Years ago, while volunteering with Bridges for Peace’s Home Repair team, I found myself in the home of a Jewish man named Mordechai. His apartment was dilapidated, with black mold covering the walls and a few pieces of old, rickety furniture. Mordechai and his family had fled to Israel from Iran after the violent takeover of the ayatollah (honorary title bestowed on high-ranking Shiite Muslim clerics in Iran) regime in 1979. Two of his siblings were murdered during the journey, and Mordechai arrived in Israel with only his mother and younger brother.
He told our team his story as tears streamed down his face. Then he threw his arms in the air and thanked God for two things. The first item of praise was that God had preserved his life and brought him and the surviving members of his family to Israel. The second was that Christians from Bridges for Peace had come to paint his home, but more importantly, had brought him bags of desperately-needed food.
Through tears and hugs, Mordechai explained that he cared for his infirmed mother and was therefore unable to work fulltime. As a result, there was never enough food to feed the two of them. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that Christians would feed them. To Mordechai, such love was a miracle of God.
Fast forward a decade or so. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian Jews have fled to Israel. Many of these refugees now needed our help in a myriad of ways, with food being a major priority.
One Russian Jewish family with two young children told us about the agony of losing everything and trying to start a new life in Israel. They fled for their lives and arrived with no paperwork, which made renting an apartment and finding a job to feed their children very difficult. Kind Israelis tried to assist where possible, but how would they afford food?
The family settled in Karmiel in northern Israel, where a landlord agreed to provide an apartment without the necessary documents. However, the landlord needed the first month’s rent paid in cash, and the desperate family spent everything they had on securing a roof over their heads. This left them with nothing left over to buy food and no prospects of finding a job to raise money.
In those dark moments of desperation, hope shone into their lives as Bridges for Peace learned of their plight and stepped into the gap, providing bags of food and other necessary items to dramatically change their lives. In an instant, this family went from despair to experiencing the love of God, all because Christians cared to demonstrate such love. Now this Russian Jewish refugee family can focus on learning Hebrew so that they can find work, earn a salary and build a future. They will never forget how Christians rescued them in their darkest hour.
There are endless such stories of how Christians through Bridges for Peace have stepped into the gap to demonstrate the love and hope of God to the people of Israel, whether refugees fleeing war or Israelis trapped in the cycle of poverty. God has tugged at hearts and rallied believers from around the world to take action and provide the life-saving resource of food.
We’ve heard stories of children not eating enough and struggling to concentrate in school as their empty tummies rumble. We’ve heard of parents having to decide between purchasing food or clothing for their little ones. Thanks to the love of incredible Christians like yourself, these Israelis no longer have to make such a terrible choice.
Bridges for Peace feeds more than 24,000 needy Israelis every month. We cannot do that without you. We need your support and prayers to provide for the impoverished and desperate Israelis we assist. When you give to our Food Program, you are lifting up the poor and struggling of Israel and placing them on a firm foundation so that future generations can flourish. You are partnering with God in His prophetic action to strengthen this nation by empowering these precious people with dignity as they are enveloped in God’s love demonstrated by Christians like you.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rev. Peter Fast
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