout Israel; especially to Biblical sites. Considerable time was also spent with the Israeli people and local evangelical ministries.
In route to Israel, the Lord gave Reuben a new appreciation and love as a born Jew for the Jewish people and the land of Israel. After returning, the Lord called him in 1986 to labor in missions and placed MENORAH-Menorah Ministries- in his heart. Pastor Reuben has spent many years within the Jewish community and synagogue life plus service within the Jewish Christian (Messianic Jewish) movement. He has served as a full-time missionary with MENORAH since 1986 as its founding executive director and returns to Israel often plus leads small group study tours of the Bible Land.
Pastor Reuben lives in the Jewish Community with his wife Donna in Denver, Colorado and has 7 children and 18 grand-children. He also pastors Messianic Jewish Congregation Or HaB'rith.
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