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
It is hard to believe that only a week ago, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. The Jewish year of 5783 came to an end and the Day of Atonement (Yom HaKippurim) will begin in a few short hours. When the Fall holiday season ends, our thoughts will turn towards the coming secular year of 2024. Nowadays, when one mentions Israel, the first thought that comes to mind is somehow related to politics. Discussions abound as to the rights and wrongs of decisions being made by the current Israeli coalition – a topic beyond the scope of this update. But if we will be honest, the political discussions here extend far beyond our borders and affect communities worldwide. There isn’t a country in the world that is not in some way being impacted by a Spirit of the Age that leaves all of us wondering, ‘What does the future hold?’.
The verse that drives our ministry is Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.”
Yet with this promise, we must remember that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We are so thankful for this. Our hope is not based on principles of law or a political party. It is anchored in the light and life of Yeshua our Messiah! He is with us regardless of the situation, and He will continue to guide us with His enduring truth.
These thoughts fill our hearts with thankfulness as we consider what God has been doing through A Future and A Hope– not just in the past year – but since it was established. We are so glad we don’t know the future. If we knew now what would be written on the blank pages of our future, it would destroy the joys of the present. When we first set out, little did we think that our ministry would include lectures and seminars in both the secular and believing communities, the publication of children’s educational materials now being widely disseminated throughout Israel, and meeting the needs of dozens of women who made a choice for life. All we wanted to do in the beginning was to be a voice in the wilderness offering women facing a crisis pregnancy an alternative to abortion, and then honor their decisions for life by helping them through that challenging time. But now, despite many challenges, including, among other things, a pandemic, political chaos, and battles with illness among our limited staff – God did exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could have imagined – All the Glory to God our Savior!
The First Year of Life Program and Beyond
For many women, our First Year of Life Program has proven to be a “game changer.” It was and remains an effective incentive in helping abortion-minded women make decisions for life for their pre-born children. The goal of the program is straightforward, as we explain to the expectant mothers that we want to help relieve the mother and family of the financial burden associated with a newborn for the first year of the child’s life. As such, A Future and A Hope undertakes to provide all the newborn’s essential needs; everything is delivered to the mother’s apartment by the time she arrives home from the hospital. We continue to supply diapers of all sizes, as well as a financial subsidy each month for the entire first year, as well as food baskets. Despite the many difficulties faced this past year, the First Year of Life Program has provided repeated opportunities to share the Gospel with the women, many of whom were and remain open to the good news and some of whom have made decisions for eternal life through Messiah Yeshua.
Part of the First Year of Life Program now includes a food distribution program, which has proven to be successful far beyond what we had anticipated. In the beginning, we purchased for the clients of A Future and A Hope and then arranged for its delivery to the recipients. However, as time passed, we learned that it would be much more effective and appreciated if we allowed the recipient to contact our food supplier directly. The clients are now able to order what is specifically needed for their families up to a certain monetary limit, and we reimburse the supplier directly. In a few cases, this has made the difference between eating and not eating daily for some of the families.
We had around two dozen participants in the program during 2022 and expect to have at least the same number in the program by the end of 2023, possibly more. There is a constant turnover; as the First Year of Life Program for one mother comes to an end, another mother is added to take her place.
However, it is important to stress that when the First Year of Life Program ends, we make every effort to remain involved in the lives of our clients and do what we can to encourage them and help out with essential needs. Each family faces unique struggles and the needs vary from family to family. We continue to provide diapers until the baby is potty trained, sometimes into his or her third year. We also provide additional financial assistance based on specific needs. For example, if the father has lost his job, or the family has fallen into debt and is facing having their electricity shut off. One family in that situation accumulated an electric bill that had reached NIS 18,000. The Lord graciously provided, and we were able to pay it for them. They gratefully wrote to us that for the first time in a year, they could fall asleep without fearing that they would wake up with no electricity. In other situations, we provided essential furniture, a washing machine, orthopedic sneakers, and even dental care.
Counseling is ongoing and continues beyond the first year, as needed and requested by our clients. When needed, we also continue to provide special holiday food baskets in the same manner as detailed above.
