Finding Favor with God and Man

December 1, 2016
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“Let not mercy (chesed) and truth (emet) forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”   Proverbs 3:3–4

Over 50 years ago our founder, Dr. G. Douglas Young, moved to Israel and began the legacy of blessing Israel. His work combined truth (emet) and mercy or loving kindness (chesed) in amazing ways. Since then, thousands have joined themselves to his vision—Christians supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world. You are part of that worldwide effort, choosing to love the things God loves and supporting our efforts to build relational bridges between the two worlds. It is working! Bridges for Peace is growing in favor in Israel and among Jewish populations in all the countries where we have offices.

We Trust You

Frequently Jewish people tell us that they trust Bridges for Peace. They trust us to consistently be there for them in times of stress, need and with their most important goals; including bringing Jewish people home from the nations of their Diaspora. Here are a few examples.

Our relationship with the city of Karmiel has blossomed as they realize that we will stand with them in whatever ways we can. Recently they sought help to prepare the city’s bomb shelters, unused since the 2006 Lebanon War, for the next conflict. Many shelters have broken or missing plumbing, are filled with junk and need general repairs. With the increased concerns about imminent war in the north, the city is racing to make the shelters usable. This autumn our Home Repair team has been working with the city on the shelters. We have tiled, put in bathrooms, cleaned, painted and done repairs. We estimate the city saves 15,000 shekels (US $3,940) on every shelter we repair. The mayor, head of security and the workers who will use these shelters (in the industrial zone) all know that Christians are helping them prepare for their worst fears. When war strikes, the city of Karmiel will be better prepared to protect her citizens.

In addition to Karmiel, we work with mayors in 17 other cities to provide food for the needy in their communities. During our recent Solidarity Mission two of these mayors met with us, expressing their deep gratitude for our friendship and help.

The Foreign Ministry values our assistance in telling Israel’s story to the world. When they heard we were having a Solidarity Mission they immediately offered to send top team members to brief our participants.

Encounters with People We’ve Helped

A BFP team member sent me the following account: “Last year we spent a weekend at the Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology situated in Israel’s southern Arava desert. On our last morning we were signed up for a tour of the kibbutz. Our guide asked where we were from and what we were doing in Israel. When we said, ‘We’re volunteering with Bridges for Peace,’ the guide’s face lit up and he said, ‘Bridges for Peace!!! I love you guys! You literally saved my life! I was on your Adoption Program the first two years after making aliyah. I couldn’t be here today without you; thank you so much!’”

Recently a young woman burst into our office in Jerusalem and said, “I know you won’t remember me, but several years ago I was on your Adoption Program. I was a new olim (immigrant) and studying at Hebrew University. Now I have an excellent job in Tel Aviv, but there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t think about you and thank God for your assistance. I have been wanting to thank you again in person and so today, since I am in Jerusalem on business, I knew that I had to find a way to make it over here and just say, ‘Thank you.’”

Outside of Israel

One of our team members recently returned to Israel on El Al, Israel’s national airline, considered one of the safest in the world. El Al is very security conscious and extensive security checks are common. During the questioning, our team member said they worked with Bridges for Peace. Immediately the atmosphere became very light and positive. The security officer quickly helped them on their way with many words of thanks.

An Israeli family traveling in the United States was invited to dinner by the sister and brother-in-law of one of our staff. The trip was part of a celebration for their son’s completion of his three years of service with the IDF. During dinner the brother-in-law asked, “Have any of you ever heard of an organization called Bridges for Peace?” The former soldier’s face was transformed into a huge smile as he looked up and said, “Bridges for Peace? We love them! They are a huge support to us.”

In South Africa, the Jewish community frequently consults with our national office team. In addition, they love our publication, Dispatch from Jerusalem, saying it is the best magazine coming out of Israel.

Finding Favor

We praise God for the favor He is granting us. When we consider the relationship just 25 years ago, we have come a long way. We want you to remember that every victory belongs to you. Without your generosity and support, we could not have had the impact that we are having.

But there is still much bridge-building work to be done. Thank you for joining with us to change the future of Christian/Jewish relationships. As the new year begins, please consider giving generously to your favorite Bridges for Peace project. Your donation is not just a gift; it is an investment in the Kingdom of God and in the future of the nation of Israel.

 

Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO

Bridges for Peace is committed to blessing the people of Israel in a variety of ways.

Food Project

“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness…” (Isa. 58:10)

The BFP food banks in Jerusalem and Karmiel together process over three tons of food every working day. The food is heading to the homes of Israel’s needy. Purchased in Israel, the food meets the kosher requirements and contributes to the GDP.

New immigrants benefit, as well as those who have been here for a longer time. Holocaust survivors, poor children—both in the Jewish and Arab sectors—orphanages, and Jewish community centers are all on our list of recipients. Let us turn your contribution into much-needed food.

Greatest Israel Need

This fund gives us the flexibility to meet needs not covered by our regular projects and to respond quickly to urgent needs.

