Abortion, which became legal in Israel in 1977, is not a subject of discussion or a political issue. Our government approves and funds approximately 19,000 abortions per year through our national health insurance. As we work hard to organize a national march for life, we have not found partners in the Jewish population. No one wants to take a stand. People want to remain “politically correct”. To my joy, several Messianic Israelis have felt led to do more to stop abortions. A congregation in Carmiel recently held a three day conference on abortion and our responsibility to protect the lives of the unborn. Those who attended the conference were touched by powerful messages and testimonies. In addition, several young women in different cities have felt called to take action and to raise interest within the Messianic community. They plan to speak with leaders, youth groups, camps and their congregations and friends about the responsibility that we have to be aware of what’s going on and to make a difference. I believe that God is raising up those who will take a stand for life. As Tony Sperandeo, the chairman of our Board says, “We are to be Gideon’s army – small, but mighty, that will stand against the enemy by the power of God.”
I thank you, dear friends, for standing with us in prayer, support and faithful love as we defend the lives of the unborn.
Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceiveit?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone
according to what they have done?
This is the third year that we have been blessed with an intern, doing a Master’s degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in non-profit organizations. I found the thoughts of our current intern, Michal, very touching:
“When discussing my internship options with the internship coordinator at the Hebrew University, I was drawn to Be'ad Chaim when I heard about all the amazing services that they provide for women. The pro-life discussion can be very heated, but I believe that no matter how you feel about an issue, it is important to look beyond the politics and remember that at the end of the day, there are people who need help. In my internship at Be'ad Chaim I hope to help raise public awareness of the organization so that more and more women would know they have somewhere to turn to.”
Michal has captured the heart of Be’ad Chaim – to care, to serve, and to offer practical love to women in their very difficult situations.
HOPE - HELP - HEALING
Hodaya celebrates her first birthday this month. Today, Hodaya is gorgeous, bright and alert, but when she was born she couldn’t breathe on her own and was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. She stayed there for nearly two weeks. Her mother, Ronit, visited her morning and evening so that she could nurse her and be with her. It is a joy to see this special connection between mother and child, especially in view of Ronit’s fears when first pregnant.
Ronit came to Be'ad Chaim early in her pregnancy and would have aborted had it not been for a loving neighbor who encouraged her to contact us for encouragement and help. She has two children by her ex-husband (from whom she receives some child support) and a child by her ex-boyfriend. She had aborted in the past and knows the grief and turmoil that abortion causes. The pregnancy with Hodaya was also from the ex-boyfriend and throughout it, he was violent and threatening. Ronit feared him, so it was a miracle that she decided to bring Hodaya into the world. At first, Ronit suffered from him and needed the services of a lawyer and a restraining order against him for protection. Within several months after Hodaya's birth, he realized that he needed to take responsibility for his children. He agreed to pay toward the rent and some of the children’s bills. Once in a while, he will babysit for a few hours. Ronit very much wants to improve her situation and is taking a free English course so that she can be accepted to a local college for design.
She has learned over the past year that she does not need to be a victim of her circumstances. She credits the love and encouragement that she received from Be’ad Chaim with this change in attitude. She deeply appreciates the help she received of baby furniture and monthly vouchers for baby essentials through the Operation Moses project. It has been a life saver for her this past year.
According to our files, exactly 356 mothers gave birth since last November to 379 babies (some were twin births.) That’s a birth for every day of the year! In the last month over 20 babies were born throughout Israel to our Be’ad Chaim family. Thank you so much for partnering with us and enabling us to save these precious lives from abortion.
Eden has had a tough life. She had three children when she discovered the pregnancy with her son Johanan. She had already had three abortions and one miscarriage and knew that she didn’t want to go through another abortion. She also knew that she needed help because she’d been out of work for a few years. The father of her three older children is not in contact nor does he pay any child support. Her current partner, Johanan’s father, takes care of her and her children. Expenses are high, and the family needed help. Through the generous support of donors, Eden received practical help through our Operation Moses project, providing her with a bed, stroller, bath tub, sheets and monthly vouchers for a full year, so that she could purchase the baby essentials for her precious Johanan. Being able to trust others has been a rare commodity in her young life. Knowing that she could depend on Be’ad Chaim to provide the vouchers every month and that her counselor stood by her has been a genuine gift and has given her great peace. She said: “Thank you so much for everything. Thanks to Be’ad Chaim and their donors, Johanan is here, he is growing and has not lacked for anything during this past year while you have been supporting us. We will never take for granted all your help and support. I pray that as you give, God will bless you tenfold. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, with much love and appreciation.”
