Changes are in the air! The past year was exciting. Israel celebrated 70 years since its rebirth. President Donald Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Other countries are also moving embassies or official liaison offices to the capital. At the same time, Israel has decided that all its own governmental offices must be moved to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city. Tourism numbers soared with over 4.1 million visitors to Israel in 2018, and in 2019, that number will be far surpassed. As I write this, I hear the sound of jack-hammering as yet another multistory building is going up near our headquarters on the ancient Street of the Prophets (Ha Nevi’im).
All this has drastically impacted the property market in Jerusalem. Coincidentally, this year our five-year lease on our headquarters came up for renewal. To our shock, the owners decided to nearly double our rent, which was already significant. Even after negotiation, the new cost of US $24,000 per month was more than we are willing to pay. We prefer that more money go to our core ministry than to the pockets of our landlord. Incidentally, we are not the only ones affected. Other ministries have moved from properties in Jerusalem that they had leased for decades because the rents increased so much.
We began to search for suitable offices, only to discover that there wasn’t much on the market. As I sought the Lord in prayer about this season of change, one Bible verse was impressed upon my heart: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (Ps. 37:3). Bridges for Peace must continue in pursuing our mission of doing good in the Land of Israel, while trusting in the faithfulness of the Lord to lead us with favor and provision into this new beginning at a different location.
Finally, after much searching, we found a good solution. We have signed a contract on offices in a nice building much closer to our food bank, the Jerusalem Assistance Center (JAC). Our educational and business teams will move into this space. We also obtained additional space at the JAC for the rest of the team. The great news is that the cost savings are significant. We will be able to do more for the Kingdom!
Now we need to renovate the spaces to suit our needs, move and then return our current facility to the owner in good condition. All of this requires money, time and skilled workers. Early estimates put the costs at US $150,000. This is modest compared to the costs associated with other spaces we looked at. The good news is that after this initial outlay, we will save more than US $100,000 annually because of the rent reduction. Praise the Lord!
Please send a generous gift today to help us advance into the future God has prepared for us. All gifts in excess of the amount needed to move and renovate will be put into our education budget to allow us to continue to minister God’s Word to the nations.
Thank you for your love, support and prayers for our team during this transitional time.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO
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