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Fulfilling God’s Chosen Fast

March 1, 2012
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According to Isaiah 58, God’s chosen fast is not about eliminating food from our diet but “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free,…and break every yoke…to share your bread with the hungry…” (vv. 6–7). Bridges for Peace helps break the yoke of poverty and hunger for thousands. However, the hungry in Israel are increasing.

As I visit the organizations we serve here in Israel, I hear repeatedly that more people are suffering from today’s high cost of living, low salaries (if they have a job), and tremendous needs such as health issues. I sat with Chava who manages a large Jewish food distribution center in northern Israel. Over and over she thanked us for the food that we deliver to them, marveling that the products were always high quality and our deliveries always on time.

She told us that last month her stockman called her saying the shelves were nearly empty. Quickly she checked the calendar and told him not to worry because Bridges for Peace would come in a couple of days and the shelves would again be full. Yet, with a somber look on her face, she told of the many needs that are going unmet because of a lack of funds. “Can you please give more?” she pleaded on behalf of those in need.

Bridges for Peace, with the help of Christians worldwide, is blessing 27,000 Israelis each month with quality life-sustaining food. We distribute to many families directly, through municipality social welfare systems, through soup kitchens, immigrant societies, neighborhood community centers, and NGOs. In total, 52 communities—from the far north in Kiryat Shemona to the far south in Eilat—are being touched by Christian love as they receive our food. As I mentioned last month, over half are children.

For Those in Transition

A significant number of those receiving assistance are new immigrants, facing difficult challenges as they adjust to a new home, life, language, and culture. They receive a significant amount of dairy products, meat and chicken, canned goods, pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. Large families receive food every week, while singles and small families receive food twice a month. Recently we received the following letter from one thankful new immigrant family (whose names I’ve changed for privacy sake):

We are thankful to God for the miracle of having you as our friends and supporters! We thank Him also for this wonderful opportunity to be blessed with this help given by you. We believe in God who helped us through you.

Now we will tell you a little about our family. We came to Israel from the Ukraine, from the town of Krivoy Rog. It was our long-cherished dream to come to Israel. For many years, we could not realize our dream, and then God decided that it was time to go to Israel.

We like it in Israel very much; we came here not because life is good here but because this is the Holy Land and our God, whom we all love, dwells here. We will pray for you, and we believe He will bless you for helping people. We are very happy to live in this land. We have been living here for one year and a half. We work; our salaries are low, but we don’t feel sorry about it because God will bless us.

Your support with food and bus passes helped us out a lot because sometimes we did not have enough bread at home. We went through some hard times during our transition to Israel because we don’t yet know Hebrew. However, we are doing our best to study Hebrew, and we are trying to make progress in our life here because we want to enjoy our life in Israel and to be able to help others like you do. We have two girls; our children are so wonderful, and we love them very much and are happy that God gave us such wonderful children.

We want to thank you again for this wonderful help, and our children are very thankful to you too for this wonderful help given to us during a difficult transition time in our life. We love you so much.” —Georgi and Olga

Giving a Miracle Provision

We are living in the days when God is fulfilling His promises to the Jewish people and bringing them back to their ancient homeland from the nations of their dispersion. Please pray for them as their journey is difficult. Pray that we will have the funds to reach out to more of them with a helping hand.

You can be part of their miracle provision. Would you pray and ask God if He wants you to participate in feeding His covenant people in Israel? There is nothing as rewarding as partnering with God as He shows the world that He keeps His promises. If we extend our “soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul,” God will bless us: “Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought…you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isa. 58:10–11).

In Malachi, we find that we can test the Lord in this: “’Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it ‘” (3:10).

Blessings from Israel,

Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO