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Desperate Times Require God

March 1, 2006
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Even in nature, we see great turmoil with earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes on a seemingly unprecedented scale. Wars and rumors of wars fill our nightly news. Those who believe in God increasingly come under attack as their attempts to live a godly lifestyle impinge on secular dominated societies. As we read the words of Yeshua (Jesus) in Matthew 24, it is like reading today’s headlines.

Israel Is in Turmoil

• Ariel Sharon, her beloved Prime Minister, is lying in a vegetative coma and is not expected to recover.

• In a free election, the Palestinian population chose Hamas—a terror group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis—as their new leader.

• The country is being governed by a party which was not elected to the Knesset.

• Ehud Olmert, the acting Prime Minister, did not do well in the last election and was appointed by Ariel Sharon as a deputy. Nobody imagined he would now be in the top slot.

• We watched in shock and pain as Jewish young people, planning a peaceful demonstration, were wounded, many seriously, in clashes with Jewish policemen.

• Kassam rockets are shot at Jewish targets on an almost daily basis, striking terror into the hearts of the people.

• Terrorism, held in abeyance for the past weeks, is once again rearing its ugly head.

• Iran and Syria are rattling war swords.

• Elections will be held on March 28. Who knows what the political landscape will be on March 29?

• Over 25% of the Israeli population and over 34% of the children live in poverty.

When we look at such a list, it is overwhelming. But rest assured, none of this is taking the Lord by surprise. He has a plan, and He has brought each of us to this place and time in history “for such a time as this.” In these evil and confused times, He is calling His faithful ones to be shining examples of His kingdom in the midst of the darkness of this present age.

Bridges for Peace is doing that in Israel. We are shining God’s light into the nation of Israel as we love and care for the people through our food programs, immigrant program, and home repair project. We are showing love when we stand with Israel, even as most of the world turn their backs.

Hungry Children

The Bridges for Peace Food Bank continues to touch the lives of thousands each month, as we give tons of nutritious food to the needy.

As part of our work, we meet with social workers, mayors, and soup kitchen managers. This week, we met with a principle of an elementary school in Beit Shemesh. We sat with this kippa-wearing Orthodox Jew, as he told us about the needs of his kids, with tears glistening in his eyes. He explained to us that “90% of the children in our school cannot pay for lunch, even though the government is sponsoring 50% of the cost.”

The cost is only US $32 a month, but it is out of reach for the poverty stricken families. I asked how they were handling it, and sighing, he explained that they were asking for help from every source they could, but in the meantime, they were not sending children away without food. Many of them have nothing to eat at home. With budgets so tight, he doesn’t know from month to month if he will be able to continue giving lunch to the children. When we visited a first grade class, and I looked at the simple classroom, filled with beautiful children, my heart wrenched as I realized that 18 out of the 20 students could not afford lunch.

After-school programs for children are being sponsored throughout Israel to help provide for the children’s needs, both scholastically, socially, and physically. A meal is served at these programs. The workers who feed the children have said that many kids don’t want to eat there, but instead want to take the food home, so they can share with the rest of the family who don’t have enough to eat.

Hunger is a problem in Israel. Many families, especially in the immigrant population, simply have empty refrigerators. Many are forced to choose between food and other crucial needs.

Multiply Your Gift

We are giving tons of food to Israel’s needy each month, but the need is far greater than we can meet. We know that there are many wonderful ways you can give your charitable dollars today. We only request that you pray and ask the Lord if He wants you to be involved in helping to feed the people of Israel.

I have good news! Any donations for food received from March 1 to April 30 by Bridges for Peace will multiply!!

The Feinstein Foundation of Rhode Island is offering a US $1 million giveaway to fight hunger, and Bridges for Peace has been invited to be one of the organizations to receive a portion. The money will be divided between hunger-fighting organizations to help them raise much needed funds during March and April. The more donations for food we receive during March and April, the more money from the Feinstein challenge that will be added to the donations. The Feinstein money will be divided proportionately among all agencies, up to a maximum of US $50,000. So, if God is moving your heart for the hungry of Israel, this is the time to give, when your gift will multiply!

God’s at Work in the Chaos

In my monthly challenge to the staff, I encouraged them to recognize that God is at work in the midst of the current chaos and wants to use all of us. But, in order to be effective, each of us needs to cling to the Lord. Now, more than ever we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us day by day and hour by hour. We need to choose daily to be connected to the vine.

Yeshua (Jesus) said, “ I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing…By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples ” (John 15:5,8, NJKV). The fruit of the Spirit is defined in Galatians: “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (5:22–23a, NASB).

This fruit will cause our lives to shine with God’s life in the midst of a hurt, confused, and needy society. We are choosing to love, worship, and adore the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. As we do so, God is growing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and bringing glory to Himself among the people of Israel.

I hope you will join us in this spiritual adventure. God wants to use all of us to bring glory to His name in these tumultuous days we live in. The eyes of the world are increasingly on Israel. It’s no accident! Just read the Bible, and you will see that Jerusalem will be the center of end-time action. Our 75 staff members in Israel feel the pressure increasing, and we know that God has us here for this specific time in history—the time when God is showing the world that He is a promise-keeping God. He loves the people of Israel so much. “He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God” (Psalm 98:3, NIV).

We can’t show God’s love to the Jewish people or shine with God’s light without your help. Together we can do marvelous deeds for the Lord. Thank you for your prayer and financial support.

In His Service,

Rebecca J. Brimmer International President and CEO