In Memoriam: John Theodor
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Upfront-header John Theodor, Foreign Field Director in Jerusalem

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Remembering John Theodor

The Sad News
Today, hearts are heavy at Zion’s Hope, as we announce the passing of our beloved friend and Foreign Field Director in Jerusalem, John Theodor. John, who had faithfully ministered with Zion’s Hope since 1997, passed over to glory due to complications resulting from COVID-19.

He was 54 and leaves behind his wife and three teenage children. Though John is now in the presence of his Lord, we ask you to pray for his family. Also, please pray fervently that John’s “graduation to Heaven” will lead his extended family members and friends to place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remembering John
In many ways, John was a larger-than-life figure as his gregarious personality brightened any room. Though he lived in Israel for almost 30 years, John never lost a syllable or an ounce of his Australian accent (he was born and raised in Sydney) which he good-heartedly played up to the delight of his hearers.

John’s optimism was a wonderful gift to all who knew him, but what was most admirable about John was his deep love for the God he served and his heart for the Jewish people – that they would come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though John himself was not Jewish, God placed within him an irresistible love for the Jewish people.

So irresistible was this love that John could no longer remain in the land of his birth, but relocated to Israel where he could bring the Gospel directly to the world’s most populous Jewish nation.

And indeed, John was a force in the Holy Land. He had an unwavering commitment to help the poor, the elderly, the young, and those with special needs. But his passion was teaching God’s Word and bringing the Gospel to lost souls. Not only did he regularly engage Israelis on the streets of Israel, he also was a producer of evangelical videos which ran on YouTube. They were “Why Do We Need a Messiah?”; “How to Identify the Messiah”; “Who is the Messiah?”; “The Birth of the Messiah”; and “The Death of the Messiah”.

By God’s grace these videos have drawn more than 5 million views in Israel over the past three years. Not until we enter the gates of Heaven will we know their full impact. But one thing we’re sure of: John is being greeted at this very moment by some of those he helped lead to Christ either through these videos or by his one-on-one witnessing.

Wondrous News
Though our hearts are heavy, we rejoice in the glorious reality that as a child of the Lord Jesus Christ, John is in Heaven with our Savior at this moment.

And though we are deeply saddened, we recognize John’s current reality. Therefore, we do not grieve as the unsaved world, who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

We also recall the soaring words of the Lord Jesus, who assured us that: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

And finally, we view John’s departure from this earth from a spiritual perspective and not a physical one. We know God has a purpose for John’s passing, and it is at this time the Lord has decided to call him home:

The righteous perishes,
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken away from evil.
He shall enter into peace;
They shall rest in their beds,
Each one walking in his uprightness
(Isaiah 57:1-2).

We who loved John can now take comfort in the fact John has indeed entered his peace and is at complete and perfect rest.

Indeed, John has walked in God’s upright way, and is now enjoying his abundant reward!

David Rosenthal
Zion’s Hope

As a demonstration of Christian love, you may wish to contribute to John’s family’s immediate financial needs. If the Lord is leading you to help in this way, you may do so through Zion’s Hope. We have set up a special fund for the Theodor family that will be used solely for their pressing needs.*

Please join all of our ministry staff and missionaries as we lift up John’s family in prayer during this heartbreaking time of personal loss.

* In keeping with IRS regulations, all contributions made to Zion’s Hope are required to be subject to the discretion and control of the ministry. In light of this, Zion’s Hope will meet the Theodor family’s pressing needs as determined and approved by ministry leadership. Contributions which may be received in excess of the established need will be used for ministry purposes in Israel that were close to John’s heart.

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