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A Ray of Hope

May 31, 2024
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Anatoly wiped the tears away as he huddled in the dark among the shapes of people in the air raid shelter. The relentless pounding of rockets slamming into Kyiv shook the structure. A few panicked gasps and sobs resounded every time a Russian rocket found its target, but the majority of people packed into the tiny space stared at the floor in silent terror. Kyiv was under attack yet again.

Once the air raid sirens screamed through the city, Anatoly didn’t have much time to scramble to safety. Now he sat—once again—huddled in darkness, rubbing his hands together for a bit of warmth in the cold December air. It was the third day without electricity, heat or water. His thoughts drifted to his wife and daughter who had fled to Israel ten months earlier to escape the war. He smiled to himself. Tomorrow was his sixtieth birthday and he would be free to leave Ukraine and make his way to Israel to join them. So many people he knew had died in the war. Yet God was guiding Anatoly to Israel, bringing into fulfilment the ancient prophecies of the ingathering of the Jewish people, which he now meditated on in the darkness.

A few weeks after sitting in the Kyiv bomb shelter, Anatoly finally arrived in Israel and held his wife and daughter for the first time in months. Yet the reality of his new life and all the obstacles that still faced this refugee family soon threatened to overwhelm them. Anatoly had always provided for his wife and daughter, but the family’s dire situation in Israel threatened to engulf him in despair. Anatoly had fled a nation at war to find himself in the midst of yet another war. And although he felt much safer in Israel, the conflict has placed an additional strain on the economy, causing prices to skyrocket. Anatoly barely spoke Hebrew and knew he would struggle to find work at his age. So how would they eat? His mind swirled with anxiety as providing food soon became his single-minded focus. His family received some support from the Jewish Agency, but due to the influx of thousands of other refugees, help was stretched thin.

One day, Anatoly was connected with Christians from Bridges for Peace and his world changed for the better. These Christians from around the world had come to his family’s rescue. His family would be cared for and brought under the wing of Bridges for Peace’s Food program, which reaches out to needy immigrants.

Anatoly was left speechless by the support. As the bags of food began arriving regularly, he and his family praised the Lord while crying tears of joy. The knowledge that he would be able to put food on the every day filled him with a peace he had not known in months. He began to smile whenever he saw the Bridges for Peace logo on the food bags. More importantly, the love from Christians around the world stirred within Anatoly a deep sense that this support came directly from the Lord. Strengthened by the love and concern, he began learning Hebrew and looking for a job. Imagine his joy when he was employed in a large factory!

Anatoly had lived through months of severe trauma and pain. He had been separated from his family and had run to bomb shelters countless times as drones and rockets streaked overhead. Many neighbors and friends went to war never to return. He had felt darkness close in on him at times in Kyiv as the city struggled against the onslaught. However, he had never given up hope. Anatoly knew that Israel’s anthem is called HaTikvah (The Hope). Its words speak of the Jewish people returning to live in their Land once again and the hope that stirs within them. Anatoly also had hope, a hope in the Lord and that He would care for his family. But he also saw hope in action, as Christians from Bridges for Peace fed his family and equipped them with household necessities so that they could embark on their new life in Israel. That hope was like a shining light. One day, Anatoly lovingly expressed his heart to some of our volunteers by saying, “You are like a ray of hope that good is stronger and will conquer this darkness!”

I want to appeal to you in this hour of need! Would you please consider igniting a ray of hope in the lives of the over 24,000 needy Israelis we feed every day? Especially in the wake of the terrible attack on October 7 and the ongoing war, there are increasingly more desperate families in Israel who need our help more than ever. Like Anatoly and his family, many depend on the food we put on their tables. Please partner with Bridges for Peace to be a prophetic blessing into what God is doing in our time by regathering the Jewish people back to the Land and feeding the hungry. Will you be a Christian ray of hope in the lives of desperate Jewish people so that the love and light of God would fill this nation of Israel?

“For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their [the Jewish people] spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them [the Jewish people] in material things.

Romans 15:27b



Rev. Peter Fast

International CEO

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