Jewish Couple’s Desire to ‘Love the Stranger’ Leads to ‘Largest Private Gift Ever’ to Christian Medical Missions in Africa

Spend time with Mark and Erica Gerson and you’ll quickly discover their passion for helping those less fortunate is rooted in love.

“Love is always an action word,” the 49-year-old Gerson told CBN News. “When we commit to loving somebody or something it means we have to do something to manifest that love.”

Mark is a New York-based entrepreneur and philanthropist. His wife, Erica, is a Jewish rabbi.

The Gersons say the deep love for their faith compels them to give away millions of dollars of their personal wealth each year to fulfill their Jewish obligation to love the stranger.

“The Bible never tells us to love our children because it is something we will do without the Bible’s help,” Gerson said. “We will love our children even if nobody instructs us to do so. Yet, the Bible tells us to love the stranger over and over again, 3 dozen times, because loving the stranger is not something that comes naturally, it’s not something that comes easily.”

The Gersons are putting the biblical idea into practice by supporting the work of Christian and missionary doctors across the African continent.

“When we learned some 20 years ago about the work of Christian missionary doctors in Africa and how they are sacrificing everything in order to serve the poor by bringing healthcare for those who would otherwise not have it, we said, ‘this is what it means to love the stranger.'”

This week, the couple pledged a record $18 million to support the work of African Mission Healthcare, which Mark co-founded 11 years ago.

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Source: CBN