The Difference You Made in 2020

Bishop Paul Lanier  |  January 4, 2021

Yael Branovsky (IFCJ Staff) delivering IFCJ emergency package to elderly man.

Bishop Paul Lanier, The Fellowship’s Chairman of the Board, shares a Christian perspective on events impacting Israel, the U.S., and the world.

Did you know that you are part of The Fellowship’s story?

You are an extraordinary group of faithful supporters who answer God’s call in Genesis 12:3 to bless Israel and her people. You have such giving hearts and giving hands. And you don’t reach out because of convenience. I know this because 2020 was one of the most inconvenient years of our lives. Even so, God has used you so profoundly to bless the Jewish people throughout this crisis, and that moves my heart.

You Are the Wise Men

I know our Jewish friends are done celebrating Hanukkah and our Christian friends are done celebrating the Christmas season. If you’re Christian, you’re familiar with the Christmas story of baby Jesus in the manger among all the shepherds and animals.

Jesus was born to Jewish parents – Mary and Joseph – and that means so much more to us now because we’re a part of The Fellowship, doesn’t it?

Little baby Jesus was in a stable surrounded by hay as he was born. His parents didn’t have the resources that other families had as they welcomed their new infant. They were forced to have their baby among barn animals. Still, baby Jesus was visited by three wise men who came from afar to bless the newborn by offering him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

These wise men lived in another nation and had to travel to Bethlehem, yet they came for an important purpose. That was to bring gifts and resources to help Joseph and Mary do what God had assigned to them. And you, our faithful supporters, Christians who love Israel, are just like these wise men. You’re in this story!

Blessing the Nation of Israel

I want you to know you have saved Jewish lives this year amid a global pandemic, and even the government of Israel recognizes your commitment to Jewish people in need.

At the start of the pandemic in early 2020, as so many of us around the world struggled with this new reality, the Israeli government asked our President and CEO, Yael Eckstein, if they could partner with us to help all the hurting people in Israel. Since The Fellowship has a dedicated staff and group of volunteers and a system in place to help Jews in need, we were able to mobilize very quickly to deliver emergency assistance of food, sanitizing essentials, and other basic needs. We’re so efficient that even the Israeli government turns to us in times of crisis.

I just want you to know your support of The Fellowship matters. It matters what God is doing in your life.

You are part of the story. You’re the wise men and wise women from afar bringing gifts and making a profound difference for Jews in need in Israel and in the world.

We are so grateful to you for your extraordinary giving and hearts for Israel. As we enter 2021, may our hearts be hopeful for what’s to come. And may He bless you profoundly in the new year, and give you blessings of shalom, peace, to you and yours.

— Bishop Paul Lanier

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.