Hope For The Future - Project Reports by Marcia Brunson
October 2020 Monthly Report - by Marcia Brunson
Flowing in the Agape Love
Our days are numbered as word says, “Man’s day are determined, you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. “ Job 14:5 KJV
Every essential request we receive from the families or individuals who are experiencing untimely hardship, establishes a narrative of the call on Christian Friends of Israel’s purpose for being in Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. Every day that we are in the office there is a phone call from a client that testifies to the difficulties many Ethiopians are experiencing in the land. We have to address each case a step at a time, and day by day. Our biggest objective is to see the whole picture and apply Abba’s agape love in each scenario.
Many families living through this season come to us through organizations unable to fulfill their material needs. For example young mothers who decided to give birth to their children only to face trails, being unable to provide bare necessities for the family. We know that our name Christian Friends of Israel gives us amble opportunity to show unconditional love at times when finances cannot satisfy all the needs these families may have.
One of the families, that we reached out to before the festivities connected with the High Holy Days, had such great hardship. They have experienced unemployment since March, and an unplanned addition to the family! We have no idea how certain circumstances flood the lives of good people. What is within our power to do, we will do by being sensitive and showing agape love. We did bend over backwards a little; I made a personal trip on the lite rail to obtain information for this family to get diapers and other baby items. I was also able to connect them with another agency that could do more for them than we could, on that day and at that time. Our hopes are that their days, though imprinted by such hardship and despair, will be redirected by experiencing the Lord’s best for them! Please join us in prayer for the many families affected during this time of need with only the bare necessities; prayer that will make a difference. While this can be somewhat unnerving, the bigger picture only gives us satisfaction that we have indeed made a difference. One of the women, a part of our “sowing seeds,” contacted me at the last minute indicating that she needed help with food for the two weeks of Rosh Hosanna and Sukkot. I felt this need very personally, because I know that she is a dutiful worker.
Her son broke his foot and was unable to get clearance to return to IDF duties. She also has a pre-teen living at home so with one day left to help her get an application in, we had the food voucher in her hands before the close of the day! Even a day earlier than expected! Thanks to the agape love, from the heart of our directors, we were able to facilitate good will to those in need. With social distancing restrictions upon us, I was able to present her with the vouchers in the central bus station’s atrium. Hope for the Future’s mandate is to make a difference where we can. It is within our operation to see the heavenly flow of agape love into hearts and lives of God’s first-born, Israel!
Marcia S. Brunson
Hope for the Future Outreach Supervisor
September 2020 Monthly Report - by Marcia Brunson
Welcome September! This is a month of “teshuva,” “Tashan” meaning Return and “Hey” in the letter “JHVH represents Shekinah or presence of God. This return meaning Teshuvah is most associated with the High Holy Days – many people in Israel and all over follow this time in repentance prior to Yom Kippur the days of atonement
Turning of the hearts of love toward man many times can be physical application instead of spoken. We are more isolated today in the times we live. The pandemic has not ceased yet and we can reach out and turn to those in need, who may not have the same means to raise their heads above the water of poverty, fear, isolation economic and social divides. This time of the year especially gives us the incentive to care about our neighbour or our fellow man on a daily bases.
Hope for the Future; consistently applies the foundations of looking to give hands up not just a hand out. Our project found this season to be more intense than the previous years due to our present situation here in the land of Israel. We experienced a race with time to ensure many families would have sufficient food during the High Holy Days. It is our normal posture, to give extra food vouchers, and reach out to help the larger families, single mothers and the sick and shut in. Our thoughts this year are to make sure families could shop before any restrictions prevented them from getting all the necessities they needed to enjoy their families in their homes.
We found a few of our single Mothers in Jerusalem and Kiryat Gat, had extreme needs beyond food, Our first priority pertained to helping them to feed the children while out of school as well as during the coming festival. Between the single mothers, we were able to give a monetary gift to two families. Times like this are giving opportunities, to embrace the situations and to do our best. I am always impressed by one of the Elders in the Kiryat Gat community, Mr. Avraham; whenever a family is in need he will get in contact with me to ensure the needy families are processed.
A religious Ethiopian family in Kiryat Gat, needed assistance, a large families with seven children, a Rabbi and his wife living off disabilities. I was able to deliver food vouchers to the family outside of the apartment building. Due to the corona, I could not go in because of the Fathers health risk but the mother came out to greet me. She smiled behind her mask to show me her grateful heart.
Many families were touch in Beni Brak as the situation is more crucial with a larger elderly community, Hope for the Future wired funds to the WIZO director to purchase vouchers for thirteen families! We are thankful for such partnership to help us be the hands and face for our God. Finally, we had a special request from a young college student preparing to serve in the IDF in Special Forces, struggling to study and get good grades, while not being able to work. Food is essential to us all; we supplied him with funds for his dorm apartment. From our efforts, we know that love has no limits, nor boundaries. It can bypass any situation when applied to fulfil the mandate of the Heart of Abba! Let Brotherly Love continue Hebrews 13:1
August 2020 Monthly Report - by Marcia Brunson
Grace to the Great Mountain
Accompanied by many Ethiopian Israeli restaurateurs and coffee bean exporters, the honorable Ambassador Rentu from the Ethiopian Consulate in Tel Aviv, did a fantastic job of educating the public on the Ethiopians' financial plight for exports from Ethiopia into Israel. A few of our HFF clients are independent caterers who cooked delicious food for this event. The committee that set this up did an excellent job educating the audience with statistics relating to imports of coffee and existing Ethiopian restaurants in the land. By seeing and smelling the plethora of Ethiopian bread, coffee, and cuisine, we experienced the awe-inspiring beauty of Ethiopia!
Our Hope for the Future project has a new method to help with the plight, by injecting new ideas to combat unemployment and poverty. We hope to help create opportunities! Our initial concern has been single mothers unable to sustain longevity in work with young children, and those physically unable to hold jobs outside of their homes. With careful consideration and research, an idea came to help the community, starting with a small group of women with hearts to succeed. One of the clients said, "A lot of the younger generation lack the vision to trust small beginnings, which would then propel them into a bigger view; they are not excited about working hard or waiting for the ideal occupation."
The concern overall is whether in its current disadvantaged position, the Ethiopian community can survive or if, in the long run, they will manage to climb up the socio-economic ladder and significantly improve their status. High mountains stand in front of many that are marginalized, unable to see beyond the significant lack.
CFI Project Hope For the Future facilitated an initiative which was developed and created to empower the Ethiopian Community, designated as the S.E.W. Cooperative, as a means to constitute a new view of "Sewing Seeds" to help stimulate Ethiopian wealth. This initial effort is in the beginning stages, so please continue to pray they will avail themselves of this opportunity to be enabled to become self-sufficient, self-employed with great options to maintain the co-op for the economy of the community.
The S.E.W. Initiative began by identifying mothers or young women struggling to make ends meet. With the unfortunate forced global shutdown, many have experienced underemployment or unemployment. The groups hit the hardest were freelance workers, caterers, house cleaners, hair braiders, or other work obtained on an as-needed basis.
The efforts to establish an opportunity for the women began after our initial meeting. The process of purchasing the sewing machines took lots of research and many inquiries to match our efforts with a company that would work hand in hand with us. With the help of a devoted group, we were able to buy three machines for 3000nis! Along with this purchase, we received a free tutorial seminar on the mechanics of the devices and use. We continue to be thankful for all the prayer that will surround "Sewing Seeds" this year, as this launching pad establishes new possibilities for our clients to say to "Grace, grace" to the high mountains in their paths.
"What are you a great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of grace, grace to it!"