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Open Gates  by Tina Danilevski

We have started a new season in the project “Open Gates”.

For about 35 years CFI has been giving clothes to new immigrants. The numbers of visitors and staff members have changed during this time but the distribution center was always there to help with clothing.

Now our place looks different. There are tables and shelves instead of racks. Instead of clothes we see brand new electric devices and other household items. New immigrants can visit us one time and receive from us a so called “welcome basket”. It means that they can shop in our store, choose items they like for an amount that we tell them. We have certain rules to determine the amount of “money” for each visitor.

The new immigrants come to our Store by an appointment. We have a little talk with them before they shop. We explain to them who we are and why we want to give them a gift. They should know that there are Christians from all over the world who are praying for Israel and who want to bless the Jewish nation in different ways. We also ask some questions about their Aliyah Process and about their new life in the Land. Some of our visitors are more than willing to share their stories.

Sometimes we host a group from an absorption center, where new immigrants are living after making Aliyah. We make a little event for them including shopping in our store. Social workers of those centers take care of choosing the families who come. We prefer to give our gifts to those who need them most.

There have been immigrants from different backgrounds at our place. Our “welcome baskets” have been received with gratefulness. Here are some words that our visitors have written in our guest book:

 “Thank you so much for your wonderful gifts! It is difficult indeed for the new citizens in Israel to start their life all over again, especially if you are not by yourself but you have children. Your support warms our hearts and helps us to believe that we will have a wonderful life here in the Holy Land.”  Olga


“May Adonai bless all the people who are working to help Jewish people and us “olim hadashim”. Thanks for your support and for your precious time of life that you spend doing it.” Taliah


“It was unexpected and so pleasant to receive love and care through Christian Friends of Israel! We thank you for loving the nation of Israel!” Marat and Tatiana


“I greatly thank your organization for caring for the immigrants who have just arrived to the Land. It is invaluable, when somebody is holding your hands during the most difficult period. I wish that you always will have such an opportunity to help people. Be healthy and successful!” Irina

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