"As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then 'a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die. At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son." (Acts 7:17-21)
In March, we celebrated the holiday of Purim, and in April, we celebrate Passover. Both holidays remind us of the brave women who risked their lives to save the lives of others. The history of the exodus from Egypt recounts the plight of babies: babies whose lives were spared by the brave midwives Shifra and Puah; babies who were thrown into the Nile; and baby Moses, who was miraculously drawn from the Nile by the princess of Egypt because his mother trusted God with his life. In the midst of affliction, Moses was born, appointed by God to be a prince and a redeemer of the people of Israel to lead them from slavery to freedom. Appointed by God to life, each child has a destiny and calling. It is a joy to share with you the stories of babies whose lives were rescued from abortion because of the brave choices of their mothers, the caring counselors who support them, and the support of our faithful partners from around the globe. Our donors, like the princess who paid Moses’ mother to nurse her own child, supply provision for a mother to raise her newborn. Every child, in God’s eyes, is a prince—a child of the King of Kings.
A little prince
Rona, only 23 years old, was a single mom with a three-year-old son. When she found herself pregnant, the father of the baby told her to abort, and she booked an appointment to receive permission to terminate the pregnancy through our national health insurance. A friend bravely decided to rescue the baby and urged Rona to phone us rather than abort. The care that she received from our Beer Sheba counselor caused her to reconsider the fate of her child and to give him life. As you can see from the photo, he is her little prince. She sends words of thanks to our donors: “A big thank you. The gift cards that I receive every month are so helpful; I can buy everything the baby needs."
Many thanks to all who prayed for Rachel and her baby boy from our February newsletter and our Monday prayer letters. As I reported then, doctors had told Rachel to abort the child because ultrasound tests had revealed two spots on the heart and a spot on the brain. Her husband, fearful of having a handicapped child, demanded that she abort. When she refused, he left home and moved in with his mother. Later tests showed only a small spot on the heart. On February 15th, Rachel experienced very heavy bleeding, so she phoned for an ambulance. An emergency caesarian section was done and a healthy, yet tiny, two-kilo baby boy was born in week 32 of the pregnancy. At birth, the baby’s heart only had one tiny spot, which the doctors said was insignificant. The baby spent a month growing in the prenatal ward and came home on March 12th, healthy and thriving. His father adores his new son. Rachel said that the entire experience was a miracle. If she hadn’t phoned the hospital at the moment that the bleeding began, both she and the baby would have been in life-threatening situations. As is customary in Israel, the child’s name is only given during the circumcision ceremony, which was held a week after his hospital release. As the rabbi said, “His name in Israel is Nehorai” We thank God for the series of miracles that have sustained Nehorai and given him life. We thank God for Rachel’s courage to protect her son’s life despite the pressure from the doctors, her family, and her own fears of having a special needs child. We applaud Rachel who is indeed a woman of valor.
On the holiday of Purim, which celebrates the courage of Queen Esther who risked her life to save the lives of her people from annihilation, we had a small party in our Jerusalem office which included a skit, a short message, and refreshments. During the party, I met Hadassah, which was the Hebrew name of Queen Esther. Hadassah, like the Biblical Esther, is one of the bravest young women whom I’ve ever met. She is 22 years old and had been at a party drinking. One night a guy put a drug in her drink, and when she was not fully conscious he had sexual relations with her. The next morning he told her to take a pill, and she thought that it was something for her headache. Apparently, it was the morning after pill, but it was not effective. A month later, she found out that she was pregnant. Hadassah had already gone through an abortion which she deeply regretted. Again, her parents pushed her to abort. Her rabbi told her that until 40 days of pregnancy, it was permitted to have an abortion. Yet, Hadassah told me “I couldn’t abort. I knew in my heart that I was carrying a developing child. A person. It was growing inside of me and I just couldn’t abort.” Her son Orel (“the light of God”) Yosef was born in December. Hadassah said that because she lives in an ultraorthodox neighborhood, there is a lot of whispering and gossip about her being a single woman with a son. She lives with her parents and two of her youngest siblings. She has nine siblings. Despite the difficulties, and the embarrassment, Hadassah is deeply grateful for the help from her parents and sisters, from Be’ad Chaim, and especially for the joy that she has received from her precious Orel Yosef. It was a delight to meet this brave Hadassah who saved the life of her child despite pressures and shame experienced in her community.
