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February 22, 2021
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Passover is the most important holiday of the year to most Jewish people. It commemorates the deliverance of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The eight-day holiday begins with a wonderful ritual meal called a seder. During the meal, the story of the Exodus is relived. It is an event that God mandates in Scripture: “It is a night to be observed for the Lord, for having brought them out of the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations” (Exod. 12:42 NASB).

This holiday is also important to us as Christians. The Last Supper was a Passover meal. The apostle Paul also encouraged his readers to keep this feast. “Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8 NASB).

Last year in Israel, we were in lockdown during Passover. What was supposed to be a night that Israelis look forward to and celebrate surrounded by family and friends, turned into a hard, lonely time for many, particularly the elderly. This year, there is a little hope that families may be able to celebrate the feast together. Sadly, the corona pandemic has plunged many into financial distress. Unemployment rates are at a record high. Those who were considered lower middle class are now part of a growing number of families living in poverty who can simply no longer afford the expenses that come with celebrating Passover.

A God of Deliverance

Imagine coming up on the most important holiday and not knowing if you could afford to celebrate. In the US, it is common for Christians to give food to needy families before Thanksgiving or Christmas. As Christians called to show God’s love and care to the people of Israel, we believe God is showing us to give extra food—including the ceremonial Passover foods—to the people we serve. Imagine, He is inviting us to bring a special kind of deliverance to them—deliverance from poverty. The Children of Israel were delivered from slavery to become free men and women. We will now help bring their descendants the freedom to worship the Lord through the Passover celebration.

Holocaust Survivors + 1000!

Every month we are helping Holocaust survivors. These precious elderly people (75 and over) have experienced sorrow upon sorrow. Now, we have the opportunity to bring light into their darkness. In addition to those we help regularly, we are helping an additional 1,000 survivors this year.

Daniel Kirchhevel, one of our faithful team members, has been helping Holocaust survivors throughout this tough year. Listen to his testimony: “I find that the loneliness and feeling of isolation has taken a toll on them and they are not responding well to the new lockdowns. We do our best to find extra reasons to stop by and bring them extra gifts that will help brighten their day. For example, the other week, one of them had a birthday, and I took her flowers along with her food and the birthday cheer basket that we would normally give. She was just so happy to receive those flowers! When I was walking away, I heard her say in Hebrew as she shut the door: ‘You have no idea how nice this [the visit] is (Ein lecha musag eich ze kol kach naim).’”

The self-isolation restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus meant particularly tough times for the frail and elderly who remain tucked away inside, fearing that something as simple as a trip to the grocery store or the pharmacy could be a death sentence. Given the elderly population’s high risk of infection, visits from children and grandchildren are taboo, dooming these senior citizens to a stretch of bleak, lonely days with no end in sight. Many are Holocaust survivors. Many live in poverty and face the uncertainty ahead with empty cupboards and bare shelves—without the means to stock up on basic necessities.

You Can Help

We appeal to you, our dear Christian friends, to reach out with love to our Jewish friends. Your gifts will enable us to provide food to thousands—and make this Passover a memorable one. 

Praying for your well-being,

Rebecca J. Brimmer

International President and CEO

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