Tonight, Jewish families all across Israel are celebrating “Pesach” (Passover). This is the Biblical festival in which we remember each and every year how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob rescued His people out of slavery in Egypt and redeemed them by His great love, mercy and power.
I am so glad to be able to report to you that because of the faithful prayers and generous financial support of evangelical Christians throughout the U.S. and Canada, The Joshua Fund and our Jewish and Christian allies have been able to bless thousands of poor and needy Israelis in the name of Jesus this year who otherwise would not have had the food, supplies, or financial resources to celebrate the holiday this year. These include Holocaust survivors, other elderly Israelis, and single mothers and their children.
Thank you so much for all you have done to help us help those in need. Please keep praying for these dear people. Here’s an update on what happened.
Through distribution centers The Joshua Fund helps finance and supply, some 1,200 needy Jewish families in various towns and cities throughout Israel were directly provided food and supplies for Passover this past week. Each of these families is living under the poverty level and most if not all would have had great difficulty celebrating Passover this year if it were not for the help of Christians like you.
In another Passover project financed by The Joshua Fund, an additional 1,600 needy Israeli families were invited to receptions over the past few days and given gift cards enabling them to buy Passover supplies at their local grocery stores. Many of these families receive aid through different government run projects, including items like rice, sugar and corn. However, those government provisions don’t supply what they specifically need for a Passover feast.
In the future, as our new warehouse becomes fully operational, we will be able to distribute more food directly, and probably not need to distribute food vouchers. But this was a way to bless many additional people this particular year.
At each of the receptions around the country where the food vouchers were distributed, friends of The Joshua Fund drove needy Israelis to the local supermarket where they could buy what they needed for Pesach.
The director of one Holocaust survivors organization thanked The Joshua Fund and our allies for remembering them. “This makes Pesach real for us – many could not have had the food on their tables without your love,” said the director. “This gift given by you is a proof of the caring heart and loving attitude towards us, the Holocaust survivors. Thank you for this.” The chairwoman of an organization caring for single parent families also could not hide her joy for the single moms who could now buy what they lacked for the feast.
One of our Jewish organization allies wrote to us and said: “It is with a great joy that I report to you what has happened in many cities of Israel through your generous giving before the Passover Eve. It was a privilege for me to participate in Kimcha D’Pischa – a great project The Joshua Fund made possible through your love towards my people.”
Luda, a single mother who had been working hard to provide a decent life for her son, was shining when she received her Passover gift. Her landlords had threatened to switch off the electricity and water, but now, she said she’d be able to buy the food items needed for the Passover seder. “I’ll make it”, she said. “It will be better now.”
A woman named Vera was thankful that someone remembered her in her need and provided her food to celebrate one of the most important feasts in the Bible. Yana, a single mother of two children, thanked us for the financial help and hoped that we and our allies would be able to continue to help single mothers. A woman named Anna who raises her 13-year-old daughter alone wanted to thank the generous people that help her. She said this help was timely and very precious for her.
“For me it is a great gift that I received from you,” said Irina, who said she was raising her grandchild alone and was living on government allowances only. “Thank You from all of my heart.”
An Israeli divorcee with five children – who lives in a three-room apartment while her oldest daughter with her friend and their child also stay with her – receives a monthly allowance of $675 from Bituach Leumi. Nobody in the family has a job and their daily food consists of bread and some white cheese. Sometimes they receive some chocolate from the social worker. You can only imagine their joy when they received two prepaid food cards provided by The Joshua Fund and our allies to buy food and supplies for Passover.
In this particular project, the recipients of the aid were mostly needy Jews, since Passover is a Jewish holiday. But because we and our allies love Israeli and Palestinian Arabs, too, we were also able to bless some Arabs. One Arab family we met has 16 children. They live in a tiny, two-room apartment in the Old City. They were so happy to receive two of the prepaid food vouchers, as now Pesach has become a feast for them, too.
In Exodus 12:24-25, the Lord says, “You shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.” Exodus 12:47 says, “All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this (Passover).” In Luke 2, we read that Jesus and His parents were faithful to these commands by celebrating Passover. In John chapter 2 and 6, we read that Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover annually. In John chapters 13 through 17, of course, we read a detailed description of the “last supper” Jesus shared with His disciples, which was a Passover seder.
In prophecy spoken through the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah we read, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)
In this spirit, Jesus Christ commanded His followers to feed the hungry and love the poor and the needy and to do so with unconditional love. That’s what The Joshua Fund is all about, obeying the words of our Father and following the model of Isaiah and Jesus. Thank you so much for helping us bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness.