Tears are falling as the bombs rip apart buildings, infrastructure and families. We are in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. If tanks, bombs and missiles were not enough, those fleeing also contend with freezing temperatures as well as fuel and food shortages. The trains are packed to double and triple capacity. No one was allowed to take any luggage. One of the most touching pictures was of baby carriages left on the train platforms by Polish mothers for use by the refugees. They arrived at the borders with nothing, suffering from hypothermia and hunger. We are crying.
During the Holocaust, the Jewish people searched in vain for a place that would receive them. Tragically, few were saved. They did everything they could to hide their Jewishness. To be a Jew in those days was a death sentence. Natan Sharansky, a famous Ukrainian Jewish refusenik (a citizen of the former Soviet Union, often a Jew, who was refused permission to emigrate), said:
“I was reminded of those days when I saw thousands of people standing there [on the border] day and night and there is only one word that can help them get out: ‘Jew.’ If you are a Jew, there are Jews outside who care about and are waiting for you…Your chances of leaving are excellent. The world has changed. When I was a child, ‘Jew’ was an unfortunate designation. No one envied us. But today on the Ukrainian border, identifying as a Jew is a most fortunate circumstance. It describes those who have a place to go, where their family, an entire nation, is waiting for them on the other side.”
The nation of Israel is a safe haven for Jewish people at risk.
The rescue efforts are enormous, extremely risky and very costly. Most people are arriving with absolutely nothing. They will needhelp—lots of help. We are working with
Israel to bring as many as possible to Israel. Our Project Rescue workers in Moldova (and other border countries) are working around the clock to help traumatized Jewish people get to Israel. One older Moldavan Christian worker is helping 35–50 people a day. We authorized the purchase of a van to assist him. The money was sent the very day we became aware of the need. Our Project Tikvah teams in Poland and Western Ukraine are feeding the refugees as they arrive in Poland. We are sending tens of thousands of US dollars to help on all these fronts and will continue to do so until there is no one left to save. In Ezekiel 39:28, the Lord says this, “Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer” (NASB).
In Israel, where 500,000 are originally from Ukraine, shock and pain has impacted the whole community. We are crying with them. We are praying and we are acting. The words of the psalmist are encouraging, “Passing through the valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a spring…They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion” (Ps. 84:6a–7 NASB).
Your gifts to Project Rescue and Project Tikvah will enable us to bring the Jewish people home to Israel and feed them on the way. Your gifts to our Food Project will help us provide for them here in Israel. This is the time that God chose for us to minister and live. This is the time when the 200,000 Jewish people in Ukraine need help. Will you open your heart and wallet to their plight?
Crying, praying and acting in Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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