During their trip to the U.S. this summer, Marvin, Orit, and Hanni had a number of opportunities to share about A Future and A Hope in New York and Pennsylvania, with considerable one-on-one counselling. In addition, Marvin and Orit spoke in Poland in September, sharing both the Word of Life and the message of life in different locations. Those who attended the sessions came with attentive ears and receptive spirits.
Hanni shared about her seminars and workshops on shaming and bullying among youth, Orit provided a moving update about mothers who were making courageous decisions for life in the face of daunting circumstances. Marvin spoke about ministry, and also spoke about the need to understand the “big picture” concerning the Middle East conflict. A special event was held in Pennsylvania, to spread the word about this important ministry to encourage choices for life, a future, and a hope in Israel.
Below are a few pictures from the time spent in the US! Enjoy! And thank YOU for your support and encouragement, and for joining us in our vision.
Two babies that were born while we were visiting in the USA.
Dear praying friends and supporters, We are truly thankful for your prayers and are greatly encouraged by them. God has blessed us a good start this year with several abortion-minded women choosing life after receiving counselling through A Future and A Hope. Life-affirming births, a workshop, and seminars, are but a few ways in which we are seeing fruit from this ministry.
The Workshop on Shaming and Bullying
We held a workshop for
believing youths earlier in the year on shaming and bullying, both in general
and through the internet. We spoke about real-life incidents and asked the
children to share if they had been involved in similar incidents and what they
had done or would do in the circumstances described. Obviously, we spoke on the
subject from a Scriptural point of view. We also asked whether any of the
youths had witnessed incidents of shaming and bullying. The responses were far
beyond what we had anticipated. Many shared that they, themselves, suffered
from social boycotts, shaming, and bullying because of their national origin,
the color of their skin, as well as for their faith in Messiah Yeshua. They
left the meeting with an awareness of the need to be more alert and aware of
their surroundings, as well as to the words coming out of their mouths.
The two seminars for
parents held in Jerusalem in March were truly blessed. Most of the attendees were
hungry for information and wanted more, even though the sessions lasted until
after 9 p.m. One session dealt with shaming and bullying in social media among
the youth, while the second one discussed how to increase awareness of
sexual predators, including pornography addiction among children and
teens. The parents were challenged to seek a greater and more prayerful
awareness and sensitivity for these issues.
Decisions for Life
There have also been many
answers to prayer regarding women who came to us in crisis pregnancy
situations. Children have been born by God’s grace, who would have otherwise
been the victims of the abortionist’s scalpels. As is our practice, for the
sake of privacy and protection, none of the women’s names below are their real
Update on Aliya
A few months ago we shared
with you about a woman whom, for anonymity, we named “Aliyah.” You may recall
that she had been a sex slave and undergone horrific abuse. You read the story
“From Sex Slavery to a Future and A Hope” here.
Aliyah came to us at the
beginning of her pregnancy. After receiving counsel she made the decision for
life for her child. In a Facebook post, she wrote a post addressed to the child
developing in her womb.
I am writing and telling you the story of a hero who chose life, in the midst of darkness and suffering. My little one, you came at the right time, from a reception that covered many hours of grace, against all of the odds. Slim odds that you circumvented, breaking through barriers of stigmas and difficulties. When you arrive to the world my little child, I will tell you how much life you gave me, and hope to continue. You will forever be an inseparable part of my thoughts, of my life. I chose to raise you alone, without a father … [I] promise and know that I will do everything so that you will not lack anything. Don’t think for a moment that the nausea is doing me harm, it is natural and a sign that you exist within me. I am so very happy that I am able to do for you, my little child. I give you permission to be afraid sometimes. I ask that you remember that courage is not measured by victories, but by stating the truth. Understand that problems are sometimes needed in order to survive. … When I learned of your existence, I was flooded with feelings which cannot be expressed in writing, wild and careless, and in a moment’s decision I chose to bring you here, with tears in my eyes and with a burden of responsibility, you became a part of me, a perfect, little creature. With a complete choice and at the right time. Thank you my little child, filled with love and quiet.”
Two weeks ago, Aliyah gave
birth to her son and called him “Amour” (love, in French). She has now moved to
the south of Israel and is residing with her mother, who is helping her, on the
condition that Aliya’s son will not be taken from her.
