by: Rev. Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO and Rev. Peter Fast, CEO-elect
For 30 years, it has been my honor to work with Bridges for Peace, the last 18 of them as the international president and CEO. Throughout these years, even back to 1964 when our founder, Dr. G. Douglas Young, moved to Israel, Bridges for Peace has steadfastly stood with Israel. In 1967, Dr. Young used his school van as an ambulance, while his wife fed soldiers. Neighbors took refuge in the bomb shelter with them and Dr. Young’s students filled sandbags. This is in our DNA.
In 1990, we opened the Food Bank (now called the Assistance Center) just in time for thousands of immigrants as they poured in from the former Soviet Union. We stood firm, through two intifadas (Arab uprising against Israel,) the Gulf War, the Second Lebanon War, suicide bombs, rockets from Gaza and Lebanon as well as many terror attacks. We never ran away, sent our staff out of the country or stopped delivering food—even to dangerous areas. This is in our DNA.
During the 30 years I’ve served with Bridges for Peace, Israel had eight different prime ministers from a variety of political persuasions. Some were left leaning and some right. Some were willing to give land for peace and some were not. Regardless of their political stance, Bridges for Peace stood resolutely with Israel. Even when we personally didn’t like certain policies, we never considered not supporting the nation and people of Israel.
We remain steadfast through it all because we do not support Israel only when she is perfect or we agree with political actions. We support Israel because we support the God of Israel. We support Him and His plans for this nation. We help the needy because the Bible tells us that God hears their cries. We help Holocaust survivors because the Bible tells us to comfort His people (Isa. 40:1). We help bring Jewish people home to Israel because this is God’s plan. Most of the prophets foretold the return of the Jewish people to their ancient God-given homeland. We are witnesses to the fact that God is keeping His promises to Israel. When war broke out in 2022 as Russia attacked Ukraine, we reached out a hand to rescue Jewish people at risk—from both Ukraine and Russia. We also helped many of them with basic needs once they arrived.
This is in our DNA: love for the God of Israel and love for the people of Israel. We have stood firm through many difficulties, and I know that we will stand firm into the future, no matter what it holds.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rev. Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
A new chapter has begun for my family and me in Jerusalem. At the end of June 2023, I step into the role as the new CEO after working alongside Rebecca J. Brimmer to ensure a smooth transition of leadership as Bridges for Peace continues from strength to strength.
It has been 22 years since I first connected with Bridges for Peace, and I have experienced the many faces of this incredible organization. I have volunteered in Home Repair and managed Zealous8:2, our young adult program, and Group and Guest Relations. I then worked in the Canadian office for eight years, concluding my time as national director prior to moving to Israel.
Now that I have joined the international team and take the helm, the dedication and passion within me to advance the ministry of Bridges for Peace—both in the nations and in Israel—is stronger than ever. I am eager to reinforce the core values of this amazing organization and lead our national offices around the world with the brilliant team God has assembled.
Over the years, Bridges for Peace has addressed evolving concerns. I plan to find creative ways to strengthen the ministry in the face of these issues in our current climate. Some of the concerns deal with the problem of biblical illiteracy in the Western world, the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Holocaust denial, replacement theology in the Church and educating the Church on the importance of God’s covenantal faithfulness towards Israel—all while bridging the gap between Christians and Jews.
Bridges for Peace has been dedicated to supporting Israel in extraordinary ways. We help fulfill biblical prophecy by assisting Jewish people who are returning to the Land, care for Holocaust survivors, feed the hungry, repair homes for the elderly, support the brokenhearted and show unconditional Christian love to all we encounter.
Bridges for Peace will continue to be a bulwark of support for Israel. As we have done for the past nearly 60 years, we will continue to step into the gap time and time again. We will continue to lead and have a powerful influence in the nations, impacting and reaching both the Christian and Jewish communities and bringing them together, despite differences, with respect, trust, cooperation, and our shared love of the Scriptures. Although the horrors and tragedies that have stained the relationship between our communities for more than 17 centuries cannot be erased, Bridges for Peace will strive to forge a new future of uncompromising service, love and support as Christians to the Jewish people.
As the modern State of Israel celebrates the miracle of statehood at 75 years young, Bridges for Peace, representing tens of thousands of Christians around the world, stands shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters, proclaiming the beacon of Israel’s light, telling Israel’s story and loving what God loves.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rev. Peter Fast
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