By Mark Ellis & Vivian Chou, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – February 29, 2016) — It took the cold steel of a sawed-off shotgun against his neck to bring Mitch Glaser to the Christ he always associated with Hitler.
Raised in New York in a traditional Jewish home, he was bar mitzvahed at 13. At his grandparents’ home, he saw pictures of countless relatives exterminated in the Nazi Holocaust. “They had died at the hands of Hitler, and in the Jewish mindset, they had died at the hands of Christians,” Glaser said.
“I felt like Jesus and Christianity were my enemies,” said Glaser, who has worked with Chosen People Ministries for 40 years and has been its president since 1997. “I’m an unlikely person to believe in Jesus.”
He dropped out of college and fell into selling marijuana with three Jewish friends in San Francisco. He was a no-nonsense hustler who built up a reputation for a square deal, but on one of his sales, his clients really had no intention of buying the illicit drug. They wanted to steal it – and kill him.
“One of the guys was yelling, ‘Just kill him now.’ The other one said, ‘No, we gotta get the rest of the drugs. Just torch the place,’” said Glaser, who was tied up while his attackers pointed shotguns and handguns at him.
“My whole life played before my eyes. I’m sitting there with my hands tied feeling this shotgun against my neck, and I’m saying to myself, ‘I can’t believe that I was willing to die for just a few hundred dollars,’” he said.
Mitch managed to escaped unscathed from the drug deal. It was a wake-up call and a warning that the houseboat he and his partners had built with drug money was not worth the danger involved. It was also the beginning of God’s call on his life.
An old friend re-appeared in Glaser’s life talking about Jesus. “I thought she was absolutely nuts,” he said.
But because his friend agreed to go off to the Christian commune in Oregon, Glaser thought he would accompany her to save himself from going crazy. “I felt I was raised the more traditional Jew, so I would go to help them,” he said.
Glaser was braced for a fight, but everybody was too nice. In an evening service, they bowed their heads and went silent. Mitch thought people had either fallen asleep or they were about to witness a seance.
Photo captions: 1) Mitch Glaser. 2) Dan Wooding welcomes Mark Ellis to “Windows on the World”.
About the writers: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and also founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world. He is also co-host for “Windows on the World” with ANS founder, Dan Wooding, on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv). Vivian Chou is a student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica, California.
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