The Friends of Israel in Action Jan/Feb 2023
Building Bridges, Bringing Hope
We enter 2023 thanking God that more than 90 people have graduated from our Friends of Israel (FOI) Bridges program, an eight-week, immersive, online internship program that trains students of all ages in Jewish ministry, dispensational hermeneutics, and FOI’s unique mission. In a short time, Bridges has become a vital ministry that helps identify and educate new field staff for FOI.
The program, launched in 2021, is designed to give participants the tools they need to confidently share the love of the Messiah through acts of service within their local Jewish communities.
Carrie Gould, one of our first Bridges graduates, was commissioned to full-time ministry with FOI in February 2022. Bridges gave Carrie the training and experience necessary to be approved by the FOI Board of Trustees. Recently, she was asked to speak to a group at the United Nations about combating antisemitism.
Our interns log in from around the world to invest in Bridges, and all we ask of them is their time and attention. The program is completely free to those who want to learn about Israel and the Jewish people. Here is what some of our alumni say about it:
“The whole Bridges internship was great!”
—Charlie (Lagrange, WY)
“Many thanks for this life-changing and
—Olivia (New Brunswick, Canada)
“Bridges was a strong encouragement to step out of my comfort zone to extend love and care to my local Jewish community.”
—Marilyn (Fort Wayne, IN)
“I have already recommended the program to several friends.”
—Alyssa (Houston, TX)
Bridges does more than provide biblical knowledge. It helps participants put into action everything they learn. We continue to hear stories of our alumni’s service in the Jewish community.
Ben Vasquez (Atlanta, GA), a 2021 Bridges graduate, connected with a local rabbi in the Atlanta area. During the Hanukkah season, Ben took the rabbi a basket full of Israeli snacks and goodies. After exchanging pleasantries, Ben explained that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah, which is why the Jewish holiday means so much to him as a Christian.
The rabbi was unaware of this truth. So he and Ben opened a Bible to John 10:22 and, together, read how Jesus, the Good Shepherd, celebrated the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah). It was a wonderful opportunity to build bridges between the Jewish and Christian communities and bring hope.
Ben’s confidence to visit his local synagogue, make new friends, and explain why he loves Israel and the Jewish people stemmed from what he learned in our free, online Bridges internship program.
If you have a passion for Israel and the Jewish people and want to build bridges and bring hope to the Jewish community, we encourage you to enroll in Bridges. Visit foi.org/bridges to learn more about how God can use you to serve Him and bless His Chosen People.
You can help support Bridges and programs like it in North American Ministries with The Friends of Israel. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.
Healing Hearts in Argentina
The Friends of Israel medical clinic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a busy place. Recently, a man named David, who lives in the Jewish quarter of the city where the clinic is located, managed to call our team’s 24-hour ambulance service before dropping to the ground, unconscious.
A bicycle repairman, David owns a shop and had visited the clinic several times for various ailments. This day, while riding his bike, he began to feel intense chest pain, “as if an elephant’s foot were standing on me,” he said. Having had heart trouble in the past, he took one of his nitroglycerin pills and stayed conscious long enough to pull out his cell phone and call the FOI doctors for help.
As our team worked on him, David regained consciousness and shared how glimpses of his life “flashed before [his] eyes.” He related how his 47 years of seeking God had given him no inner peace, and his religious life left him empty. He bore the haunted expression of a man questioning everything about his life and pursuit of God.
That day, David gripped our doctors’ hands as he asked himself seriously, for the first time, what would happen to him if he died on the sidewalk. Our team tended to both David’s medical and spiritual needs. After stabilizing him and taking him to the clinic, our workers shared Scripture with him and introduced him to the Messiah. David’s desire to know God and have inner peace had become more urgent to him than his heart trouble.
As our doctors worked out his treatment plan, they invited David to one of their ongoing “patient reunion” Bible studies at the clinic. David now attends regularly and is discovering God’s love for him through Messiah Jesus.
Stories like David’s happen every day at the FOI clinic. Our doctors provide medical services in local hospitals, homes, retirement communities, and even on the streets of Buenos Aires. They’ve also dedicated themselves to 24-hour ambulance service, nurse-training programs, and even rural health initiatives in communities throughout Argentina. They have a passion to share Messiah Jesus, and God gives them many open doors.
Please pray for Alfredo, Asunta, and Juan Carlos Espinoza, two generations of medical doctors serving Jesus and FOI in Argentina. And please pray with us that God continues to open doors for the gospel and our teams around the world to show the love of God to His Chosen People.
You can join our Argentina team and other FOI ministries around the world. Thank you for your prayers and financial support!
In Canada, please give here.