First Fruits by Kim Brunson
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10, NIV).
The concept of First Fruits was born out of the CFI Jerusalem’s founder’s long held belief in tithing. In the early years of Christian Friends of Israel, formed in December, 1985, CFI tithed on all of its undesignated income to churches and congregations which had already been formed in the Land, some who had been in Israel many years. There were times when established congregations found it hard to function for lack of funding. Others needed musical instruments, electronic equipment, transport vehicles and members had emergency situations which they could not afford to pay. CFI was there for them.
Today many are enjoying the fruit of their labors but still need emergency funding, individual care needs, equipment for services, furniture for apartments, etc. We are happy to do this from our First Fruits fund. There is no difference in our eyes whether someone is a believer from an Arab background, Jewish, Orthodox, Gentiles, a leader or a congregant. The criteria is simply one believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as Christians who believe in Jesus (Yeshua). Some live in the Old City of Jerusalem and numerous needs come to our attention from north to south in Israel.
We extend this wonderful opportunity to partner with us to strengthen believers in the Land. CFI “makes it possible” for you to personally be a blessing to the Household of Faith in Israel today.
We cannot do what we do, without you!
Contact First Fruits at: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Fruits January ‘21 Report: by Kim Brunson
Let each one of us [make it a practice to] please his neighbor for his good, to build him up spiritually.
Romans 15:2 (Amp)
Based on the ordeals of this previous calendar year for all of us, the transition from 2020 to 2021 has been welcomed. We believe that we will be presented with new challenges and that God will be faithful to have us meet them regarding our ability to serve believers in Israel during this time.
Since my wife Marcia and I were on leave for much of the previous month, other members of the CFI staff were able to participate in our outreach activities for those who had needs in Israel. Accompanying our media photographer to Haifa in our absence to deliver food vouchers to the Winapple family just in time for Hanukkah, were the two new additions to our team here. Previously, I had been able to meet the Winapples briefly, but not at their home. As he overcomes life-threatening illness, Mr. Winapple was able to share his extensive portrait creations inspired by his faith and even minister from scripture and experience to our team, so I am certain that the visit was as rewarding for them, as our ability to supplement household needs were for the Winapples. Because of his heritage, he was also able to speak his native Polish tongue with our photographer, who was born there. Mrs. Winapple was especially touched by our gifts of quilts and a hospitality basket with edibles, as a gesture of covenant.
“But whoever listens to me (Wisdom) will live securely and in confident trust
And will be at ease, without fear or dread of evil.” Proverbs 1:33
While abroad, I was able to secure support for an Armenian and Arab couple who needed some counseling to overcome some adverse and traumatic workplace circumstances. This couple has worked and is working in a key ministry in the land, so it was very important for us to keep them encouraged and motivated. Sometimes professional counsel is necessary, even with access to other ministry tools or resources. We believe this will also help their children within the dynamic of their household of faith.
“I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away] from the stormy wind and from the tempest.” Psalm 55:8 (Amp)
After a path fraught with delay and bureaucracy, we were finally able to make good on our pledge to assist the Christian Soldier House in Haifa with materials that were needed to reinforce the roof and upgrade this consequential property in the ability of lone soldiers and Arab Christian soldiers to thrive in their faith while serving Israel, despite their community or family opposition. The Christian couple that steward this work are also Arab and Armenian. As diverse as our donor base is, so is our recipient base within the land God has set aside for His blessings and promises!
Kim S. Brunson
First Fruits Outreach Supervisor