As the new year approaches, Bridges for Peace International and our offices in seven different nations are giving thanks for God’s faithfulness during 2012. With the world’s economy on shaky ground and many charities having to close their doors, we are so grateful that we have been able to continue all our ministry programs here in Israel.
We know it would not be possible without faithful donors who love Israel and want to bless the Jewish people in tangible ways. Your obedience to the call He’s placed on your heart to give has made God’s heart—as well as ours—rejoice!
Today in Israel, tension has increased, as the threat of war seems to be growing. In fact, the population has been advised to prepare for difficult times. Long lists of supplies have been circulated, telling us how to provide for our families in case of disruption in normal services. We are advised to have 14–30 days supply of food and water for each person in the home.
How thankful I am that we are able to afford to buy these additional supplies. But, my heart goes out to the many in Israel who are unable to provide for their basic needs in normal times and who undoubtedly will not be able to afford such a stockpile of food and water. Many of them are immigrants. Some are elderly, living on very small incomes. At Bridges for Peace, we are providing food for 28,000 needy people each month. How will they manage to prepare for a crisis?
Isak and his wife Svetlana both attained academic degrees and experienced lengthy professional careers in Europe. When the Russian government finally opened the borders of the former USSR, allowing Jewish people to leave for Israel, they made aliyah (immigrated) in 1991 from Odessa, Ukraine, with the dream of “This year in Jerusalem.”
They studied Hebrew and tried to integrate with life in Israel, taking unskilled jobs at an employment agency. The pay was very low. With nothing to fall back on, everything they earned went for very basic living expenses. They became sick, needing doctors and expensive medicine. The family needed help, and thankfully, they were able to find assistance through one of the organizations Bridges for Peace supplies with food.
In their own words, the family said: “The help to pension-aged people given by Bridges for Peace is priceless. Once a month we get milk, oil, sugar, flour, and other food, sufficient for the next month. We would like to express our sincere gratitude on behalf of all the pensioners, for all the support and generosity from Bridges for Peace. We feel not only the material help, but also great moral support, care and warmth from your hearts.” We are thankful that we can help Isak and Svetlana and many other Jewish people in similar situations throughout 52 communities in Israel.
We don’t know when war will break out. But, it is clear that Israel will have future conflict. Violence in Syria has spilled over into Turkey. Southern Israel is under increasing tension as missiles are launched by combatants in Gaza. War is on everyone’s mind and the subject of many conversations. In fact, many of our Israeli friends have been talking about the likelihood of the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38–39) coming soon.
Many Christians are aware that world conditions are similar to the “signs of the times” spoken of by Yeshua (Jesus) in Matthew 24:3–7. We believe that Bridges for Peace was raised up for this specific time in history. With the present tension, we have decided we must increase the amount of food we are storing in our Karmiel bulk storage facility. We need to be ready to help people like Isak and Svetlana the next time Israel faces war and there are possible disruptions in food supply.
I praise God for His faithfulness. Yeshua said “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). I am thankful for God’s watchful care, for His presence especially during difficult times. Paul and Silas praised God from their prison cell. I am also committed to praising God in all situations. I thank God for His protection and provision. I thank God that He allows us to be part of His provision for the people of Israel.
I thank God for the many friends of Bridges for Peace! I know that Bridges for Peace cannot hope to enter 2013, which may be even more challenging for all of us than 2012 has been, without your continued support. We trust God for your supply! We will not say like Israel of old, “Can God…?” (Ps. 78:19). With thankful hearts, we will continue to trust in the God of Israel Who can!
I encourage you to reflect on the many blessings God has given you this year. I also urge you to keep sharing your blessings with the people of Israel who are facing very uncertain times in the face of increased threats. Your gift for food will help us feed the people of Israel today and prepare for crisis times yet to come. I pray that you will experience the blessing of God as you bless His people (Gen. 12:3).
In His service from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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