Raising the Poor Out of the Dust

April 30, 2018

We are celebrating the 70th year since Israel became a nation. Around the world Christians and Jews are praising God for Israel. The Hallel (praise) Psalms (113–118) are read as part of this praise to God. In Psalm 113 God is praised in part for how He cares for the needy. “Who is like the LORD our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap” (Ps. 113:5–7).

In the midst of the celebrations, there are many in Israel burdened with needs. Holocaust survivors, immigrants, children from broken homes, lone soldiers (here without family support), elderly and mourners all have something in common. They need our loving care.

Miriam is a new immigrant who receives food from Bridges for Peace. She wrote to us:

Dear Bridges for Peace,

I came to Israel with my two sons and it was like moving to another planet. We did not have any relatives or acquaintances in Israel. It was frightening to realize we knew very little about the country we moved to.

But all glory to God, almost immediately you came into our lives, people who were ready to help us and to support us. And thanks to you we very soon felt at home! You gave us huge assistance for me with my two sons.

My difficult factory job left me feeling disconnected from my kids and I felt like I was wasting my time and strength. For a very long time I worked on jobs I did not like just to provide for my family and it did not leave me time nor strength to realize my dreams.

I am now improving my Hebrew and making my first steps in a new profession, sewing beautiful clothes for my friends and for myself. It is such happiness to bring people beauty and joy!

Telling the truth, I would not have the courage to make this step if I was not sure that there are people helping me. Thank you very much and I wish you a lot of strength in such a noble job!

With love, Miriam

We love to minister God’s love to Holocaust survivors in their waning years. Ari is always thankful to receive his parcel, but this particular time we had a small surprise for him. He had just had his 94th birthday, so in addition to his regular food parcel, we had a birthday cheer basket for him. Ari’s face lit up and he had a huge smile on his face! Our Bridges for Peace staff member, Jey, said:

“When I helped him down the steps with his cart, Ari couldn’t thank us enough for what we do for him, and that brought me such joy. Our parcels for Holocaust survivors are so much more than a simple package of food. When we deliver food parcels, we are also delivering someone who cares about them; someone who listens to what has happened to them during the week. Those who have lived through unimaginable horrors deserve our utmost respect, and being a listening ear and providing them with a package of food does more for them than we can know. I’m so appreciative to be part of Bridges for Peace, and to have the great blessing of seeing so many Holocaust survivors get help from Christians around the world who care about them.”

22,140 Eat at the Bridges Table

Ari, Miriam and 22,140 Israelis in similar situations receive food from Bridges for Peace every month. We don’t just provide for them at holidays, because poverty is year-round. They reside in Israeli communities from the north to the south. They speak Russian, Spanish, French, English, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Hebrew and Amharic (and probably more). They have come from the four corners of the earth, as God is reestablishing the nation of Israel.

Many thousands more are asking for our assistance. I know God’s heart is turned towards them in their need. I want to be part of helping them rise out of the depths and experience the plan of God in their lives. What a blessing to be an organization that God is using to show His care to the needy, to lift them from the ash heap and to raise them out of the dust.

We couldn’t do it without your help. Please pray about giving a generous gift to our Food Program this month, to enable us to extend the table to even more in need. Thank you for showing your faith through your actions.

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18 NASB).

Blessings from Israel,

Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO

Bridges for Peace is committed to blessing the people of Israel in a variety of ways.

Food Project

“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness…” (Isa. 58:10)

The BFP food banks in Jerusalem and Karmiel together process over three tons of food every working day. The food is heading to the homes of Israel’s needy. Purchased in Israel, the food meets the kosher requirements and contributes to the GDP.

New immigrants benefit, as well as those who have been here for a longer time. Holocaust survivors, poor children—both in the Jewish and Arab sectors—orphanages, and Jewish community centers are all on our list of recipients. Let us turn your contribution into much-needed food.

Greatest Israel Need

This fund gives us the flexibility to meet needs not covered by our regular projects and to respond quickly to urgent needs.

Project Rescue

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when men will no longer say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,” but they will say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.” For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers. But now I will send for many fishermen,’ declares the Lord, ‘and they will catch them’” (Jer. 16:14–16a, NIV)

Many of the neediest Jews in the countries of the former Soviet Union are unable to come to Israel because they simply cannot afford the cost of passports, exit visas, ground transportation, and lodging for their trip home. We send “fishermen” who search for hopeless Jews who long to go home to Israel. Without help, they cannot move to Israel.

