Many have been looking for a sign from God. We look in the biblical calendar and find out about the shmitah and Jubilee years. We gaze at the heavens and see blood moons and solar eclipses. We watch Russian actions in Syria; we shudder as we observe the nations turning against Israel. But, His greatest sign for our generation is the return of the Jewish people to their homeland!
At Bridges for Peace we are involved in all levels of aliyah (homecoming of Jewish people to Israel), from rescuing them from war-torn Ukraine; to assisting the homecoming of the B’nei Menashe, a lost tribe from India; to feeding them and helping them settle—our Christian team and partners are there!
In my role as CEO I have the opportunity to speak to many leaders about aliyah. I have been quite astonished in recent weeks by these encounters. I spoke with Moody Sandberg, the head of Keren HaYasod (the Jewish Fund) and his colleagues. They told me about the plight of the Jewish people in Ukraine, and their concern for the Jews in France. They expressed deep appreciation for Christian help in this holy endeavor. I met with Viktor and Mel, our partners at Ezra International in the former Soviet Union (FSU). They told of the extreme danger our Project Rescue drivers experience on a regular basis as they drive vans into war-torn areas to rescue Jewish families. Even after many years of helping Jewish people come to Israel, I have been moved by a new urgency. Mel Hoelzel with his prophetic call said, “The time of the hunters is here” (in reference to Jeremiah 16:16).
The situation continues to worsen. We are helping Jewish people to escape from the war zone; housing and feeding them while they wait to get permission to immigrate to Israel. Some have gone to Israel without the paperwork needed to prove their Jewishness and receive their Israeli citizenship. The proof is often in the hands of the Russian sympathizers in eastern Ukraine and extremely difficult to obtain. In every way the Jewish community of Ukraine is threatened. Now is the time to come alongside them.
I have been told that virtually every French Jewish family is discussing when and how to leave France. Anti-Semitic attacks are increasing in number and intensity. With the arrival of ISIS warriors (embedded with refugees from Syria), fears across the European continent are increasing. Minds flash back to the 1930s, and many wonder if another time of persecution is imminent. My heart is crying out “Come Home, Children of Jacob!”
Over the past several years we have been helping the lost tribe of Manasseh. They have been separated from the Jewish nation for 2,600 years, but have never forgotten their identity. They have been making aliyah at a rate of about 500 a year. Our friend Michael Freund, the director of Shavei Yisrael (Return Israel), regularly meets with government officials to get the permission to bring the next families in the queue. Recently Silvan Shalom, the Minister of the Interior, asked how many more were waiting to come. After being told there were over 7,000, he replied, “Bring them all!” What a breakthrough! What a challenge! It will cost close to 30 million dollars to bring them all home. Oh the blessing! Oh the burden!
In Jewish tradition, if you save one life, it is as if you saved a whole universe. One life we have helped save is Sergey. Here is a bit of his story:
My name is Sergey or Menachem (my Jewish name). I was born in the city of Tula, in central Russia. My dad is from Belarus; my mother was born in Zaporozhye. My grandmother, as a child, fled from Poland to Ukraine with her parents because of the persecution of the Jews.
In Ukraine her father put his wife and child on the train that evacuated women and children from the war and went to war. They never saw him again.
As a child, I was active and curious, interested in history. Since childhood I experienced anti-Semitism and therefore always knew that I was Jewish. From early childhood I was looking for answers to the questions about the meaning of life. I was always drawn to Israel and interested in Judaism.
Since I was young, I wanted to move to Israel, and I realized that the Jewish people are my people, and that Israel is a country in which I was destined to live.
Sergey is now a student at an Israeli university. Through the BFP Adoption Program, Christians are helping him become established in his God-given homeland.
It is the deepest desire of my heart to bring more Sergeys to Israel, rescuing them from difficult and dangerous situations; welcoming them home; feeding them; encouraging them; praying for them. God is calling them. Their return is a sign for the world of the faithfulness of God who keeps His Word!
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel…Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’” Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.’” (Isa. 43:1, 5–6).
Join Bridges for Peace as we partner with God to bring His people home. Your gift to:
Project Rescue will help rescue the Jews of Ukraine and the FSU.
New Immigrant Fund will help bring the B’nei Menashe home.
Immigrant Welcome Gifts will provide blankets, kitchen sets, Bibles and school kits.
Food will help us feed thousands of new immigrants.
Adoption Program will help support an immigrant for one year (US $65 month).
No gift is too large—the need is massive. No gift is too small. When joined with other gifts it can accomplish great things for God. Participate in God’s greatest sign of our time—ALIYAH.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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