I am so thankful for the multitude of blessings God has given. Every breath I breathe is a gift from the Almighty. Every drop of water, every bite of food—everything good comes from Him. I open my refrigerator, and I thank God for giving us food to eat.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Every autumn in the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated—a special day set aside to thank God for His goodness. In Israel we celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and a major component of this feast is thankfulness for all that the Lord provides. During these special times, we think of those in need in our communities and make sure they have enough good food for the holiday. Sukkot is one of the pilgrimage holidays when all men were to come up to Jerusalem with their offerings.
But, hunger is not only felt on holidays. In fact, in the Bible, not all offerings were saved and brought to the Temple during a pilgrimage holiday; much of the tithe was actually used to minister to the poor—the widow and orphans, all year long.
In Israel about 25% of the population lives in poverty (that is more than 2 million people). Many are new immigrants struggling to establish themselves in their new homeland. Some are Holocaust survivors living in desperate situations. When they open their refrigerators, what do they see? One of the mayors we work with told of visiting the homes of new immigrants and seeing padlocks on the refrigerators. Food was doled out to family members sparingly. Some are homeless—not only do they not have a refrigerator full of food, they don’t even have a home.
Why Has God Blessed Us?
Certainly God blesses us because of His great love! But this brings up a question. Does God love us more than others? There is a story in the Bible of a prosperous man who had abundant harvests. One year his harvest was so great he could not store it in his barns, so he reasoned that he needed to build bigger barns to store the abundance of food. But God was displeased with this man. Why? I believe it is because God created us to be in community. We are to be mindful of the needs of the less fortunate. He doesn’t bless us just so our own needs will be taken care of; He intends us to reach out in love to others. It is not wrong to prosper. But perhaps it is wrong to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others while heaping more in our barns. Can it be that God blesses us so that we can demonstrate His character when we bless others?
Bridges for Peace Is Feeding and Blessing
Every month our team purchases nutritious food in bulk, packages it in family-sized packets and gives the food to more than 22,000 people that God loves. Every parcel of food is delivered with love. We fill their pantries with food, and their hearts with the knowledge that God loves them enough to move on the hearts of Christians all around the world to minister to them in their practical needs. We love to see the smiles on their faces as they realize that they are not alone; Bridges for Peace is standing with them—Christians are standing with them.
As you prepare for your holiday feasts; or when you open your refrigerator, please ask the Lord how much He wants you to send to bless the returning sons and daughters of Zion. Ask Him if He wants you to help feed the homeless in Israel. Does He want you to express Christian love through your gift of food? Your gift can help us ensure they have food to eat. Your gift can make a difference in the lives of those God is calling home from the four corners of the earth. Join us as we partner with God to bless the people of Israel. No gift is too small and no gift is too large. The need is great.
I thank God for all His blessings. Today I am thanking Him for you. Your faithfulness to feed the people of Israel enables our staff to reach out in love to needy Israelis. Today I am praying that God will prosper you and that you will in turn bless those in need out of your God-given abundance.
Blessings from Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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