After giving birth in June, Aliya was again the focus of a news article on a Hebrew media outlet. The title of the article says it all: “Against all odds: The woman who developed 52 personalities was rehabilitated and became a mother.” You can view a wonderful photo of her in this Ynet article. When the worldly media takes notice of a seemingly impossible change in a person’s life, we can only give all the praise and honor to Messiah Yeshua, the Lord of Life. The article refers to the people who encouraged her for life (although not mentioning them by name). She told the counselor who met with her in our office: “You deal with life and death in your work.” She knows what we deal with and has asked to work with us as a volunteer. She is willing to come and tell her story and take a stand against abortion. “Despite my difficult story, I understand that it is important that we protect life in the womb.”
Please add your prayers to
ours that she would come to a full and complete knowledge of the One Who gave
His life for her.
Choosing Life Despite Real Fear
Nora, 32, came to us four and a half years ago at the beginning of her pregnancy. After deciding not to abort, she gave birth to a healthy child. However, tragically, the child suffered a crib death. Nora became depressed and after nearly three years, she contacted us when she again became pregnant. She arrived “just to talk” and explained that this time, she was going to have an abortion. She was very afraid of giving birth again because of what had happened with her first child. Our counselor, Irena, provided counsel and encouragement to Nora throughout the entire period of her pregnancy. When Nora learned that she was a diabetic, Irena helped her to create a healthy and balanced food menu that she could follow. Two weeks ago, Nora gave birth to a son, whom she named “Adam.”
Please remember Nora in
your prayers. She is a single mom and still suffers from panic
attacks because of the death of her first child. Her sleep is
irregular and she remains awake most of the night, which leaves her exhausted
during the day.
Courage to Choose
Dina gave birth to Daniel
two months ago, after her first pregnancy ended in an abortion at six months.
She had been told that the child was not developing properly and was strongly
encouraged to terminate the pregnancy. Sadly, we first came into contact with
her only after the abortion. When Dina came to us this time, we stood by her
throughout the course of the pregnancy. She is extremely grateful that we
were “there for her.” Her son is the joy of her life at this time.
Please pray that Dina would
have strength and patience. She is a single mom and the sole provider.
Other Choices for Life
Many other mothers have given birth this month. Below are
some photos to rejoice over of just a few of these precious lives. Please
remember to pray for them, their mothers, and that they would all enter into a
personal relationship with our wonderful Yeshua – truly He saves!
Other Prayer Requests
Prayer is the foundation of what we do. If the Lord is not
leading, all our labor is in vain. Hence, we would deeply appreciate your
prayers for the following items:
Irena: Please pray for her
son, Vladimir (“Vladi”) and for wisdom and strength to handle the many
changes he and the family are going through right now. Vladi is presently in a
rehabilitation program established by neuropsychologists, especially for people
like him. Vladi suffered a severe head injury as the result of a motor vehicle
accident 18 years ago, when he was 11. The difficulty is enormous for the
Please pray that Vladi
would be happy with the rehab program, that the place would become a home for
him, and that he will be comfortable, and happy, and look forward to being
Orit and Me:
For good health, for our children, and for God’s strength and wisdom for all He
sets before us.
May God pour out His
richest and abundant blessings upon you
God has given us a wonderful start this year: Several women
made decisions for life and there were several births by abortion-minded women
who also chose life following counselling. In addition, we have two events
coming up shortly – both of which need your prayer and spiritual covering. Read
on to find out how to pray for us and rejoice in some amazing examples of how God
is changing hearts and lives.
NOTE: All the mother’s names have been completely changed to protect their identities. As you pray for these women, don’t forget, the Lord knows their real names!
A 19-year-old girl (we’ll call her Tehilla – for that means praise) came to us for counselling. Between 15 and 19 years of age, she had already undergone five (!) abortions. She contacted Orit following the advice of a friend of her whom we had helped to keep her baby. Tehilla was considering another abortion—number 6. After visiting our office and receiving counsel, she made the decision not to abort. As a result, Tehilla was rejected by her own family, and the father of the child wanted nothing to do with the baby. She gave birth alone in the hospital. Orit spoke with her afterward and asked what Tehilla wanted to name her newborn daughter. She answered that she hadn’t chosen a name yet—would Orit name her? Orit suggested naming the baby “Ana-El” (God answered). Praise the Lord—That is now her name!