With your assistance, we can literally rescue our Jewish brothers and help them fulfill God’s Word. Thus far, we have helped rescue over 50,000 Jews.

    

Crisis Assistance Fund

Crisis Assistance Fund: Your gifts enable us to respond quickly to crisis situations. These may include critical needs, such as bomb shelters, ambulances or to extend help for emergency situations such as terror arson attacks, and more.

Karmiel Center

This center was established in 2008 and is our first facility outside of Jerusalem. Food is distributed to northern Israel through our Karmiel food bank. The warehouse also contains over 500 tons of food stored for times of crisis. This means that in case of a war or natural disaster when food supplies become scarce and food prices skyrocket, we would have enough food to continue to feed our recipients for eight months, as well as respond to special requests. Great care is taken to ensure that no food reaches its expiration date before being distributed.

Feed a Child

Thousands of Israeli school children live below the poverty line and cannot afford to buy lunch, even at a subsidized cost. Your sponsorship for a one-year commitment will provide the following: a hot lunch every day at school, gifts on their birthday and holidays, help to purchase school books, a backpack filled with supplies, and funds for special needs during the summer.

    

Adoption Program

Through our Adoption Program, you have an opportunity to sponsor a Jewish family or individual in Israel for a year, helping them through a critical time in their lives. We provide much needed emotional support as well as a large food package (fruits, vegetables, chicken, milk products, canned goods, and paper products), bus tickets, and financial assistance for special needs.

Those who benefit from the program are new immigrants to Israel; native Israeli families suffering from terror attacks, major medical crises, or loss of a job; Holocaust survivors; and college students who are alone in Israel. We are friends helping friends get on their feet, so they can live productive lives.

Sponsors receive a picture and a profile about the person/s they sponsor, and close relationships are established through letters, which our staff translates for both parties. As you change a life, you too will be changed!

    

Project Tikvah (Hope)

This project reaches out to many Jewish people in the former Soviet Union who either will not or cannot immigrate to Israel. Many are elderly or in poor health. Most are destitute; many are Holocaust survivors.

Increasingly, we are finding Jewish people who are starving and don’t have heat in the winter. Some have died from exposure. We have established soup kitchens to feed them, so they receive one hot, nourishing meal each day. We also purchase heaters and meet other needs as possible.

Zealous8:2 Scholarship Fund

Are you zealous for Israel? Pass the fire to the next generation (ages 18–30)! Help them catch the vision by bringing them to Israel on tour! Each year Zealous8:2 sponsors two tours: one in January and one in June. It is a life-changing experience, and you can help make it happen.

Israel Team Member Support

Living in Israel can be very expensive. With additional funding, our team members are enabled to continue their work in Israel. We also draw from this fund to subsidize special activities from time to time for our volunteer staff. This is your opportunity to bless those who have sacrificed much to live and work far from home.

You can also support a specific team member through this fund. When you do so, your donation is passed on to that person to meet their particular needs.

Cheer Basket

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Isa. 61:1)

Our cheer basket is filled with delicious cookies, candies, dried fruit, nuts, flavored teas, and several other items that are specifically selected to bring hope and encouragement to Israel’s shut-ins, elderly, and anyone else who is discouraged and needs a tangible expression of God’s love.

A cheer basket is also given to immigrants on the Adoption Program for birthdays, including special ones for the children. This is often the only birthday present many receive.

New Immigrant Fund

This fund enables us to meet needs of new immigrants as they come to the land of Israel in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Those needs vary greatly as each person has unique challenges.

Immigrant Welcome Gifts

Bless a new immigrant family and let them know that they are welcomed in Israel by Christians who believe God’s promise to bring His people back to His Land.

We give a generous gift package: a copy of the Tanach (Gen.–Mal.) in Hebrew alongside Russian or Spanish, blankets, school kits for the children, and a set of new pots and pans, utensils, and a cutting board.

This one-time gift is a great help to immigrants who most often come from their home countries with very little.

