“The Lord has put His Spirit in me, because He appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly and to announce the time when the Lord will show His kindness.”
These words from the 61st chapter of the book of Isaiah were read by Jesus in the local synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. Although very few people there accepted Him, He spoke words of comfort and healing. Like Him, it is our goal to speak words of comfort to those in unplanned pregnancies and to those who have lost a baby. Our Reproductive Loss Counseling Program continues to grow and bring healing to many who need to be “set free”. I hope that these letters of thanks from moms who were helped will encourage you as they did me. With gratitude for your partnership, care and prayers,
Our apartment for women in Ashkelon has proved to be a blessing, especially for new mom Hava who grew up in boarding schools and had no relationship with her family. When she became pregnant, she found herself without a partner or a home. It was because of Hava’s need for housing that we rented a lovely apartment near the Mediterranean Sea. In the last month of her pregnancy, her mother unexpectedly renewed their relationship. On December 27th, Hava gave birth to adorable Yagel. Remarkably, Yagel’s father also reconnected with Hava and has been a part of their lives since the birth of their son. Hava is unsure of the future but is optimistic as she sees how her life is progressing in a positive and unexpected direction. She says that Be’ad Chaim and our donors “saved me, because during the pregnancy I was left without a job and without a home. Thanks to the donors, I have an apartment and all that I need for Yagel. Please pray for me to find more strength and the know-how to move forward with my life.”
Omer was born on New Year’s Eve to his tired, but happy mom Haley who lives on the northern coast of Israel. She and her husband had accumulated a lot of debt over the past few years. Speaking for hours with her very tenderhearted and understanding counselor gave her the peace of mind to choose life for this third child despite their doubts and fears. To their joy, a son, Omer, was born, giving his two older sisters a little brother. Needless to say, his siblings and parents adore their new little prince.
In this newsletter, I would like to share with you three notes of gratitude for the grief counseling we offer, which I believe will give you a picture of the pain that women suffer after the loss of a child and the potential for healing. Bringing healing to grieving mothers and fathers is a vital part of our Be’ad Chaim ministry.
“Hi, Annie. Sorry that it’s taken me so long to write. The process that you took me through absolutely helped me, and it seems that I’ll understand over time how very much I benefited from it. You were a listening ear, an inspiration and a friend. You gave me perspective about my situation and gave me art assignments which were very freeing and interesting. I can’t wait to see you again! Thanks so much for everything and for your time.”
“I want to say ‘many thanks’ for accompanying me so wonderfully, for the listening ear, the empathy and care. I always got from you the feeling that all of my emotions were legitimate, without any guilt or criticism. You helped me to organize my feelings and showed me the right and healthy way for me. The stories and their analyses helped me a lot; I learned to release my guilt and shame and am in the process of forgiving and releasing those who hurt me. None of this would have happened without your help. Thank you so much for being there for me.”
“I wasn’t aware of the wide range of emotions that were hiding behind the abortion that I’d suppressed for 14 years – anger, depression, guilt, etc. I now understand that it was legitimate to grieve the abortion and that it has repercussions for my life even to this day. I understand that it’s important to forgive others and myself, and that I have qualities and tendencies that led me to have the abortion, even though I wasn’t at peace with it. So it’s important that I recognize and become aware of these character traits in order to prevent similar events from recurring in my life. I have in me an inner child who I am discovering through writing in a journal, giving expression to my inner voice and in other ways. The stories (in the workbook) gave me hope that it’s possible to soothe the pain and to replace a bleeding wound with only a scar. Thanks so much. I know that there were many other things that I gained by going through the process together, but these are the things that come to mind now.”
A young Israeli couple suffered a stillbirth at 30 weeks. Together they planted a fruit tree and Albert, our gardener, blessed them with words for their future fruitfulness, which they both appreciated. We also planted a cypress tree on behalf of a couple in the US who recently endured the anguish of the stillbirth of their first child, a daughter. An American woman asked us to plant two trees for a late-term baby she had lost, and for a friend who had had a miscarriage. It is our honor to be able to plant trees with those who grieve, or in their proxy.