Update on Workshops and Seminars
We have given an increasing number of workshops and seminars on pornography and sexual predators both to local congregations and at national conferences, the latest of which was in a large congregation in Jerusalem on Saturday, September 23rd (see photos). The need for information in these areas of sexuality and sexual harassment and harm is great and we are making every effort to provide useful tools on how to deal with these matters. We are also providing training on sexual abuse for congregations geared for all levels of needs, including congregational leaders, parents, youth leaders, and teens. An essential component is helping them develop protocols to safeguard against sexual abuse.
This year we also participated in two conferences specifically for organizations that provide humanitarian assistance. We were able to share with them many instances of how we help families facing a crisis pregnancy and financial distress. We were able to display our books and pamphlets and distribute them free of charge at both conferences. (see example of booklet display)
We continue with the workshop program for children that helps them understand the impact of the words they use, and how and where they use them – whether verbally in a face-to-face interaction, or written or in a video via social media. These Social Responsibility Workshops explore the different types of common social interactions they could face. By presenting them with different situations, in advance, the children discover how they would react in particular situations. As a result, the children are challenged to compare their response with their relationship with the Lord, and how that can impact others as well as themselves. In one such workshop, the children had to verbally express how they would relate to seeing someone shamed or bullied on social media. The response was quite positive and helped them discover that although just “kids,” they, too, had a responsibility for their behavior and what they said before the Lord and as part of the Body of Messiah.
National Prayers for Life Initiative
An international organization asked A Future and A Hope to take part in a proposed joint initiative with another organization in Israel to encourage congregations and individuals to pray for life during the ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. We readily agreed. Each day focused on prayer for a particular subject and included devotionals and prayer points. The list of subjects for prayer and devotionals included the following:
Each One’s Part in the Fight for Life
Government and Laws
Pregnancy Centers and Medical Field
Communities and Leaders
Education System and Teachers (devotion written by Orit)
Fathers (devotion written by Marvin)
Soldiers and Students
Children and Babies
The other devotions were written by different individuals in Israel. Feel free to download and use this booklet to help with your own prayer for Israel and A Future and A Hope.
There is a strong demand for Hebrew publications within the Messianic community to educate children and youth on sex, sexual health, and purity. As a result, we have completed a second printing of the first two books.
We published the third book (110 pages) of this five-part series a couple of months ago, and the supply is almost depleted. We have been greatly encouraged by the responses of parents and congregational leaders who are asking for more copies of all the books. Due to copyright issues, reprints involve a lot of red tape and are costly. As a result of the demand for these publications in different languages in Israel, we have received permission from the publisher to translate all five books in the series into Hebrew, German, and Arabic. The fourth in the series will soon be translated into Hebrew – over 200 pages. Hopefully, it will be available in 2024, and then we can focus on translating the fifth and last book in the series. The earlier books are in the process of being translated, first into Arabic and then into German.
We have also published a fourth book dealing with adoption in the Arab-speaking community, written by a member of our board. It is in great demand and we are looking forward to a second printing.
We also published a fifth book translated from English to Hebrew, to the believing community: “Good Pictures Bad Pictures – Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.” This book has been well received. We were told that it has even been used in a discussion with teenage boys. We are considering an additional printing of this book.
A sixth publication is a devotional in English for expectant mothers within the Israeli believing community, written by one of our counselors, which we distribute along with the other publications mentioned. We hope to translate and publish this also by 2024.
Praising God for Decisions for Life
Space does not allow retelling the stories of all the women who have come to us. We hope these pictures help. Each of these children was born into a challenging situation to parents who have experienced horrors beyond our imagining. Each infant represents a decision for life, a decision to face the future with hope. And we pray that each child will one day represent decisions for our true hope in Messiah. We can only plant the seed, but we ask you to pray that God will water it and that one day, all of those who come to us will no longer be clients but eternal sisters and brothers in Yeshua.
For those of you who are new to praying for and supporting A Future and a Hope, we thought you would like to know a bit more about the faces behind what we share.
Marvin Kramer is the legal advisor and spokesman for the organization.
