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!
19 Years Old and Already Five Abortions
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 hope.)
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 village.
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.