In the 17th chapter of the book of Acts, people complained about the disciples of Jesus saying: “These men who have turned the world upside down have now come here.”
Friends, thank you for standing with us as we aim to turn the world upside down, or perhaps, upside right! Let’s shake the lies out and make a difference. We cannot accept that babies are being taken from their mothers’ wombs unprotected. We must speak on their behalf. As we celebrate Passover this month, we remember that Moses was born into a world where his life was endangered. He was the child of slaves with seemingly no worldly opportunities, yet chosen by God FOR LIFE, DESTINY AND PURPOSE. Our “Operation Moses Project” has these very goals – to provide the financial and practical help to mothers so that they might choose LIFE for their children who have been created to achieve their God-given destinies.
As I write this letter, I see a WhatsApp conversation between our counselors. Our Haifa counselor, Talia, sent this photo of baby girl Eve, born during the night. With the photo, Talia wrote these precious words: “Eden, only 22 years old and single, has lived with her elderly grandmother all of her life. Eden had leukemia as a child. She became pregnant by a boyfriend who was not interested in continuing their relationship. It seemed as if there was no hope of saving the life of this child but today, Eden has become a happy mother and we wish her all the best. Thank God for beautiful and wonderful moments like this when we see the fruit of our ministry. We should never lose hope.”
Like Moses in the Bible, this baby Moses, born in January, was born into poverty and difficult circumstances. His parents are refugees from Eritrea and couldn’t afford another child. Yet when they realized that they were having a boy after three girls, they rejoiced at God’s kindness. Beautiful baby Moses has been a gift and a joy. God holds his future in His hands of goodness.
We were blessed when another nonprofit organization offered to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our moms in Jerusalem on a monthly basis. The supply was abundant and moms were blessed to receive fresh produce from the local marketplace.
Like many in Israel, we want to show mercy to those who are fleeing from the Ukraine during this terrible war. Through a special message in Ukrainian on Facebook, several women have asked for help for their children. One of these single moms, now living in northern Israel, has a 10 year old son with Down’s Syndrome. It is our honor and privilege to help these precious people with financial assistance and a counselor who can befriend them in their native tongue. Although these children are not babies, they are children of God and dearly beloved of Him.
Throughout the month of March and in recognition of International Womens Day, we asked moms to share their stories of choosing life despite their challenges. To honor and bless these brave women, we sent a beautiful gift box of lovely cosmetics to all who responded. One mom wrote: “My story began 14 years ago when I gave birth to my daughter. My happiness reached to the skies! I nursed her full-time and then I had to go back to work. I stopped the full-time nursing and returned to work but became pregnant that same month. My boss was shocked. Eight months later, I gave birth to my second child which was very difficult and a huge challenge. I didn’t return to my job after that. I poured myself into my home, had a third daughter, and kept all three girls at home until they were three years old. There is no love in the world like the love of a mother."
Mother Irina was born in the Ukraine, moved to the US and finally immigrated to Israel in 2017. She has a very meager income cleaning houses, has no relationship with her family and is completely alone. Her boyfriend left her when he heard that she was pregnant. She contacted Be’ad Chaim and has become very close to her counselor who encouraged her and supported her decision to choose life for her daughter. Baby girl Alexia is now six months old and has brought “family” and love to Irina’s life. She says that Alexia sleeps a lot during the day and “goes wild” at night!!
Orly is the married, Orthodox mother of three children. Her fourth pregnancy came as quite a surprise. She’d been working in a daycare center while her husband studied in a yeshiva (institute of Torah study). Without her income, she feared that they couldn’t survive. Orly was very tired of life. A friend connected her with a Be’ad Chaim counselor who cared deeply for her. As a result of this kindness, Orly chose life. Be’ad Chaim registered her with a local food bank and promised her provision through the Operation Moses project with all of the baby essentials. Baby boy Yitzhak (Isaac) is now two months old and is named after his paternal grandfather who passed away from Covid-19.
Hallel was the single mom of four children. She had just begun a new job when she discovered her pregnancy. Terrified, and not wanting to lose her source of income, she went twice for an abortion but each time changed her mind at the last minute because abortion is forbidden in the Torah. Because of her financial situation, she asked for help from Be’ad Chaim. Baby Amor, meaning love, was born in December. Her father is a drug addict and not in contact with them, but Be’ad Chaim’s caring and practical support of baby furniture and monthly gift cards has made a huge difference.
Dina and her husband married just a month ago. She had discovered her pregnancy while doing her mandatory army service. Army personnel, her mother, her boyfriend’s mother and all of her friends pressed her to abort but Dina said, “I just couldn’t”. Two weeks later, her boyfriend, who had panicked at first, chose to marry her. Be’ad Chaim is helping to subsidize the rent of their small apartment in order to give them the boost that they need to start their lives together. I told quiet and shy 22 year old husband Nathan, that he is a hero - a man who takes responsibility and shows faithfulness. Dina is a true soldier – brave and willing to stand against pressure in order to protect the life of her child. May God bless them and their baby.
Osnat had seven children, the oldest being only ten years old. The other six children were home all day with her and she felt overwhelmed. Her husband studies all day in a yeshiva. Her social worker referred her to Be’ad Chaim when she discovered her eighth pregnancy. She values the support and friendship of her counselor very much. Isaac Chaim is now two months old and is a joy to the family.
Hagit grew up in an Ultra-Orthodox home but suffered abuse and rejection. When she was 20 years old, she left both her family and her religious lifestyle and tried to make it on her own, but her broken heart didn’t allow her to hold down a job. She lives on government disability payments and requires psychiatric care. When she became pregnant, she was convinced that abortion was her only option. In her mind, she heard her mother’s voice saying that children ruin our lives! Still, she couldn’t go through with the abortion. Her Be’ad Chaim counselor helped her to bravely decide that she wanted to break the cycle of past generations of mothers who didn’t want their children. Her precious daughter Lilach was born in January, six weeks premature, but is now doing well. Hagit treasures holding her daughter in her arms and tenderly loving her.
In March, our lawyer submitted a proposal to the Court to end abortion from the 24th week of pregnancy, the point of viability. Abortion is currently legal here until birth. The Court will issue its final response by May 15th. Here are some of the deeply moving words by a professor of gynecology submitted with the proposal in defense of the unborn:
“From my experience of over 45 years, I have met many times with women who even years ago had abortions and are still experiencing feelings of deep regret. Particularly when a late term abortion has been done because of defects or a serious disease in the fetus, the difficulty of the loss is far greater. Many of the women need emotional counseling including medication in order to cope with this traumatic experience. The Ministry of Health has recently established guidelines as to how to treat women who have experienced reproductive loss.
Regarding the experience of the care provider: Many of those who treat patients are very uncomfortable doing the abortion procedure but do it out of “professional responsibility”. I must say that as a person who has worked for decades in the field of fetal medicine, I often experienced the dilemma of whether or not the termination of a pregnancy was justified or did it constitute murder. More than once, after a discussion with a colleague regarding whether to end a pregnancy, I was unwilling to do the abortion. My responsibility as a doctor is to save lives, not to end them. More than once, in the hospital, in two adjacent rooms in week 24 of pregnancy, one baby was being killed because the parents didn’t want him, while in the next room everything possible was being done to save the baby.”