Recently, several pregnant moms came into our office to meet and share their stories with generous baby sponsors. It was a very touching meeting as the donors heard firsthand how women who had considered abortion were now eagerly awaiting the birth of their babies.
Eden was just about to go for an abortion because with two daughters, one a toddler and the other only three months old, she and her husband were overwhelmed and couldn’t imagine another baby. Her sister-in-law phoned us, deeply alarmed at the thought of the abortion. Eden is now eight months pregnant and discovered that “IT’S A BOY!”. She said: “there’s no happier man than my husband.”
Emilia, 38, has children who are 17, 16, 15 and 10 years old, and was waiting “to see what a hotel looks like and to have a real vacation with no babies.” She said: “When I discovered that I was pregnant, I can’t believe how easy it was for me to say that I was going to have an abortion.” Yet, a friend contacted us and asked us to phone her. Our counselor lovingly reminded her that the baby is a gift from God, a soul, and a person. Emilia now says that her family can’t wait for the birth of their daughter in another month.
Salam, a refugee from Eritrea and mother of a four year old, was on the street and in a desperate situation when a friend told her about Be’ad Chaim. Her husband has a heart condition, can’t work and they have no money. Be’ad Chaim’s offer to support the baby for a full year through our Operation Moses project saved his life.
Maya is 22 years old. Her partner left her when they discovered the pregnancy. Courageously, Maya chose life for her baby, and decided to raise it herself. Her partner returned, proposed and they were married two months ago. Their daughter will be born next month.
It is an honor for us to be able to help these precious women who, despite their circumstances, chose LIFE for their children. I am deeply grateful to you, our partners, who make it possible for us to help women in crisis find new hope, practical help and support. “Blessed are those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble.” (Psalm 41:1).
Miriam is a beautiful young mother who was referred to us when she discovered that she was pregnant at the age of 17. Eight years ago, despite very difficult circumstances and no family to support her, she gave birth to her precious son Osher. In time, Miriam became a believer in Jesus and recently married the man with whom she had been in a relationship for several years. Together, they are growing in their faith in the Messiah.
Ten months ago, when Miriam discovered that she was pregnant, this time with twins, she knew that she and her husband would need some help and support as they were really struggling financially. Miriam’s husband has several children from two previous marriages. She was shy to ask for help but knew that Be’ad Chaim would be loving and happy to help her with the twins through our Operation Moses project.
Throughout the pregnancy, doctors pressured Miriam to have an abortion. The babies were mono-mono, identical twins that shared the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus. They shared one placenta but had two separate umbilical cords, which doctors feared would become entangled and endanger the life of one or both of them. Also, ultrasound tests showed that one of twins had a cleft lip and doctors suspected a serious cleft palate as well. Doctors warned that one or both of the twins would die if she didn’t abort. Throughout the pregnancy, mother, father and our prayer partners around the world prayed.
On the 29th of April 2019, during the 36th week of her pregnancy, Miriam gave birth to two precious healthy boys. They named them Elchai (“God lives”) Peter & Elroy (“God is my shepherd”) Paul. Miriam calls them miracle babies, given to her by the hand of God! She is so grateful to Him and feels deeply loved because of all the grace that He showed her through protecting and healing her boys before they were born. Beautiful baby Elroy was born with only a slight cleft lip which doesn’t even interfere with his nursing. God heard all of our prayers and answered them.
Within a week, Miriam came home from the hospital but both of her precious babies had to stay for several more weeks. Elroy was the first to come home, and last week, on Miriam’s 24th birthday, Elchai came home and joined his brother. Miriam is doing very well and nursing them both. Her husband gets up for the boys during the night and bottle feeds them with breast milk that Miriam has stored in the freezer.
Miriam’s husband is a chef, but he is currently employed as a security guard because of a problem he has in his back. He recently completed a course in computer programming. Let’s pray for him to find a well-paying job in his field.
Miriam is a very gracious, grateful and positive person. She thanked us profusely for all the help and support they have received during this time, particularly because they didn’t have anything for their twins. Be’ad Chaim blessed them with everything they needed. “Operation Moses is an amazing project; through it you can help so many women. Thank you so much!!”
