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“A Restored Synagogue Echoes With Hope”

A concert pianist boldly proclaims the greatest Jew who ever lived.

SLOVAKIA — “As a fellow Slovak, I say with all my heart that it is worth living for this Jesus!”

These words weren’t mere whispers behind closed doors, but reverberations through a redeemed place and time no one thought possible.

Sam Rotman, a concert pianist and disciple-maker with Crossworld, frequently performs throughout Europe. When he declared his faith in Christ during his performance this year in Levice, Slovakia, his bold words echoed off the walls of a place that had seen much misery and decades of neglect: the city’s only synagogue. During World War II, Nazis rounded up the nearly 2,000 Jews of Levice into a ghetto before deportation to a death camp in Poland: Auschwitz. Since then, the synagogue sat abandoned and not a single Jew lives in Levice today.

But on this day in 2014, the synagogue shone as a beautiful cultural center and concert hall ― newly restored by the town as a memorial to its persecuted citizens. And Sam? Imagine his emotion as he ― a Jew whose Slovak mother was born near Levice ― spoke of Jesus in the synagogue! The meaning deepens further because on that very day 70 years ago, the Jews of that city were confined to the slum.

Afterward, Sam wrote, “Who would have thought that the son of a Slovak, raised Jewish, would give a concert to a packed audience on the 70th anniversary of the Jewish ghetto and tell about Jesus, the greatest Jew who ever lived, in the city’s former synagogue?”

At the concert, Sam shared about his family roots in Slovakia, and, more importantly, his faith in Jesus. He also had opportunities to testify about his faith during his lunch with the mayor and his interview for a local television broadcast.

“Sam’s story is undeniable evidence that God is at work in the world today.” Read more of President Dale Losch’s response in the Better Way blog.

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