As if the sorrow of losing her beloved husband wasn’t enough, her financial situation worsened drastically. With no family to support her in Israel, Miri turned to her friends at Bridges for Peace. We had been helping the couple with food for some time. Now we had the blessing of reaching out to a lonely, frightened, and needy widow.
Throughout the Bible, we see that God has compassion on the widows. “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow…The Lord reign forever—Your God O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:8–10).
After Yaakov’s death, Miri discovered that they had some debts that she was unable to pay. The amounts were small, but to her, they were overwhelming. Bridges for Peace stepped into the gap and paid some of the debts. Two small grocery stores that had extended credit were among the creditors.
So, one morning, a BFP staff member went with Miri to the shops to pay her debts. They met with Mr. Shimonov, the owner of the small grocery store. He couldn’t get over the fact that a Christian organization, that supports Israel, was paying the debt for an insignificant Israeli widow. The impression of Christian love that he received has left a deep impression on him. Our love spoke louder to him than 1000s of words. The second shop keeper, Mr. Muami, couldn’t stop smiling and praising God for the goodness we were showing to Miri.
God is so great. We started off in this instance helping a widow lady, and God used it to be a witness of His love to two shopkeepers and all who overheard the encounters. I wanted to share this story with you so you can feel the impact our love ministry has on the people of Israel. Bridges for Peace is touching the people of Israel deeply, sometimes without even realizing just how deeply and how many people are taking notice. This is just one person we are assisting out of the 23,000 people helped last month. Multiply the effects of this one encounter by 23,000 and perhaps you can begin to get a feel for how God is using our staff to bring love and care to the needy and break down the walls that exist between Christians and Jews in Israel.
Many people in Israel are hurting financially, or are in mourning.
Think about these statistics:
• The latest poverty report issued by the National Insurance Institute (August 8, 2005) confirms that over 1,500,000 children live below the poverty level.
• Child poverty has increased 50% since 1988.
• Every night, 714,000 children (one in every three Israeli children) go to bed hungry.
• In Israel, 1,534,000 people live in poverty—an increase of 107,000 over the previous year.
Compared to the amount of need in Israel, our efforts, which are touching 23,000 a month, are just a drop in the bucket. The requests far exceed our ability to help. Our hearts yearn to touch more lives, just like we have been privileged to reach out to Miri in her time of need. We have a wonderful staff of devoted Christian people in Israel, ready to be your hands to reach out with the love of Yeshua (Jesus) to the people. It is up to you how many we can bless. Will you let us be your hands and feet extended to the people of Israel? Your gift for food will bless those who eat it, and also those who hear about Christians helping Jews. Together we can make an impact for the Lord in Israel. Any size gift is joyously welcomed.
For US $40 a month we can provide food for a couple. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
Scriptures taken from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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