As I read 2 Samuel chapter 13, the words of Amnon to Tamar deeply grieved me: “Get up and get out!” This chapter tells us the very sad story of David’s first born son, the crown prince, Amnon, who took advantage of his half-sister Tamar. We are told that Amnon loved her with a very great love, but we see that this was not love but passion and selfish desire. “Tamar pleaded with him: 'No, my brother!' she said to him. 'Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you?' …But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, 'Get up and get out!' 'No!' she said to him. 'Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.' But he refused to listen to her.”
(2 Sam. 13:12-16)
I grieve because many of the women who come to us for help have been taken advantage of by men who sought pleasure, but didn’t want to commit. Often, a mother will tell us about a partner who said that he cared, but told her to “get up and get out!” when she refused to abort their child. I thank God for the many wonderful men who do take responsibility for their families despite difficult circumstances. We pray for those who don’t show care. Let’s declare God’s Word in Malachi chapter 4:6: “God will turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”
Thank you for standing in the gap for the hurting women and children who need to be covered by a loving husband and father.
May each one of them, and each of you, be covered in the Shadow of the Almighty,
This year, faithful and generous donors sent us a very large shipment of hundreds of costumes for the Purim holiday. We were able to send many of these costumes around the country with a special holiday card letting moms know that the gift is from our crisis pregnancy centers and that we are HERE TO HELP all those who find themselves in trouble. We also joyfully shared the costumes with the Jerusalem Department of Social Services so that they could help even more needy children. In our office, mothers visited (one at a time because of restrictions) to choose holiday costumes for their children. One mom chose this absolutely darling pink bunny costume for her one year old, Li’el (God is for me). Li’el is the cutest little bunny complete with her own carrot.
We are so blessed to be able to bring joy and laughter into the lives of those who need a fresh supply of happiness and hope!
Carla, from Cuba, immigrated to Israel three years ago. Soon after, she met and married her current husband and, within a year, she gave birth to twins. Four months into their marriage, he became violent. After enduring it for some time, she went to the police, and he was arrested, but she found herself pregnant again. A friend had given her a list of organizations that could help her in her situation and Be'ad Chaim was one of them. She contacted the hotline and was put in touch with a counselor who helped see her through her emotionally turbulent pregnancy and beyond. During this time, Carla decided to file for a divorce. Her husband, now under house arrest except for his rehab program and supervised visits to see his children, is required to pay child support.
Gilad was born in October and is loved by all his siblings. Carla gets a fair amount of help from her neighbors, as it is hard for her run errands with 3 small children. She is very grateful for the monthly assistance she is receiving, since it will be some time before the daycare centers open up again, and she can look for a job for herself. Her optimistic attitude and faith in a good God have helped her get through some difficult times.
Yolena celebrated adorable Leah’s first birthday this month! Little Leah is a delight and gives her mommy lots of kisses. Yolena regrets that Leah's father has taken no interest and doesn’t even know that she was born. Yolena is happy that she is able to work, even though the hours are challenging. She starts at 4 pm and works till midnight. She is happy to be living with her parents who enjoy looking after Leah while she is at work. Yolena counts all of her blessings!
Lilly lives in northern Israel and is from an Iraqi background. She was adopted when she was 13 years old, and told me that she felt like she never really belonged. She had a really tough childhood, especially at school. She was bullied and still suffers the pain of rejection. Lilly was living with her boyfriend but when he found out that she was pregnant, he was not prepared to support her and wanted her to get an abortion. Lilly was devastated and did not know what to do. He told her to leave. Lilly heard about Be’ad Chaim through friends and she found kindness and acceptance in her local counselor. This acceptance, after so much rejection, has brought much healing to her aching heart.
Amazingly, during her pregnancy, Lilly’s boyfriend returned, demonstrated responsibility and love, and they were MARRIED!Together, they prepared the house to welcome their new baby. In November, baby girl Elia (my God is Lord) was born. Lilly rejoiced that her husband was at her side throughout the birth.Lilly and her new husband are thankful for the practical help that they are receiving through our Operation Moses project and for the kindness that they have been shown through a caring counselor.
