Today I Hugged a Holocaust Survivor

October 29, 2017
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Many people ask me about my typical day in Israel. I find it a bit funny because as a CEO my days have a lot of variety. However, I do spend a lot of time at my desk writing and planning. I am in a lot of meetings with other directors, board members and our management team. I am involved in problem solving, mentoring and directing an international organization. But, before Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year), I set aside my normal work and joined our team in distributing gifts for the holiday. It was a tremendous blessing to minister God’s love to the people of Israel by our practical actions. I experienced in this week what our team members experience every day. This is what I wrote about my week:

Today I hugged a Holocaust survivor. Yesterday I comforted a hurting mother. Earlier in the week I spoke to a group of Israeli high school girls telling them my story about coming to love God and Israel. It was a blessed week as we distributed gifts to help Jewish people celebrate the Fall Feasts (found in Lev. 23). This is the calling that God has given us at Bridges for Peace, and we are blessed to live it out on a daily basis. Yes, the team at Bridges for Peace is touching, comforting, loving, meeting needs and communicating our heart every week.

We delivered gifts to 200 Holocaust survivors in one week. A small group of us went to deliver cheer baskets to Holocaust survivors and were blessed to be welcomed by music. Nineteen Holocaust survivors sang folk songs in Russian and Hebrew to thank us. Then I was asked to speak. I told about the work of Bridges for Peace. I said, “I can’t take away the pain you suffered in the past, but I hope to bring some joy into your future.” They didn’t want us to leave. “One more song,” and so we would sing and sway to the music. The oldest in the group was a frail 95-year-old woman who wanted to dance. Her friends told her to stay seated but she was determined. Two of us helped her stand and supported her as she swayed to the music. Before she sat down I gave her a warm hug. I could feel her frail arms hugging back. God’s love was shared in a moment of caring.

Four hundred families in our Feed a Child program received food for the holidays. The mayor of Kiryat Ekron joined a celebration of children and educators as we distributed food parcels for their families. He shared, I shared, the children shared. All of us were moved. Afterward a Jewish mother of four came to me with tears in her eyes. “My husband hasn’t been able to work for a year and a half. You have saved our lives. I am going to cry; I am so moved by your actions. You have taken a load off my shoulders by helping my children.” Then she did cry. Again, I reached out and pulled her into my arms, communicating God’s love and care with a warm hug.

Principal Beverley Gribetz welcomed me to a girls’ school in Jerusalem. “I want you to share your story with all the girls,” she said. I shared my personal story of loving God and Israel as Beverley translated. Afterward many teenage girls came up to thank me. They were moved by the story of a young girl who followed the call of God and, with His help, is making a difference in people’s lives in Israel. They thanked us profusely for the help they receive through the Feed a Child program.

Every month we touch the hearts of thousands throughout Israel, as well as many in the former Soviet Union. We show our faith and our works through our loving actions and words.

Your gifts to Bridges for Peace are making it possible for us to continue to build bridges of friendship, love and respect between the Jewish and Christian people. Your gifts allow us to give food to 22,000 each month. Your gifts make it possible for hugs, smiles and tears of joy. Together we are giving hope for a future that is God-breathed with love and hope. Your gift isn’t just a check given to the leader of an organization. Your gift has arms that hug; smiling faces and hands full of practical assistance to those who need both.

We have had a slow year financially. Some of our funds are depleted. We need your help to end the year well. Please consider an extra gift so we can continue to touch the people of Israel with Christian love.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

 

 

Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO