God is often described as a God of love and mercy. In fact, the concept of mercy is found 261 times in the Bible. The Hebrew word for mercy is chesed (chet, samach, dalet) and means kindness, loving-kindness, goodness, kindly, merciful, favor, and good. Truly that is the character of our God. In Genesis, it says that we were created in His image. It was His plan from the beginning that we would be like Him. In Micah 6:8, we read: “ He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Yeshua (Jesus) said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
My prayer for believers everywhere is that we will be like Him. As His character shines out through our lives, the world will be astonished and see the God who works in our lives. Every volunteer at Bridges for Peace has a desire to shine with God’s love and mercy in the nation of Israel. Thousands of people are helped through our projects each month. Together our donors and our staff are making this miracle happen. Our staff gets to see, touch, and love the people first hand. I hope that you can get a glimpse of the effectiveness of our endeavors as I share the story of Nati with you.
Nati is a single mother who suffers from diabetes. Her daughter is the sole source of joy in her life. Nati and her young daughter are one of the families receiving food from Bridges for Peace in Dimona in the Negev south of Israel. Because of the diabetes, Nati needs to have almost all of her teeth removed and dentures made. Sadly, Nati has almost nothing and has been unable to get anyone to help her. She was without hope when Pieter Marais, our Food Bank Director, met her and her daughter. Pieter saw a little girl who was clean, well dressed, and healthy and a mother who was also clean, but wore very old and well worn clothes. Nati told Pieter that she has no parents and the little help she gets from government assistance would not even pay her rent and utilities. If she did not receive the food sent by Bridges for Peace, she did not know how she would feed her daughter and herself.
God was not indifferent to Nati’s plight. In His merciful loving-kindness, He sent Pieter to help. He established Bridges for Peace to reach out to the needs of people who cannot help themselves. Christians around the world have seen the needs in Israel, and God has planted mercy in their hearts. They do not turn aside in indifference.
Bridges for Peace is also paying for Nati to get her dental work done through our Dental Program. In Israel, while medical services are provided to all citizens, dental care is not, and so the needy often have severe dental problems. Several years ago, we established a fund to help with these needs. When Nati realized that we were going to pay for her dental bills, tears flowed from her eyes and her face lit up. Pieter saw in her face the realization of hope. Donations from Christians around the world have brought light to a life otherwise surrounded by darkness and hope to the hopeless. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
During the Passover season, we gave special holiday food parcels to thousands of families all over the country. Two truckloads of food went to help blind people in the northern city of Haifa. In Israel, many charities work hard to supply food during the holiday seasons. Then after the holiday season ends, so does the food assistance. Unfortunately, hunger does not only occur on holidays. Many of the organizations we work with marvel that Bridges for Peace keeps giving all year long. We received effusive thanks for our year-long assistance as well as holiday help.
Nisim Peretz, our primary contact in Dimona, requested special Passover packages for their area. When distributing the gifts to community leaders, Nisim explained to them that Bridges for Peace was providing food to the community month after month and not just at Passover. They were very touched and surprised that Christians cared enough about Israelis to provide food gifts to the poor of a community like Dimona. This continuing support is only made possible through the donations of Christians around the world whose hearts are filled with mercy.
An immigrant family wrote this letter for all our donors.
Dear Donors of Bridges for Peace,
We wish to thank all the donors who contribute through Bridges for Peace towards the adoption of our family as new immigrants in the Promised Land, “Eretz Israel.” [Eretz is Hebrew for “land of.”]
During this year, your blessings have arrived not only to supply our physical needs but have also helped us to grow in faith, confirming that our God is faithful. He is a God of covenants, who keeps His promises. He one day promised to bring us, establish us, and support us by His powerful hand, and He has done just that.
Thank you very much. May the blessing of the Holy One of Israel be with you. You will always be in our prayers.
God bless you,
God told Abraham that those who blessed him would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Today Christians around the world can testify to the truth of this statement. As they love and bless the Jewish people, they are blessed. It is a kingdom principle that we reap what we sow. As I look around me in Israel and see the many needs, I think of how Yeshua’s heart was moved with compassion for the people of Israel. The more I ask God to give me His heart, the more my heart longs to sow God’s love and mercy.
Over 1.5 million people in Israel are in need, living below the poverty line. God’s heart is full of mercy for them, and He is asking us to show mercy. What is God asking you to do for the Jewish people, the natural family of Yeshua? Perhaps your church, Bible study group, or prayer group would like to Adopt an Israeli town for a year, helping us feed up to 100 families in a town like Dimona. For a one-time gift, consider our Dental Program or any size donation toward food.
Your gift will bring hope and the knowledge that God hasn’t forgotten them. Let our Christian staff be your hands extended in love and mercy to the people of Israel.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
All Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version.
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