September 2023 Update: Giving Thanks and Looking Ahead

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.

Sample of a holiday gift basked
Sample of a holiday gift basket.

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.

A few samples of supplies mothers receive on a monthly basis.
A few samples of supplies mothers receive on a monthly basis.

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.

Hanni (L) and Orit (R) speaking at a seminar last week.
Hanni (L) and Orit (R) speaking at a seminar last week.

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:

  1. Each One’s Part in the Fight for Life
  2. Repentance
  3. Government and Laws
  4. Pregnancy Centers and Medical Field
  5. Communities and Leaders
  6. Education System and Teachers (devotion written by Orit)
  7. Fathers (devotion written by Marvin)
  8. Mothers
  9. Soldiers and Students
  10. 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.

Publications Update

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.

The book table with books translated and published by A Future and A Hope
A book table displaying the books translated and published by A Future and A Hope.
From top to bottom: Book on adoption; Good Pictures, Bad Pictures; Before I Was Born; My Story; What Is It All About?

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.

More Babies Born in 2023
Babies born in 2023

Staff Update

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

  1. For the health of our staff and their families, particularly Irena
  2. For protection from spiritual forces of wickedness and jealousy for our staff and the women and children whom we help
  3. For continued open doors for effective service
  4. For ongoing financial provision to meet our expanding commitments to the new mothers
  5. For open hearts of the women seeking our help, for new decisions for life – physical and spiritual
  6. For ongoing financing for our book projects
  7. 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).

Bless, be blessed, and be a blessing.

Marvin S. Kramer (for us all)

Featured photo by Santiago Esquivel on Unsplash

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.


Photography: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Praise and Prayer Update: January–February 2019

Ana-El, meaning “God Answered”, born in December, 2018 (see “19 Years Old and Already Five Abortions,” below)

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!

Click here to open and download a printable PDF to share with others.

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.

Bedouin Update

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.

Praise Photos

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.