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Lend to the Lord: Feed the Poor

September 1, 2010
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Modern-day Israel is one of the most compelling proofs that God is still active in human history today. His actions in bringing the Jewish people home to Israel in fulfillment of many prophetic Scriptures are a powerful testimony to His character. He is proving over and over again that He is a faithful, covenant-keeping God, remembering His promises to a thousand generations (which in Hebraic thought is like saying forever). A famous story is told of King Louis XIV of France asking Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal’s response was, “Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews.”

In awe, we observe God drawing His people home as He fulfills many scriptural promises. However, it is not without difficulty. Since the birth of the state of Israel, millions of Jews have immigrated to Israel, usually coming without resources. This has stretched the state financially, and it is impossible for Israel to meet all the needs. Currently, 25% of the population lives under the poverty line. Bridges for Peace is blessed to be called to partner with God to help these precious souls as they overcome incredible odds and become established. We give 70 metric tons (77 US tons) of food each month to 27,000 people in 53 communities all over Israel. Christian donors from all over the world make this possible and our Christian volunteers distribute the food and show God’s love in action to the people of Israel.

Social Affairs Minister
Isaac Herzog

Recently I had the privilege of meeting with Isaac Herzog, Israeli Minister for Social Affairs and Services (Welfare). I described the work of Bridges for Peace and shared why Bible-believing Christians support Israel. At the end of our meeting, he expressed his thanks and admiration for Bridges for Peace and offered to write a letter of recommendation. In part, his letter reads, “Your assistance centers in Jerusalem and Karmiel, which distribute tons of food every month, are helping to ensure the effective absorption of many immigrants as well as improving the quality of life for thousands of Israelis every month. I would like to recommend Bridges for Peace as an organization whose programs make a significant contribution to the nation of Israel, both through humanitarian aid projects here in Israel and hasbara [speaking well of Israel] efforts worldwide.”

We thank God for this new door of cooperation that has opened with Minister Herzog. In Israel, doors are opened because of relationship. Minister Herzog is good friends with Nissim who runs a food distribution center in Dimona. For many years, we have been giving food to the people of Dimona through his organization, From Heart to Heart.

Blessing the Financially Depressed

Dimona www.israelimages.com / Nitsan Shorer

Dimona is a small financially depressed city in southern Israel where 150 families receive food each month from Bridges for Peace.  On a recent visit, as soon as we opened the car door, the oppressive heat nearly knocked us over. I had noticed that the dilapidated apartment buildings didn’t have air conditioners, and so I was really shocked to learn that most families don’t even have fans. I don’t know how they survive the desert heat, which can last for six months of the year, but when you have extremely limited funds and are not sure how you are going to feed your family, buying a fan or air conditioner simply isn’t an option. Let me tell you about one family we help in Dimona. We are not using their names to protect their privacy.

This young family started out with great promise. Both the husband and wife had good jobs: he as a teacher and she in the medical field. Then tragedy struck and the husband became ill with a severe case of diabetes. He was forced to leave his job. After he became somewhat better, their first daughter was born and, at the same time, he became very ill again. Again, he began to improve and started working in media with the local press, radio, advertising, and public relations. The little family started to recover. However, after the birth of their second child, the husband developed heart problems, followed by a stroke that required a long period of rehabilitation. All these complications were due to the severity of his diabetes. He was forced to leave his work and to date is totally disabled.

The family receives a small amount from social services. The wife is unable to work full-time because of the need to care for her invalid husband. The process of being recognized as having a 100% disability is difficult because of the husband’s young age. Due to very low income and high expenses for the husband’s treatment, the family has sunk into deep debt, so that today they do not have the funds to afford even a loaf of bread. They are in a desperate situation.

Their refrigerator has been empty, and they experience constant anxiety about how to pay their utility bills and rent for their inexpensive government-subsidized housing. Thankfully, their two girls are talented and doing well in school. Their brave mother takes good care of them using all her strength, so that they will get to school clean and with pressed clothes in spite of the fact that their clothes are all secondhand. In the midst of all their troubles, one bright spot exists—their basic food needs each month are met as Bridges for Peace and our partner in Dimona, From Heart to Heart, give them food that Christians like you donated.

 A Holy Calling

Some of the families we help are Israelis like this family who through sickness are unable to work and provide for their families. Others are new immigrants struggling to learn the language and establish themselves in their new homeland. Some are students, and many are Holocaust survivors who receive food each month from Bridges for Peace. It is a holy calling that God has given to us—to provide for theleast of the brethren of Yeshua (Jesus)(Matt. 25:40). God is in action and He has recruited us to play a vital role in providing for His people as He continues to establish Israel and bring the Jewish people to their homeland.

Has the Lord moved your heart with compassion for the Children of Israel?  When you bless the poor and when you bless Israel, you can expect a blessing from the Lord. We have seen over and over again that those who bless God’s chosen people are blessed. “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given” (Prov. 19:17). Please send a generous gift today to help us feed the people of Israel.  If you would like to contribute to buy fans for those suffering in the intense heat, designate your gift to our Israel Greatest Need fund.

Shalom from Jerusalem,

Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO