2022 has been a year of great crisis and difficulty for the Jewish people in Ukraine, Ethiopia and Russia. The needy in Israel, which comprises 25% of the population, are also suffering greatly as inflation has caused the cost of basic foods to increase by 16%. Rents have skyrocketed and fuel prices are over US $8.00 a gallon.
The war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating. The Ukrainian immigrants who have arrived in Israel are shell-shocked, many suffering from PTSD. Because men are not allowed to leave Ukraine, many women and children are delaying their homecoming to Israel. They remain in hotels and hostels on the borders, hoping and praying that they will be reunited with their loved ones and that they can then leave together. As we give these new immigrants gifts they can use to rebuild a new home, we hear their words of thanks, but we see a deadness, a deep pain reflected in their eyes. They are in deep crisis.
In late October, Putin drafted 200,000 more men into the Russian army. According to the New York Times, many of these new recruits were sent to the warzone within 11 days after conscription with virtually no training. The article called them “cannon fodder.” It is no wonder Russians are concerned. Because of the current situation, over 40,000 of the 600,000-strong Russian Jewish community have started efforts to move to Israel. Even though they are anxious to leave, there are problems. The biggest is that there are hardly any flights from Russia to Israel. El Al, the Israeli national carrier, has two flights a week from Moscow, but most European countries will not accept flights from Russia because of war-related sanctions. If they have funds, these desperate Jewish Russians board flights heading anywhere, and from the four corners of the earth, Israel will gather them.
Israelis talk openly about the possibility of the war prophesied by Ezekiel in chapters 38–39, known as the battle of Gog and Magog.
During this severe crisis, Bridges for Peace has not been idle. We let Christians around the world know about the crisis, and the response was wonderful. Christian concern and love for Jewish people at risk grew. Together, we have helped thousands of Ukrainian Jews since February 24, when the opening shots of the invasion were fired. We help them at the borders; we help them prepare to fly to Israel; we help pay for their flights; we welcome them with household goods once in Israel; and we provide food for the difficult days ahead. We helped Israel send a field hospital and ambulance motorcycles to Ukraine. We helped provide furniture and other necessities for 140 Jewish orphans from a Ukrainian orphanage that was relocated to Israel.
As we look into 2023, we anticipate that the needs will be even higher. We need to continue helping Jewish people escape the war. Both Ukrainian and Russian Jews are crying out for help. Israel needs her Christian friends to help bring them home, welcome them and help sustain them in the months ahead.
We are praying earnestly that God will give us the funds to help meet the tremendous needs. We pray that God will bless you so that you can continue to partner with Him in rescuing the Jewish people. Can you give a generous year-end gift to help the natural family of Jesus (Yeshua)? Please choose the project to which God leads you. We need more sponsors for the Adoption Program, which helps new immigrants for a year. We need more funds to buy food, as that budget is getting alarmingly low. We need gifts to the New Immigrant Fund and Project Rescue as we continue to save lives of Jewish people at risk. We need more finances to purchase immigrant welcome gifts. Please pray and ask the Lord how He wants you to help. “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Prayerfully from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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