“Christians are our best friends in the world today.” I hear this sentiment frequently from Jewish leaders and colleagues, as they recognize a growing phenomenon in the Church. After more than 1900 years of disinterest (at best) and animosity resulting in persecution of Jews and Jewish communities (at worst), this is an astonishing reality. It seems obvious to me that God is raising the level of interest among Christians. His deep love for Israel and the Jewish people is being planted in Christian hearts. As this deep love is growing, we naturally want to express it in practical ways to bless the people that God so loves.
There are many organizations dedicated in various ways to ministry in and for Israel. The October 2013 issue of Charisma Magazine did an in-depth look at several of them. In one of the many articles devoted to the subject, it was stated that more than $200,000,000 a year is given by Christians to various Israel-related ministries. Many Christian readers were surprised to know that more than half was given to organizations that are actually non-Christian. To see the online Charisma issue, visit http://strang.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vstr13/i10/p1 and click on “Exclusive Report: Where Your Israel Donation Really Goes”. Bridges for Peace was one of 17 organizations that were highlighted.
If you are a Christian who loves Israel you undoubtedly are lending your support in some way. You are one of millions worldwide who believes that God will bless those who bless His covenant people (Gen. 12:3). But maybe you are a little confused about where to give your love gifts. Ultimately, people should ask the Lord to show them where their gifts should be given. I am firmly of the opinion that our source is the Lord God of Israel. But, I also recognize that He uses people to accomplish His purposes on the earth.
1. We don’t give to get publicity. We give to show Christian love to the people of Israel. Have you ever seen the pictures of ministry leaders presenting oversized checks for large amounts of money to Jewish leaders? So have we. Those donations undoubtedly bless the organization they are given to. You may have noticed that Bridges for Peace doesn’t publish those kinds of pictures. It is not because we give less. We simply choose to give to many thousands of people each month in a quiet manner, like the dew daily watering the Land of Israel. While we are not opposed to publicity, our giving is not motivated by a desire to garner notoriety. Rather we choose to exhibit the love of God in our giving. As Jesus gave bread and fish to the multitudes, so we give daily bread to thousands of needy Israelis each and every month! They all know that Christians are blessing them, thereby healing some of the wounds the Christian world has inflicted over the many centuries.
2. We are experienced! Bridges for Peace is not a newcomer on the scene in Israel. We have 50 years of experience! Our founder came to the land of the Bible in the early 1960s. Over the decades we have established meaningful relationships with the Jewish community in Israel, and worldwide. We are trusted! This gives us the platform to speak about Christian support for Israel in many Jewish, Christian, and inter-faith venues.
3. We are based in Israel. We have two large centers in Israel, staffed by Christians. Our friendship and love is exhibited 365 days a year. Many individual Christians and churches around the world recognize the advantage to blessing Israel year round through Bridges for Peace.
4. We already have the infrastructure in place. You may have heard of new organizations giving food in Israel. What you may not realize is that because we already have paid for our infrastructure (buildings, trucks etc.), we are able to give more food without increasing costs. New food banks have significant start-up costs. We estimate that $250,000 is needed to set up a full service food bank in Israel. With our current infrastructure we could more than double our food distribution without additional infrastructure costs. And because we are distributing multiple tons of food per month, our purchasing power is greatly increased, stretching each dollar to the maximum.
5. We are prepared for crisis. With 500 tons of food in storage we will be able to immediately meet needs without having to raise funds first.
6. Our staff are all Believers. Our team, consisting of Christians from around the world (75% of them are volunteers), not only distributes goods but shows your love to the people of Israel.
7. We love all the peoples of Israel. Although the majority of our assistance budget is given to the Jewish people, we also support believers, Arab families, and others. We do not discriminate against recipients based on religious affiliation, including needy individuals in the Messianic community. When criticized for this by the mainstream Jewish population, I communicate that I cannot discriminate against needy people who believe in Jesus simply because their parents are Jewish.
8. We ensure all recipients know the gift is from Christians. There is nothing anonymous about our actions. Everyone we assist, and the leadership in Israel, is very well aware that we are giving because Christians around the world want to bless the nation and people of Israel. They know that the people who love Jesus (Yeshua) also love those they recognize as His natural family!
9. We are financially accountable. The Charisma article noted that Bridges for Peace has been highly rated as financially accountable and transparent. We do not spend huge amounts of money on salaries for executives or fund raising. We strive to operate with integrity, honesty, and financial prudence. In the United States, we are a member in good standing of the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).
So, as a lover of God and of Israel, we thank you for your ongoing support. Together we are making a difference in Israel and around the world for the sake of God’s glory and purposes. Please pray about becoming a regular partner with Bridges for Peace. Let us be Your Israel Connection! No matter which project you choose, your gift will be used to show Christian love and support to the people of Israel, the family of Yeshua, the ones through whom God has chosen to reveal Himself to the world. To get a picture of the impact your gift is having, see the statistic box.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
Bridges for Peace
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