Rev. M. Nachim, born in the town of Odessa in 1836. He writes:
I was initiated into the covenant on the eighth day (according to the Jewish rite), and I received the name of Reuben, after my grandfather, who had been chief rabbi. I do not know the time when I began to learn Hebrew, but I do remember I was not quite eight years old when I commenced to study the Talmud.
In the year 1854, I started on a journey to Palestine. When in Constantinople I met a Hebrew Christian colporteur name Solomon, who offered me a New Testament.
Up to this period of my life I had never heard there was such a book in existence! That dear Christian man induced me to visit the London Jews’ Society’s missionary (the Rev. Dr. Stern). Space does not permit me to go into detail, but that memorable visit, which lasted several hours, thanks be to our Heavenly Father, changed my future life. It was then for the first time I heard that Christianity was not, as I had been led to believe, a system of idolatry, but based on Moses and the Prophets, and I left Dr. Stern’s house with a burning desire to hear more, and learn more about it. For two years I visited Dr. Stern constantly, and the more I learned of the saving truth as it is in Jesus, the more agonized was my struggle; but at last, though my pillow was oft bedewed with tears, as I realized fully what decision for Christ would involve, I was enabled by Divine grace to say, ‘I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things;’ and on September 16, 1856, I was baptized in Constantinople by my beloved spiritual father, Dr. Stern, and I then received the name of Michael (who is like unto God). From that time I had an earnest desire to witness for Christ amongst my brethren; and in 1860 I entered the mission field in connexion with the London Jews’ Society, with whom I remained till November, 1869, and then I commenced my missionary labours with the British Society.
In closing this brief outline of my life, I desire to express my deep gratitude to our gracious Lord, who has permitted me to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Russia, Roumania, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey and Bulgaria, and has blessed the message to many a Jewish heart, and to the salvation of many souls. I have also been privileged to preach the Gospel to many members of my own family, holding influential positions in Russia, and I am thankful to say that nine of my cousins have been baptized.
My future is in God’s hands, and my earnest prayer is, that the remainder of my life may be more fully dedicated to His service and for His glory.”
Bernstein, A. 1999. Jewish Witnesses for Christ. Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit.