In May 2005, the International Board of Bridges for Peace announced the appointment of Rebecca Brimmer as our chief executive officer (CEO). Rebecca has served with Bridges for Peace since 1993. She had served as the chief operating officer (COO) previously. The Board statement said, “We believe God has positioned Rebecca Brimmer for this new appointment. We encourage all the staff, volunteers, and supporters of Bridges for Peace to pray for Rebecca and her husband, Tom, as she is led by the Lord to guide and direct this wonderful organization.”
From My Heart…
Many of you know me through my writings in the Dispatch and Teaching Letters through the years and have seen my name on letterhead, but I have not had the pleasure of meeting most of you personally. So I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share my heart and vision with you.
My husband, Tom, and I have been married since 1976 and have lived in Israel since 1990. My father, Dr. David Allen Lewis, the founder of Christians United for Israel, was used mightily of God in the field of Christian-Jewish relations. He visited Israel more than 70 times, had multiple meetings with several prime ministers of Israel, and wrote many books, which are still valued today. I visited Israel for the first time in 1969 as a 13-year-old. In those early years, I was privileged to meet many Jewish and Christian leaders, including Dr. G. Douglas Young, founder of Bridges for Peace. I am indebted to God and my parents for giving me such a rich, godly heritage. A number of years ago, I was humbled and blessed as my parents and I prayed together for my father’s ministry mantle of writing, speaking, and relating to the Jewish people to be granted to me.
In 1979, on my husband’s first trip to Israel, God called us to this land to minister to and for the people of Israel. After several years of preparation, God brought us here for a year in the late 1980s to volunteer on a kibbutz (communal settlement), and then from 1990, we have lived and ministered in Jerusalem. Since 1993 I have been serving with Bridges for Peace in Israel.
When God called Tom and me to Israel, He emblazoned Isaiah 62:1 and 62:6–7 on our hearts: “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns…I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (NKJV).
We know that God has placed us here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). We didn’t know the ways He would lead and guide us. For instance, Tom never imagined that God would plan for him to speak to thousands of Christians from around the world and introduce them to Israel. As an ordained minister and tour guide, he has a unique opportunity to touch many with the message of Israel. And I never envisaged being promoted to the position of CEO of Bridges for Peace International.
Character and Humility
After I was offered the position, I did not immediately accept. I never aspired to this position and didn’t want to take it unless I was sure it was God’s plan. I immediately took three days off from work to pray and listen to God. I had often read biblical accounts of encounters with God, and then, I had my own such experience. Looking back, I realize that I acted like Moses did at the burning bush. I had all sorts of excuses why I shouldn’t be the CEO. “But God,” I said, “I am a woman!” I felt He responded in a rather ironic way, “Yes, Becky, I noticed!” Then I said, “But God, I don’t have a master’s in business administration; I only have a Bible school education.” Again, He said to me, “Do you think you are telling Me something I don’t know?” Finally, I cried out, “But God, what if no one follows me?” He told me to let Him worry about that. My job was to follow Him, listen to His voice, and He would take care of the rest.
From the beginning, I understood that only as God works in and through us can we be effective for Him and His kingdom plans. Now, more than ever, I know, “I can do all things through Messiah [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV), and that is the only way it will work.
In the years since that time, I have felt the Lord impress a few things on my heart about leadership. Two characteristics have come to mind repeatedly: character and humility. Isaiah 66:2 says, “…But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (NASB). It is my desire that Bridges for Peace leaders worldwide live righteous, godly lives, marked by humility and a commitment to follow the direction of the Lord.
I have said for many years that the Lord is the head of Bridges for Peace, and as we follow Him, His ways, and His plans, we will be blessed and will enjoy unity of purpose across the Bridges for Peace world. With offices on every continent, that is no easy feat. At a recent senior leaders meeting in Jerusalem, I looked around the room at our national leaders from around the world and was blessed to see the wonderful people God has brought to this ministry. Truly, we are family, even though we are from so many different places and cultures.
Israel Is Central to God’s Plan
Israel is central to God’s plan for mankind. Pick up your Bible and leaf through the pages. It won’t be long before you see Israel. God chose to reveal Himself to the world through the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. We were blessed through them to receive the Word of God; our Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus); and salvation. While some Christians have the idea that God is finished with Israel and is now only embracing the Church, that is not God’s idea.
God’s promises to Israel are being literally fulfilled today. Over 100 years ago, God began bringing the Jewish people back to their ancient homeland. On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation again after nearly 2,000 years of dispersion. In the past 15 years, over one million Jewish immigrants have come home to Israel in fulfillment of God’s Word. At Bridges for Peace, we have helped many of them. We assist them in their immigration process through Project Rescue, our Adoption Program, and our food programs. As we watch God at work, we eagerly await the fruition of ALL His promises. He said that the nations will know that He is God as they see Him at work in Israel. We are living in those days.
I am excited to be part of God’s great plans for Israel and the people of God worldwide. I believe the prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, would have loved to be in our shoes today, as active participants in God’s end-time drama. God used them to record His promises, and God is using us to participate in their fulfillment. What an honor and a privilege!
God has great things planned for Bridges for Peace, as we partner with Him in supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews. The days to come will be momentous. There will be wars, terror, and anti-Semitic persecution, as Satan battles against God’s plans. I believe God is calling believers everywhere to stand with Him. We may be asked to stand with Israel in tough times, and Bridges for Peace will be there to do so.
As CEO of Bridges for Peace, I am committed to listening to God’s voice, following Him, and standing with Israel, even if it becomes dangerous. But I can’t do it alone! We have wonderful leadership teams around the world, which God has blessed with many talents. These leaders have a heart for God and for the nation and people of Israel. We have wonderful partners, whom we call “bridge builders,” who are praying and supporting Israel through Bridges for Peace projects. It is my desire to equip all of our Bridges for Peace leaders and representatives around the world to be active participants in God’s plans for Bridges for Peace. Together, the Lord will use us greatly as we live lives committed to Him, with integrity, humility, and godly character.
“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns…I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:1, 6–7).
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer