It’s a new year. It is a time when we reassess our lives, make resolutions and start new endeavors. Whether we are determined to get fit, start a new ministry or change habits, all beginnings take effort.
In Israel millions of people are in the season of new beginnings. I frequently engage in conversations, often in halting Hebrew, with new immigrants just starting their life in Israel. These conversations take place in the grocery store, the nail salon, the post office, on the train or in our offices. Most are happy to be here, but struggling to meet basic needs, working long hours at low paying jobs while they endeavor to learn a new language and establish a social network. On average, one in every five people in Israel is an immigrant! Imagine that nearly 20% of the Jewish people in Israel are at some phase of their “new beginning.”
Beginnings are tough. Most immigrants arrive with very little. Even those who have more than two suitcases arrive without the cultural tools they need to succeed. Sometimes people ask me how long it takes to learn Hebrew. I laugh and tell them I don’t know yet—I am still learning. However, until an immigrant has learned Hebrew well, it is very difficult to get a job that pays more than the minimum wage. One time, we got into a conversation with a Russian-speaking immigrant cleaning the stairway in an apartment building—one of the lowest paying jobs in Israel. She was happy to be in Israel and to have a job. We asked what her profession was in Russia and learned she had been a nuclear physicist! Imagine a scientist cleaning stairways. We happened to run into her again a few years later. She had studied Hebrew and was working in her scientific field.
Since 1990 Bridges for Peace has been helping new immigrants. We welcome them with gifts, sponsor them for a year on our Adoption Program, and continue to provide food through many organizations as the newcomers journey toward successful integration into Israeli life. We know that if they receive help at the critical time of their new beginning, they can succeed. We consider it a privilege to be those who partner with God in bringing His Jewish people home to Israel and helping them to become established in their new/old home. They have come from over 100 nations of the world, speaking 80 languages, all in direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy!
Marcos, Angela and their three children made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel from Brazil. After receiving help from Bridges for Peace for a year through our Adoption Program, Marcos sent us the following letter:
“My family and I have lived in Jerusalem for almost four years. We emigrated from Brazil. At the beginning of our third year in Israel we were in a desperate financial state after pursuing a dream without the real “how-to” aspect of the process. I am a computer science graduate professional, without experience in the field, with a dream of growing a family in Israel.
“Six months prior a family friend who was receiving help from Bridges for Peace told us to apply for assistance. My first thought was, ‘There must be someone else in a worse situation than ours.’ But in the next six months our little money bag was lighter. Nethanel, our third child, was born in August 2012. Our children had to go without candies and other things that they enjoyed because we had to use our entire budget for food and transportation. We decided then, that was the point to ask for help.
“Thank G-d you were there! My lovely, new friend, Viktoriya, from the Jerusalem Assistance Center, set up a meeting for me to check on the possibility of getting aid. In December 2012 we received the very good news that in January 2013 we would receive, twice monthly, bags of food as well as a lot of basic foods (chicken, fruits, vegetables, rice, oil, wheat flour, corn flakes, milk and other items…). On the children’s birthdays they received a little basket with some kids’ things; candies, little gifts, etc. For a whole year we had this support and we were very, very thankful for it. Why do I write now? Just to thank you and wishing that G-d will keep giving you the opportunity to help someone else just like my family. Thank you.”
As you analyze your situation for the year 2015, will you consider including in your budget a sponsorship for someone who is being called home to Zion? In order to meet the needs of the immigrants we need five or six sponsors each. At the present time we are in urgent need of five hundred sponsors who will commit to support their immigrant for an entire year. You can make it possible for new immigrants to turn their new beginning from an anxiety-laden trial, into a victory. Your gift of $65 each month, when joined with other sponsors, will really change their lives. We not only give food, bus passes, and birthday gifts, we also show God’s love and mercy to those who may not have ever experienced mercy from a Christian before. Be part of God’s miracle!
If you can’t give every month, will you consider a one-time donation to help us buy welcome gifts for newly arriving immigrants?
This is the time when God is actively fulfilling His prophetic promises to Israel. Don’t just read about Bible prophecy! Be a part of it! “I will bless those who bless you [Israel]…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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