Biblical Disasters — Divine Providence

April 16, 2020

Biblical Disasters — Divine Providence                    by Barry Segal

 

A Message of Hope for God’s People

 

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

 

At times like these, I am reminded of the story of when the children of Israel were fleeing Egypt and were stricken by a plague of serpents in the desert. Moses asked God to save them, and in response, God instructed him to fashion a snake out of bronze, and to wrap it around a pole. When the afflicted looked upon the bronze snake, they would survive their injuries.

 

Today, we understand this as one of many powerful signs of God’s providence for us in times of great difficulty. War, plagues, famine, and many other disasters strike—and God is always there for us, guiding the way with his healing mercy.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in Israel at the moment:

  • The outbreak of the coronavirus has kept the general population largely in their homes, and many of the country’s senior citizens are feeling left behind as they cannot buy provisions or medicine, or even see their family members due to a higher risk of infection

  • The need for ventilators remains at critical status as there are currently only 1,437 of them available in Israel

  • Over one million Israelis are registered as job seekers, unemployed, since the beginning of March—91% of them having been placed on unpaid leave

  • The unemployment rate has now climbed to 25% of the population

 

As the damage of COVID-19 has swept through our nation, and indeed our world, it’s tempting to cover our heads—to take the advice of “shelter in place” as permission to cut ourselves off from the problems of our fellow human beings. There are many who are doing so now, and who could blame them?

 

But as children of God, we know that we’re called for more than that. As we witness the elderly, the poor, the infirm, survivors of the Holocaust, children with special needs, and many more suffering under the far-reaching effects of this pandemic—let us remember our role as the hands and feet of the Lord on the ground in Israel.

 

And as heroes of Israel, we depend on you—for the crucial financial assistance that sustains these powerful missions we enact in God’s name. In these times of disaster—of biblical proportions—it is only fitting that we harken back to the many times that God granted mercy to his children through a proxy—that is, through the actions of others.

 

We are continuing our push to distribute pre-paid gift cards to the families who need them, and every one of your prayerful commitments is both desperately needed and appreciated in this fight to put food on the table for thousands of families this Passover.

 

By March, we have reached over 750 individuals and families with prepaid gift aid debit cards. We are now working on the next batch of 1,000 families and individuals. Each family will receive between $100-$200. All of these must be hand-delivered with our staff wearing protective gloves and masks or we utilize the special delivery services available to us.

 

We have to make calls to every recipient so they know it is coming and/or to be ready to open the door at their residence. Many of our aid recipients are also Russian speakers, particularly amongst the elderly population.

 

We are also helping in the emergency medical area as well financially for now.

We are reaching out to Holocaust Survivors, lone soldiers, victims of terror attacks, the poor and needy, children at risk and single-parent households. The gift-aid debit cards are like cash for them, and they can use it to purchase at about 20 stores that network together. This way people can purchase life’s necessities, especially food. With Passover coming up, all the more reason to reach as many as we can.

 

Thank you for your continued faithful support. Together, we will yet again take part in God’s saving grace for the children of Israel.

 

May God bless you and keep you.

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