In the Midst

January 1, 2007
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There is an ancient Chinese curse which says, “May you live in interesting times.” As I look at events occurring in Israel and around the world, it is obvious that we not only live in interesting times, but in challenging, dangerous, and fearful days.

The threats against Israel are existential. Surrounded by her enemies––Iran, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt, as well as Hamas and Al-Qaeda cells internally––her very survival is at stake. Certainly these are days that threaten to melt men’s hearts with fear. The prophets speak of end-time wars and conflagrations (see Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 38, Zechariah 12). As we look around us, we see the likelihood of these prophecies coming to pass, not just in our lifetime, but soon.

Living in Israel, the center of much of the action, we know that we may be endangered along with the rest of Israel. Living here is not for the faint of heart. In recent times, we as a team have prayed many times about our role in the days to come. We pray to remain strong and to be a tool in the hands of the Lord to minister His love and grace in difficult days.

Not long ago, Bridges for Peace US National Director Jim Solberg told me that the Lord had shown him a sailboat with a large spinnaker on a rough sea. He knew that the boat was Bridges for Peace. The Lord said to him, “I will not calm the sea, but I will fill your sails.” Since that time, the Lord has ministered to various team members through the Word, prayer, dreams, and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. The message is one of trusting Him in difficult times. He is showing us that He will be with us in the midst of hard times.

Last summer, Israel suffered through a terrible war with Hizbullah in Lebanon in which 159 Israelis lost their lives. Up to a million people lived under rocket fire in the North. Bridges for Peace delivered 23 tons (21,000 kilograms) of food and other necessities during the 34-day war. Our teams willingly and lovingly went into dangerous areas to meet needs. Friends of Israel around the world responded to the needs by giving generously to fund the operation. Presently, there is a tense lull in the North. Everyone knows it is temporary, but no one knows when the next outbreak will occur. As I write this, the government of Lebanon is teetering on the verge of collapse, and a Hizbullah-backed overthrow is feared.

A New Outreach Center
Within the Bridges for Peace community around the world, there has been a growing conviction that the Lord wants us to multiply by establishing an Outreach Center in northern Israel, in addition to the already established center in Jerusalem. We want to prepare for what is ahead now, not react only at the time of crisis.

At this time, we are discussing the logistics of setting up such a center. We are praying for God’s leading and guidance for each step of the way. We will need to acquire a facility (probably leased), equipment, a delivery vehicle, additional staff, and the food and supplies to distribute. We need to decide which community to locate in. We have a sense of urgency. We must not delay. Time is short, and God wants us to feed and care for His people in the upcoming conflict.

As I was considering what to write for this issue, I wrestled with the idea of telling you this now, before all the details are worked out. I argued with myself about the wisdom of a premature announcement. But after prayer, I felt a “yes” in my spirit. Bridges for Peace is all of us. You are just as much a vital part of our team as any staff member in Jerusalem or around the world. Together we are making a difference. We need your support. We have many decisions to make and ask for your prayers.

  • The first and most important decision is the location of the center. Please pray that God will lead us to the spot He has planned, and that we will have favor with the mayor of that community.
  • Pray that we will find the right facility and more volunteers to staff the new center.
  • Pray that we will have the finances needed for the infrastructure.
  • Pray that we will have an increase in our food budget, so that we can double our food gifts.

Currently we are distributing between 50 and 60 tons (45,000 and 55,000 kilograms) of food a month. We would like to be giving a total of 100 tons (90,000 kilograms) of food by this time next year between the two centers. Of those we help, a good portion have been new immigrants. One quarter of Israel’s immigrant population (or 56,000 people) reside in the North. Immigrants comprise from 23% to 44% of some cities’ population in the North. We believe this is a strategic area in which to have a presence.

We are praying that there will be a generous outpouring of support for this new center. Please send your donation to help us minister God’s love to the people in northern Israel. We need donations to finance the infrastructure needs and to purchase more food. Please mark the coupon on page 20 with your choice.We are committed to being here in the midst of troubling, difficult days.

We know that God will be with us in the midst of the storm. Will you stand with us in prayer and support? Thank you for being part of the Bridges for Peace team. Together we can make a difference.

Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO