You might ask, “Why should I send money to Israel to feed the needy, when there are so many problems all around me?” Many of our faithful supporters are from countries facing disasters. In Japan, a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear threat have devastated the country. (We have yet to hear from many of our Chai leaders there, who lead groups in prayer for Israel.) Floods have also devastated Australia and South Africa, and New Zealand is still having aftershocks from recent earthquakes.
High unemployment in the UK and the USA is causing concern, and many college-educated Japanese young people are unable to find work. The world is rife with truly worthy causes. If you look at the global situation with natural eyes, you might not think to send a donation to Israel. But, if you are seeing the world through God’s eyes, with your spirit man, then you most likely are already writing a check.
Many Christians are acutely aware that we are living in a time in history when God is quickly fulfilling His promises to Israel and the Jewish people. They, like me, reason that if God is active, then we should be enthusiastic participants with Him. For nearly 2,000 years, relationships between Christians and Jews were strained, to put it mildly. In this modern time, as Christians have partnered with God by helping to establish, finance, and support the Jewish State of Israel, the Jewish people are realizing that they have friends in the world.
In January, Bridges for Peace, along with other Christian organizations, was honored by the World Jewish Congress together with the Knesset (Parliament) Christian Allies Caucus at the fifth annual “Night to Honor Our Christian Allies in Israel.” Their invitation said, “Join members of the Knesset and Israeli leaders, to honor Christian leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to the State of Israel.” I was asked to speak and shared with them why Christians support Israel, a question I am frequently asked by Jewish people.
Our senior team attended and received the honor, but we knew that the honor was actually for millions of Christians worldwide who have chosen to cooperate with God by showing love, support, and blessing to the nation and people of Israel.
Bridges for Peace has offices in Israel and seven other countries. One of those countries is doing much better in the current rough financial waters than others—Canada. BFP Canadian Director John Howson told me that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an evangelical Christian, has taken a firm stand with Israel. John believes that because his nation is blessing Israel, Canada is being blessed. Indeed it is a biblical principle. A part of the covenant that God made with Abraham is the promise that God will bless those who bless him. Many of our supporters also have found this to be true in their own lives. When they start giving to bless Israel, to bring the Jewish people home from their dispersion, and help them become settled in Israel, then God blesses their finances.
Robin and Julie are Canadian donors who have been sponsoring children on the Feed a Child Program since 2006. Robin came to Israel to volunteer with our Home Repair team and wanted to meet the child they were sponsoring. A meeting was arranged with Noga (the sponsored child) with the supervision of her teacher and the director of the Beit Shemesh Foundation, and the teacher translated for them. Robin was deeply touched and expressed his feelings in a letter:
As I fumbled through trying to explain how she was a part of our “family” now, and that we love her and are concerned about her needs, she smiled so big that I realized that she understood my heart. The feeling of looking into a young girl’s eyes and knowing you are meeting her needs and being a small part of fulfilling God’s plan for that girl’s life is totally awesome! I encourage anyone who is searching for good ground to sow into and has a heart to bless God’s chosen people to get involved with one of the programs at Bridges for Peace. You can touch real people’s lives in a special and much needed way and know when you bless“the least of these My brothers,” you’ve blessed God.I will never be the same again.
“Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3–4).“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).
One in five families receives social assistance in Israel. There are so many stories, but space permits me to tell only one. Working with many organizations in 51 communities, over 26,000 people each month receive food from Bridges for Peace. Orit is only one such person who receives help from one of these organizations. She is a 40-year-old widow with two children, 6 and 14. Her family made aliyah (immigration to Israel) from Morocco in 1955. She says:
It was a time of great poverty. I lived with my mom, dad and nine brothers and sisters, a total of 12 people in a very small apartment…We often did not have enough food or clothing. I married when I was 23 years old. My husband had a job, but soon after we married, he was in an accident and could no longer work. I worked for the minimum wage, and we were able to get by, but then my husband became sick with cancer, I found it very difficult to care for him, our two children, and also work. He passed away a year and a half ago.
Six months after he died, the company I worked for closed, and now I have no job. I receive a small monthly amount from insurance, but it is not enough to pay for the rent, electricity, and the food we need. I found out about an organization in my town that helps people. This organization gets food from Bridges for Peace.
Because of Bridges for Peace, I can stand on my feet. I am very thankful for all the help you give me. You have given me food for our table and help with dental costs. When I first went to you for help, you gave me some beautiful blankets and a wonderful heater, which is not just keeping us warm in this cold weather, but has also warmed my heart. Thank you from the depth of my heart. You are amazing. I pray you will be strong, and I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
Please pray and ask the Lord how much you should send to feed the hungry in Israel.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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