The Gospel of John records a significant conversation Yeshua (Jesus) had with His disciple, Peter. Three times Yeshua asked Peter if he loved Him. Each time Peter responded affirmatively, Yeshua gave him a job to do: “Feed My lambs…Tend My sheep…Feed My sheep” (John 21:15–18).
Since 1990 Bridges for Peace has been feeding the lambs and sheep of the house of Israel. Each month we have been providing food for 26,000 people in 52 communities from the north to the south. We help Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, children, the elderly, Christian Arabs, families of prisoners, single parents, students and believers. We do it in the name of the Lord. We do it because the Bible says we should bless the children of Abraham. We do it in response to Paul’s message to the Roman (Gentile) Church when he informed them of the contributions he was taking to Jerusalem for the poor: “For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things” (Rom. 15:27). We do it because God has also told us to “feed My sheep.”
We are able to feed the people of Israel because of the generous gifts from Christians all around the world. We are able to change the future for those without hope, giving them the possibility to succeed in their God-given land.
Two months ago I shared with you the difficulties we are facing in our food program because a foundation that had been granting funds to this program decided to use that money in other ways. We are so thankful for their help over the years and we bless them in the name of the Lord. At the same time we are now in the position of having to reduce the number of people who receive food from Bridges for Peace unless we can significantly increase our food budget. This is extremely difficult for our team to do. Whom do we choose to stop feeding? There are so many needs. Let me tell you about one community we help.
Ofakim is a small Israeli community very close to the Gaza Strip. The people of this community have endured much hardship, with rocket fire being a regular trauma. Recently sirens blared as Palestinian militants fired rockets into Ofakim and other locations along the border. We also help several other communities that are in close proximity to Gaza. One of the social workers, Beni, wrote us this letter:
My name is Beni. I am a social worker in the city of Ofakim in southern Israel. Throughout the year we have received food from you every month. There are many low-income families living here in Ofakim and I am working with the poor and needy of our community. I cannot thank you enough for the food assistance that Bridges for Peace provides for those that just cannot make it on their own.
Your valuable and important work in our community changes lives. People feel and see the value of Christian support that lets them feel worth something in the eyes of others. Food prices are so expensive in Israel and your help to us is a big help and changes attitudes of our people who have nothing.
Your deeds definitely continue to touch hearts. How can we say thank you? I also want to thank you for the heaters you gave during the cold winter months. Without them they simply freeze each night in their cold apartments. What a wonderful gift to give in time of need.” Signed Beni
A child in Ofakim sent us a note: “I want to thank you for your food parcels that our family receives every month. This helps my parents a lot and I am so happy that there are such good people like you. Thank you for everything.” Signed, Avraham
I want to thank our many friends all over the world who have responded generously to the urgent appeal for food in our April letter. We are encouraged by your response. We thought we might have to cut more than 5,000 needy people from our food program. However, because of your generosity 2,500 of them will continue to receive food for now. Sadly we will still have to make significant cuts to our food program. As of July 1, the number of people we are able to feed will decrease from 26,000 each month, to 23,600 each month.
Yeshua told Peter to “Feed My Sheep.” Can you join us as we strive to feed more of His sheep? Your generous gift will show the people of Israel that they are not alone. With your help we can show Christian love to the people of Israel. Please consider a generous one-time gift or a monthly commitment to help feed the people of Israel.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
Bridges for Peace
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