Israel—God’s People and the Sign of the Times
Wilfried Bullinger remembers growing up in Stuttgart, being taught at home and in church, a love for the Jewish people. But it was his first trip to Israel in 1987 that started his strong connection with the land. From then on he came back every year. He prayed that one day he would be able to do more than just be a tourist. He made many friends and saw a lot of the country but it wasn’t until a friend took him to Hebron and Har Bracha that he was introduced to the Biblical Heartland. And Wilfried was touched: “I felt like I was seeing a new world within Israel that I’d never seen before.” Through this friend, Wilfried made many contacts throughout Judea and Samaria and in 2002 met Sondra Baras. Sondra was looking for a CFOIC representative in Germany and Wilfried was looking for a chance to help. Thus began a relationship of mutual cooperation, caring and respect.
Wilfried had been president of a small pro-Israel ministry, “Feigenbaum”, for quite a few years, so he was familiar with administrative work and had many Israeli contacts. The ministry is small, run solely by volunteers—Wilfried and the other friends he has involved. “We grow very slowly”, maintains Wilfried. “But we have a heart and I think that makes us very special.”
Feigenbaum represents CFOIC in Germany and as Wilfried’s relationship with CFOIC grew, his ministry started to focus more on Judea and Samaria. Before linking with CFOIC it was close to impossible for them to connect with the people of Judea and Samaria. “CFOIC helps evaluate situations and tells us what is worthy of our support. When our congregants give a donation we know Sondra knows the story… knows the people,” explains Wilfried.
Wilfried channels a lot of important information to his German audience through his magazine, “Seht den Feigenbaum”, which has the phrase “Israel—God’s people and the sign of the times…” on every edition. It is a beautiful publication with powerful editorials, timely articles and striking pictures to complement the texts. His subscribers, supporters and lovers of Israel, receive vital data and insightful ideas. Wilfried also supplies his readers with important facts and thoughts from CFOIC’s Israel office. Annete Kolb, a devoted volunteer, translates CFOIC brochures and monthly letters into German. Wilfried’s readership is growing as is his readers’ understanding of the truth about what is going on in Israel.
Wilfried is particularly committed to bringing German tour groups to Israel. He enables people to go where they would not and could not go before. He has also joined German groups which have spent as many as two weeks in Samaria, to support the biblical pioneers. Last year, Wilfried’s group organized a dinner in Ariel for their friends from “Yesha” communities, including a large group of Gush Katif refugees. Wilfried remembers visiting the people and neighborhoods of Gush Katif back in 2004. At the time, he had gone away thinking that these were extraordinary people living in incredible communities. How moving it was for Wilfried to find himself sitting at dinner, with the Gush Katif refugees, listening to their testimonies of heartbreak and loss. “It is very important to me to just come. To show the people of Israel that we stand behind them. And our financial support helps express what is in our hearts. That we are here for them. And we believe in them.”
Wilfried is an engineer by profession and works for Mercedes Benz. A few years ago he reduced his hours so that he would have two full days a week to dedicate to his ministry and CFOIC. He believes that God arranged this for him. “I am so thankful, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do all this. It is not a sacrifice at all, but a gift. I am blessed in every aspect of my life because of this.”
Two years ago Wilfried married Tabea and they are expecting their first child this summer. Wilfried feels very fortunate that his wife shares his vision for Israel. Tabea had been raised with a strong love for Israel. Every other summer, as a child, she and her 11 brothers and sisters would make the trip by car and ferry boat to Israel. People were curious about them- -moved by this special family who made such a powerful, consistent show of their love for the people of Israel.
When asked about his thoughts on politics in Israel Wilfried answers, “We pray. We pray that God will provide good shepherds for His people.” Thank you, Wilfried. For your prayers, your work, your visits, your love.