Anxiety and unrest are hallmarks in our world today. Because of the COVID-19 virus, many people worldwide are without work while others work from home. Finances are deeply impacted, and sickness has claimed over 400,000 lives. This isn’t our only problem. People face discrimination because of their skin color. Racial unrest decimates American cities. Drug addiction, abuse of women and children and lawlessness increase. We see injustice, rage, looting and rioting. It is enough to make us give in to despair. As believers, we have a resource! In Psalm 46 we read, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (1–2, 10–11).
The word translated “still” is the Hebrew word rapha (רפה) and can also mean release, abandon and let go. It isn’t just being quiet. It is to release our anxiety—to trust in the Lord our God who is saying to us that He is our refuge. He is our source. He will help in time of trouble.
In Israel, one in seven people are afraid they will lose their home. Some 14.1% have reduced the amount they eat because they don’t have enough money to buy food. About 1.9 million people (33.4% of the population) reported that they feel stress and anxiety. Another 16.2% say they feel depressed, and 18.4% feel lonely. Some 26% of the workforce have lost their jobs. Although some are returning to work, many remain without livelihood.
We are so thankful that in the midst of this worldwide pandemic, God has allowed us to continue to faithfully show His character to the people of Israel. He has allowed us to be a refuge in time of need. We continue—with your help—to provide food to the people of Israel. We have not missed a single day of providing food. Even when we were in total lockdown, God helped us meet our commitments to the people of Israel in their great time of need.
The Jewish people continue to come home. They are arriving every week and go immediately into quarantine for two weeks. Their numbers are expected to increase in the coming days, as many realize that their true home is with their Jewish family in Israel. Bridges for Peace continues to help them come home through Project Rescue and welcomes them with gifts for their home, especially now.
Volodymyr and Kateryna came to Israel from Odessa, Ukraine, with their thirteen-year-old son and three-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Leaving all their belongings behind, they came with only their clothes. They settled in the ancient city of Akko in northern Israel. They have no family in Israel.
Volodymyr told us, “Upon arriving in Israel, we moved into an absolutely empty apartment, and that is why your assistance is so significant for us.” (In addition to food, we gave them blankets, pots and pans and school supplies for the children). “We are so endlessly grateful to you for receiving these items as a gift from you here in Israel.”
As aliyah (immigration to Israel) increases, there will be even more need for our assistance.
In the book of Esther, Mordechai tells the young queen: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (4:14). I feel God has placed Bridges for Peace in Israel for just this time of need. I thank you, our dear Christian friends, for standing with us and all Israel in prayer and financial support. We continue to lift you up in prayer that God will protect you from all sickness and that He will continue to protect your finances. Remember, He says: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Your gifts are offering hope to the people of Israel, feeding them, bringing them home, providing for their needs in their new country and revealing the character of God through our Christian team. Thank you for your faithfulness to the God of Israel and the people of Israel.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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