“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isa. 43:5–6).
For many years, we have been involved in helping Jewish people come home. When the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union broke up, it was a wonderful time of new opportunities. We became involved and through Project Rescue have helped over 40,000 Jewish people come home to Israel.
In all, over a million immigrants came from the lands of the North in fulfillment of prophecy. From the South, we were thrilled to see the airlifts that brought the Ethiopian Jews home to Israel. Many received welcome gifts from us (pots and pans, blankets, school kits, and more). Through our food distribution, we continue to help many of these immigrant families in communities all across Israel.
Michael Freund is a good friend of Bridges for Peace and is the director of Shavei Israel (“Return to Israel,” www. shavei.org). His group is working to recognize descendants of Jews, which many refer to as the Ten Lost Tribes. They have identified a people group called the Bnei Menashe (“Sons of Manasseh”) in India.
This group had, as part of their family lore, the concept that they were the tribe of Manasseh. They kept many Jewish traditions along with their belief in God. The tribe of Manasseh went into captivity with the 10 northern tribes of Israel in 722 BC. For the past 2,700 years, they have kept their belief in the one true God and their yearning to go home to Israel. Because they had been separated from the Jewish people for so long, rabbis were sent to instruct them and to re-introduce them to Judaism.
Through prayer and financial support, we have been partnering with Michael Freund, who works to bring the Bnei Menashe home to Israel. This spring, he sent me an urgent request:
Shalom, Rebecca, I am writing to you with an urgent request for prayer. Although tomorrow is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 19) in Israel, a day when we recall the dark past, there is a glimmer of bright light that may come to pass. A meeting is slated to be held with the Chief Rabbi of Israel tomorrow at which a decision will at last be made regarding the numbers and frequency of the renewed aliyah [immigration] of the Bnei Menashe of India, the descendants of a Lost Tribe of Israel.
As you know, I have been working tirelessly over the past two years to restart this blessed return of our lost brethren to Zion. We have faced many obstacles—and too much bureaucracy!!—along the way. But at each stage, G-d has guided us with His wisdom and led us forward. This meeting tomorrow promises to be a turning point, after which we can finally bring the first batch of immigrants in the coming months.
But I need your prayers. I see you as a spiritual partner in this endeavor to fulfill Biblical prophecy, so please join me in praying for the success of the meeting tomorrow and the speedy renewal of the aliyah. For as the prophet Isaiah said (49:23): “Then you will know that I am the L-RD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
Subsequently, Michael sent me this news:
GREAT NEWS—our prayers have been answered!! The Chief Rabbi has given me permission to bring 150 families (approximately 750 people) of the Lost Tribe of Bnei Menashe from India to Israel this year!!
I went to India to notify the Bnei Menashe community of the great news at the Israel Independence Day celebration [April 26] that we held in Manipur with 2,000 people in attendance—they broke out into a series of ecstatic cheers, tears, song and dance. It was incredibly moving, and you could feel the hand of G-d guiding this historical moment.
Our goal now is to bring the first batch of immigrants by August. Please continue to pray for the success of our efforts, and if you would consider helping us financially to bring this Lost Tribe home to Zion in accordance with Biblical prophecy, it would be a great blessing for us.
Last month, I traveled to Ramle with a representative of the Jewish Agency and Mel Hoelzel, our ministry partner at The Ezra Foundation, who helps us with Project Rescue. We met with a beautiful group of immigrants from South America. They had all made aliyah within the past ten years to the city of Ramle. We were invited to meet with them to hear their ideas of how to help a group of 250 who are coming from a remote area of Peru. They are the descendants of Jewish men who moved to Peru 100 years ago to make a living in the rubber trade. These men stayed, married local women, and had children.
The extended families continued to stay connected to the faith of their fathers, even though they were not considered Jewish because their mothers weren’t Jewish. They longed to come to Israel and become fully recognized as Jews. With names like Levi and Cohen and keeping many of the traditions of the Jewish people, in their hearts they were Jews. Rabbis were sent to interview the group, and today they are fully recognized as Jews and have been given permission to come to Israel.
In August, the first group of 80 will arrive. They will need virtually everything. The Jewish Agency is providing their airfare, but that is just the beginning of their needs. We have been asked to assist them in their absorption into Israeli society.
Christians worldwide have caught the vision for helping the Jewish people return to Israel. They recognize that God is at work, fulfilling His prophetic word, not willing that even one would be left in the Diaspora (Ezek. 39:28). We have helped them come from the North and South. Now is the time to welcome and bless those who are coming from the East and the West. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west…” (Zech. 8:7).
Join us today to show God’s love to these He is calling home. Your gift to our New Immigrant Fund will enable us to meet their most pressing needs. Gifts to the Immigrant Welcome Gifts Program will help us provide them with basic necessities, and gifts to our Food Project will help us provide food for the difficult days of absorption.
Please pray that God will give them hope, courage, and the ability to learn Hebrew and a new culture. Just like in the days of Samuel, God is at work: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle” (1 Sam. 3:11). God is still doing things that make us sit up and take notice! Christian prayer and financial support are a vital part of God’s plan. What a wonderful time to be alive and be a part of what God is going!
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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