Orit Kramer is our general manager, senior counselor, and workshop coordinator and speaker.
Hanni Kramer, Marvin and Orit’s daughter, is based in Jerusalem. Her responsibilities include conducting workshops, translating books and other materials, and writing much of the materials used at the workshops. She leads the workshops on safeguarding, sexual harassment, bullying, shaming, and online safety.
Irena Gorohov is a multi-lingual counselor with the organization. (She has recently had serious health issues. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for her health.)
In addition, there are many brothers and sisters in the believing community who help out with everything from advice to house repairs. One elderly sister in a local congregation even makes it a point to regularly donate diapers and adds them to her shopping cart each week!
We have been praying for the Lord to bring us an additional staff member to help with the counseling. An increasing number of women are turning to A Future and A Hope for advice and subsequently making decisions for life. As a result, the workload for Irena and Orit is quite heavy. An additional counselor would be a blessing for the ministry in many ways.
Thus Far the Lord Has Brought Us…
As 5783 comes to an end, we are deeply grateful for all the Lord has accomplished through our labor, your prayers, and your gifts. To support this ministry, please see the information provided at the end of this newsletter, or visit our Donations page.
Ongoing Prayer Requests
For the health of our staff and their families, particularly Irena
For protection from spiritual forces of wickedness and jealousy for our staff and the women and children whom we help
For continued open doors for effective service
For ongoing financial provision to meet our expanding commitments to the new mothers
For open hearts of the women seeking our help, for new decisions for life – physical and spiritual
For ongoing financing for our book projects
For Israel and the societal, religious, and political environment that are contributing to the moral apathy and sin throughout the nation – and affecting the Body of Christ as well.
We would be happy to hear from you. If you have a comment about this Newsletter, please drop us a note (Prov. 15:23).
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.
We have been quite busy since our last major update – one of the reasons why we do not post more often. We are deeply thankful to the Lord for His great grace and mercy poured out repeatedly into the preborn children and their mothers that come our way. We never cease to be amazed and humbled at how He works and brings light into the darkest places and hope into the most desperate hearts.
Most of the women who have come to use in recent months are relatively young. Tragically, despite their youth, they are also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Katya is in her mid-20s, now the mother of two, and suffers from eating disorders and PTSD. Her oldest has a life-threatening allergy to dairy products. But even worse, both have suffered from severe physical and emotional trauma. After giving birth to her son, the baby’s father wanted to kill them both. Thankfully, the father failed in his attempt to murder her. After all she had gone through and struggling with her son’s physical condition, Katya was very abortion-minded when she first came to us. However, after counseling, she made the courageous decision not to abort and gave birth to another son. K’s financial situation is quite difficult, and we are helping her as much as we can through our First Year of Life Program.
Rikki is 21 years old. Born into an ultra-Orthodox religious family, she was severely exploited and sexually abused. Her situation became progressively worse, and Rikki finally decided to leave home. However, with no reasonable means of support, she ended up living on the street and became involved with prostitution and drugs. When she was 17, Rikki became pregnant and decided to give the child up for adoption. After giving up her child, Rikki’s life continued along the same path of prostitution and drugs until she discovered she was pregnant again. Referred to us by a friend, Rikki has been undergoing extended counseling with us. She has been able to get off of drugs and left her life of prostitution. Two months ago, Rikki gave birth to a daughter and is now in the process of getting an apartment from the government.
Elana is 28 and has been diagnosed with manic depression and PTSD. She was repeatedly raped by her father for several years, became pregnant, and had an abortion. Elana came to us during her second pregnancy, hesitant about carrying the child to term. After two counseling sessions, she decided not to abort. Please pray for her, as she continues to have awful nightmares because of the abuse she suffered.
Tammi is in her 20s. She and her husband both have backgrounds of drug addiction going back several years – in both of their families. Tammi’s mother and adoptive father both died from an overdose. After becoming pregnant, she was considering an abortion. However, she changed her mind after receiving assistance from A Future and A Hope, and the local community. Tammi is now looking forward to giving birth in another two months.
