When Jesus was born, all of Jewish Palestine, as well as neighboring Gentile areas, were ruled by Herod the Great, a king appointed by the Romans. In Luke 2, we read that Herod commanded his soldiers to slaughter the innocent children of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus, whom Herod feared would eventually seize his kingdom. This “massacre of the innocent” was recorded by Jeremiah the prophet: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter crying. Rachel is crying, and she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no longer alive.“ As I write this letter, the mothers of Israel are weeping over the massacre of our innocent children. We hold on to the promise which Jeremiah proclaims: “‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants,’ declares the Lord. ‘Your children will return to their own land’” (Jeremiah 31:15-17). The Messiah of Israel was born during turbulent, troubled times, as a poor baby born in a manger, yet the richest of all—the King of Kings. Despite our grief during our current war, we rejoice to introduce you to a few of the newest “princes and princesses” who are the future and hope of our Nation.
Since Israel was attacked by Hamas on October 7th, over 250,000 Israelis have evacuated their homes. Sixty thousand people lived in the communities bordering Gaza and experienced trauma and destruction. These people are now living in hotels all across Israel. By divine appointment, we were able to make contact with some of the people who are living in the hotels and offer some practical assistance for the young mothers. Here are some of the practical helps that we’ve offered, through our donors’ generosity:
- 700 packages of baby wipes shared with the needy moms in Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon where the bombing is heaviest. My counselor in Ashkelon said that baby wipes are a vital help to moms sitting for hours in the shelters with their babies.
- Over 500 gift cards, in both October and November, to families with young children who were evacuated to hotels in Eilat and Jerusalem. Among these families are some whose homes were destroyed, have lost husbands and fathers, and have kidnapped family members. Our hearts go out to these grieving people.
- Hundreds of packages of diapers, baby formula, and other baby items for those in hotels in Jerusalem. One can only imagine how hard it is for a family to live in a hotel for several months without the space and comfort of their homes.
- Hundreds of boxes of baby formula to Beer Sheva when the supply ran out in the shops there.
- Hundreds of jars of Gerber baby food for a newly opened day care center in a hotel for the displaced families where there are four widows and fifteen orphaned children. Pray for God’s comfort for these precious people.
- Distribution of gift cards to purchase baby items in a Jerusalem hotel where there are 700 children from the Naveh settlement. Twelve babies were born to families in the hotel since being evacuated.
We are deeply grateful for the privilege of offering these small, practical helps as a way of showing God’s love to those who grieve in Zion. Our donors have been very generous and allowed us the freedom to freely share material gifts with those in need. The cooperation with our donors and the many, many amazing Israeli volunteers is deeply touching.
I offer my profound thanks to you, our partners, for your prayers and generosity. If you would like to join us in prayer, remember to ask for our weekly prayer letters that are sent by email every Monday.
With deep gratitude,
Israel-Hamas War: Why The World Should NEVER FORGET October 7th
A thought provoking TBN video, reported by Mati Shoshani, Sandy’s son.
Olivia is thirty-seven years old and lives with her husband in Be’er Sheva. They emigrated from Russia to Israel this past year with the hope of building their family here with a better life. When Olivia found herself in an unplanned pregnancy, both she and her husband were not working, as they were studying Hebrew, and all their family were back in Russia.
Fearful and doubtful about their future, they contacted Be’ad Chaim for help and chose LIFE. Their “princess Maya” was born in August and immediately captured their hearts. Olivia is embarrassed that she even thought about abortion. Olivia says the furniture they received before the birth was fabulous and enabled her to have everything ready for the baby. Her husband has now started working at their local hospital while she cares for Maya at home. Because of the war, Olivia faces mental and physical difficulties. When there are alarms, she has to run and go down five floors with her baby to reach the bomb shelter on the first floor. The help that Olivia receives greatly affects the financial situation of their small family: "I manage to buy diapers, pacifiers, even toys that are suitable for her age. Without your help I don't know if I would have been able to buy her all this.”
Rebecca and her “princess Eliya,” now a year old, often visit our Jerusalem office and receive lots of attention and love.
