We all want to enjoy a happy and blessed life! If you Google the phrase “be happy,” you will find 109 million responses. The world wants to be happy! The Bible has the recipe for being blessed and happy. One of the Hebrew words for this concept is esher (אשר). When it is found in the Bible, roughly half of the time it is translated happy (happiness) with the rest translated as “blessed.” According to the Bible we will be happy/blessed if we trust in the Lord (Ps. 34:8), have our iniquities forgiven (Ps. 32:1), fear the Lord (Ps. 112:1) and walk in His way (Ps. 128:1). Another Hebrew word for bless is barak (ברק). We find this word in Genesis 12:3 when God speaks to Abraham saying, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). In just these few verses it is apparent to me that happiness and blessing come when we act in accordance with God’s plans, His ways, and His Word and when we bless Israel and the Jewish people.
The Lord also promises to bless those who help the poor. “Blessed is he who considers the poor…” (Ps. 41:1). “If there is among you a poor man…you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother…You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand” (Deut. 15:7, 10).
When I read these Scriptures my heart swells as I realize the blessing that Bridges for Peace and all our friends around the world can expect. We are considering the needs of the poor each month as 22,000 receive life-giving food from our hands. We are significantly impacting the lives of immigrants, Holocaust survivors, old, young, those who suffer with illness, single parents, students in Israel without their parents, those without hope and those who just need a temporary boost to help them overcome the hardships of life. Every day our team of dedicated Christians reaches out to them with food, encouragement and love. Let me tell you about one immigrant family that we help.
Svetlana* was born in Ukraine in 1941. During the war, her family suffered many hardships. After the war life was better: she studied singing in the conservatory, got married, had two children and worked in a kindergarten. Then another tragedy struck when her husband passed away. Later she married Yuri*. But, life in Ukraine was very difficult. After such a hard life, as a retired couple they decided to move to Israel. In 2012, a huge change happened in Ukraine. Factories were closed. Life that was hard became harder. So, Svetlana encouraged her youngest son and his family to move to Israel. In July, 2013, they moved to Jerusalem. Their newfound hope didn’t last long. In December of 2014, as her son was leaving work to pick up his children from school, he fell on slippery stairs and hit his head. After being in a coma for three days he died. His children came to live with Svetlana and Yuri. Their granddaughter is now in the 3rd grade and their grandson in 4th grade. Yuri spends a lot of time helping them with their studies and they are both doing well in school as a result. At home they study Russian and at school they learn in Hebrew. As they overcome the sorrow of losing their father, they are also growing and developing in their new homeland. (*names changed to protect privacy)
The family income level is very low. Svetlana and Yuri came to Israel as pensioners. They were not able to retain their pension from Ukraine. They had not paid into retirement funds in Israel and so their income from the State is the lowest level—barely enough for them to survive on. Yet, they have taken in their grandchildren—two more mouths to feed from meager resources. This is where Bridges for Peace came to the rescue. Every month they receive generous amounts of first-quality, healthy food that enables them to sustain their family. In every way we can, we assist them in their new life.
Svetlana finished telling us her story by saying, “Through all these difficulties, Bridges for Peace stands by us. On behalf of our whole family we are very grateful to you for giving us the opportunity to be in your program.”
It blesses our hearts to know that we are able to assist over 200 on the Adoption Program each month. Each has their own unique story. Each of them needs our assistance to succeed in their new life in Israel. Many more are asking for help and we need new sponsors to commit to give monthly for a year. Your gift, joined with other sponsors (according to the level of need in the family) allows us to provide food, help with transportation costs, holiday gifts, and encouragement. Please join us today to bless the people of Israel. We believe God’s Word is true—this is God’s pathway to happiness and blessing. If you can’t make a monthly commitment we encourage you to make an offering to our Immigrant Fund. This allows us to assist immigrants not on the Adoption Program. Thank you for your generous hearts of love for God and the people of Israel.
My prayer for you is to that you will find the great blessing of following God’s recipe for happiness.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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