Batya is 23 years old. When she first came to A Future and a Hope, we learned that she had left home when she was 17 after suffering from severe sexual abuse. As often happens in cases like hers, Batya’s life went into a downward spiral toward prostitution and hard drugs. Pregnant when she came to us, Batya was afraid she would not be able to care for her child properly. Thankfully, as the months passed, she changed her mind and made great strides to rehabilitate herself. She became excited about her pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in June. As of this post, Batya remains off drugs and is doing well.
Shula, 32, is among the older women who have come to us. As a child, she suffered rape and sexual abuse over an extended period. Shula too, fell into prostitution and drugs and eventually had three abortions. Shula came to us during her fourth pregnancy, having decided she wanted to keep her child. She is now clean from drugs and gave birth in May. Shula hopes to give her child a happier life than the one she experienced. Please pray that she can do that and more by God’s grace!
How A Future and A Hope Makes a Difference
All the women mentioned above have undergone or are undergoing childbirth preparation and a breastfeeding and baby care course given by a trained Doula who works with A Future and A Hope. They also receive parenting guidance and counseling from our staff. All of the women receive help through our First Year of Life Program, and quite often, the women stay in contact with us long after the financial support ends.
However, preserving life and encouraging mothers in crisis pregnancy situations is only one aspect of our ministry. In addition, we provide seminars and workshops on sex education, harassment, pornography, pedophilia, good touch versus bad touch, and other related subjects geared toward parents and teens as well as the Messianic community. These workshops are not just important but necessary in this increasingly sexualized world – even in Israel. While the need for these workshops is a tragic fact, we are deeply grateful for the grace of God in opening doors for effective service and His power that is still touching and changing the hardest of hearts.
As you pray for the women who come through our doors, please remember that what we have shared is but a tiny drop in the bucket of sorrows they have suffered. Pray for them that the Man of Sorrows would heal their broken and bruised hearts; that they would come to know and trust the Father of Light – the Father of the Fatherless as the Father who truly cares for them and loves them as their own fathers never could. Pray that the Lord would protect them from evil and the evil one and that their children would indeed grow up in homes filled with love, light, and hope.
Please pray for the staff of A Future and A Hope. May He give us the wisdom to guide each one He brings our way. When we speak at seminars and workshops, may the Lord give us HIS words to help the Body of Messiah and unbelievers learn to discern the truth regarding these timely topics. May the attendees have teachable and soft hearts that will turn to the Lord and seek purity.
Our Prayer for You
We give thanks for each of you. You are standing with us in this fierce battle, and your prayers are making a difference. Your giving is making a difference. May the Lord bless you and keep you from all evil; may He meet your needs, and hear the cries of your hearts.
Bless, be blessed, and be a blessing.
Marvin S. Kramer (for us all)
*All names have been changed for the safety of those involved.
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.
As many of you know, we celebrate three “New Years” in Israel. The religious year begins with Passover (as written in the Tenach), but the Jewish “civil” year begins in the month of Tishrei with “Rosh HaShannah” (Jewish New Year, referred to in the Torah as the Feast of Trumpets). Then, of course, there is the “secular” year, celebrated with the rest of the world on January 1.
It is with this in mind, that I am pleased to summarize the past Jewish year of 5781 and share with you our hopes for the coming year of 5782.
All of us, in every nation, have found the past year to be challenging. So first and foremost, I hope this update finds you healthy, well, and rejoicing in our Lord and Savior who has been with us through it all. Thank you for your prayers and support for us and Israel and your role in the future of a new generation here in Israel! As you read through this newsletter, please know that we are thankful for each of you who uphold us in prayer and who stand with us as we deal with life and death issues on a daily basis.
Note: Since this is a rather long newsletter, you may prefer to download it. Please feel free to share our newsletter with your friends, church, and family.
The Year in Overview
Every sector in Israel has been severely affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly. Israel’s educational system has been disrupted and both teachers and students have had to adapt to instruction and seminars during times of lockdown and quarantine via Zoom. The uncertainties regarding infection, impact on children and more continue to be a struggle for Israeli families. While the plan is to start the 2021-2022 school year with in-person classroom teaching, questions remain regarding protection from being contaminated by new strains and the potential for a new lockdown.