School Starter Kit

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name, welcomes Me.”(Matthew 18:5)

This kit contains many needed school items, including pens, pencils, sharpener, glue, scissors, markers, a carrying case, and more. We not only distribute these to new immigrant children but make them a part of the school supplies we give to our Feed a Child students.

Arab Family Assistance

There are many needs in the Christian Arab community. This community is becoming smaller as many choose to reside in the West rather than being a small minority in the predominantly Muslim Arab communities. Increasingly, they face persecution from their Muslim neighbors. Your gift helps us to minister the love of the Lord as we give them food.

Victims of War

“He has sent me…to comfort all who mourn…” (Isa. 61:1–2)

We minister to anyone touched by war or terrorism, delivering special cheer baskets to the wounded in hospitals after a suicide bombing and to the bereaved. Special needs, such as wheelchairs, food vouchers, and financial assistance for medical bills are provided for those in long-term rehabilitation.

Home Repair

“Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Isa. 58:12)

God has blessed us with skilled construction workers. Teams are busy renovating homes of the poor and elderly; some of them are Holocaust survivors. Many of these homes are one-room hovels in buildings over 100 years old. We fix leaky plumbing, replace broken windows, paint, plaster, rewire, repair or install cabinets, put on new roofs, and do general fix-up work.

Some of our workers have told us that this is the best job they have ever had in their lives. They get many hugs, plus a lot of tea, coffee, and cake from very appreciative Jerusalemites. Your gifts supply the raw materials to get the job done.

Adopt an Israeli Town

Bridges for Peace sponsors 18 Israeli towns—from the Galilee to the Negev—that are experiencing severe economic hardship. Working through the mayor’s office and the social welfare network, we give food to needy families, many of them new immigrants. Sponsors give a monthly donation (for a one-year commitment) and receive a frameable, full-color biographical sketch of the community they “adopt.” We arrange visits to the communities for sponsoring church groups visiting Israel.

    

Dental/Medical Aid

Israeli health insurance does not cover dental, 100% of the cost of prescription medications, or medical apparatuses such as wheelchairs. Often the needy, many of them immigrants, must choose between vital health needs and food. We can bring a smile to the faces of those who suffer.

Vehicle Fund

We have several vans to help us do our work: for home repair, for pick-up and delivery of food both in Jerusalem and Karmiel, and for postal pick up and other administrative needs. When they wear out, we draw from this fund to purchase or lease new ones, which is very expensive in Israel.

Greatest Ministry Need

Your contribution to this fund will be used to support the educational and operational costs of running Bridges for Peace.

National Office Support

Bridges for Peace has national offices in eight countries that are staffed by sincere and dedicated individuals working selflessly on behalf of Israel. By reaching out to the Church with information and educational opportunities, building relationships with local Jewish communities, advocating for the nation of Israel, and raising the funds necessary for us to continue our projects in the Land, our national offices are the hands and feet of Bridges for Peace the world over.

Often working on a shoestring, their efforts are foundational to our ongoing work of building bridges to the Jewish people through practical expressions of Christian love. Your gift to the national office of your choice helps to insure that their work of blessing Israel and the Church, at home and in the Land, can continue.

Save An Israeli Life

Our newest project partners with Magen David Adom National Blood Services to save Israelis in need, whether during surgery or hurt in a car accident, terrorist attack, or war. Your gift helps keep the hearts of this beloved nation beating. Save a life today!

Land of the Bible Experience

This developing educational center is located in Jerusalem at our International Headquarters. Our desire is to promote a Hebraic understanding of biblical culture to visiting tour groups. Our teaching room is designed to look like the inside of a first-century home, and guests are dressed up in first-century costumes. Biblical themes are taught through drama and interactivity, such as building a sukka (booth) in our garden during Feast of Tabernacles.

To learn more, read our Dispatch article, “Reconnecting Christians To Their Hebraic Roots”.

To book a reservation for you or your tour group:

landofthebible@bridgesforpeace.com or call our Jerusalem Headquarters at 972-2-624-5004 (FAX: 972-2-634-6622)

Education Program

Our educational programs enable us to fulfill our God-given mandate.  Helping the Church understand Christianity’s Hebraic roots, modern Israel’s prophetic significance, historic and current events is critical to building a worldwide network of Christians who love and support Israel. Donations will facilitate the creation and implementation of programs globally.