Every day at Bridges for Peace we see miracles, small and great. This month we are celebrating the miracle of Israel on her 70th birthday. For more than fifty years, we have been a part of that miracle! Through our projects, Christians from around the world have participated in God’s miraculous ingathering of the Jewish people, helping in many ways to show them that Christians are indeed their friends.
As one amazing example, the mayor of Karmiel came to see the bomb shelters that our Home Repair team had renovated. He was visibly moved to see the quality of work our skilled volunteers were doing. “I expected to see a little bit of paint splashed on the walls,” he commented. Instead he saw new plumbing, including toilets and showers, new tile, and––of course––new paint. We have now totally renovated eight bomb shelters out of twenty-two. It was an urgent need, as the specter of war on the northern border is a real and present threat. The shelters were full of trash, in total disrepair and largely unusable. Now, they are ready to be part of the life-saving effort for the city of Karmiel, who didn’t have the money to make these repairs. Our labors are saving the city of Karmiel one million shekels (US $288,000). That is a miracle for the city and her inhabitants.
Through our projects, we touch the lives of hundreds of immigrants each year, and as we do, we learn of their experiences and are a part of their own individual miracles. One of our team members wrote about one such story:
“One of our Russian speaking recipients, who graduated from the Adoption Program, began coming to practice his English each Friday morning, transforming my office into a mini language lab. He and his wife worked diligently at learning Hebrew and he passed the eight exams in Hebrew, necessary for him to apply to law firms. Practicing law is his passion and had been doing so in Russia for 15 years prior to making aliyah (immigration to Israel). When he first came to practice English he was quite despondent because he was not able to find work anywhere. “Don’t worry, I’ll pray,” was my usual reply. Then one week he came in and said, ‘I have good news…’ Indeed, the LORD had provided work at a small law practice.
“This year a wonderful woman from New Zealand attended our Solidarity Mission and brought along a violin, which she donated to the Adoption Department. She wanted to bless someone on our program with the violin and lovely padded case.The violin sat on a table in the office for several weeks as I thought and prayed about who on the program played violin and did not have one of their own already. Suddenly, a name came to mind; a sweet little nine-year-old girl who had arrived earlier in the year from Ukraine with her mother. She was having a difficult time adjusting to school in Israel and was taking music lessons. Before making aliyah she had studied piano, but they could not afford to rent a piano. I wondered if perhaps the violin was her instrument of choice.
“In December, the festival of Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication), a season of miracles, was about to begin. My Russian ‘student’ came in, sat down and announced, ‘I have more good news…’ Indeed, he had more amazing, miraculous news to share. Just as we finished jumping up and down and celebrating, the mother of the nine-year-old walked into the office. I turned to her and asked, ‘Is Ella learning to play the violin?’ Her mother nodded that yes, she was. I asked, ‘Does Ella have her own violin?’ ‘No, we could never afford that, we rent her violin,’ her mother replied. With that I turned around, lifted the violin case and placed it in her hands. Her face showed her shock and her eyes filled with tears. I unzipped the case and pulled out the note from the donor in New Zealand and read it aloud. It is an 18th century violin, made in France, that the woman had lovingly restored and played at weddings and in concerts. But having one of her own, she wanted to give the violin to someone else who was in need of one. Ella’s mom had no words, but hugged me and thanked me profusely. With that my Russian ‘student’ said, ‘This is an office of miracles!’”
The many handrails installed by our Home Repair team provide the miracle of mobility and freedom for many elderly and handicapped. A couple we went to help had recently had a fire in their home and suffered severe burns to their hands, arms, legs, and faces. It was so bad that the wife had lost her leg and cannot walk without the support of her father or husband, especially up and down the long staircase to access her home. When we arrived and met her, she was moving around in a wheelchair with her father standing nearby. After the handrails had been safely installed, she tried the handrail and kept saying ‘perfect, it’s perfect,’ all the way up and down the stairs. Her father shook our hands before he left; they both were so happy and grateful. We left knowing we had made a difference in her life and the lives of other older residents living in the building.
We do all this and more to serve the Lord by supporting His people in their time of need. We don’t expect a reward, doing it because of our love for the Lord and His people. When we see the gratitude on the faces of the people whose lives we impact, it is so precious.
We are honored that you trust Bridges for Peace to be your hands to bless the people of Israel. Your gifts make it possible for us to bring “miracles” for those in need in Zion. We need your financial partnership to renovate the bomb shelters, do home repairs for the wounded, the elderly, and the needy, and to feed new immigrants, children and the elderly. Thank you for sending a generous gift today.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO
Photo Credit: Hannah Taylor/bridgesforpeace.com
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