“Without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6). In Hebrew thought, faith is a combination of belief and action. James makes this clear when he says, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). This is exactly where Bridges for Peace is living at the moment. We are trusting in God to help us continue our work in this time of crisis.
Like most of the world, Israelis are socially isolating. The workforce is reduced significantly, with the remainder laid off from work, working from home or using vacation/sick leave. With over one million Israelis now unemployed, the need for food is growing exponentially. We are inundated with requests. The stores have food, but you have to have money to buy it, and increasing numbers of Israelis don’t have the necessary funds. In a short period of time, the requests to Bridges for Peace for help amounted to nearly one million US dollars.
With the government mandating that everyone stay inside, we were challenged to continue delivering food. Praise the Lord, we have made all our regular deliveries! It was made possible because the cities of Karmiel and Jerusalem issued permits to our volunteers to continue our work. In Jerusalem we were granted the permits within three hours of our request. This is only possible because of the relationships we have built over the years. Because they trust us, we found favor.
The permits allow us to leave our homes so we can continue delivering food within the prescribed restrictions. We wear masks and gloves. We leave 2 meters (6.5 feet) of space between people. We have only two people in a vehicle. We do not enter homes. Instead, we knock, set the food by the closed door and step back 2 meters (6.5 feet). All the families of the children on our Feed a Child program received food and food gift certificates instead of the regular lunch at school. We continue to regularly provide Holocaust survivors on our program with food parcels.
Michael Freund, founder and chairperson of Shavei Israel, called recently. We have worked together in the past to help bring the Bnei Menashe home from India. Now 200 of the new immigrant families have lost their jobs. They didn’t have a surplus of funds in the bank or extra food at home and are now becoming desperate. We immediately organized generous food parcels for all 200 families in their community, even though we didn’t have a budget for this need. The man receiving the food on behalf of the community said: “You are an organization of blessing.” The next call for help came from Rabbi Kennith Brander of Ohr Torah Stone and our friend Rabbi David Nekrutman, asking for urgent help for members of their community suddenly finding themselves in need. We immediately organized food supplies for another 80 families. Then the city of Karmiel asked for food for 2,200 Holocaust survivors who reside there. We determined that we could give food parcels to 1,200 of them. Sadly, we don’t have the funds to give to all 2,200.
The needs are tremendous. Please join your faith with ours. We earnestly desire your prayer. If you can, combine action with your prayer and faith in God by sending a contribution to help us reach out with Christian love to the people of Israel as they suffer. No contribution is too small or too large. Every day we are praying for you and your family. We are praying that God will provide for your every need and keep the plague away from you. We are committed to continue blessing the people of Israel as God provides. Is He asking you to be part of that provision?
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
Blessings from Israel,
International President and CEO
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