Life’s circumstances are not always what we would plan or expect. In the Bible, we see numerous testimonies of women whose lives were turned around by pregnancies in difficult or unusual circumstances. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was 90 years old when pregnant! (Genesis 11) Elizabeth, a pregnant elderly woman, hid herself during her first trimester so that she could draw near to God, but also perhaps to conceal herself from people of unbelief and words of discouragement. Even her husband Zacharias had spoken in unbelief and had been silenced by God (Luke 1). Some of our Be’ad Chaim moms, like Elizabeth, must protect themselves from words of discouragement. Tamar tricked her father in law, Judah, into sleeping with her so that she might have a child (Genesis 38). She was imperfect and sunk low, but God lifted her up. No mother is so messed up that God’s hand cannot pull her out of the pit. Samson’s mother became pregnant while Israel was in subjection to the Philistines. Her husband, after seeing an angel, thought that they would die. His wife replied in faith: “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have…. shown us all these things or now told us this” (Judges 13). Often, the fathers of our babies say, “this situation is too overwhelming; maybe the baby needs to die.” Rebekah felt twins struggling within her and asked “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?” (Genesis 25) Many troubled pregnant moms, like Rebekah, ask “Why is this happening to me?” There are times when a pregnancy causes confusion, fear, and gossip, yet, THIS DISRUPTION which is a NEW LIFE is one of love and unending grace. Our moms in this newsletter discovered that a pregnancy that had seemed disruptive and impossible brought them their greatest joy.
Rebekah and Triplets Tamar, Yael, and Ruth
At 41 years old, Rebekah was shocked to discover that she was pregnant with triplets! Deeply religious, she did not believe in abortion, yet with seven children already, she and her husband, who studies in a yeshiva, couldn’t afford triplets. Be’ad Chaim’s Operation Moses Project provided the three gorgeous new daughters, Tamar, Yael, and Ruth, with a bed for each of them, a triplet stroller, and gift cards to purchase all of the babies’ basic needs for their first year. Rebekah is very busy but very blessed!
Talia, our counselor in Haifa, shared this account with the counselors:
"I want to share this very unusual story with you. A woman named Yana phoned us for an abortion. I arranged a meeting with her. When we met, I could see that she was very frightened. She had arrived in Israel to work nine years ago and had left her son in Ukraine with her mother. Here, she met a man, married, and they had a daughter together. She brought her son over to Israel and they lived as a family, but the marriage slowly deteriorated, and they divorced. She wanted to return to Ukraine, but the war broke out. She returned to Israel but was accused of “kidnapping her daughter” and had to go to court. Her Israeli citizenship was revoked. She was left with no health insurance and no work permit. She took a lawyer who helped her restore her work permit, but she became involved with the lawyer and found herself pregnant. He told her that he would pay for the abortion. I was able to help her decide to choose life for her baby, but it was very difficult because the lawyer continued to threaten her. One day, Yana asked me about my faith. Yana, having grown up in Ukraine, didn’t have any faith herself, but that day she found God’s Love and truly repented. Although she didn’t have health insurance and gave birth through Caesarian section, it worked out. Be’ad Chaim provided all of her needs for the baby and helped her with the other needs for her family, including helping with her two other children while she was in the hospital. She asked if we could help arrange the circumcision ceremony for her baby on the 8th day during which his name was announced — AVIV, (which means Spring). We were her support in her time of need. Praise and thanks to God for Yana’s new life."
This is the letter from the mohel, the man who does the circumcision ceremony:
“Yesterday was a very emotional day for me because I had the privilege of circumcising a very special baby. I thank God for redeeming this baby from abortion. Thanks to the staff of Be’ad Chaim who do holy work. I ask you all to pray for Yana and her family, as they have difficult circumstances.”
Dina is married, but her husband panicked when she told him they that were expecting a baby. He said that she had ruined his life. Dina was devastated and started looking for an abortion. After speaking with our counselor in her area and finding kindness and an offer for help through our Operation Moses Project, she chose life. Their baby Hailey is now nine months old and the delight of her father’s heart. Dina’s counselor, Ettie, received this precious note of thanks with a baby video: “My visit to you was like swimming in a pool. I came away feeling so refreshed… you have so much energy. You encouraged me to read the Torah, thank you! You told me that my baby girl Hailey is LIFE. It gives me life to raise her. May you be fruitful and multiply. I will read the Torah. Thanks so much.”
As Ettie shared this note with the other counselors, she said “I want to encourage all of you in this sacred work. Thank God that He allows us to see the fruit of our labor.”
Reli and her husband live in Jerusalem with their 3-year-old daughter Hillel. She works at a day care center. Sadly, her husband doesn’t work because he has a drug and alcohol addiction and is currently having treatment. When Reli found herself in an unplanned pregnancy her immediate thought was to have an abortion. However, Reli’s mother knew they needed help and called Be’ad Chaim, asking us to contact her daughter. When Reli came to our office to speak to one of our counselors, tears flowed as she felt so confused about what to do with her pregnancy. On the one hand, it seemed impossible to have another child in their current situation. But then she remembered with great pain the two miscarriages she had experienced in the past.