February Workshop for Messianic Youth
Earlier in February we held a workshop for believing youth
on the subject of shaming and bullying, through the internet and in general. We
spoke about real-life incidents and asked the children to share if they had
been involved in similar incidents; what they would do now in the circumstances
described. Obviously, we spoke on the subject from a Scriptural perspective. We
also asked if any of the attendees had witnessed incidents of shaming and
bullying. The responses were far beyond what we had anticipated. Many shared
that they, themselves, suffered from social boycotts, shaming, and bullying
because of their country of origin and skin color, as well as for their faith
in Messiah Yeshua. They left the meeting encouraged and understanding the
importance of being more alert and aware of their surrounding and to the words coming
out of their own mouths.
Prayer: Upcoming Seminars
On March 11 and 25, we will be conducting two seminars in
Jerusalem for parents. The seminars are being organized by the pastor of one
congregation, who is inviting other “local” congregations to attend. One
seminar will focus on shaming and bullying in social media. The goal is to give
parents the tools they need to understand, discover, and relate to their
children regarding these matters, and to stimulate awareness of the importance and
need for open dialogue. Parents will also be helped to understand their
critical role as the defenders of their children. The other seminar/workshop
will deal with awareness and recognition of sexual predators and the growing
impact of pornography and pedophilia among today’s children and youth. Parents
will be taught how to speak with their children about sex, sexuality, and
sexual identity. These topics are of great importance for modern families, and
the spiritual warfare in these areas is great. Your prayers for these upcoming
events would be greatly appreciated.
From Sex Slavery to a Future and a Hope
In mid-February, a 29-year-old woman came to us. Her story was
extremely difficult and painful—however, we share it with you because we cannot
hide from the horrors being perpetrated in the name of sexual liberty and freedom.
(We shall name her “Aliyah” for she is coming up out of the depths to find
From an early age, until the age of 14, Aliyah was
repeatedly raped by her father, who would drug her and use her as his
personal sex slave. If that wasn’t enough, until only a few years ago, he would
also pimp her and exposed her to hard drugs, which she also sold. Aliyah became
pregnant twice from her father and had early abortions. She tried many times to
commit suicide, but failed, and finally ended up living on the streets. And
perhaps most tragically, she suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID, commonly
known as multiple personality). This is a disorder that is far more common than
people realize, and is often the result of severe mental, physical, sexual, and
spiritual abuse. Aliyah has suffered from all of these.
At this point, Aliyah’s story came to the attention of someone
who provided her with a place to live, saving her from having to live on the
street. In mid-February, a woman whom we had helped in the past came in contact
with Aliyah and gave her our phone number. Aliyah called us right away. Pregnant,
she didn’t know how to deal with her new situation. Following the
first counselling session at a Future and a Hope, Aliyah has decided that
she will not abort this child and has asked us to accompany her in the process.
She is dealing with heavy spiritual matters and desperately needs the Lord. We
have been sharing the Gospel with her and she is open to it. Please pray for Aliyah
and for us—for wisdom and protection from the attacks of the enemy of our
souls. In particular, pray that she receives wise DID counselling and therapy. Pray
for us to have the wisdom and sensitivity to know how to respond to her in love,
and that she will truly hunger and thirst for righteousness to gain the emotional,
mental, and spiritual healing she so desperately needs.
Late Term Abortion is NOT “Still Birth”
We will call her “Alicia.” Thirty-two years old, Alicia came
to us following an abortion. A street girl for many years, she had been in her
seventh month of pregnancy when the doctors told her that the child’s brain was
not developing normally. Alicia decided to have a late-term (third-trimester)
abortion. In Israel, the politically correct term for this kind of abortion is
“still birth,” since the child is born dead as a result of the abortion
procedure. Alicia told us afterward that following her experience of the “still
birth,” and the fact that she went through it alone, with no one by her side to
explain what she was going through or to encourage her, she would have
preferred to continue the pregnancy to term.
Our genuine regret is that we were not in the picture at the
time, as we could have prayed and trusted God that He would bring her through
with a healthy child, as has happened so many times in the past. Alicia is
still traumatized by her experience. After she became pregnant again, God
directed her steps to us. Today, after giving birth to a healthy child, she is
set up in a rented apartment and continues to receive counsel and support from
us; she is no longer alone. Alicia is open to the Gospel and we continue to
pray that she will come to a saving knowledge of the Lord and the healing her
heart so desperately needs.
An Immigrant Story: Vitali and Natasha
Also in mid-February, 23-year-old Natasha contacted us. She
and her husband, Vitali, are new immigrants from the former Soviet Union and
have been in Israel about a year. Their story is both sad and fascinating. Vitali
is now 29. At the age of 22, he had an accident in a swimming pool, injured his
back, and became paralyzed. In some ways his story is similar to the story of
Joni Erickson Tada). The couple married a few years ago and decided to
immigrate to Israel. Shortly after arriving in Israel, Natasha became pregnant.
They were both rejoicing and fearful at the same time. While Israel is a leader
in providing support and assistance to disabled people, a plus, such assistance
can only help so far. The young couple is alone here, and have realistic
concerns for how to face the future. They want to continue the pregnancy and have
asked us to pray for them, particularly for Vitali who is also suffering from a
severe urinary tract infection (a condition that can be quite serious in
paralyzed people). Please pray with us for their salvation, and for their
physical, emotional, and spiritual needs to be met.
In October of last year we asked for prayer for Na, from a
Bedouin background, who made a decision not to abort following counseling with
us. We are regularly in touch with her. She is married and has three children. Na
became pregnant with her first child at a very early age when she ran away from
the village where she grew up. Na decided against all odds and pressures to
keep the pregnancy, to hide from her family, and to continue her life in the
big city. We are asking prayer for that child, who today is six years old. He is
being “boycotted” and suffering shaming by other children in his kindergarten
because of his skin color and background. Residents in the community where they
live laugh at him and he is isolated from others his age. This boy is adorable,
sweet, very likeable, and doesn’t understand why he is going through this
shaming. Please pray for the salvation of the family, and for a breakthrough in
their lives and for Na, who still carries the scars of her childhood in the
We don’t always get photos of the babies who are born. That is a choice that the mother usually makes. But, when we do receive a picture, we are happy to share it with you. Attached are photos of two “January” babies: Shai-Li (My Gift –what a wonderful name!); and Emma.
We were very grateful to learn that A Future and A Hope was mentioned in detail in a recent article in the January/February issue of the Messianic Times.
For those of you who don’t know, this is the leading international Messianic Jewish newspaper. The newspaper seeks to provide accurate, authoritative, and current information to unite the international Messianic Jewish community, teach Christians the Jewish roots of their faith, and proclaim that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah. They publish a variety of topics about what is really happening in Israel , both the good and the bad.
We would like to thank them for giving us permission to post the article here on our website. Simply click the graphic below to download a PDF of the article and read it.
As usual, we would appreciate your prayers, particularly that we will find new prayer and financial supporters as more people learn of our important work. The need is huge… but thankfully, our God is greater!
We would like to update you on some of the women we are helping, and share with you some urgent prayer requests.
Many of the women we help come from terrible backgrounds. They have maintained a poor moral lifestyle and practiced sexual promiscuity. Oh how our Lord’s heart must break for them. Rather than judging, we seek to encourage each one, and her husband or boyfriend. We aim to give them life-giving counsel for their child and for themselves, hoping that each one will feel the love of their Messiah and make Him their own. Whatever their choice, we are there for them, when everyone else has left.
Please pray for these precious families below. God has already brought them this far. He is the only one who can continue to meet their needs.
Ok gave birth to a lovely baby girl, C. However, C has been found to be lactose and egg intolerant – a life threatening condition for an infant, so great care must be taken in checking the ingredients for all of her food. The entire family needs prayer as they are undergoing a difficult financial situation; O’s husband was in a car accident a month ago.
R, 36, gave birth to a baby girl a few weeks ago. An immigrant from the Ukraine she married two years ago. Irena is sharing with her about the Lord and R is open and listening (her husband, however, is not open). We prayed for her to receive an ID and status before the birth of her baby, and she received both the week before she was born – Praise the Lord! Now, the family has been told they must vacate their rented apartment within two months. We promised to pray for them to find another appropriate place. Through this situation, may the Lord open her husband’s heart and the entire family come to faith.
