Preparing for Crisis

May 1, 2008
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The eerie, undulating blare of the air raid siren, joining 1,500 sirens nationwide, reminded us all of the eminent threat of war. Thankfully, it was only a drill, part of a week-long, nationwide, civilian-preparedness exercise.

At the Bridges for Peace Headquarters, everyone left their places of work and quickly went to the basement, which has three-foot thick walls and is the safest place to be in a conventional warfare attack. We quickly went through the drill, making sure everyone was accounted for, ensuring that everyone knew their assignments if this were a real attack and not just a drill, and then went back to work. It is certainly sobering to live in a country that must prepare civilians for major attack. One only has to read the paper for a couple of days to see the kinds of threats Israel is facing on an ongoing basis.

In One Week, All of the Following Were in the News:

  • Syria called up reserve units and mobilized in the Bekka Valley. Then, two days after the Israeli drill, Syria announced its own drill to prepare civilians for war.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad celebrated National Nuclear Day and announced that Tehran is expanding its nuclear enrichment program at the Natanz Nuclear Plant by installing 6,000 new uranium enrichment centrifuges there. In a televised address from the northeastern city of Mashhad, Ahmadinejad insisted Iran would never abandon its atomic work, which the West fears is a cover to build nuclear bombs. Iran says its work is to produce energy. “The Iranian nation will bloody the enemy’s [the West’s] nose if they want to violate an iota of our rights [to nuclear technology],” he said without elaborating.
  • Rocket fire from Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to pummel Israeli communities in the western Negev.
  • Sheikh Naim Kassem warned that Hizbullah is fully ready to defend Lebanon if Israel attacks again. This was said in response to the Israeli drill and comes amidst common knowledge that Hizbullah has fully re-armed.

Just recently, we have seen numerous terror attacks, including eight young men killed at a Jerusalem yeshivah (religious school) and a 15-year-old Christian severely injured by a pipe bomb hidden in a gift package left at his family home. So, the nation of Israel mourns over their dead, prays for their wounded, and prepares for worse still to come. Many feel that Israel will be targeted during Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations this month.

Stocked and Outfitted with Emergency Supplies

At Bridges for Peace, we have felt God impressing us to prepare to minister in practical ways to the Israeli people in a time of crisis. We have now stocked our Karmiel Assistance Center with 400 tons [362 metric tons] of food in order to be ready to feed people in targeted war zones. We also know that we are a voice from Jerusalem, so we have outfitted our journalists with emergency equipment. Now, if there should be a disruption of our Internet connection or electricity, they could continue to get the word out to the world, utilizing solar battery chargers, satellite data and phone connections, and more.

In the meantime, we continue to minister God’s love to the people of Israel in a variety of ways. We took shiva food packages to the mourning families of those killed in the yeshivah attack. Shiva is a seven-day period of mourning during which the family does not leave the home. Our shiva food packages help carry them through this painful time. We gave a generous financial gift to repair the home of the young Christian boy. We continue to provide more than 20,000 people each month with food. We send groups of volunteers to assist towns, villages, and organizations in practical ways, such as painting bomb shelters, cleaning gardens before celebrations, setting up for school competitions, and much more. We continue to feed children (Feed a Child Program), repair homes for the needy, feed the elderly in the former Soviet Union (Project Tikvah [hope]), help Jewish people come home to Israel (Project Rescue), and sponsor students, immigrants, and Israelis in crisis through our Adoption Program.

Being Sober, Aware, and Prayerful

The prophet Ezekiel talks of difficult days to come in Ezekiel 38 when he talks about an invasion of Israel by a confederation of nations led by Russia and Iran. Yeshua (Jesus) told of pending crises (Mark 13, Matthew 24). He tells us, “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:33). We are taking heed, watching, praying, and preparing. James tells us that belief needs to be accompanied by action; “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). That is the kind of Christian I want to be: sober, aware of the times we live in, watchful, prayerful, and prepared to serve the Lord in difficult circumstances through my faith and works.

Will you help us?

Recent expenditures from our Victims of War fund have greatly reduced available funds. We want to be ready to meet needs when they are presented to us and not have to sadly turn away. Secondly, food prices continue to climb in Israel in response to the worldwide fuel increases and financial crises. We believe God wants us to give more food each month, not less, but unless the giving for food increases, we will have to give less. Please pray and ask the Lord if He wants you to partner with Him and Bridges for Peace to minister to the people of Israel. Please choose a project on the response page. Our prayer for you is that God would bless you as you bless His people (Genesis 12:3).

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Rebecca J. Brimmer,

International President and CEO