The streets of Israel are full of people speaking a multitude of languages. In northern Tel Aviv, you are very likely to hear French, as Jewish immigrants from France have settled there. Other parts of the country have attracted Jews from Russian-speaking countries and in other areas, Spanish or English. They are all proof that God is alive and actively working to fulfill His promises today.
God is bringing the Jewish people home to Israel from the nations just like He promised through the prophets over 2,500 years ago. God has a long memory and never forgets His covenants. For nearly 2,000 years, the Jewish people were scattered all over the world, but they were never forgotten! In Hebrew, this return is called aliyah, which literally means “going up.” The Jewish people are returning home from the four corners of the earth just as God said they would.
At Bridges for Peace, we are honored to be part of this event, which is unprecedented in human history. The prophets also told of our involvement! “Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders” (Isaiah 49:22, NKJV).
Project Rescue was formed over a decade ago to help the Jewish people come to Israel. To date, through our efforts, more than 37,000 Jewish people are living in Israel just like God promised!
Our Project Rescue workers in the former Soviet Union must be able to deal with a wide variety of situations and complications. The decision to move to Israel starts what can often be a difficult process. Documenting one’s Jewish heritage, traveling to the closest Israeli consulate for visa interviews (usually more than once), paying off debts, saying good-bye to friends and family, and finally making that long-awaited trip to the airport on the day of departure to Israel can take months and even years.
The dream of moving to Israel is certainly exciting, but making that dream come true can be a long and sometimes discouraging prospect. We assist the olim (immigrants) at every step, encouraging them along the way. The Lord promised to be with them and allows us to partner with Him. The Lord said, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16, NIV).
Samuel’s children made aliyah several years ago, so he and his wife began gathering the documents they needed to prove their Jewish ancestry and join them in the Promised Land. During this time, though, Samuel’s wife became seriously ill. She did not recover, and her sudden death left Samuel despondent. Without his wife or his children, Samuel faced financial challenges as well—all the funds he and his wife had saved to cover the costs of their move to Israel went instead to pay for her funeral and other expenses.
More difficulties faced Samuel after he was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent surgery and then took a course of chemotherapy treatments. Facing these obstacles, though, he again found his determination to move to Israel. He continued gathering the documents he needed to obtain his Israeli visa and join his children there. Representatives at the Jewish Agency told Samuel about Ezra International, our partners in Moldova who assist those making aliyah. When they met Samuel and affirmed that we would help him financially, he burst into tears. “I would like to express great and sincere gratitude to you for this financial help,” Samuel wrote in a note to the team in Moldova. “May God bless you in your work!”
Samuel is now in Israel with his children, and we pray the Lord’s comfort, grace, and blessings upon him as he enjoys his family and sees the faithfulness of the God who brought him to the land promised long ago to his forefathers.
Genya was quiet as she peered out the window and said good-bye to the city in which she had spent a long and happy life. She knew that she was leaving forever and would never be back. She was born in Odessa, Ukraine, to a Jewish family. Her parents were from a simple class, but were very good and loving. Genya reminisced:
My mom loved to sing. She knew many songs. In the mornings, she woke us up with the song and laid us down to sleep with the song. She had a good, open soul. She was always the first to help. Everyone loved her. I love to sing too; I know many songs. At the age of 18, I got married [to] a simple, modest, and good fellow. I lived with my husband 52 years. We were very happy and hardly had any conflicts in our family. We never had a lot of money. Our savings we spent on family holidays and travels. We have traveled to many countries of the former Soviet Union.
Then Valery, our son, was born into our family. He is our only child. My son repatriated in Israel 12 years ago. We were also thinking of repatriating, but my husband fell ill. My husband passed away a month ago. My health has worsened, myfeet began to fail me, [and] I started to faint sometimes. I have buried all my relatives; only one cousin has remained alive. My son came from Israel to help me to repatriate. I couldn’t be able to prepare everything on my own. Thank you everyone who helped us.
Our Ezra partners arrived at the airport and gently helped Genya into the ambulance; then she was driven to a plane gangway. Now she can live the rest of her life in her homeland with her son.
Yeshua (Jesus) said that when we care for the “least of these My brothers,” we are caring for Him (Matthew 25:40). Every time we help someone like Samuel or Genya, I remember what Yeshua said and realize again that we are blessing the heart of God. Many more like Samuel and Genya need our assistance. Perhaps God is speaking to your heart that He wants you to join Him in this great end-time endeavour. Your gift will bring hope and a new life to someone God loves.
In His Service,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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