Thankfully, with the love and support of her counselor, Reli chose life for her baby. At 32 weeks of pregnancy, there was a problem with the placenta and both mother and baby were at risk of death. An emergency C-section was performed. Baby Adiel weighed 2.1 kg, but in three weeks was already 2.6 kg, when they came into the office to choose clothing. As she shared the story, it was clear that Reli had been traumatized by the near-death experience. She said that it had been very difficult for her and her husband, but she is amazed that both she and newborn Adiel are fine. The baby was born on Purim, so her middle name is “Esther.” May baby Adiel always be as her name means, “a jewel of God.”
"Nearly two years ago, I discovered that I was pregnant. My partner wanted me to do an abortion, so I made an appointment and planned to go and do a surgical abortion (D+C). When I did the first ultrasound examination, I saw and heard my son’s heartbeat and something in me connected with him. I couldn’t kill him. My partner said that if I wouldn’t do an abortion, he didn’t want any relationship with me.
I thought about it and really considered what to do because I’m still a child – only 19 years old and only recently graduated from High School. Being a mom so soon wasn’t in my plans and I didn’t have the money or resources to give my child what he needs to have a good life. I’m a person who gets quickly stressed from things. During this period, I felt like I was drowning in this tough situation. I was afraid of bringing a child into this world and I didn’t know how to care for him. Then I heard from someone that there’s a nonprofit that helps moms in situations like mine. I called them. They told me that they could give me a baby bed, stroller, bath tub, clothing, diapers, a gift card and even more. As soon as I heard about all of the things that I would get from the nonprofit, my heart relaxed and I made the final decision to bring this child into the world. Even if I was alone, I knew that there was someone “who had my back” and was giving me a basis for the beginning so that everything would be okay. Because of you, I was able to go through the pregnancy with peace and calm and to embrace being pregnant. It was a joy to give birth. You don’t understand HOW much I appreciate you. As I write this letter, I have tears in my eyes.
Thanks to you, my son is not lacking anything, and I have peace in my heart. Thanks to you, the peace in my heart allows me to be busy with important things like giving birth and raising this child and not thinking about where I will get money. I don’t need to be under pressure constantly. Thanks to sweet Miriam [her counselor] for her warmth and kindness. I am thankful for you all. With love, Shir."
Yulia is a single Jewish woman who lives in an Arab village. She has suffered much trauma in her life, but wrote this very touching birthday blessing to her son Omri on his first birthday:
"My precious one, my life, it’s now April 24th. I feel as though only today you came into the light of day to my hug after such a tough season and a difficult pregnancy. You were born during the holiday of Ramadan. My Omri, I was so afraid of raising you alone. I was depressed and didn’t really care about anything because of my suffering, but eight months later you were born. As I held you in my arms, I forgot all of the trouble that I’d been through. You gave me new life. You are so special, gentle and handsome—I could never have imagined that you would be so wonderful. Omri, you are the joy of my life. Because of you, so much has changed. It’s as though an angel came into my life.I woulddiefor you and would givetheworldthatnothingwouldever harm you. You’re my private treasure. I know that lots of joyous surprises will come to me from you. Just as I protected you in the womb, I will now protect you in my heart—another sweet one to join our family. Blessings on your first birthday, Omri. Mom is crazy about you. It’s been the best year of my life."
Our counselor in Tel Aviv, Keren, received this note of thanks from pregnant Sari after she received the lovely new furniture for her upcoming birth in the beginning of June. Her family had threatened her, pushing her to have an abortion, but with the encouragement of Keren, her counselor, she stood firm for the life of her baby. Her note read:
“Good morning, I received the stroller, bathtub and bed. Everything is perfect.Thanks so muchfor saving me andespecially for accompanying me on this pregnancy journey. Your conversations and the emotional support that you gave me have saved my soul. In the early months of the pregnancy, you helped me courageously choose life and not have an abortion. I have no words to describe how much I thank you. I wish everyone who works in the nonprofit all the best. You are doing the work of angels and I felt that God sent you to me as a miracle. Thanks for allowing me the huge excitement in my heart to know that there is so much good in the world. Here’s the photo of my gorgeous baby."
Heartbeat is the largest network of pregnancy help organizations in the world. At the Heartbeat Conference in April, five servant leaders were lauded for their decades of pregnancy help ministry. The 2023 award recipients were Sandy Shoshani, National Director of Be’ad Chaim; Allan Parker, president of the Justice Foundation; Betty McDowell, former Vice President of Ministry Services at Heartbeat; and Raul and Chris Reyes, leaders with Life Equip Global and Life Network.
Read article here