Dear Supporters and Prayer Warriors for A Future and A Hope:
Blessings to you, with prayers for good health, strength, wisdom, and protection.
A lot has happened in our lives since our last update in December, when we posted a photo of one of the precious new babies born as a result of this ministry. We had also asked for prayer and new support for the First Year of Life Program.
Many of you not only prayed, but chose to be a part of the answer to our prayers. Thank you for your quick, loving, and much needed response.
Covid-19 has reached Israel
The pandemic is worldwide and Israel is battling this new virus on every level. Over the past few weeks there have been increasing restrictions. New guidelines are being issued every few days as our leaders seek, in any way possible, to limit the number of people who become infected. To date, almost 5,000 people have been infected and there have been 19 deaths. The mayor of Haifa recently advised the residents of Haifa that our city is in a relatively good situation with regard to infections, as compared to the rest of the country (we ranked 17th out of 152 locations in Israel). Social distancing is having a positive effect, though it does make ministry more challenging.
Our ministry continues, despite the pandemic
Like most of the country, everyone on our team is under government guidelines not to leave home, unless it is for a permissible reason that is exempted from the major lockdown. The needs of some sectors of the country have become even more acute during this time of crisis, particularly when freedom of movement is restricted. In addition to the elderly, families with a newborn at home, or a woman who is in the third trimester of pregnancy are among those in need of special attention and assistance. For us, extending a helping hand to them during this time of crisis is rendering an essential service. We are thankful that our help is also a permitted service.
With face masks on and rubber gloves, A Future and A Hope is endeavoring to help meet the needs of this particularly hard-hit sector of the country. We pack up the car with different sizes of diapers and baby clothes and deliver them at the residences of the moms and tots, arranging with them in advance to leave these items at their doors, to avoid endangering our own health through physical contact. At the same time, we give the mothers a gift card to supplement their basic needs. These services and provisions are part of our First Year of Life Program and are in addition to the basic items that we provide during the newborn’s first year of life.
Without question, the recipients of the diapers, clothes, and gift cards are touched and grateful, even to the point of tears. The multitudes who have been laid off from work, some on a “leave without pay” situation, include some of the families that we are helping. We are stretched to the limit in every area, but remain committed to follow through for as long as we have the ability to do so.
Pictured at the top of this post: Orit delivering diapers to one of our mothers.
In January, we asked for prayer for Eve (not her real name), the young woman who suffered from osteomalacia. She gave birth to a healthy son four days ago, following a speedy delivery, without an epidural. This was an encouraging answer to prayer. Thanks for being part of the continuing miracle of birth.
In that vein, we know you will celebrate with us the birth of another boy – El Roei. What a joy it was to celebrate his Brit Mila!
New Hebrew booklets for children
As part of the expanded nature of the ministry of A Future and A Hope, we recently embarked on publishing a series, in Hebrew, dealing with “Sex in the Plan of God,” which is suitable for teaching children of different age groups, according to their levels of maturity and understanding. We received permission from the publisher of the books in English to translate and adapt them from English to Hebrew in a culturally relevant manner. The first two booklets have just been published. Titled “Before I Was Born” and “The Story of Me,” the books will not be sold, but rather distributed to those who attend the seminars and conferences where we will be speaking.
Ongoing needs to help the helpless
How can you help? The economic crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic has impacted every sector of our society, across the board. Non-profit organizations are experiencing a decrease in donations as the economic unrest causes personal concerns to shift what were once priorities. Banks are helping private individuals to defer loan repayments for a period of time and tend to be more lenient with individuals whose income has suddenly ceased. The situation is different for non-profits, who are not allowed to have a credit line or to enter into a minus situation. Hence, when funds are depleted, the assistance also comes to a halt.
If you want to help and are able to do so, please visit our Donate Now page, to make a PayPal donation or for information on how to send a bank-to-bank transfer. As always, each donation will be issued a receipt.
Closing thoughts for encouragement
You are very much in our prayers, as I am sure we are in yours as together, we live through current events that have challenged and will continue to challenge us at every level—for a time still unknown to us. However, our God remains sovereign. May this be a time during which each of us is encouraged in our Lord, emboldened to share the Good News to our hurting world, and use every means possible to minister His love to a hurting and desperate world.
May you bless, be blessed, and be a blessing.
Marvin Kramer (for all of us)
A Future and a Hope