Choices for Life in 2021: Spring Update

Despite the third lockdown at the beginning of this year, the work at A Future and A Hope has continued to be fruitful – in every sense of the word! We have continued with Zoom lectures to local groups, there have been several decisions for life, and as you can see by the photo heading this post – several precious babies have been born.

Update on Liel

Several of you have written to ask how Liel is doing (see our December 2020 prayer request). Liel was born at 26 weeks and we know the Lord and your prayers made a difference in her little life. After spending two months in an incubator, she is finally home with her mother. Praise God!

PTSD and Pregnancy

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have serious consequences on people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Interestingly, most of the women who have come to us over the last two months have been relatively young and suffering from PTSD. Their stories are heartbreaking and inspiring. God has given them the courage to choose life despite harrowing circumstances.

Karen, in her mid-20’s, suffers from both PTSD and an eating disorder. When she came to us, pregnant with her second child, Karen was considering abortion due to difficult family and socio-economic circumstances. Her (now older) son suffers from a life-threatening allergy to dairy products. Karen is a victim of physical violence from her husband. He not only has attempted to kill her, but he has also threatened to kill their older son, now 5, and who was traumatized as a result. Karen made a brave decision for life and is now taking care of her two sons alone under very difficult economic circumstances.

Rosa, 21, was born into a Haredi orthodox family and experienced severe, sexual abuse during her formative years. Her family was quite unsupportive during the time that she was abused. In the end, she left them and started living on the streets. All too soon thereafter she began taking drugs, became involved in prostitution, and at the age of 17 became pregnant for the first time. She carried the child to term and placed him for adoption when she was allowed to live in a woman’s shelter, enabling her to get off the streets. However, a few months later, she returned to drugs and prostitution. After being clean from drugs and getting out of prostitution for nearly two years, she came to us for counseling – pregnant with her second child. Rosa gave birth two weeks ago and is now in the process of getting a government-sponsored apartment.

Alice is 28, a manic depressive who also suffers from PTSD. She had been repeatedly raped by her father over a long period of time and had already undergone an abortion when she became pregnant by him. She came to us during her second pregnancy, apprehensive and fearful. During the course of counseling, she decided not to abort and gave birth to a healthy son on March 31.

Our Latest Blessing: Alice’s Newborn

Tatiana is in her 20’s. She and her husband are both from families who were drug dealers, so it is no surprise that they also have a drug addiction background. Thankfully, they have both come to faith in their Messiah Yeshua not too long ago. Tatiana’s mother and step-father both died from drug overdoses and she has been exposed to drugs from the time she was born. After becoming pregnant, she was worried and was considering aborting the child. Both she and her husband chose life for their pre-born child, are receiving help from A Future and A Hope, and are attending a local congregation.

Billie is 23 and came to us during her first trimester of pregnancy. She had left home at the age of 17 after several difficult years of sexual abuse; however, she fell into prostitution and heavy drug use. She suffers from both manic depression and PTSD. Billie is working toward rehabilitation and is actively involved in a program to achieve that goal. After a long period of hesitation, she has decided to continue with her pregnancy and is genuinely looking forward to delivering in June.

Shilli is 32, a manic depressive who also suffers from PTSD. She was raped and sexually abused during her childhood. Shilli came to us for counseling during her fourth pregnancy; this time she has decided not to abort and to raise the child. In the past, she has been involved with prostitution and drugs but has been clean and off the streets over the last few years. She is due to deliver in May.

Karen, Rosa, Alice, Tatiana, Billie, and Shilli have all taken a course on birthing, breast-feeding, and child-rearing, given by a Doula who works with our organization. They are also receiving parenting training and ongoing family counseling from our counselors.

Although they have made decisions for life – they cannot do it alone. They need physical help, emotional counseling, and ultimately, a relationship with their heavenly Father.

Specific Prayer Requests

The First Year of Life Program is a critical component in helping these and many other women coming to A Future and A Hope. Your support of this program helps in ways far beyond the material. In meeting their physical needs, each woman is reminded that she is not alone and that she is loved. Very often, your support helps them to find the courage to carry on, to not give up, and ultimately, helps to soften hard hearts. Please pray for strong support of this program so that we can continue to support the women who seek our help.

Our counselors need wisdom from above to know how to reach the women coming to them. While problems are similar on the surface, each situation is unique. Despite their training, they need God’s patience, wisdom, and grace, to provide the guidance each woman needs.

And finally, please pray for each of these women. In choosing life for their children, may they gain a glimpse into their Heavenly Father’s love for them, and ultimately yield to His love.

For more information on how you can support A Future and A Hope, visit our donations page.

As always, we are grateful to you for your support and prayers.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Easter as we rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Yeshua.

Messiah is Risen! – He is Risen Indeed! – Hallelujah!

May you be blessed and be a blessing.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Marvin

January 2021 Update and Prayer Request

Shalom all. Last year was a challenging year for all of us. All sectors of Israel have been severely affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly. No one has remained unaffected. Israel’s educational system has been disrupted at all levels and both teachers and students have had to adapt to instruction during times of lockdown and quarantine via Zoom. It has not been an easy time at all!