However, in the midst of all this, we remain mindful of the fact that our hope is not dependent on life’s circumstances, but is anchored in Yeshua the Messiah! He has and will continue to guide us through the eternal Word of Truth.
A Future and A Hope has continued all of its activities by adapting to change and taking advantage of new means of communication. For many of us, this represented a steep learning curve. Counseling was and is being provided to women by using different communication tools available to us, and we have seen many decisions for life throughout the course of the pandemic.
First Year of Life Program Update
The challenges of the pandemic led to our adding food assistance to the First Year of Life Program, which is aimed at helping relieve mothers and families of the financial burden associated with a newborn’s first year of life. We are thankful to each person who contributed to this program. As a result of amazing generosity and unexpected giving, A Future and A Hope continues to provide for each baby’s essential needs (crib, mattress, changing table, stroller, hand-carry, bath-tub for baby, clothing of all kinds, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, bibs, etc.), all of which are delivered to the mothers by the time they return home from the hospital with their newborns. We also remain able to supply diapers through the entire period of diaper training, as well as a monthly financial subsidy for one full year, which helps to supplement daily needs.
Educating Mothers in Emergency First Aid
Back in January, we shared with you a new initiative: encouraging those coming to us for counseling to sign up for an emergency first aid course that focuses on the care of children and infants. If you missed that post, click here. We remain open to opportunities like this.
Update on Zoom Lectures
We are thankful for the gift of technology. We have been able to use one platform, Zoom, to provide lecture series throughout Israel. When possible, we have also given frontal in-person lectures – but as you can imagine – the situation remains fluid. So we have had to be, and remain flexible. Nevertheless, regardless of the platform, seminars and lectures have been held all year and we already have our schedule full for the months ahead!
February was quite busy and included three lectures as part of a Parenthood Training course hosted by a school in Jerusalem. The topics covered:
The dangers of social networks, bullying, and shaming (given by Hanni Kramer)
How to talk to children and teenagers about sex and sexuality (given by Orit Kramer)
Pornography among children and teenagers, including pedophilia in Israel and what to do in case of suspicion of sexual abuse or actual sexual assault (given by Orit Kramer)
Lord willing, another in-person workshop for youth counselors and congregational leaders is scheduled in Jerusalem after the high holy days. The lecture will focus on sexual harassment and injury. The need for such lectures reflects the sad reality of our times.
From April through June, Orit was a Guest Lecturer for another organization in Jerusalem and hosted three live/online lectures. The summer has also been filled with a number of local Zoom lectures.
In March of 2021, we shared with you our project of putting out a five-part series of books, in Hebrew, dealing with “Sex in the Plan of God.” The need for such materials has been reinforced by the responses of parents and leaders of congregations to our seminar/workshops.
The first two books have already been published and distributed to congregations, Bible teachers, and youth workers. They have been well-received and we are now getting ready to go forward with a second printing.
The third book in the series (110 pages) has been translated, proofed, and is now at the printer. It should be available by mid-September.
Apart from the above-mentioned series, we have added another booklet to our plans for translation into Hebrew and adaptation for use in Israel. It deals with the kinds of pictures that can help train a child to stay away from pornography. This book will offer important information for the attendees of our lectures on the topic. We are praying about getting this to the Believing community, hopefully, by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Expectant mothers within Israel’s believing community also face many challenges. We believe it is important to encourage them as well. To that end, we are praying about putting together a book targeted for their needs, that will provide reflections, contemplation, and spiritual encouragement for them.
Praise Our God for Decisions for Life
The rest of the summer has also been busy and is now drawing to an end. Indeed, despite the third lockdown at the beginning of this year until early June, and the present fourth coronavirus wave, our work at A Future and A Hope continues to be fruitful – in every sense of the word! We are in awe of how God is working in the lives of the women who come to us. Up until now, every single abortion-minded woman who has turned to us for counsel and advice since January of 2021 has made a decision not to abort.
Following are just a few of the stories of some of the women whom we are currently helping. Their choices to not abort are particularly special in light of the crises they have had to walk through. All names have been changed to protect their identities.