V and R are a young couple with a lovely boy. R is a newly discharged soldier with no family or relatives in Israel (referred to as a “lone soldier”). Like most women and families receiving support from A Future and A Hope, they have no other circle of support. After being abortion-minded, they counselled with us and made the decision not to abort their unborn child and V gave birth to an adorable boy. They are grateful for all the help they’ve received from us.
O is a young girl who is pregnant, in great distress, and is considering an abortion. She scheduled a meeting with Irena but didn’t arrive and her phone is disconnected. We get many calls like these. We talk and counsel through the phone without knowing what the woman decides. We need prayer for those women who hesitate. Please pray for O that God will enable her to choose life for her child.
Nais in her 30’s and has recently left drugs and prostitution, both of which she has done since she was 14. Na came to us during her first pregnancy 7 years ago, when she wanted to have an abortion. Against all odds, she kept her child and gave birth to a healthy boy. However, she continued in prostitution, although she stopped taking drugs. Throughout that time she kept in touch with us and slowly turned away from prostitution.Na met an older man, became pregnant, and had a second child. She did not consider abortion for a second, as she fully realized that the life growing within her was a child. Na then married the father of her second child. Their financial situation is very bad. Despite that, Na has decided to help women in situations similar to hers, even though she is now in her third pregnancy. Na shared with us, “I choose life despite the enormous difficulty.” A month ago her husband had a massive heart attack. He is now having panic attacks and is afraid to leave the house. Now in week 36, Na is faithfully taking care of their baby, her first child, and her husband. She has totally left her previous way of life and has become a devout, faithful, and protective wife and mother. We thank the Lord for her parenting, maturity, and the love she has for her children and husband, despite everything. From a Muslim (Beduin) background, Na is not yet open to Yeshua. Please pray that through this situation she will discover her Savior Yeshua, and have God-given courage to go the next step and believe in Him.
A is a young woman in her 30’s. She has a 6-year-old daughter, a 4-year-old son and a 2‑year-old toddler. A came to us with a sad story. After her husband left for another woman, A discovered she is pregnant by him husband and wanted to abort. After many conversations and encouragement from us, by the Lord’s grace, she decided to keep the pregnancy and has given birth to a boy. Please pray for her. The situation is not simple, taking care of four children under the age of 6. The father is out of the picture, ignoring her needs, and unsupportive. Only the Lord can touch their lives, meet their needs, and heal A’s wounded heart.
Ni is a young woman in her 20’s who came to us 5 years ago. She kept her pregnancy at that time and gave birth to a lovely boy. She returned to us this year, explaining that she is again pregnant and wants to have an abortion. After speaking with her and explaining it to her, she kept her pregnancy and had a girl. Tragically, we have learned that Ni has no emotional awareness and this is evident in her attitude toward her children. They are emotionally abandoned. She simply does not love them. We are in constant communication with her. Hers is another situation where only God’s love can break through. Doing the right thing, without love, is like clanging symbols (I Corinthians 13).
J, 32, is the mother two children, an 8-year-old boy and a 10-year-old-girl. They immigrated from Ukraine two years ago. She was fired from her job the day she found out she was pregnant. While considering an abortion, J providentially found us. She shares, “without your help, I would have aborted.” She is due in November. Please pray that we will have the resources to add her to the First Year of Life program.
Oa, in her 20’s, became pregnant and was considering an abortion. She decided to keep the baby and married the father. She has given birth to a boy and is very happy with her decision and thankful for the support she is receiving from us.
Om, in her 30’s, became pregnant after a one-night-stand. Although she comes from a very religious and unsupportive family, she has decided to maintain the pregnancy. She needs much prayer as we are the only ones standing with her in this decision.
G, 20, came to us with an unwanted pregnancy and a very hard family story. She already has two children and no support or help. We met with her, and provided counselling, encouraging her to keep this precious life despite the difficulties. She is thankful for the help she will receive and has decided to maintain her pregnancy. She is due in October.
U is 18-years-old and single. Thankfully, her parents are very supportive and want her to keep the baby. Hence, they referred U to us. Spiritual battles take on interesting shapes: U’s purse was stolen on her way to her first visit with us and so, she did not come. The second time she planned to visit she fell on her stomach on the way here. Right now she is interested in keeping the pregnancy. Please pray for her and this battle to keep her child.
As you know, part of our activities include giving workshops on a variety of topics related to aboration and sexuality. During 2017 and the first part of 2018, we have had several opportunities to conduct workshops in Israeli schools for children of different ages from believing families.