Sarah was raised by a Muslim father and a Jewish mother. When she was just 16 years old, her parents arranged for her to get married. Sarah refused and tried to run away but the chosen ‘husband to be’ took her against her will and forced her to marry him. Sarah had three children with him who are now thirteen, eleven and five years old. Throughout their marriage, he physically abused her, and when her five year old was born, she managed to escape to a shelter for battered women. Her older children were sent to live in a boarding school. Her husband, a persuasive man, attempted to kill himself in front of their children. As a result, he was actually granted custody of the two older children, and Sarah was only granted custody of their younger daughter. Sarah is still fighting in court to get all of her children back.
Last year, Sarah became involved with a man by whom she became pregnant. When he first heard about the pregnancy he wanted her to abort and at 17 weeks, Sarah was still considering it. Thankfully, a social worker referred her to Be’ad Chaim and a wonderful counselor was able to care for her and help her become part of the Operation Moses project.
In December, when she was only 30 weeks along, Sarah had to have an emergency C-section. It was a very difficult birth, and Sarah still has a lot of pain, but is slowly recovering. Baby Thomas was in an incubator for several months and needed oxygen because he couldn’t breathe independently. As a result of his breathing difficulties caused by the lack of oxygen, Thomas’ motor skills are not what are expected for his age. He will soon begin to attend a special program for babies with developmental delays and special needs. We covet your prayers for Thomas’ physical and mental development. Please pray for grace and strength for Sarah and her partner. Recently, Sarah made a commitment of faith and is now learning to trust God even in the midst of difficulties.
Our Gardens of Life prayer hostess and counselor, Laurel Sternberg, described three very special times of tree planting this month in the Gardens of Life:
Tamar, Yair and three year old Bar are a young secular family. One year ago when Tamar was close to her delivery date, pregnant with a daughter. Something went wrong, and the baby died inside her. As she told her story, I sympathized as to how hard, how terrible that must have been. I asked how her relationship with God was after that happened, as often, when something terrible occurs, we become angry at Him. She said she had been angry with God at first, but she had gotten over that. They planted a cypress tree, and I took photos of them with their phone. I asked if I may pray, and they agreed. She wept quietly and her husband’s eyes were also teary. They were somber but peaceful. It was hard to remain sad in the presence of their precocious son and his cute observations. I asked if they had named the child they lost, and they hadn’t. Not naming her was their way of distancing themselves and feeling less sadness. I gently encouraged them to name her. They will think about it.
Orli and Shimon are a young Modern Orthodox couple, with a four year old son whom they didn’t bring to the Gardens. They had lost twin girls one year ago and came to plant two trees. Theirs is a very sad story. When Orli was pregnant with the twins, she sensed a change, a lack of movement. One of her babies had died, and its blood was going into the other twin. Doctors were not able to save the other child. I asked her if she blamed God or herself, or both. She said both. She had been very angry with God at first, then she drove herself crazy with guilt, trying to guess what she could have done better to save the babies. I explained to them how to plant the trees and just stood back. They were organized, and I sensed they wanted to do everything. Each read a prepared letter to one of the twins, using the girls’ names. We all cried, but I stayed quiet, not wanting to interrupt their experience and their grief. They gently attached pacifiers and body cream with pink ribbons to the little trees. She fell on her hands and knees, sobbing and kissing the ground. I’m crying as I write this. I didn’t say anything until she turned to thank me. They said they would revisit the Gardens and were so grateful for this special place to remember and honor their baby girls.
"We all cried, but I stayed quiet, not wanting to interrupt their experience and their grief. They gently attached pacifiers and body cream with pink ribbons to the little trees. She fell on her hands and knees, sobbing and kissing the ground."
Miriam and Guy, a young couple, didn’t bring their older child to the Gardens of Life. When I first spoke with Miriam, I was mystified by her cheerfulness, given that we were planning to plant a tree in memory of a child she had lost. One year ago, Miriam was 5 or 6 months pregnant when the doctors told her that her daughter was not developing properly and she should abort. She and her husband immediately agreed that they did not want to have a handicapped child. Miriam is a special needs teacher. I don’t know if this had any bearing on her being willing to take the life of a child that might not be perfect. After they planted the tree and made beautiful smiles for the camera, I asked if I might pray. They agreed. I affirmed that God is good, His plans are good, and that He created the world good, but we have broken it. I stated my belief that their daughter is in His presence and that I hoped they would someday be reunited as a family. At this point, the husband began sobbing, and soon she also was crying. I was so relieved, as I felt her cheerfulness was a mask, and a kind of prison, keeping her from grieving in a healthy manner. It was a beautiful day and I invited them to stay in the Gardens as long as they wanted, after I left.
All are welcome to find healing and closure through the symbolic planting of a tree in the Gardens of Life.