Ruth, the Moabite woman, entered the land of Israel with her mother-in-law Naomi at the time of the barley harvest. I have always loved the biblical story, showing God’s great provision for these two destitute women who were without hope.
Today many immigrants arrive in Israel much like Ruth and Naomi—with very few belongings, very few contacts and very little money. They often have fragile hopes and no idea how to better their situation. Their lives are filled with uncertainty and many questions. Where will they live? What will they eat? How will they live while they are learning Hebrew? Will they find a job? Will the children adapt? The challenges they face as they discover how difficult it is to enter a new land are great.
God had a plan for Ruth—she became the great grandmother of King David, and eventually an ancestress of Jesus (Yeshua). God also has a plan for each new immigrant that steps out in tenuous faith to come home to Israel.
Just as God sent Boaz to assist Ruth and Naomi, God has sent Bridges for Peace and our team of Christian volunteers to come to the aid of many new immigrants today. Daily we meet them, listen to their stories, answer their questions and meet their needs. Perhaps some of them will be Israel’s future leaders. Let me share a couple of their stories.
The Teyberman family had a good life in Ukraine. Igor was the chief mechanic at a ceramics plant and Olga was employed by the Chamber of Commerce. In February 2017, their only child, Denis, slipped on ice and hurt his back. He underwent surgery in Ukraine, which only seemed to exacerbate the situation. On March 30th, they arrived in Jerusalem and immediately took Denis to Hadassah Hospital. There, medical experts diagnosed him with cancer and began treatments. All was going well until January 2018, when Denis stopped responding to the treatments.
By the time Igor arrived in our office in March, the doctors had told the family that there was nothing more they could do. Igor was in tears, as were we. He said, “The doctors are not gods.” We finished the interview without asking about their hopes and dreams for the future. We simply started praying.
The Teybermans were to begin picking up their food the second week of April. We waited all week but they never arrived. The following Monday Olga called. Denis had died on April 1, and they had just finished sitting shiva (seven-day period of mourning).
We have no words to offer, but we are available. Igor and Olga will continue to receive help from us every month. We will minister to their practical needs with food and bus passes. We will answer their questions, helping them to navigate through the bureaucracy of their new homeland. We will comfort those who mourn with hugs, tears and ears to listen.
One part of our Adoption Program is dedicated to helping immigrant university students. Often, they have scholarships to cover their tuition, but need food and a bus pass. Fifty-two students are currently on our program. Yosef is one of them.
“My name is Yosef Goldstein. I made aliyah (immigration to Israel) when I was 21 and fulfilled my first dream to serve in the Israeli army. Without your generosity and openness to help me and others like me after my service, I don’t think I would have succeeded and flourished as I did. And I don’t think I would have been able to achieve my second dream and goal, and that is to live in Israel and study.
“I’m still trying to comprehend the kindness for a total stranger to open their arms and help lift me off my feet and give me the support of a family that I don’t have here. It feels God-sent and I will never forget you. To be able to come home from studying all day and working all night and have food waiting for me in the fridge puts a smile on my face every day and warmed my heart.
“Thank you so much from the depth of my heart. I would like to wish you health, happiness, all that you ask of yourselves and most importantly, peace in the world.”
We will continue to reach out to new immigrants, assisting with food, bus passes and encouragement while they get their feet on the ground, study Hebrew and hopefully find a job to support their families. Some, like Igor and Olga, need extra encouragement and prayer. Some, like Yosef, need help for a few years until they can complete their education. But we need more sponsors, loving Christians like you who will commit to give monthly for a full year ($65 per month). Please help us reach out in love to more immigrants as God brings them home.
When you make this commitment, we will send you the biography of those you are helping as well as a picture to remind you that your family needs prayer in addition to the practical support your donations provide. If you can’t make a year commitment, please give a generous one-time gift to our New Immigrant Fund so that we can meet special needs as they arise in the lives our immigrant families.
God has a plan for you and for those you will assist as they answer His call to come home to Israel.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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