2020 will go down in history as a year of trouble, difficulty, need and disease. Each month we thought: “In a couple of months, things will be better.” Today, nearly one million people in Israel are out of work. The hospitals are stretched beyond capacity as the number of afflicted continues to rise. The travel, tourism and entertainment industries are almost totally incapacitated. As you know, it isn’t just Israel that is afflicted. The nations are struggling.
Yet, in the midst of trouble, we have experienced the Lord’s hand of mercy. The psalmist says, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me” (Ps. 138:7). At the present time, the enemies include the pandemic and financial loss. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have prayed daily for our network (every staff member, volunteer, board member, donor and intercessor) that God would protect each one from the pandemic and from financial loss. Today I am praying this Scripture for you.
God is using Bridges for Peace and our worldwide network of Christians to meet real needs of the people here in Israel. Even when in lockdown, we did not stop providing food to Holocaust survivors, children, immigrants and the needy.
As time goes on, the needs have only increased. Unemployment payments are running out. Families who put their mortgages on hold for three months must now make their mortgage payments. Many are on the verge of losing their homes. The poor are getting poorer, and many in the middle class are becoming poor. Families who were able to provide for their own needs in the past are now fighting to feed their families.
One lady we help couldn’t stop the tears as she thanked us for the food parcel. Her mask couldn’t hide the tears streaming down her face as she realized she would be able to feed her family.
We are trusting God for an increase in our food budget so we can meet more needs.
Now it is time for children to go back to school, but social distancing rules are making it difficult. Compromises include children going to school half the week while doing distance learning from home the rest of the week. This makes it possible to have classrooms with only 15 students. But this poses problems. Many families don’t own a computer and can’t afford to buy one. Their children will be unable to keep up with their studies. We are getting multiple requests for laptops and tablets for these families. We already purchased laptops for a school in Beit Shemesh. The laptops will eventually be part of a computer lab at the school, but until then they will be loaned to needy families. Dimona, a city in the south, asked for tablets (a less expensive option), which we are in the process of buying. This week I met with the mayor of Kiryat Shmona, a town in northern Israel on the Lebanon border. They have the same problem and are asking for laptops for 200 children. Bridges for Peace partners with 18 towns and 9 schools. All of them have similar problems.
Just as God placed Jewish Queen Esther in the Persian palace to serve as His instrument to work deliverance for the Jewish people, God has also placed Bridges for Peace in Israel to help see the Jewish people through such a time of difficulty as this. We have a specific prayer request during this time. Over the past month, 11 of our volunteers returned home. At present, Israel is not allowing non-citizens into the country, and international travel is almost at a standstill. We now have fewer team members to answer mounting needs. Will you please pray for our team—and for those whom God called to join our team and are waiting for travel to resume?
We are blessed to serve as His hands of love reached out to the people of Israel—and you play such a pivotal role in that. Our hands would be empty if it weren’t for Bible-believing Christians around the world demonstrating their love for God’s people in a tangible way. Thank you for your continued support that enables us to stand with Israel, particularly during this time. Your gift to our Crisis Assistance Fund will help us supply computers, and your gift to our Food Project will allow us to continue feeding the nation of Israel. Thank you for partnering with us and with God to bless Israel with Christian love. We believe God will bless you for your faithfulness as He promised in Luke 6:38a: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.”
In His Service,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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