“Let not mercy (chesed) and truth (emet) forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3–4
Over 50 years ago our founder, Dr. G. Douglas Young, moved to Israel and began the legacy of blessing Israel. His work combined truth (emet) and mercy or loving kindness (chesed) in amazing ways. Since then, thousands have joined themselves to his vision—Christians supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world. You are part of that worldwide effort, choosing to love the things God loves and supporting our efforts to build relational bridges between the two worlds. It is working! Bridges for Peace is growing in favor in Israel and among Jewish populations in all the countries where we have offices.
Frequently Jewish people tell us that they trust Bridges for Peace. They trust us to consistently be there for them in times of stress, need and with their most important goals; including bringing Jewish people home from the nations of their Diaspora. Here are a few examples.
Our relationship with the city of Karmiel has blossomed as they realize that we will stand with them in whatever ways we can. Recently they sought help to prepare the city’s bomb shelters, unused since the 2006 Lebanon War, for the next conflict. Many shelters have broken or missing plumbing, are filled with junk and need general repairs. With the increased concerns about imminent war in the north, the city is racing to make the shelters usable. This autumn our Home Repair team has been working with the city on the shelters. We have tiled, put in bathrooms, cleaned, painted and done repairs. We estimate the city saves 15,000 shekels (US $3,940) on every shelter we repair. The mayor, head of security and the workers who will use these shelters (in the industrial zone) all know that Christians are helping them prepare for their worst fears. When war strikes, the city of Karmiel will be better prepared to protect her citizens.
In addition to Karmiel, we work with mayors in 17 other cities to provide food for the needy in their communities. During our recent Solidarity Mission two of these mayors met with us, expressing their deep gratitude for our friendship and help.
The Foreign Ministry values our assistance in telling Israel’s story to the world. When they heard we were having a Solidarity Mission they immediately offered to send top team members to brief our participants.
A BFP team member sent me the following account: “Last year we spent a weekend at the Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology situated in Israel’s southern Arava desert. On our last morning we were signed up for a tour of the kibbutz. Our guide asked where we were from and what we were doing in Israel. When we said, ‘We’re volunteering with Bridges for Peace,’ the guide’s face lit up and he said, ‘Bridges for Peace!!! I love you guys! You literally saved my life! I was on your Adoption Program the first two years after making aliyah. I couldn’t be here today without you; thank you so much!’”
Recently a young woman burst into our office in Jerusalem and said, “I know you won’t remember me, but several years ago I was on your Adoption Program. I was a new olim (immigrant) and studying at Hebrew University. Now I have an excellent job in Tel Aviv, but there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t think about you and thank God for your assistance. I have been wanting to thank you again in person and so today, since I am in Jerusalem on business, I knew that I had to find a way to make it over here and just say, ‘Thank you.’”
One of our team members recently returned to Israel on El Al, Israel’s national airline, considered one of the safest in the world. El Al is very security conscious and extensive security checks are common. During the questioning, our team member said they worked with Bridges for Peace. Immediately the atmosphere became very light and positive. The security officer quickly helped them on their way with many words of thanks.
An Israeli family traveling in the United States was invited to dinner by the sister and brother-in-law of one of our staff. The trip was part of a celebration for their son’s completion of his three years of service with the IDF. During dinner the brother-in-law asked, “Have any of you ever heard of an organization called Bridges for Peace?” The former soldier’s face was transformed into a huge smile as he looked up and said, “Bridges for Peace? We love them! They are a huge support to us.”
In South Africa, the Jewish community frequently consults with our national office team. In addition, they love our publication, Dispatch from Jerusalem, saying it is the best magazine coming out of Israel.
We praise God for the favor He is granting us. When we consider the relationship just 25 years ago, we have come a long way. We want you to remember that every victory belongs to you. Without your generosity and support, we could not have had the impact that we are having.
But there is still much bridge-building work to be done. Thank you for joining with us to change the future of Christian/Jewish relationships. As the new year begins, please consider giving generously to your favorite Bridges for Peace project. Your donation is not just a gift; it is an investment in the Kingdom of God and in the future of the nation of Israel.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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