The workshops dealt with issues of purity (in speech, dress, behavior, sexual perspectives and so forth), sexual identity and development, physical changes in childhood and youth, as well as shaming and bullying. The sessions were almost always held separately for boys and girls, enabling the students to speak openly and without embarrassment. Although the age groups varied, many questions and topics were the same. Children expressed a desire to change certain areas of their lives and to examine whether the faith they claim to have is truly their own or only that of their parents.
Sessions about shaming and bullying were accompanied with examples from Scripture (such as the woman at the well; the Lord on the cross, etc.), daily examples from children’s lives (if they were to see someone dress differently from them or someone who is sitting alone on the side…), and more. Here again, the children were challenged to take a stand and asked how they would react in different situations versus how they should react as children who want to live a life honoring to God and reflecting their faith in the Lord Yeshua.
In sessions about purity and sexual development, children learned about physical and emotional boundaries and were encouraged to guard themselves. This opened opportunities to speak with a number of children who had been victimized and hurt in the past. In some cases, we were able to take action to prevent these children from from further harm by exposing the event and, where necessary, even reporting the matter to the police.
For many of the children, these sessions marked the first time they had ever been exposed to the topic of sexual development and the development of the child in the womb. Interestingly, many children said that they did not feel comfortable to discuss these things at home, so they often tried to get information from their friends. However, most of them honestly admitted that their best resource for finding answers was the Internet. The vast majority of the children attending had no knowledge of these matters and felt ashamed to ask about them, until they had the opportunity to learn and ask questions in our workshop.
In each session, children were always asked to publicly state at least one thing that they had gained from the workshops, that they would walk away with. In this way they were challenged to return home with a changed attitude towards these matters, and to make an effort to live and do what Yeshua would do.
As you can see, these workshops are dynamic, fostering interaction with children of all ages. We look forward to continued open doors and opportunities for effective service.
Please pray for us that the right doors will open, with the right timing, and that the Lord would prepare our hearts to work on materials that will meet their needs and help them to not just “learn the facts of life,” but to help them grow in their relationship with Yeshua.
We know you’ve been wanting to hear from us. We have been so busy helping many different families, and being there for new mothers, that writing keeps getting put off for another day. But we are NEVER too busy to pictures of the precious lives that you have prayed for.
Each of the babies shown below were born this year because their mother’s chose life! We are so grateful to the Lord for this ministry and the way it is impacting lives. As you look at these little ones, pray for them and their mothers that they would all grow into NEW life as well!
(Note: If you only see a link, click the link to see the picture)
Sometimes it seems like everything is a battle. Even a small thing like cashing a check in Israel has become a challenge for many people in Israel, including A Future and A Hope. As a result we have updated our Donate Now page with detailed instructions for how best and most effectively to give to our organization.
With this in mind, I am reminded to ask you to pray for A Future and A Hope in detail. Pray for those we help, the lives of the children saved, our counsellors, and for our many needs to be met. An important aspect of prayer is for practical things that many take for granted. Things like beurocracy.
Our website was recently down for a few days because the Israeli service for our domain name never sent a renewal notice. Then there is the issue of how we receive donations. For many people it just isn’t convenient not begin able to send a check. Little things in one way, but they impact our ministry, other non-profits in the country, and individuals who receive monetary gifts from friends or family overseas.
Hence praying for organization gives a bigger picture for how to pray for Israel at many levels. Thank you in advance for your earnest prayers and sacrificial giving. You are touching the Apple of God’s eye, and joining in a spiritual battle that is lived out in the here and now.
We are excited to share with you about six mothers and their babies. These babies are alive because each woman gained knowledge, help, and encouragement via our Amuta. Thank you for your prayers and support. You will never know how many lives your generosity is touching.
In April, we reported on the seminar/workshop that Orit conducted for parents on educating children and teens about sexuality and sexual purity.
The follow-up to this will take place tomorrow (Saturday) and will deal with topics ranging from addiction to pornography, its effects among children and youths, how to recognize it and deal with it, and the Biblical foundation for sexual purity.
We solicit your fervent prayers for wisdom and for a holy boldness to share about these subjects and for openness and teachable spirits on the part of those who will attend.
Of course, continued prayers for protection and travel mercies (2 hours each way) would be much appreciated.