The threat of war on Israel’s northern border has increased in recent months. Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group based in Lebanon, is threatening to blanket northern Israel with missiles and rockets reaching even to the Israeli towns surrounding the Sea of Galilee and promising a nuclear-like explosion by targeting ammonia-producing plants in Haifa. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently threatened Israel saying, “Its simple mathematics. A few missiles on a few ammonium plants equals the same amount of death as an atomic bomb…you can destroy Lebanon and Dahiyeh. You have the strongest air force, you have missiles and you have other means by which to do it. But we can do the same thing to you [Israel] with only a few missiles aimed at a few ammonium plants.”
Recently I sat in my Karmiel office with Moshe, Karmiel Head of Security. Karmiel, a city of 50,000, is situated 10 miles (16.1 km) south of the Lebanon border and is one of the targets. Moshe referred to the war in 2006. During that war Hezbollah fired nearly 3,800 rockets into Israel. Many of them landed in and around Karmiel. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in the north were at risk. This next war, according to Moshe, will be much worse. He cited Israeli security and military experts who expect Israel to be inundated with thousands of missiles. “For the first five or six days,” he said, “we expect the population will not be able to leave their shelters.” Every home, by law, has a reinforced safe room, which is able to withstand attack. After the meeting my husband and I did a reassessment of our supplies in our shelter room and added enough water to last a week.
The city of Karmiel is also assessing their risks and determining how they can care for the needs of the citizens. We have already agreed to be part of their emergency team. They know that we have over 300 tons of food stored for times of emergency. They are thankful that Christians around the world care about their needs.
Now they have asked if we can help them prepare an underground reinforced “bunker” for their emergency operations. They are not the army and will not be responsible for fighting the enemy. They will be responsible for meeting the needs of the community in time of crisis. They will rescue the elderly and the handicapped; they will provide emergency services like ambulances, fire and rescue—perhaps they will even need to rescue people from collapsed structures. They may have to deal with power outages and insufficient supplies. They will do all of this under extremely adverse circumstances.
People will be told to stay home in their shelters during the crisis, but city workers will not be able to stay in the relative safety of their home shelters. They will have to proceed by foot, car or bicycle to the emergency hub they are preparing. This underground nerve center will cost 7,000,000 shekels (nearly US $2 million). They are petitioning the national government for a portion of the cost, and have already set aside one million shekels, but they need more.
God has given Bridges for Peace favor in Karmiel. The municipality’s leadership knows that we represent Christians who love them and want see them prosper and experience the blessing of the Lord. We have regular consultations. They now view us as partners in meeting the needs of the people.
After the 2006 war the Lord led us to establish a center in northern Israel. We spent much time in prayer and He confirmed to us the place we should be—Karmiel. At that moment we knew that we would be there in a time of crisis. We have prepared accordingly. Now that time seems imminent. In the book of Esther, Mordechai says to Esther, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). A Jewish translation of the same passage in the Tanakh (Gen.–Mal.) says, “…for such a crisis as this.” I believe that God has placed Bridges for Peace in Israel and specifically in northern Israel for such a time as this. He will help us to comfort and care for the people of Israel in times of crisis.
Please help us to strengthen the relationships in Karmiel, to maintain our food supplies, and to help the city build the emergency bunker that is greatly needed. Your gifts to Center in the North, will allow us to show the people of Karmiel how much we love them—in normal times and especially in crisis times.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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