Tali was super excited to celebrate the first birthday of her precious twins Gal and Yam last month. She’d hoped to have a big party with extended family and friends but had to have a simple, small gathering because of the COVID restrictions. She had been divorced with four children when she found out that she was pregnant with the twins, and her new partner asked her to marry him. He is a good and caring man and has been helping the other children with their ‘zoom’ school work while she takes care of the twins. Tali shared that there is peace in the home and that the older children are helpful, especially with the babies.
Mae needs your prayers. As the divorced mother of a four year old and a five year old, she began a relationship with a man whom she thought was very kind. Her daughter, Ta’ir, had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. They were fighting for her life. As a result of her attention being focused on her daughter, Mae didn’t realize that she was pregnant until the 21st week. When she told her boyfriend about the pregnancy, he left and has not contacted her since. She applied to the committee at a local hospital to terminate the pregnancy, but felt very confused, and phoned her local Be’ad Chaim counselor. Feeling utterly overwhelmed, she found love, concern and the promise of practical support from Irena. Beautiful baby girl Be’er (meaning “well”) was born in January. Mae continues to travel by cab to a hospital an hour away with her older daughter for the chemotherapy. Be’ad Chaim, through our Operation Moses project, has helped her with baby furniture and will provide vouchers for baby essentials for a full year. We’ve also helped subsidize other expenses to try to ease her burden.We covet your prayers for Ta’ir.
“The fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) accomplishes much!” (James 5:16) A young soldier, Sharona, was referred by the hotline counselor to local counselor Roberta. Initial contact was made, but then Sharona stopped responding. As a soldier, she was pressured to choose between a child and the army. Roberta prayed, fasted and asked God to “show me the baby’s face” so that she would not lose heart in her prayers. She said, “I needed God’s strength to pray for THEM – because we have two people here, the mother and the baby.” As she interceded, she saw a precious baby boy with dark hair and dark skin. Roberta was overjoyed when she was finally able to regain contact with Sharona and hear that she’d chosen life for her baby. Roberta said that “all of the work was done through prayer.” In November, Eliel (my God is God) was born. Sharona has not heard from the baby’s father who is a soldier in a combat unit. She is deeply grateful that she chose life over the army and her reputation.
Lilach had felt very frightened and alone when she discovered that she had become pregnant while in a casual relationship. She even called the pregnancy “a mistake”. She was conflicted about what to do because her only family member is a mother who has dementia. In her heart, she knew that she really wanted this baby and contacted us for help. She rejoiced when her daughter was born exactly one year ago. Esti celebrates her first birthday on March 5th. She is a cute blond toddler and very curious. She loves having cuddles and her mom Lilach thoroughly enjoys dressing her in pretty pink frills. Esti learns everything quickly and like many smart children, is a bit of a rascal! She stands unassisted now and has just about started to walk. Lilach laughed as she shared how Esti gets into everything. Because of the COVID lockdowns, work has been sporadic, but Lilach and one of her friends help each other with their children when either of them finds work.Lilach said everyone is in the same boat, and through social media, people are able to help each other, sharing children’s clothes and other needs. She’s a very pragmatic person who deeply values the help that she’s received this year of baby furniture and vouchers to purchase Esti’s needs such as diapers and formula.
Nora, 37 years old and pregnant, called our hotline for help. Unfortunately, when she told her boyfriend that she was pregnant, he broke off their relationship and threw her out of his house when she came to reason with him. She was determined to keep this baby which she immediately acknowledged as a gift from God. Four months into the pregnancy, an ultrasound exam revealed possible problems with the baby’s development. Nora very reluctantly took her doctor’s advice to abort. She shared that this was the hardest decision she had ever made. She spoke to me for 50 minutes, and I hardly interrupted because I felt that she needed to share her story. At the end of the session, I asked Nora what she had received from our call. I loved her response: “It’s like I have a place where I can share the storm that is inside of me”.
During our second phone call, she told me about her hard life, her disappointments, her goals and dreams. I mostly listened and asked a few questions that would make her consider her possibilities for the future despite her many losses. I asked her what she thought about writing letters to her baby who had died. I was surprised by how excited she was and that she had already thought about writing a letter to the baby. At the end of the call, we decided to speak again after she wrote her first letter. When I asked her what she received from our conversation, she said, ”I am being strengthened”. I will continue to counsel her and believe that God will bring healing to her grieving heart.