In our lifesaving crisis pregnancy work, there are seasons of weeping and seasons of laughter, of mourning and dancing. This past month, we wept as we mourned the loss of our brave Moslem mother Jomana who had chosen life for her son despite pressure from her brother and boyfriend to abort. Jomana celebrated the first birthday of her son Salam on May 6th, just weeks before she was murdered, apparently in an ‘honor killing’ by her own family. An “honor killing” most often involves the murder of a woman or girl by a male family member, due to the perpetrator’s belief that the victim has brought dishonor or shame upon the family name, reputation or prestige.
Jomana, like many of our Moslem mothers, risked her life for the sake of her son Salam. She was courageous and virtuous. Jomana was particularly precious to two of our counselors, Stella in Eilat and Arabic speaking Annie, who communicated with her often, sharing God’s love and encouraging her. This is the thank you letter that she wrote weeks before her death:
“I‘d like to thank you for the good days! To thank you for all of the encouragement, support and generosity that you showed me with all your heart. When I needed you, you were by my side. So thanks for everything and especially for believing in me and that I could succeed even when I felt broken. You are life preservers. It’s hard to describe how much I appreciate all you did for me. There’s only one word that I can say: THANKS! With much love, Jomana”
We remember and honor Jomana’s life and legacy - a legacy of courage, stamina and sacrifice. We covet your prayers for precious Salam.
There is a time for everything, and a season
for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Last week, I saw a post on Facebook showing the Bar Mitzvah celebration of a 13 year old boy at the Western “Wailing” Wall. I shed tears of joy as I remembered a conversation over 13 years ago with the boy’s now-grandmother. She had called me in a frantic state to tell me that her soldier son and his soldier girlfriend were pregnant and were being pressured to abort the baby. Would Be’ad Chaim help them? Glory to God, they chose life, married and are now the parents of four boys. Seeing Avi in his Bar Mitzvah suit standing at the Wall reading from the Torah scroll, I thanked God for the privilege of saving his life and preserving a precious family in Israel.
After more than a year of COVID related lockdowns, we are excited to have resumed our monthly mothers’ workshops in our Jerusalem office. This month, moms enjoyed a delicious buffet and learned baby massage. It is a gift to be able to show the moms love, kindness and to make them feel special.
During the month of June, I visited with the head of the Gynecology Department of one of Israel’s major hospitals. Although he had performed abortions in the past, he stopped doing them after realizing what it really was. He said, “I took an oath to save lives. Not to take lives.” He reported regarding procedures at his hospital and said that the following is common in all government hospitals:
“I took an oath to save lives. Not to take lives.”
Gefen celebrated her first birthday on the 6th of May. Her mom, Mali enrolled her in the day care center where she works so that she can see her precious Gefen throughout the day. Mali needs to work because her husband is schizophrenic and can't work. She had considered abortion but is now deeply grateful that, with Be’ad Chaim’s help, she chose LIFE.
Yarin is the adorable, fun and beloved youngest of six children. He has brought much joy to his divorced mom despite her struggles and concerns for some of the older siblings. Please pray for a teenage sister who suffers from bulimia.
Keidus (meaning “Holy” in Amharic) loved his birthday party, especially the balloons! His mom, an Ethiopian refugee, and dad work hard cleaning houses to support their family of five. The mom said: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me and little Keidus."
Adorable baby boy Yahav celebrated his first birthday in June. He is developing well and has just started taking his first steps. His mother Shira was just 16 and her boyfriend was 15 when she became pregnant with baby Yahav. The boyfriend’s parents graciously took Shira into their home during the pregnancy. After the birth, they continued to live together, but Shira was not a responsible mother. When Yahav was about six months old, she left and has only visited her son a few times since then. Grandmother Nora, only 43, has taken on the role of mother for Yahav. She has four children of her own, ages 2, 10, 12, and her son (Yahav’s father) who is now 16. Nora and her husband love Yahav as their own son and take very good care of him. Nora’s husband is working to support their large family. Nora worked as a trainer for handicapped adults in a factory but was put on unpaid leave during the Covid19 lockdowns. Sadly the factory hasn’t yet reopened due to financial losses. We give thanks for this remarkable grandmother and pray for God’s hand on her precious family. We also pray that God will touch Shira and guide her with His love.
As we do our utmost to reach women in crisis pregnancies, we began a new sign campaign in the southern resort city of Eilat. Throughout the entire summer season and month of September, we will be advertising in 40 restaurants and pubs on the boardwalk.
This letter was received by our reproductive loss counselor, Annie. It gives a clear picture of how important and precious the grief counseling is for women who have suffered loss.
“I want to thank you for the deep and meaningful program that you did with me. You are a gentle, kind, peaceful and sensitive person. You helped me by listening to me, guiding me, giving space to my feelings, and giving me the tools to continue alongside the grief. The exercises that you gave me enabled me to unload and release my feelings. Also, the materials that you shared helped me to understand my situation better and how to help myself, so that I could feel better. The process of writing letters to the baby freed in me things that were ‘stuck’, and talking about them was very important and empowering. Thank you for everything. I am deeply appreciative. “
On May 5 we planted three trees for friends in the US and one for a woman in Finland.
Two of these trees were requested by a mother who had aborted one child forty years ago and later lost a child by miscarriage. Ten years ago, that is, thirty years after the abortion, this woman received healing through a Scripture-based course. Two years after the healing course, she trained and became a crisis pregnancy counselor.
One tree was planted for a Messianic rabbi and his wife in the US who recently suffered a miscarriage.
A fourth tree was planted in memory of a child in Finland who was lost though miscarriage.
On May 26, two young German women who live in Israel visited the Gardens with their small children. We had previously planted a tree for the sister of one of them whose child was stillborn. As I shared about the purpose of the Gardens in the process of healing, both of them were touched, as both have suffered miscarriages. We prayed together, then I left them to visit and talk privately.