If you have ever driven a manual transmission car you know the need to react rapidly to changing speeds by shifting up or down. In 2014 Israel has frequently had to shift quickly in response to changing reality. It has been a stressful and challenging year for Israel and worldwide Jewry. We witnessed an increase in aliyah (immigration to Israel) as Jewish people increasingly felt the sting of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitic action, especially in Europe, reached levels unseen since the time of the Second World War. We lived through a 50-day-long conflict in which more than 4,000 rockets blanketed a large swath of Israel, and tunnels designed for terror were discovered. For more than half a year there has been unrest in Jerusalem with frequent riots, violence and instability. We saw shifting alliances in the region and the world. Just when one event seemed over, Israel was catapulted into another attack, and her leaders had to quickly shift gears once again. Nation after nation put unreal pressure on Israel; even the United States, traditionally viewed as Israel’s greatest ally!
At Bridges for Peace we also felt the need to shift our emphasis on projects to enable us to meet the needs that arose. We highlighted the crisis issues and didn’t report as much about our regular programs in Israel, even though each is an amazing tool that shows the people of Israel they are not alone and helps them feel the love of God through Christians.
3 We were blessed by the outpouring of love from Christians as they gave to help the people of Israel in crisis times. We were able to purchase two ambulances, bomb shelters for schools and deliver food and supplies to those under rocket fire. We ministered with love to those who were mourning. We responded to the need to help nearly 2,000 Ukrainian Jews fleeing from the increasing anti-Semitism and war there. We welcomed hundreds of Bnei Menashe immigrants from northeastern India, giving stoves, blankets, kitchen pots and pans, Tanakhs (Gen.–Mal.) and school kits. We fed the people of Ukraine through Project Tikvah, as we also continued to provide food for thousands of people in over 50 communities across Israel. We sponsored 400 school children from 12 schools in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Ekron and Karmiel. We sponsored new immigrants on our Adoption program. We repaired homes for the needy (even though this fund is particularly low). We paid for dental work for those in deep need. In every project and in every way we allowed the light of God’s love to shine forth.
Time and again we shifted gears in order to meet the changing needs around us. As we look forward, I believe that 2015 will continue to be tumultuous, and we will have to be ready to quickly shift directions as events transpire.
Many Christian leaders and intercessors are sensing that we are in an important time of history—a shifting time. There are signs in the heavens which millions watch. There is a renewed interest in the biblical feasts and the sh’mitah year and what it signifies. Undoubtedly, God is at work, and we need to shift as He shifts. The words in Psalm 102:13 resound in my heart, “You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes the set time has come.”
I believe we are in this “Set Time.” God has prepared Bridges for Peace for this shifting time—this “Set Time” to speak truth to His Church and minister love to His people Israel. We need you to join with us in prayer, in action and with generous gifts. Please pray about which project you should support this month. Each project is accomplishing great things for God’s kingdom.
Buckle your seat belts; we will be shifting gears with God!
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO