Ecclesiastes 3:1

War Update: A Future and A Hope Takes on New Meaning

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

Delivering essential supplies to an army unit in Northern Israel
Delivering essential supplies to an army unit in Northern Israel

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.

A friend of A Future and A Hope delivers a hot meal to an army unit.

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).

Food and essential supplies delivered to those in need as well as our First Year of Life Program.
Provisions range from frozen food and pantry items to cleaning supplies and diapers.

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


Featured Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Urgent March 12 Prayer Request and Brief Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah,

On March 12, 2023, we will be holding a special workshop for teens from ages 11–14 in a congregation in Jerusalem. The topic will be on sexual harassment and assault. As you can imagine, these are sensitive and difficult issues to discuss with young people. Topics discussed will include how to identify, report, and handle sexual harassment and assaults in a manner that will honor and glorify God.

Please pray for us as we present this topic, that the Lord will grant us great wisdom in sharing, and for the youth that they will find truth and hope in what is ministered, and gain confidence in the Lord in how to handle situations that are sadly, increasingly common in our modern society.

We are working on another update regarding our other programs, seminars, conferences, and translation projects into Hebrew. However, that will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, we hope you will be blessed by our new 2023 banner, and the photos shown above.

Thank you for your prayers.

Bless, be blessed, and be a blessing.

Marvin S. Kramer (for us all)

Prayer Request: Workshops on Abuse

On May 22 and 23, three workshops will be held in Jerusalem on the topic of online and physical sexual abuse. Each workshop is aimed at a different group of participants: youth counselors, Junior High students, and High School students.

Hanni and Orit will be giving the workshops. They would be grateful for your prayers on their behalf — for protection, grace, and wisdom. The topic is complex, sensitive, and full of information. Most attendees will be from the believing community, though others may also come. Please pray that all those attending will have hearts willing to hear, open to receive, and ready to change.

Bless, be blessed, and be a blessing.

Marvin S. Kramer (for us all)

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

Special Prayer Request

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Messiah – and Friends of A Future and A Hope,

This is a special prayer request for a young mom (we will call her “C“). C is in her twenties, has a one-year-old son, and she immigrated to Israel a short while ago. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she wanted to perform an abortion. After she counselled with Irena, she did a total turn-around and was convinced that she needed to continue with the pregnancy. She was and is in serious financial distress.

About a week ago, C‘s gynecologist told her that she was unable to detect the heartbeat of the child developing in her womb. The doctor sent C to the hospital where, after being examined, they told her that there is indeed a heartbeat, that her pregnancy is OK, and that she would not have to abort the child.

C took the results given to her at the hospital to her Ob-Gyn. She was examined a second time by her physician, who told her again that she could not hear a heartbeat, and that she would be given Mifegyne (RU 486) to induce an abortion. The doctor gave her the pill and she took it. Afterwards, she contacted Irena in tears, saying that she can’t even think about the possibility of aborting the child and didn’t know how she could think to do so earlier. She so regretted her earlier intentions and didn’t know what to do. Irena encouraged her in every way possible, but C became very depressed over the possibility of losing the child.

Irena is in touch with her by telephone and learned last night that C tried to commit suicide because she didn’t trust enough that her pregnancy was OK, despite the hospital’s reassurances, and that she had followed the advice of her Ob-Gyn and taken the pill to induce an abortion. A spirit of death is hovering over her and she is having difficulty getting over her decision. A week has gone by since she took the Mifegyne and she still has not aborted the child. Her Ob-Gyn said that if the child is not “expelled” by the end of the day (today), she will have to perform a D&C tomorrow and clean out C‘s womb of any trace of her pregnancy.

We serve a God Who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond anything we can ask or think. He has done so before. We are asking for your prayers that the abortion pill will have absolutely no effect, that C will be delivered from this depression, and be able to continue with a healthy pregnancy.

With thanks and blessings,

Marvin

Special Update: Praise and Time Sensitive Prayer Requests

Shalom — peace to you.

May this find you well, encouraged, and strengthened during these difficult days.

As we approach the Feast of Passover, a time of God’s deliverance of His people, we want to express heartfelt thanks to you for standing alongside with us, both spiritually and practically. We have shared what we are doing, we have expressed a need for help, and you have responded, encouraging us greatly, along with many women and newborns, who are part of our First Year of Life Program.

Now we are turning to you for continued prayer regarding two situations, shared below.

New Website Design

When you visit the site this time, you will notice that our new logo is now displayed, along with a slightly updated appearance of the site. We hope you enjoy the new look.

Thankfulness and Praise

In addition to the newborns who made their grand entrance as Israeli citizens in recent days, we are truly thankful for the support that we receive that enables us to help moms and tots who struggle to make ends meet.

In this regard, we arranged with a local merchant to deliver special, holiday care packages to a number of the women, who chose to give life to their pre-born children. As part of our First Year of Life Program, we were able to supply each woman with three separate gift baskets, valued at NIS 500 each, containing meat, fruit, vegetables, snacks, sweets, diapers, and toilet paper, among other items. These were all delivered to the women’s apartments (without entering inside – according to government regulations). The baskets were delivered to them with a note expressing our love for them and wishes for a joyful Passover.

The thanks and praise that we receive from them are due to your partnering with us and being involved in the continuing miracle of life.

Items in the gift “basket” sent to each mom.
Gift card reading: With Love and Happy Holiday, from A Future and a Hope!

Pictured: Photos sent to us by one of the moms, representative of the items delivered to each woman.

Special Prayer Needs

Mother and Needy Son Stuck at Home  

Karen (not her real name) is a single mom and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She came to us for counsel when she was three months pregnant and made a bold decision for life. A month ago Karen gave birth to a healthy son. She has another son, four-years old, who is also suffering from PTSD. Both he and Karen were victims of violence from the father of the children, who is now in police custody.

The older son is exhibiting destructive behavior and, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is not able to receive any professional support or treatment that would otherwise be available through the Department of Welfare. Furthermore, again because of the country-wide lockdown, Karen and her children are unable to leave for any reason, and cannot receive social assistance for herself. Her parents, who had helped out in the past, cannot even visit her or the children because of the present health crisis. Furthermore, now her parents are also sick (not with the virus, thankfully!).

Please pray for strength, wisdom, and grace for Karen and for other single parents, who are trying to cope under extremely difficult circumstances.

Wisdom for Hanni and Teachable Spirits for Listeners (April 7 “Zoominar”)

This coming Tuesday evening (tomorrow), April 7th, at 8:00 p.m. Israel time, Hanni will be giving a “Zoom” presentation to 30-50 youth counselors. She will speak about the unique challenges that teenagers face, particularly during this health crisis, when they are forced to remain at home and are spending a considerably increased time on the Internet.

Among the topics that will be discussed are:

  • The current situation (how much time children and youth spend on-screen and what they do);
  • Dangers of prolonged Internet use and social media interaction;
  • Challenges (lessons on the use of Zoom, if they have nothing else to do with their time);
  • Specific challenges for youth during the Covid-19 crisis.

Please pray for wisdom for Hanni in sharing, and for attentive and teachable spirits on the part of the youth counselors.

Passover Blessings to You

May you be blessed by the One, Who is the Lord of Life and Who gives life eternal to those who put their faith and truth in Him. He kept us from the plagues imposed on Egypt, He will free us from the plague of the Coronavirus.

Hag Pesach Sameach (May you have a joyful Passover)!

Marvin (for us all)