Tina is the new mother of baby Lilly, a sweet and delicate girl who weighed only 1.600kg (3.6 pounds) at birth. Tina emigrated from the Ukraine several years ago together with her sister and their loving foster parents. Tina and her sister had been placed in foster care at a young age after being taken away from their biological mother, an alcoholic who abused and neglected them. Both Tina and her sister are mentally challenged. They are both Jewish and for that reason could immigrate to Israel and obtain Israeli citizenship. Their foster parents, however, are not Jewish. They are Christians who do not have the right of Israeli citizenship and have been denied visa extensions. Her father has already returned to the Ukraine. Her mother continues to petition the government for a visa so that she can remain with her foster daughters and the new baby. Tina was in contact with a man who most likely took advantage of her mental disability and as a result she became pregnant. When the pregnancy was discovered, many people pressured her to abort including her social worker, doctors and educators. They all claimed that she would not be able to take care of her baby and needed to abort. Tina’s godly foster parents turned to Be’ad Chaim for help. After hours of conversations and much encouragement, Tina decided to keep her baby. Still, she was confused and fearful throughout the pregnancy and she vacillated between life and death for her baby. Our counselor was deeply concerned and made herself available to help. Tina has several chronic diseases and doctors were afraid that the baby would be affected, but amazingly, little Lilly was born healthy. She’s already gaining weight and doing well. The future is uncertain for sweet Lilly. It is not clear whether she will be staying with Tina, will be adopted out or if someone will “adopt Tina and baby”. Tina loves her daughter but needs help to raise her. Both Child Welfare Services and the Hatikva Family Project (adoption/foster aid) are working on possible solutions to this very complex situation. Join us in prayer for God’s best solution for baby Lilly and mother Tina. We know that the God who parted the Red Sea for the people of Israel, can make a way for this mother and child.
Each month, in Jerusalem, we welcome our new mothers to a brunch and program, perhaps a lecture, testimony or seminar. Topics are varied and have included testimonies of former drug addicts, how to put your baby to sleep, nutrition, exercise, the importance of forgiveness, art therapy, etc. Our goal is to bring encouragement, educate, and bring comfort to the broken hearted. This month, the moms learned how to make “kimbap”(the Korean version of sushi). For many of these precious women, life is very tough and stressful with little time to relax and learn new skills or have different experiences. The moms had a lot of fun and enjoyed the delicious food. Most importantly, they were made to feel loved, accepted and special.
Last month, a precious doctor and nurse volunteered with us for a day, doing checkups on the moms and babies and ultrasound testing for the pregnant moms. We are grateful for the donation of their time, expertise and care.
Last winter, 30 Portuguese speaking women planted trees in the Gardens of Life. One of the women, Jacci, recently visited Israel and told me her story. She had planted a tree in memory of the baby whom her sister had lost to abortion 40 years ago. Her 25 year old twin sisters had been pregnant simultaneously. Their mother, who worked in the hospital and was involved in the occult, brought them to a doctor for a “check-up,” but had told the doctor to cause both of them to abort. The sisters were devastated. One sister passed away ten years later from breast cancer. The second twin married and had children but her life was always “miserable,” impoverished, and filled with shame. The sister had not spoken with her mother since the abortions. After planting the tree, Jacci told her sister: “You must forgive mom.” She responded: “There’s no way I can go to her.” “I’ll take you.” “How can I forgive her for what she’s done?” asked her sister. “You must forgive, so you can begin to live.” Together, they flew to visit their mother. The sister forgave the mom, she washed her feet and anointed them with oil from the Gardens of Life. Everything changed. The mom became warmer and more sensitive, although she never admitted that she’d been wrong in causing the abortions. Jacci is one of six sisters who had all cut off contact with their mother because of abuse and neglect. She said, “The planting of the tree was a new beginning for all of us. “She flew to visit each of her sisters who live in different countries. She spoke to each one for hours about restoration with their parents, washed their feet and anointed them with the anointing oil from the Gardens. She summarized: “I planted five more trees this week to bring new life and healing to my family. Abortion doesn’t affect just one person. It has a spiritual influence on a whole family. In the last six months, since planting the first tree, my sister’s life has turned around. When I planted the tree, I saw the roots and realized that roots need work and care. My passion is to help women to LIVE AGAIN through the freedom of forgiveness. I can give because I have experienced the freedom of forgiveness for myself.”
All are welcome to help us by bringing/sending new or “like new” baby clothing, blankets, booties, pacifiers, soft toys and other lovely items for our precious newborns!