Project Rescue

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when men will no longer say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,” but they will say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.” For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers. But now I will send for many fishermen,’ declares the Lord, ‘and they will catch them’” (Jer. 16:14–16a, NIV)

Many of the neediest Jews in the countries of the former Soviet Union are unable to come to Israel because they simply cannot afford the cost of passports, exit visas, ground transportation, and lodging for their trip home. We send “fishermen” who search for hopeless Jews who long to go home to Israel. Without help, they cannot move to Israel.

With your assistance, we can literally rescue our Jewish brothers and help them fulfill God’s Word. Thus far, we have helped rescue over 50,000 Jews.

    

Karmiel Center

This center was established in 2008 and is our first facility outside of Jerusalem. Food is distributed to northern Israel through our Karmiel food bank. The warehouse also contains over 500 tons of food stored for times of crisis. This means that in case of a war or natural disaster when food supplies become scarce and food prices skyrocket, we would have enough food to continue to feed our recipients for eight months, as well as respond to special requests. Great care is taken to ensure that no food reaches its expiration date before being distributed.

Feed a Child

Thousands of Israeli school children live below the poverty line and cannot afford to buy lunch, even at a subsidized cost. Your sponsorship for a one-year commitment will provide the following: a hot lunch every day at school, gifts on their birthday and holidays, help to purchase school books, a backpack filled with supplies, and funds for special needs during the summer.

    

Adoption Program

Through our Adoption Program, you have an opportunity to sponsor a Jewish family or individual in Israel for a year, helping them through a critical time in their lives. We provide much needed emotional support as well as a large food package (fruits, vegetables, chicken, milk products, canned goods, and paper products), bus tickets, and financial assistance for special needs.

Those who benefit from the program are new immigrants to Israel; native Israeli families suffering from terror attacks, major medical crises, or loss of a job; Holocaust survivors; and college students who are alone in Israel. We are friends helping friends get on their feet, so they can live productive lives.

Sponsors receive a picture and a profile about the person/s they sponsor, and close relationships are established through letters, which our staff translates for both parties. As you change a life, you too will be changed!

    

Project Tikvah (Hope)

This project reaches out to many Jewish people in the former Soviet Union who either will not or cannot immigrate to Israel. Many are elderly or in poor health. Most are destitute; many are Holocaust survivors.

Increasingly, we are finding Jewish people who are starving and don’t have heat in the winter. Some have died from exposure. We have established soup kitchens to feed them, so they receive one hot, nourishing meal each day. We also purchase heaters and meet other needs as possible.

Land of the Bible Experience

This developing educational center is located in Jerusalem at our International Headquarters. Our desire is to promote a Hebraic understanding of biblical culture to visiting tour groups. Our teaching room is designed to look like the inside of a first-century home, and guests are dressed up in first-century costumes. Biblical themes are taught through drama and interactivity, such as building a sukka (booth) in our garden during Feast of Tabernacles.

To learn more, read our Dispatch article, “Reconnecting Christians To Their Hebraic Roots”.

To book a reservation for you or your tour group:

landofthebible@bridgesforpeace.com or call our Jerusalem Headquarters at 972-2-624-5004 (FAX: 972-2-634-6622)

Zealous8:2 Scholarship Fund

Are you zealous for Israel? Pass the fire to the next generation (ages 18–30)! Help them catch the vision by bringing them to Israel on tour! Each year Zealous8:2 sponsors two tours: one in January and one in June. It is a life-changing experience, and you can help make it happen.

Christian Leaders Forums

These one-day seminars on Israel are a unique opportunity for pastors and Christian leaders to receive high-level training on subjects such as Christianity’s Hebraic roots, a detailed look at Romans 9–11, scriptural justification for Israel, historic and current events, and Christian support of Israel.

Donation amount is per individual.

Israel Team Member Support

Living in Israel can be very expensive. With additional funding, our team members are enabled to continue their work in Israel. We also draw from this fund to subsidize special activities from time to time for our volunteer staff. This is your opportunity to bless those who have sacrificed much to live and work far from home.

You can also support a specific team member through this fund. When you do so, your donation is passed on to that person to meet their particular needs.

Cheer Basket

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Isa. 61:1)

Our cheer basket is filled with delicious cookies, candies, dried fruit, nuts, flavored teas, and several other items that are specifically selected to bring hope and encouragement to Israel’s shut-ins, elderly, and anyone else who is discouraged and needs a tangible expression of God’s love.

A cheer basket is also given to immigrants on the Adoption Program for birthdays, including special ones for the children. This is often the only birthday present many receive.

New Immigrant Fund

This fund enables us to meet needs of new immigrants as they come to the land of Israel in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Those needs vary greatly as each person has unique challenges.

Immigrant Welcome Gifts

Bless a new immigrant family and let them know that they are welcomed in Israel by Christians who believe God’s promise to bring His people back to His Land.

We give a generous gift package: a copy of the Tanach (Gen.–Mal.) in Hebrew alongside Russian or Spanish, blankets, school kits for the children, and a set of new pots and pans, utensils, and a cutting board.

