Last week in Israel the government released new updates on stricter regulations for gatherings and businesses every day because of the massive spread of the corona virus. At the beginning of the week, only ten people could gather in one place. By mid week, the Ministry of Health had ordered all non-essential personnel into home quarantine.
Because of the restrictions, we could not use the soup kitchen space in south Tel Aviv for our regular Thursday Feed Tel Aviv meals for the needy. So, we decided to improvise and, with the help of my children, we made 80 sandwiches, and I headed to the streets with a couple volunteers to set up tables in different areas where drug addicts, refugees, and those caught in the sex industry live. The police were in the area, and I made sure that it was okay with them (the police are enforcing the quarantine regulations) that I set up tables with sandwiches so that people could come and take them on their own while we maintained the required two meter distance.
I was shocked at the condition of the people on the streets: it’s the worst I have ever seen in all the years I’ve been serving on the streets. Because of the risks of having people together in close quarters, almost all the homeless shelters have decided to close their doors rather than risk having a corona outbreak on their hands. So, in a week that has been unseasonably cold and rainy here in Israel, countless homeless wound up on the streets. It was a heartbreaking sight to see people trying to cover up with wet blankets. Many came to the tables we set up and all the sandwiches were quickly gone. It was hard to keep our two meter distance because people wanted prayer, they wanted the love and warmth they’re used to getting from us. But we just can’t get physically close right now in order to keep to the guidelines (people who are caught breaking them will be fined $1,000 at a minimum, jail time in extreme cases).
In times of national crisis, the poorest of the poor are the ones hardest hit because all the resources and energies are being focused elsewhere and the people who regularly serve the poor find themselves in the position of worrying about their health and well-being. I will be going out a couple times each week, bringing 100 sandwiches each time. Since all my five children are home with us, I will enlist their help in making the sandwiches again!
This is a critical time for all of us, and we tend to worry about our own well-being and the well-being of our loved ones. However, I encourage everyone to take time to pray for and consider helping the poor and vulnerable in your area. While everyone’s worrying about whether they have enough toilet paper stocked, I guarantee you that there are homeless people who have lost their safety net and will be sleeping on the streets tonight. I would also like to ask you to consider supporting us with our Feed Tel Aviv outreach. Thank you and God bless you and keep you in this challenging time!
One thought on “With the Corona Virus the Poor Are in Crisis”
Stephen Donald Bertsch says:
It is better to obey God than the government. In Yeshua’s day He directly disobeyed the government. Rome said that you had to call Ceasar God. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. My sheep hear my voice. All who came before Me were liars or thieves or robbers. He also touched the leper and healed Him and did not get leprosy. He would not be obeying the social distancing laws, and neither should believers in Yeshua the Jewish Messiah. In scripture it says if we believe in Him we should walk as He walked. I am a pastor of a church in the usa. they said here we should obey 6 feet social distancing. I am not obeying it. I am out witnessing for my faith, handing out gospel tracts. I just went to a local store that was open. We have a suggested law to not go out after 8 pm. I wanted to go to the store because one of my flock has not been coming to church which meets in my apt. She is not feeling well. Now I know to pray for her. And I handed the cashier and gave him my business (pastor) card. I even went up to the cop in the store and thanked him for keeping the streets safe. He said thank you and to have a good night. When I offered to shake His hand, he refuse, but we did the elbow bump. I say try to touch people like Yeshua would have. He would have healed them. We should offer to pray for their healing too. He laid His hands on the sick. In Is. 53 the Hebrew says that He carried both our sins and sicknesses. Read also Mathew 8:17 and I peter 2:24. I claim psalm 91 read it and believe that no plague shall come nigh your dwelling. also read deut. 28. all those blessings are ours in Yeshua because He redeemed us from the curse of sickness and sin. all the promises of God in the bible are for the beievers in Yeshua and they are yes and amen. God will protect you. There is no fear in love and perfect love agape Yeshua love through the Holy Spirit cast out fear. Choose life, choose love and faith rather than fear. Submit to God, resit the devil and he will flee. we have authority over Satan and the demons. No weapon formed against you will prosper. give thanks in all things, not for all things. what the enemy meant for evil God can turn it around for good. the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, Yeshua in you, the Hope of Glory. keep ur eyes fixed on Yeshua the author and perfecter of your faith. God is in control. why not have joy and all the fruits of the Spirit. operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as He wills to give them to you. step out in faith trust God. Do good, dwell in the Land and cultivate faith. Jesus went about doing good and healing all manner of sickness and healing all those who were oppressed of the devil. Jesus said Satan has no part in Me. We should say and confess the same thing by faith. we need to renew our minds in the bible the 66 inspired books. inspired by the Holy Spirit. the whole bible is true. get a good translation like the new king james or the new american standard. or if u can read the old testament in hebrew and the new testament in greek. the meek will inherit the land and delight themselves in the abundance of peace or shalom. Peace, Shalom, ur brother for the gospel who loves u and stands with you for the sake of the gospel. be brave and be strong be a joshua and caleb be a daniel be a joseph be like Yeshua! amen! Pastor steve bertsch from america i bless israel and the jewish people i love everyone unconditonally with the love of Yeshua. u can too! everyone is on a level plane at the foot of the cross!