Rebecca shared: "I work in cleaning. I had hoped to put Eliya in daycare and to find a secure job, but suddenly, the war started and it was not easy to find a job here, so I'm taking whatever is offered to me in the meantime. The main thing is that I will have a salary and some income. I’m waiting for Eliya to be two years old to put her in daycare, but right now, she's with me, and when I'm at work, she's with her grandmother and uncle.” Rebecca had worked as a kindergarten teacher for seventeen years, but during the war, she feels much more secure having the baby with her.
She wrote this letter of thanks to the Be’ad Chaim staff: "I wanted to thank you for the huge donation, for the investment and for everything you do for single mothers. I would like to thank you for your great contribution and express my sincere appreciation for your efforts to help me. This year, more than any other year, I felt very lonely, depressed, and sad and sought the much-needed togetherness. And here you come to prove otherwise to us—we are not alone!!!! You are like family, a friend, thinking about the smallest details that warm my heart in a big way!!! I thank you, and all the amazing staff who never leave for a moment, always asking, caring and concerned about me.”
In our weekly prayer letters, we share about mother “H”, who has many children but is negligent. For the past months, her newest “princess” has spent her days in our office. Our counselor, Miriam, has taken a special interest in the baby. She and other staff wash, feed, dress, and show the little princess love. At four months old, she was still without a name until our staff suggested that they call her “Yasmin,” a sweet smelling flower. The welfare department has taken interest in this special needs family. God’s BEST solution needs to be found for Princess Yasmin and her sisters. Thanks for joining us in prayer.
“Prince Nerel” celebrated his first birthday in September. Nina said that he is a sweet little boy, and brings so much joy to his mom and his older sister Anael. His mother Nina is thirty-eight years old, doesn’t have a steady job, and is thankfully close to her mom’s family who is supportive. The family is grieving after what happened on the 7th of October. Nina's uncle was killed in the now infamous Nova "party" which turned into a bloodbath.
Her pregnant cousin and her cousin’s husband were also killed. The entire family has been in shock and mourning, attending the funerals and sitting together in grief. In addition, there is all the tension and stress of daily life. Nina is finding it hard to sleep at night because of the pictures on the television and the nightmares she has. She said it is very tough to return to any kind of normal life when new events continue to unfold. Her daughter, who is in third grade, is also affected by the situation. Nina is hoping her daughter can return to school and try to find normality again. Nina is very grateful that she has little Nerel in her life as he is her ray of sunshine—her little angel and her light in this dark season.
Elia is twenty-five years old and lives in Be’er Sheva with her eight-year-old son. She had a partner, and she thought they were planning to marry, but he left her when Elia found herself in an unplanned pregnancy. This was a very hard blow for her. She had been pregnant for the first time when she was sixteen, and the father of her child also abandoned her. She felt like history was repeating itself. She was scared and began to think that her only option was to have an abortion. She could not imagine being on her own with two children to care for. Looking for help online, Elia phoned our hotline counselor who introduced her to her local counselor. Through our Operation Moses Project, Elia received a baby bed, stroller, bed sheets and bath tub. In August, her “prince Pniel” was born. She was still anxious about being a single mother to two children, but as soon as she looked at her baby, she realized that everything would be fine. She says that she is so happy that she kept her baby who has now brought light into their lives, and joy for both her and her eight-year-old son, who loves his baby brother. At the moment, during the war, Elia is very worried about the situation in the country. She often cries and feels stressed. They have no shelter, so they were evacuated for a week to Eilat, which gave her some peace, but now they are returning to their home, and she is afraid. Elia would like to thank you very much for all the generous help she has received. She said: "It is very reassuring and helps to know that there is someone who will help in such a difficult situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Our counselor Yael, who lives in Ashkelon and has had endless missiles directed at her town in the last month, heard the report of a neighbor whose husband Alex had been kidnapped to Gaza on October 7th. Alex had been working as a bartender at the Nova party where terrorists attacked, murdered and kidnapped over 350 Israelis. Yael, with her big heart, contacted Michal so that she could support her emotionally and financially. Michal is pregnant and has a two-year-old son. As I write this, Alex is still a hostage in Gaza. Join us as we pray urgently for his release and the release of all of the innocent Israeli hostages in Gaza.