This one-time gift is a great help to immigrants who most often come from their home countries with very little.

School Starter Kit

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name, welcomes Me.”(Matthew 18:5)

This kit contains many needed school items, including pens, pencils, sharpener, glue, scissors, markers, a carrying case, and more. We not only distribute these to new immigrant children but make them a part of the school supplies we give to our Feed a Child students.

Arab Family Assistance

There are many needs in the Christian Arab community. This community is becoming smaller as many choose to reside in the West rather than being a small minority in the predominantly Muslim Arab communities. Increasingly, they face persecution from their Muslim neighbors. Your gift helps us to minister the love of the Lord as we give them food.

Victims of War

“He has sent me…to comfort all who mourn…” (Isa. 61:1–2)

We minister to anyone touched by war or terrorism, delivering special cheer baskets to the wounded in hospitals after a suicide bombing and to the bereaved. Special needs, such as wheelchairs, food vouchers, and financial assistance for medical bills are provided for those in long-term rehabilitation.

Home Repair

“Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Isa. 58:12)

God has blessed us with skilled construction workers. Teams are busy renovating homes of the poor and elderly; some of them are Holocaust survivors. Many of these homes are one-room hovels in buildings over 100 years old. We fix leaky plumbing, replace broken windows, paint, plaster, rewire, repair or install cabinets, put on new roofs, and do general fix-up work.

Some of our workers have told us that this is the best job they have ever had in their lives. They get many hugs, plus a lot of tea, coffee, and cake from very appreciative Jerusalemites. Your gifts supply the raw materials to get the job done.

Adopt an Israeli Town

Bridges for Peace sponsors 18 Israeli towns—from the Galilee to the Negev—that are experiencing severe economic hardship. Working through the mayor’s office and the social welfare network, we give food to needy families, many of them new immigrants. Sponsors give a monthly donation (for a one-year commitment) and receive a frameable, full-color biographical sketch of the community they “adopt.” We arrange visits to the communities for sponsoring church groups visiting Israel.

    

Dental/Medical Aid

Israeli health insurance does not cover dental, 100% of the cost of prescription medications, or medical apparatuses such as wheelchairs. Often the needy, many of them immigrants, must choose between vital health needs and food. We can bring a smile to the faces of those who suffer.

Vehicle Fund

We have several vans to help us do our work: for home repair, for pick-up and delivery of food both in Jerusalem and Karmiel, and for postal pick up and other administrative needs. When they wear out, we draw from this fund to purchase or lease new ones, which is very expensive in Israel.

Greatest Ministry Need

Your contribution to this fund will be used to support the educational and operational costs of running Bridges for Peace in your home country.

National Office Support

Bridges for Peace has national offices in eight countries that are staffed by sincere and dedicated individuals working selflessly on behalf of Israel. By reaching out to the Church with information and educational opportunities, building relationships with local Jewish communities, advocating for the nation of Israel, and raising the funds necessary for us to continue our projects in the Land, our national offices are the hands and feet of Bridges for Peace the world over.

Often working on a shoestring, their efforts are foundational to our ongoing work of building bridges to the Jewish people through practical expressions of Christian love. Your gift to the national office of your choice helps to insure that their work of blessing Israel and the Church, at home and in the Land, can continue.

Save An Israeli Life

Our newest project partners with Magen David Adom National Blood Services to save Israelis in need, whether during surgery or hurt in a car accident, terrorist attack, or war. Your gift helps keep the hearts of this beloved nation beating. Save a life today!

Magen David Adom Ambulance

Honoring the Memory of our Founder, G. Douglas Young

During this 50th anniversary year of our founder’s arrival in Israel, we want to honor his memory by purchasing urgently needed ambulances. During the Six Day War, Dr. Young drove an ambulance while being shot at as he stood with Israel as a true friend. Today, we can stand as true friends with Israel by helping provide life-giving ambulances. Each person who receives assistance from one of these ambulances will know that Christians helped them when they read the dedication honoring Dr. Young and 50 years of Christians blessing Israel, which will be on the door of the ambulance. What a wonderful way to honor our ambulance-driving founder, and to remind our Israeli friends that they are not alone in their time of trouble. Christians around the world are standing with them.

Each ambulance costs $100,000. Every gift, no matter how large or small, will help. For those who are able to give large gifts—$25,000 or more, Magen David Adom will also acknowledge their special contribution in the dedication on the ambulance. Perhaps your church, or school would like to pull together to make this happen.

Now is the time to prepare, before we are in the middle of the crisis. Help us reach out with Christian love to the people of Israel, and to celebrate 50 years of blessing.

Fire Relief

For six days multiple wildfires raged across Israel. Dry conditions with high winds increased the devastation. Many Israelis were evacuated (60,000 from Haifa alone), 130,000 dunams (32,124 acres) of natural forests, brush lands and protected parklands decimated and over 150 people wounded. Fortunately, no lives were lost but 1,600 people are homeless. Damage from these fires has been devastating to the nation which is now starting the process of rebuilding. Please consider a generous donation today.

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