Rejoice with Jerusalem

April 28, 2017

Photo: Shirley Burdick / bridgesforpeace.com

This month Jerusalem will be celebrating 50 years since the reunification of the city in 1967. Jerusalem—the name reverberates throughout history! Everyone knows of this ancient city. Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago by King David. Did you know that Jerusalem has never been the capital city of any other nation? Jerusalem has always been important to the Jewish people. Christianity was born in Jerusalem. Hundreds of years later it also became important to the Muslim faith. The city is mentioned 881 times in the Bible. Jerusalem is important to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In May 1948 Israel became a nation and immediately faced war. Israel won the war, but lost half of Jerusalem, which was taken by the Jordanians. For the next 19 years the city was divided. Access to the holy sites, both Jewish and Christian, was limited. A no-man’s land ripped a jagged scar through the center of the city. Today buildings along this seam are still marked with bullet holes that bear witness to the dangers faced during these 19 years. Then in 1967 Israel again was at war, fighting on multiple fronts, including in Jerusalem. At the end of the Six Day War, Jerusalem was once again in Israeli hands. The Jewish people rejoiced. As a Christian I am also thankful to have free and easy access to the Old City, the site of the Temple Mount where many of the events immortalized in the Bible took place.

This month, the vibrant city will come alive with parties, dancing and laughter as her residents celebrate. Local neighborhoods as well as the city center will be full of Israelis parading through the streets. They will be wearing blue and white as they dance and sing their way to the Western Wall. They will rejoice with Jerusalem! They will rejoice that they have free access to the Western Wall, a retaining wall of the Temple—the site of constant prayer.

The Scripture Tells Us to Rejoice with Jerusalem!

“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice with joy with her, all you who mourn with her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus says the LORD: ‘Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isa. 66:10–13 emphasis added).

Let’s Participate!

We are encouraging Christians all over the world to rejoice with Jerusalem. Come to Jerusalem if you can, but if you can’t—rejoice wherever you are. Yes, you can participate in the festivities without ever leaving home. Bridges for Peace is sponsoring a worldwide celebration and we invite you to join us by hosting a “Rejoice with Jerusalem” party between May 24 and June 7. We will provide everything you need to get started: ideas, songs, dances, recipes, decorations and even more. So invite your friends, your prayer group or have a party at your church. The possibilities are endless. Register for your free party pack at www.rejoicejerusalem.com. However you choose to celebrate, remember to rejoice! This is Jerusalem’s very own jubilee and God is calling us to be a part of it.

As Christians we are joining the Jewish people in recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel; the city where the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has chosen to place His name forever. So have a party, make a statement and join Christians around the world as we rejoice with Jerusalem.

Medi-cycle (Photo:Magen David Adom)

Offering for Jerusalem

In Scripture, Jerusalem was the destination for all Jewish men three times a year (Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles). Everyone would come to Jerusalem to rejoice, to pray, to fellowship and to bring an offering. We want to bless Jerusalem as a way to rejoice with her. We want to bring “the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream!” We encourage you send a financial gift to bless Jerusalem from the Christian world.

We will be purchasing medi-cycles with the money we receive. We are believing for funds to purchase several medi-cycles. Our goal for this project is US $200,000. These mobile units can reach the sick, and injured much more quickly than a standard ambulance. They are able to weave their way through traffic rapidly and save many lives through their timely arrival. These medi-cycles help people from all walks of life: rich, poor, young, old, Jew, Christian, Muslim! What a way to show to all the peoples of Jerusalem that you care.

Your generous gift will bless Jerusalem, save lives and be a fulfillment of Isaiah 66. Like a flowing stream, these medi-cycles will bring life and medical care to a constant stream of Jerusalemites.

Rejoice with Jerusalem!
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.

    

Crisis Assistance Fund

Crisis Assistance Fund: Your gifts enable us to respond quickly to crisis situations. These may include critical needs, such as bomb shelters, ambulances or to extend help for emergency situations such as terror arson attacks, and more.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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)

Education Program

Our educational programs enable us to fulfill our God-given mandate.  Helping the Church understand Christianity’s Hebraic roots, modern Israel’s prophetic significance, historic and current events is critical to building a worldwide network of Christians who love and support Israel. Donations will facilitate the creation and implementation of programs globally.

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