We often refer to Bridges for Peace as a Ministry of Reconciliation. After nearly 2,000 years of animosity between the Christian and Jewish communities, we believe that God wants us to learn to respect, honor, and love our Jewish brothers. One of the dictionary definitions for reconciliation is, “to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.” We call it building bridges. Everything we do is aimed at furthering positive, sincere relationships between Christians and Jews. I have become convinced that Christian hatred towards Jewish people is a sin for which the Church needs to repent. Even indifference is problematic—how can we love God and be indifferent to a people that He loves?
Our education programs are helping Christians see the Jewish people, Israel, and the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith in ever more positive manners. Dialogue between Christians and Jews is happening on a much more frequent basis than previously.
In order to move the Christian–Jewish relationship forward, we must become involved in faithful action. Unfortunately, much of the action the Jewish world has experienced from the Christian world is not positive. Our Orthodox Jewish friend, Moshe Kempinski often tells our groups “your Bible says you are supposed to be making us jealous—it’s not working. We don’t see anything to be jealous of.” Ouch!!
Our projects are designed to show unconditional love to the Jewish people. The 28,000 people who receive food from us each month know that we represent Christians around the world that want to bless and not curse. Every soup kitchen, food distribution agency, and municipality that we deliver food to hangs a plaque which expresses Christian love on the wall so that all recipients can see it. Three hundred and fifty children in the Feed a Child Program, along with their families, know that Christian love provides for their needs. School administrators are overwhelmed by the support they receive from Christians. Over 900 families, whose homes have been repaired by our Home Repair team, are astonished at the assistance they receive from Christian workers. Over 40,000 who have been assisted in their aliyah (immigration) process know that there is such a thing called Christian love. Let me tell you a few stories:
Project Rescue Helps Injured Lady—A rabbi in the Ukraine approached us asking us to help Zoya*, who was sick, to join her sister, Irina* in Israel. She had an open wound on her leg which wouldn’t heal. The doctor was talking about amputation. Our workers intervened and worked tirelessly to make her aliyah to Israel possible. Once her paperwork was all finished, we transported her to the airport and finally she arrived in Israel. Israeli doctors were able to save her leg using skin grafts. Today she is healing well. Irina wrote to us thanking us for helping her sister, “You saved her—and I will always remember you. Thank you for your help and patience. May God give you strong health and patience to help people.” (* Names have been changed.)
Food Recipient Thanks Bridges for Peace—“What a happy day it was for me when I found out about Ahavat Rivka Club [club house with a soup kitchen we help]. I now go there every day. I meet happy people that enjoy the activities and have a hot and delicious lunch daily. I noticed a plaque with the name Bridges for Peace on the wall. I found out that Bridges for Peace is a Christian organization that loves Israel and provides most of the food that we eat at the Ahavat Rivka Club every day. I am thankful to the Israeli-loving Christians who are willing to invest in me and the family—your prayers, your money, and your love.”
Medical and Dental Fund Helps Child—Garth is a 12-year-old boy who lives with his family in Karmiel. He is a part of the Bridges for Peace Feed a Child program. When he was 6 years old he was diagnosed with a serious eye condition which causes a very bad squint. He is required to wear special glasses which need to be changed every six months. We have assisted in getting him new glasses. Garth and his parents have expressed sincere gratitude to Bridges for Peace. His mother mentioned that when Garth received the glasses he was very excited because when he goes outside they become tinted. “How cool,” he said. The glasses make an enormous difference with his daily activities: reading, writing, playing, and watching television. He doesn’t get as many headaches now because his eyes are not strained. Christian donations made it possible to change this young boy’s life!
In the Nations—It isn’t just in Israel that the Jewish people are experiencing a new attitude of respect and blessing. Our Japan office recently gave a going away meal for the departing Israeli ambassador. One hundred and twenty pastors came to show their appreciation and love. The ambassador was visibly moved by the outpouring of love from Christian leaders. Every time I travel, appointments are made with the Jewish community. Always there are comments about their positive friendships with Bridges for Peace staff and volunteers.
We have a choice! We can choose to bless or curse. Our choice determines whether we will experience blessing or cursing.
As Moses said to the children of Israel, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deut. 30:19–20).
Genesis 12:3 points the way to blessing: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Join us today in this great reconciliation effort. Join us in building bridges of love. Join us in showing your Christian love, through your righteous action. Your generous gift to one of our projects, or to Greatest Israel Need, will make a difference! May God bless you as you bless His chosen people.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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