Once in a while a Jewish person will say to one of us, “Don’t tell me what you believe! I’ll follow you around and then I will tell you what you believe.” After centuries of negative interaction between Christians and Jews, God has called us to build bridges of understanding, love and respect. We sorrow over the past, knowing the pain that was caused to the Jewish people. However, God has not called us to dwell in the past; He has called us to literally change the future. We do it in a variety of ways, both by bringing revelation to the Church and by showing compassion to the Jewish people. Follow me around as I give you glimpses of how we are building bridges in Israel this month.
Join the 47 students from Oral Roberts University as they prepare 400 backpacks for the children on our Feed a Child Program, and repair a community center in Jerusalem. After a day at Bridges, their hearts become so soft toward the people of Israel.
Sit with me in my office and listen as a rabbi pours out his heart to me for his local synagogue. They are struggling financially and are reaching out to Christians for advice, and perhaps financial help. The Lord immediately brings to mind the Jewish elders who came to Yeshua (Jesus), asking Him to heal the centurion’s servant. These Jewish elders begged Yeshua to help this deserving Gentile centurion, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” (Luke 7:1–10). I realize that I am part of a long line of righteous Gentiles who love and support the people of Israel.
Roll up your sleeves and help our volunteers pack more than two tons of food each day, ministering to the physical needs of more than 26,000 people every month.
Sit with us as we meet with the mayor of Karmiel, Adi Eldar, and discuss the needs of his city (40% immigrants). Rejoice with us as we celebrate 50 years of blessing Israel by donating an ambulance to Karmiel. Listen as the head of social welfare tells us that the poor in Karmiel cannot pay for ambulance costs. I know you would have done everything in your power to help them. That’s what we did by establishing a matching grant of 100,000 shekels.
Join a group of students from Hebrew University who visit Bridges for Peace to learn about Christians who love and bless Israel. Rejoice as you see the amazement and happiness blossom on their faces.
Poke your head around the corner of our Adoption department, and see our team members pray for the people on our program—that they will find jobs, learn Hebrew quickly, and feel at home in their new land. Nearly 200 families are in this program and face overwhelming obstacles as they adjust to new realities.
Join us as we comfort 220 families who have lost a son in battle. We help them come together once a year for three days so they can help each other deal with the devastating blow of losing a child. Sadly, there are nearly 20 more grieving families this year.
Join me at Voice of Israel radio, as Israeli Jews interview a Christian about our actions in Israel and around the world.
In small and large ways our lives are devoted to changing attitudes and ensuring a future that will honor God in our relationships and heal the hurts of the people of Israel. I often think of the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets. We don’t have to guess! He told us what to do:
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’ [Deut 6:4–5]. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ [Lev. 19:18]. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
We love the people of Israel with extravagant, unconditional love.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Every day it is our aim to shine so that our good works can be seen and cause people to glorify our Father in heaven.
When you give to one of our projects, you are also part of God’s redemptive plans. You are helping to overcome pain, bitterness, anger and fear. These negative consequences of centuries of Christian action and inaction are slowly being replaced with healing, love and hope.
Please join us in prayer and financial support. Together we are building bridges for the kingdom of God. Your donation to your favorite project will help us touch more lives. Or, if you just love all the projects, give to Israel’s Greatest Need and we will be able to meet the wide variety of requests that come our way.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40, ESV).
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
Photo Credit: Photos by Bridges for Peace
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