“For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.” Psalm 102:16
Everywhere we look in Israel we see building sites as huge cranes punctuate the skyline of every city. Israel must continue to build in order to provide housing for its ever-expanding population. While some segments of the society prosper, moving their families into new homes, others are not so fortunate. The elderly poor, many of them Holocaust survivors, live in shocking conditions in tiny dilapidated apartments. New immigrants, who come with great hope and not much else, live in old, worn-out apartments. Did you know that God is interested in their needs? His Word declares that He is building Jerusalem as He gathers the outcasts of Israel (Ps. 147:2).
At Bridges for Peace we are privileged to partner with God in this endeavor. “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In” (Isa. 58:12).
Over the past years, we have had many opportunities to show love in action by repairing homes for those God is calling back to Israel. Social workers and occupational therapists have our phone number in their contact lists and they often ask us to help. Recently after receiving such a call, our Home Repair team went out to investigate and assess a job that was needed. At the site they met Racheli, a frail Holocaust survivor living by herself on the second floor of an older apartment building.
This building did not have an elevator or any handrails in the stairwell. The request was to install handrails from the entrance up to her apartment. This is a very common request, as many of the older apartments in Jerusalem do not have elevators or railings, making it very difficult for the elderly to get out. The team members measured the length for the rails, and went back to the Home Repair workshop to make them. A few days later, they returned to install the new handrails.
After completing the work, the Home Repair team watched from the bottom of the stairs as the occupational therapist and frail Racheli walked down the steps together, using the new handrails. One of the team members noticed she had tears in her eyes, so they asked the occupational therapist what was wrong. That’s when we learned that this lady has no one—no family, no relatives, and no friends. She has her food delivered, the doctor comes to her apartment, and because of her frailty, she did not even feel able to walk down the stairs. This was the first time in over a year that she had been able to walk outside. Your support helped us provide the gift of freedom for this lovely elderly lady who has already suffered so much.
Thank you so much for your support. With your help, the Home Repair team will be able to help others like Racheli. There are so many other Holocaust survivors—alone, in pain, and without the means to solve life’s problems. We can’t change their painful past, but we can bring light and comfort to them in their old age.
The work can be hard, but it is so very rewarding. The Home Repair team members claim the verse which says, “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters, will himself be watered” (Prov. 11:25 NASB).
Over 900 homes have been repaired in the Jerusalem area. Now, we are happy to report that Home Repair has expanded to northern Israel. We are just finishing the new workshop at our Karmiel facility. A team is in place, led by Kevin Keparutis, and they have started to repair homes in northern Israel.
Join us as we repair the broken down “waste places.” We need volunteers with experience in painting, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, welding, and electrical. We need handymen with big hearts! Come for amazing hands-on experiences, building in Israel. We are partnering together with the Lord as He is building up Zion!
“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build…” (Neh. 2:20).
We need supplies. We provide all the materials needed for each job, giving a gift of a renewed home at no cost to those we help. Now that we have two teams, one in Jerusalem and one in Karmiel, we need a bigger budget. Will you give today to provide for the elderly, Holocaust survivors, and new immigrants? Your gift will speak louder than many words. The prophet Isaiah told us that we should:
“Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!” (Isa. 62:10).
With blessing and love from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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