All are welcome to visit the Gardens and plant, or ask us to plant, a tree in memory of a baby who is now with our heavenly Father.
Yardena was married with a six year old daughter and had a lot of debts when she found out she was pregnant. Her husband’s job was not at all secure, their future looked uncertain and she felt that abortion would be her best option, until her social worker referred her to Be’ad Chaim for help. With the assurance of friendship and practical support through our Operation Moses project, Yardena chose life. In December, with her husband by her side, she gave birth to her daughter Alla. She says that holding little Alla in her arms brings her incredible joy.
Shulamit, 34 years old, is now happily married with four children, but she’d had a difficult past. In her youth, she suffered abuse which led to anorexia and a very poor self-image. Thankfully, during her army service, she met a great guy who she says is now a “wonderful husband and father.” They both had jobs, he as a cook and she as a caretaker in a day care center, but struggled financially, and a fourth pregnancy shook them. Abortion had crossed her mind several times, but she was afraid to actually do it. Turning to Be'ad Chaim, she found encouragement and hope. Son Eliya is now two months old. Through our Operation Moses project, Shulamit received a crib, stroller, sheets and a baby bathtub, as well as monthly vouchers to purchase Eliya’s basic needs. Since Eliya was born, everyone in the family (including Eliya himself!) contracted COVID. The virus was particularly difficult for her husband and he needed to be hospitalized for a while. Please pray for this family's health. Thank you!
Karmen is 27 years old, divorced and has four children. She suffers from severe back pain due to a herniated disc. Two of her children also suffer from various disabilities, including epilepsy. She spends much time taking care of them and this limits her availability for employment. When Karmen found out that she was pregnant again, she immediately thought that having an abortion was her only real option. She was sure that there was no way she could manage to care for a new baby. She was also concerned she may have another child with health issues. She phoned the Be’ad Chaim Hotline to get more information about the abortion process. Thankfully, she was willing to make an appointment to meet personally with one of our counselors. This helped her to take the time to consider all of her options. She valued immensely the love and support her counselor gave her and as a result, she chose life for her baby. Karmen’s pregnancy was high risk, but her ex-husband helped look after the children. Baby girl Odel was born healthy and strong, but Karmen has had a rough recovery time. Despite her health issues, she said that she is very happy that she chose life for her precious daughter. We value your prayers for wholeness and healing for this family.
Shay and her husband have three children. He is disabled and cannot work, but he helps care for the children when Shay is at her job. Sadly, her extended family isn’t in contact with her and she cannot even remember the last time she saw her mother. When Shay found out she was pregnant again, she thought that abortion would be the most realistic choice because of their difficult circumstances. Our counselor lovingly encouraged her to choose life and promised her practical support. Beautiful, healthy Noa, born just a few months ago, has brought much joy and happiness to them all.
Nur is a recent widow in a very difficult situation. Sadly, during her pregnancy, her husband died. She and her children continue to deeply grieve the loss of husband and father. We are privileged to be able to share some of God’s love and comfort with this precious family through our caring counselor and the provision of items through our Operation Moses project.
Ten months ago, baby Rashad was born. Due to their tough situation, we doubled our monthly support so that Nur could purchase diapers not only for her new son Rashad but also for her toddler. Our Tel Aviv counselor is deeply concerned about their situation and continues to pour out God’s love on them. Nur is very grateful for all the loving care and generous support she has received. During such a difficult and challenging time, it has been good to know that there are people who care.
I would ask you to continue praying as we prepare to submit our petition to the Supreme Court to limit abortion to 24 weeks, the point of viability. Let me state that we firmly believe that every human being is created in the image of God from the moment of conception. We also know that with Israel’s very liberal laws and permitting of legal abortion until birth, we must have a starting point for our battle against abortion. Here are some of the key points of our Petition for your prayers: