On October 7, 2023, the lives of all the people of Israel were changed in ways that are beyond comprehension. The terrorist attack and horrors uncovered in its aftermath impacted all of us. War was declared. Everyone is affected in one way or another.
Here in Haifa, Israel, where our main office is located, we are thankful that our commitments via the First Year of Life are maintained, and we continue to counsel all who turn to us. The physical needs of some families and the emotional stress they are experiencing are daunting: some families have members who are on active duty or have been called up into the reserves, and almost everyone knows someone, or of someone, who was murdered or taken hostage. As in the COVID-19 pandemic, multitudes of people are again out of work, or have been laid off as being on “vacation without pay.” In Haifa, businesses close early or completely – all waiting for the next shoe to drop.
Providing personal service to people in need during wartime has many challenges. However, our counseling services continue, as do our provision for the needs of newborns and our ongoing involvement with single moms and needy families. We are thankful to be able to walk with them through this challenging time. Pray that our peace because of Yeshua will touch the families we minister to and bring them eternal hope.
New Regulations Enable Expanding Our Borders
Despite the challenges and national trauma experienced on the physical and emotional levels, Israelis are uniting to stand with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and encourage them in various ways. Furthermore, the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profit Organizations has made an unprecedented change regarding the humanitarian aid legally allowed by non-profit organizations like A Future and A Hope, which generally focus on a specific sector of society. For the duration of the war, the Registrar is now permitting humanitarian aid organizations to assist all sectors of society wherever needed.
As a result of this change, the board of A Future and A Hope approved the purchase of essential supplies to an IDF Brigade stationed in the north. So far, we have been privileged to provide premium thermal pants; premium thermal shirts; fleece jackets; wool hats and rechargeable LED lights; sleeping bags; sets of high socks (three pair to a set); and vests and knee protectors. Ilan,* the officer responsible for receiving, organizing, and distributing the items wrote to us, “I want to thank you for an important and special donation and most relevant to this day. The soldiers will be happy to receive this help. Greatly appreciated… Take care and with God’s help we will win the war.”
* Name changed and rank, and military unit withheld for security reasons
It’s been said that an army marches on its stomach. In that regard, two things are necessary: one is a full belly; the other is a good pair of shoes. Yesterday, October 24th, we supplied one of those needs by doing something different and delicious. We supplied a special hot lunch for an entire unit in the Home Front Command, presently serving in Haifa and the surrounding community. The soldiers were thrilled to have a hot and tasty meal for a change! They know not to take such a treat for granted – if the war spreads to the Greater Haifa area, their meals will be downgraded to C-rations (prepared, canned food). We had to blur their faces for security reasons, but we hope the sense of delight they found in their meal comes through to you. The young lady is a volunteer who helped deliver supplies to our soldiers.
While we cannot meet the needs of our nation, we are thankful to contribute as much as we can. Our contributions to the IDF are meeting physical needs and boosting morale in long-lasting ways. These young men and women know their service is not taken for granted.
A Nation in Crisis
We are blessed to work with people who appreciate the ministry of A Future and A Hope and want to assist in our expanded services at this critical time in Israel’s history. Our delivery man, who supplies the food baskets, picks up and delivers items purchased for the First Year of Life Program, and sets everything up for the moms, also delivered all of the clothes and equipment to the IDF unit. The Doula who has worked with us for several years, and others, provide us with unsolicited discounts for their services. Even the agent who took our order for the IDF equipment gave us a huge discount by waiving his commission (not a small contribution).
The entire nation is in crisis. Understanding the unique needs that many women are facing, we contacted the Home Front Command to offer our services to women in a crisis pregnancy and families where the men have been called up to military reserve duty. They referred us to the appropriate department in the City of Haifa, which, in turn, forwarded our contact information to the Department of Welfare and Social Services in Haifa. Within less than two hours, families referred to us by Social Services began to call for assistance. We promptly stepped in to meet their needs. A Future and A Hope has also been added to the list of emergency volunteer organizations for the Mount Carmel region.
We celebrate life and rejoice to be part of every new life born. Our nation faces an enemy seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. Tragically, we are in the middle of a very real spiritual battle being harshly played out in the flesh.
May God be pleased to help us to be part of the efforts to protect and preserve the State of Israel, as well as to encourage women to follow through with their pregnancies and grant life to the children whom He is fashioning in their wombs. (Psalm 139:13–16)
Thank you for your prayers and support at this time.
Marvin Kramer (for all of us), A Future and A Hope