“Those who look to him are radiant” (Psalm 34:5). If Orli had aborted Isaac, she would have never seen those beautiful eyes of hope.
Orli is an Orthodox woman, married with 3 children. This fourth pregnancy came as a surprise. She decided to abort if she could find a rabbi who would permit it. Her family's financial situation was dire and constituted a large part of her decision to abort. She had been working as an assistant in a daycare center while her husband studied in a yeshiva (institution of Torah study) and got a tiny stipend. She knew that when she stopped working, her family would not have food to put on their table. She says that she was depressed because of the pregnancy, so her household wasn't functioning. She confided all this to a friend who had heard of Be'ad Chaim. Her friend suggested that she at least see what other options there were besides abortion. After several phone calls and some in-person counseling, Orli decided to continue her pregnancy because of the help and support she would receive. Orli’s counselor was moved by her story and was able to arrange for her to get food at a local food bank twice a month, as well as help around the house, courtesy of another organization. This is in addition to the supplies from our Operation Moses project, which include a baby bed, sheets, stroller, bath tub, and monthly gift cards for a full year. She was encouraged and her strength was renewed. Her son Isaac celebrated his first birthday in January. He is absolutely adorable, charming and his older brothers have great fun playing and laughing with him.
Anita is 32 years old, divorced and had twins, Uri and Uriya. Even though she is divorced, the relationship with her ex-husband is good. He visits the family three times a week, and helps Anita with anything that is related to their children. A few months ago, Anita’s parents divorced, which was devastating for her. Her ex-husband visited the children and tried to help comfort Anita. Without meaning to, Anita got pregnant again from him. She did not expect this to happen, was very embarrassed, and thought having an abortion was her only option. Her social worker contacted Be’ad Chaim asking us to help her. The advice of her social worker and the practical and emotional support from the Be’ad Chaim counselor were the encouragement that Anita needed to overcome her shame and choose life for her daughter. Precious Noya was born in January with gorgeous dark hair.
Like Moses, a child was sentenced by others to death, but chosen by God to live. Keren, 28 years old, made an appointment to have an abortion. Her parents had pressured her nonstop to abort the child because the baby’s father is a married man. They planned to send her abroad after the abortion. Keren didn’t want to abort and continued to read the Psalms as prayers for the life of her child. Under duress, she went to the hospital for the abortion. Upon arrival, she was told that she was missing the proper forms from the health care system to have the government funded abortion. She was also told that the hour was too late to do the abortion. Keren decided that this was the hand of God and that she would choose life for her child. We pray for a healthy and safe birth for this child and courage for Keren who must stand against the opinions of others in defense of the life of her child.
On March 5th, we participated in a day of prayer and fasting to beseech God to protect the lives of the unborn. This was in accordance with the Jewish custom of the “Esther Fast”, based on her request in the book of Esther chapter 4: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Just as Esther prayed that she might save her people from destruction, so we prayed and continue to pray that God spare the lives of the unborn.
“SAVE THE Children”, Tony Sperandeo, Chairman of the Board; Sandy Shoshani, National Director; Eric and Terry Morey, prolife speakers.
A woman had parked at the gas station and coffee shop area in the Latrun junction, when she observed at a distance our billboard-size sign at the Gardens of Life. Checking the wording on the very prominent sign, she read that the Gardens are a place of memorial and honor for babies who died through abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth. She remembered her friend who had an abortion and was still heartbroken and unable to find solace. She phoned her friend with our information so that she could get help. We are blessed to be able to offer counseling for those who grieve and the opportunity to plant a tree in memory of the child. The goal of the Gardens of Life is to bring closure, comfort and healing to all those who grieve the loss of their child.