Mira, 19-years-old, was abandoned when she was 12. She was moved from one foster home to another and now resides in Haifa. Suffering from severe emotional problems, Mira was abortion-minded when she walked through our doors but changed her mind after counseling with us. She lives alone in a small apartment that was provided for her by local social services. We are thankful that Mira was not involved with prostitution. She gave birth only a few days ago and her joy is overflowing.
Nadia is 20 and from an ultra-religious Haredi background. She ran away from home at the age of 14 and has been living on the streets. All of Nadia’s meals have been leftovers handed out by restaurants at the end of the day. Her parents and family have disowned her and relate to her as though she is dead. Nadia is suffering from PTSD and was the victim of complex sexual abuse when she lived at home. Two years ago she underwent an abortion, which only added to her trauma. When Nadia came to us at the beginning of her pregnancy, she wanted to abort. However, by God’s grace, she finally decided to continue with the pregnancy and is due to give birth in September.
Patricia is a refugee from Libya. Hers is a difficult story of sexual abuse and prostitution. Furthermore, although she has lived in Israel for years, she has no status, and therefore, no rights here. Someone recommended that she contact us and we have been encouraging and helping her as much as possible. Patricia has made a decision for life and is also open to the Gospel.
Batya is in her 20’s. She immigrated to Israel at the age of 17, enlisted in the IDF, and served as a “Lone Soldier” (someone with no immediate family here). Her life in Russia had been very difficult, and now she is taking antidepressants. Batya came to us during her first trimester and decided to continue her pregnancy, despite being heavily in debt and with a very challenging economic situation before her. In July, Batya gave birth to a son. While still in the hospital, he began to suffer convulsions; it turned out that he had been badly affected by her medication. His condition was serious, but this past week, he is finally beginning to improve.
Sharon is 25 and from a Haredi family. She is currently a resident of Acco. She ran away from home after suffering severe abuse and moved from place to place, trying to survive. When Sharon came to us, she was pregnant, confused, and terribly insecure. She had absolutely no support from family members – they had utterly rejected her because she had turned away from orthodoxy. Sharon was originally planning to abort but changed her mind. Today she is receiving help from us as part of the First Year of Life Program. Although she is currently living with a friend, Social Services has promised to provide her with an apartment in the near future.
Two other women are keeping their pregnancies, even though their husbands are in prison, serving lengthy sentences. Although in the past we were threatened and harassed by such men, particularly when the women are from a Muslim background, we cannot and will not turn such women away. We are thankful to be able to be there for these women in their time of great need. Nevertheless, we would deeply appreciate your special prayers for God to work in the hearts of all involved, and for our safety in this regard.
All of the stories we’ve shared with you are difficult and challenging. Clearly, we have left much out. And yet, God is doing an amazing work in their lives. Each one who was or is now receiving counseling from us has decided to give life to their preborn children and to press on. As you pray for these women, remember to pray for all of their needs: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical. Pray for their spiritual and physical protection, and most importantly, their salvation.
The women know that A Future and A Hope is a non-profit organization supported by people they have never met. Each one is deeply grateful for the help and encouragement they have found with us. Even the smallest assistance we give is a tremendous help in their eyes. Over the years, the First Year of Life Program, our food assistance, and monthly gift cards have proven to be major factors in helping women make decisions for life. That first year has helped them get on their feet and move ahead with their lives.
Thus Far the Lord Has Brought Us…
As 5781 comes to an end, we are so thankful for all that the Lord has accomplished through our labor, your prayers, and your gifts. To support this ministry, please see the information provided at the end of this newsletter, or visit our Donations page.
Ongoing Prayer Requests
For the health of our staff and families, and for the families who look to us for assistance
For the protection of our staff and the women and children we help from spiritual forces of wickedness and jealousy
For continued open doors for effective service
For financial provision to meet our expanding commitments to the new mothers
For open hearts of the women seeking our help, for new decisions for life – physical and spiritual
For special financing for our book projects
We would be happy to hear from you. If you have a comment about this Newsletter, please drop us a note (Prov. 15:23).