Still, through it all, we are mindful of the fact that our hope is not dependent on life’s circumstances, but is anchored in Yeshua the Messiah! Our instruction for how to live is ongoing through the eternal Word of Truth.

During this time, A Future and A Hope has continued its activities in all respects; we’ve simply changed the means of communication and assistance. Counseling has been given to women by using various telecommunication technologies and we have seen many decisions made for life throughout the course of the pandemic. In addition, we decided to add food assistance to our First Year of Life Program.

We began this new civil year spurred on by the decisions for life and the children born this month and due to be born in the coming months. We have encouraged many of the women whom we counsel to sign up for an emergency first aid course focusing on care of children and infants. The course trains them in resuscitation, treatment of head injuries, suffocation and more. We offered to pay the enrollment fee and had an immediate response: 10 women signed up for the course and received a Certificate of Successful Completion issued by Magen David Adom in Israel (the featured image for this article shows one such certificate).

Prayer Requests

We would greatly appreciate specific prayers for a series of lectures that we will be giving by Zoom in February. The lectures will be for a Parenthood Training course being hosted by a school in Jerusalem. We will be giving three lectures, as follows:

February 4: The dangers of social networks, bullying, and shaming (to be given by Hanni Kramer)

February 15: How to talk to children and teenagers about sex and sexuality (to be given by Orit Kramer)

February 17: Pornography among children and teenagers, including pedophilia in Israel and what to do in case of suspicion of sexual abuse or actual sexual assault (to be given by Orit Kramer)

Please pray for the speakers, the attendees, and the technology – wisdom for the speakers, open hearts of the listeners, and working computer systems!

Thank you

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the many comments left on our website, and emails sent to us. Your concern, questions, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated.

May this new civil year bring with it the fullness of good health and the joy of the Lord that flows from deep down within you.

Blessings always in Messiah Yeshua, the Lord of Life.

Marvin

Liel, born Dec 18, weighed 600 gm.

Pray for Liel

One of the women who made a decision for life after receiving counsel at A Future and A Hope gave birth on December 18, at 26 weeks. The newborn weighed in at 600 grams and is presently hooked up to an incubator. She has gained 300 grams in the last 3 days. She has been named Liel (pronounced Lee-El).

Liel’s name means, “I have God.” What a precious name. Her mother is well and grateful for your prayers. Please pray for Liel’s continued health, growth, and that she may indeed have God in her heart from a young age.

As we approach the Christmas holiday, may Liel’s birth and her vulnerability remind us of another birth celebrated at this time of year. What a joy to remember that the Prince of Peace was given to save you, me, Liel, and her mother.

May you be blessed and be a blessing.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Marvin

You Prayed and God Answered!

Dear Friends, Prayer Warriors, and Faithful Supporters,

We had asked for prayer on October 18 for Lilia. She had been scheduled to undergo a Caesarian delivery for twins. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord answered beyond all that we asked. Yesterday, Lilia gave birth — naturally — without surgical intervention — to these two beautiful boys who were saved from abortion.

Please keep this new family in your prayers that the Lord would meet their every need — physically and spiritually.

On another note, I’d like to ask for prayer for one of our team: Debbie, who does an excellent job with our website, has had several health issues lately, and now is facing a new one that keeps her from sleeping well and interferes with her daily joy.

Please also pray for our counsellor, Irena and her family, which includes a special needs child; they are moving into a new apartment.

The rest of us are doing well, but obviously still struggling with the limitations placed on us due to the pandemic. May the Lord’s good purposes be fulfilled in our time.

Prayerfully yours,

Marvin

October 18 2020: Urgent Prayer Request

Dear Friends, Prayer Warriors, and Faithful Supporters,

We have two emergency prayer requests to bring before the Lord of Life.

Kindly note that all names have been changed to protect their identities.

Monday morning (October 19), Lilia is scheduled to deliver twins via Caesarian section. She already has a 3-year-old child and we have been accompanying her throughout the entire pregnancy. She is concerned and apprehensive about the surgery. Please keep her in your prayers for an easy and healthy delivery and speedy healing.

Second, Melanie came to us a few years back when she was abortion-minded. After receiving counsel, she made a decision for life and gave birth to a healthy child who is now 3 years old. She was absolutely thrilled that she had decided against an abortion.

Melanie is now in her twenties and in the first trimester of another pregnancy. She contacted us for counsel and encouragement. Her economic situation is quite bad and she has been seriously considering aborting because of it. We encouraged her to wait, not to rush into an abortion, and we promised to stand by her and help however we can. Please pray Melanie, that she will again make a bold decision like she did four years ago, and that the Lord will honor such a decision and meet her needs in amazing ways.

May these precious women come to know the source of life, and to trust Him with all their lives.

Prayerfully yours.

Marvin

Photography: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Rejoicing in Life

We have just updated a few pictures on our home page, and thought you’d like to know more about some of the babies born during the pandemic.

We have permission to share these photos and hope that as you look at them, you will remember to pray for these precious lives, theirs mothers, and that they would find their future in their Creator!

Born on August 4, 2020, to a 48 year-old mother.
This was her first child – by natural delivery!

And one day later we received this photo taking during delivery…

Midwife with a newborn baby.

Thank you again for your prayers and support.

With thanks and blessings,

Marvin