Interestingly, there are many cases where His blessing is promised to those who care for the poor, the weak, and the hungry.
“Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed” (Psalm 41:1–3).
“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a well watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:10–11).
“‘But if a man is just and does what is lawful and right;…has given his bread to the hungry…If he has walked in My statutes and kept My judgments faithfully—He is just; He shall surely live!’ says the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 18:5, 7b, 9).
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing” (Matthew 24:45–46).
In the Face of Great Need
When I read these Scriptures tears well up in my eyes, and I cry out to God that we at Bridges for Peace will be faithful to feed His people, that we would not grow weary, that we will have the funds to meet the needs of the people of Israel. When I read the poverty reports and think about the 1.75 million people who live in poverty, knowing that at least 200,000 of them are in dire food-deprived poverty, my heart weeps. Bridges for Peace is currently giving nearly 65 tons (59 metric tons) of food each month to 26,000 people. It sounds like so much—and believe me, the volunteers who bag the food go home each day after handling tons of food feeling like we give a lot of food—but in comparison to the need, it is small.
Every Friday afternoon, after the Machane Yehuda food market in Jerusalem closes for the Sabbath (Shabbat), the needy can be found combing through the cast-off, bruised fruit and vegetables. Soup kitchen directors, many of whom are supplied with food from Bridges for Peace, tell us that there is a far greater need than they are able to supply. Some, loath to turn anyone away, have cut the serving size in order that everyone can have a little.
Israeli children go to school without eating breakfast, not because they overslept, but because there is nothing in the house to eat. Compassionate teachers have come to us appealing for bread to feed these students. In the former Soviet Union, many Jewish people eat one meal a day—the meal that they receive from our Project Tikvah (Hope). Forgotten by the world, these Holocaust survivors are still in survival mode. Christians who care are providing the one meal they receive.
One family we assist lost everything in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal. The father couldn’t take the stress. His heart simply stopped. He went to bed and never woke up. Now his wife and eight children are crying. They have nothing, and no father/husband. Yeshua (Jesus) said that when we feed the least of these His brethren we are doing it for Him (Matthew 25:31–46). Every ton of food, every mouth that is filled, every heart that is comforted in the midst of distress, and every person who experiences God’s love in action is worth every sacrifice we make.
In Response to God’s Word
In the book of James, he urges us to meet the needs of the hungry: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” (James 2:14–16). Thank you, our beloved partners, for your faithful giving and prayer support. We are a team that God has raised up for this time to show Christian love as we meet the very real and pressing needs of the people of Israel. We are asking God to multiply our food budget, so we can meet the needs of more people. Will you be part of this blessing? As you give, we believe that you will experience an outpouring of blessing from the throne of God, just as He promised. Our prayers are constantly for you. Even today, we have prayed that God will bless you, keep you employed, and that you will prosper even in these difficult days.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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