April 10, 2014
Seeing people in need is never easy. Looking into the eyes of a needy individual and feeling the pain of their soul is so difficult, yet it is what motivates me. The elderly and children, especially, are too often left to rely on others for help. Yet, tragically, here in Israel many of them have nowhere to turn.
As the world sat debating who or what is responsible for this unacceptably high number of hungry people in Israel, I, along with other Fellowship staff, was busy trying to combat that outrageous statistic in the name of the millions of Christians around the world who love, pray, and care for the needy people in the Holy Land. The government of Israel has no national food program or safety net for the poor, but The Fellowship does. I turned my heart to God and thanked Him for sending us such generous donors to make this food program possible.
At 2:00 p.m., I handed a big food box to an Ethiopian woman named Zahava, who had waited patiently in line with her one-year-old daughter wrapped on her back. Zahava had watched the number of food packages getting low and gave a big sigh of relief that she was one of the “lucky ones.” With tears in her eyes, she read the holiday greeting card that was placed inside each food box on behalf of The Fellowship’s donors. “These are the holy people who brought my family home to Israel and now they are feeding my family, too. This is nothing short of a miracle,” she said. “May God bless them always for giving us a happy Passover.” Then Zahava began her long trek home, her baby on her back and the lifesaving Fellowship food box in her arms.
Throughout the day, thousands of people came to pick up their food boxes. Each family brought with them a letter they received from their municipal social worker stating that they are among the neediest people in Israel. When each person entered the distribution building, we took their letter, checked their ID card, and then with a big smile handed them a food box.
We handed out thousands of Passover food boxes that day, but unfortunately many others walked away empty handed, their hearts filled with sadness.
Merav is an 85-year-old woman who walked for 20 minutes with a cane to get to the nearest Fellowship distribution spot, only to find out that we had no food boxes left. My heart broke as I watched her face fall. “I have nowhere else to turn,” she wailed. And as I held her hand, my tears began to flow as well.
Sadly, Merav is not the only person who is left empty-handed this holiday. There are more people begging The Fellowship for help this Passover than any year in the past. And so, as the holiday quickly approaches, I’m turning to God with both immense thanksgiving and a heartfelt plea.
“Thank you, Lord, that The Fellowship and our partners have distributed so many food boxes already,” I pray. But my heart grows heavy as I struggle to express the second half of my prayer, which I wish I didn’t need to say. “Please God, send us more partners so that we can feed even more people this holiday, and will not need to turn away any more hungry people.”
With blessings from the Holy Land,