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A Matter of Life Or Death

*Chaiya was pregnant with her second child and was among the protesters in a pro-abortion rally when she met *Shoshi from the organization, Be’ad Chaim. “If you keep the baby, we will help you”, Shoshi told her. Chaiya was young and unhappy with life. She had already suffered so much, how could she possibly add another child to the mix of her struggles? But Shoshi’s words played over in her mind and compelled her to pursue the offer. Because of Shoshi and the help of Be’ad Chaim, Chaiya’s baby is alive today. 

Last week, the staff of CBN Israel were invited to speak to a group of mothers who have all declined abortion with the help of Be’ad Chaim. Chaiya and her two small children were among those who came. Staff member Arik Peled shared his personal story of how he too faced difficulties in his life as a child and young adult. He suffered abuse and parental absence which caused him to look to other means to fill his needs. But one day, Arik realized his life was his own responsibility and the decisions he made would affect his personal future. He could no longer blame others for the life he lived. His choices were his to bear. Arik went on to give examples for the women of ways they can start taking control of their lives, giving them hope for a better future. 

After the meeting, several of the women shared how the message had impacted them. Chaiya however, was in tears. “That message was very deep”, she said. “It was as if everything you shared was just for me”. 

Chaiya related to Arik’s personal story as she too suffered abuse from a family member, causing her to leave home at a young age. She wanted to blame others for her struggles, but after hearing this message, she desires to take responsibility for her life and the choices she makes for her children. 

Chaiya needs our prayers as she still has a challenging road ahead of her. Pray with us that she will have courage to act out the message she heard and to forgive all those who have hurt her. 

Thank you for all your prayers and support as we seek to make a difference. 

*Names altered for privacy

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Superbook Makes Life-Changing Impact On Son of Single Mother

*Alex is the son of *Maria, a single mother from the Former Soviet Union, who works hard just to pay rent in their low-income neighborhood. Her small budget can’t afford extra-curricular activities which so many Israeli children enjoy. When Alex was invited by CBN Israel’s partner to join their free after school program, he and his mother were both grateful for the opportunity. What they didn’t know, was how this opportunity would change their lives.

Part of the after school program included watching a half hour episode of Superbook in Russian. Week after week, Alex drank in the message of God’s love and saw it worked out in the lives of the program leaders. At times, these leaders would invite all the children to join them on trips to amusement parks or for walks on hiking trails, with all expenses paid for. For Alex, there was something different and special about these people who believed in God. 

One afternoon, after seeing a Superbook episode, Alex prayed a very sincere prayer to God. His heart was moved by all that he had seen and experienced. As Alex grew in his faith, his behavior began to change. The changes in Alex’s life were so evident, that his mother took notice. 

“Over the course of a year, I really saw my son become a different person”, she said. “Even people we know commented to me how much he had changed for the good”. 

When Maria saw what God had done in her son’s life, she wanted to experience Him in her life also. She prayed and has since been reading God’s word with Alex every night so they can grow in their faith together.

Maria loves Superbook so much and is so grateful for how it impacted her son, that now she volunteers her time to teach Superbook to others.

*Names altered for privacy.

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One Small Act Can Make a Big Difference

In Israel, Whatsapp and email are two of the main means of communication. Teachers use Whatsapp and email to send updates to parents. Employers use these platforms to share information with their staff. For Jews who make Aliyah (immigration) to Israel, Whatsapp is an excellent way to stay connected with family though they are dispersed around the world. And for CBN Israel, Whatsapp is a great way to stay easily connected with the single mothers in Jerusalem. These woman can now share their prayer requests, updates, praise reports, words of encouragement or news as they please. But when all the other names of the single mothers were added, Eva’s information couldn’t be found.

It was then that staff member, Veronica Klein, learned of a very real need that this single mother had. In a phone conversation, Eva shared how she felt paralyzed by technology. Something seemingly simple such as setting up a personal email on her own felt intimidating and overwhelming to her. And her embarrassment kept her from asking anyone for help.
Veronica visited with Eva and began walking her through the process of learning how to use her phone and computer. They worked together on setting her up with Whatsapp and an email address. When Eva understood how to use these platforms, she couldn’t find words to express her gratitude. What may seem for some like a small and insignificant act, it can make a world of difference to another.

Eva is one of hundreds of single mothers who receive on-going help and care through CBN Israel because of those who believe in and donate to our work. Help us serve single mothers in Israel by giving a gift today!

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Raise Your Expectation

A few weeks ago, *Ofir, one of the single mothers who is a refugee in Israel, shared with our staff that she was moving and was in need of furniture. She had a list of very specific items she was hoping for. Our staff informed her that it is very rare that we have furniture donated to us to distribute, and even then, what we receive is often well used. Ofir was not discouraged. She replied, “well, if you hear of anything, just let me know!” 

A few days later, our staff received a phone call from a woman who was helping a friend that was leaving the country. “We have some beautiful furniture to give away”, she said. “Do you know a single mother who could use it?” As she went on to describe the items she was giving away, we were amazed that they perfectly matched with what Ofir desired!

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19

Isn’t it true that many times, we turn to God for provision when we are desperate, when we have no other option, which leads us to have faith for something very basic, small and simple?

Although we do need to be content in every situation (as Paul says in Philippians 4:12), it is also true that God’s heart as a father is to give His children the very best.  Sometimes God wants to bless us with things that are beyond our basic needs.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”- Mathew 7:11.

We need to know that our God is a GOOD father and we can be bold to ask for things in our lives. Like Ofir, we can boldly approach our loving Heavenly father with confidence and lay before him our needs, hopes and desires.

*Name altered for privacy.

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Horse Therapy Builds Confidence in Children of Single Mothers

Confidence. It’s something that every person needs. Confidence is what makes a person take risks, learn new things and is even the platform from which they are able to love others. Confidence comes from believing that who a person is and what they have to offer is valuable. Many times, confidence begins with the love and affirmation of the father. 

But what about the children of single mothers whose fathers abused or abandoned them, leaving the children to blame themselves? These children suffer from a lack of confidence. Or a child of a widow whose father left this earth far too early in life, bringing fear that something worse might come down the path? These children suffer from a lack of security. 

This is why we at CBN Israel are excited about the opportunity that nearly a dozen children of single mothers have had to be a part of an on-going, therapeutic, horse camp. Under the mentorship of the ranch workers, the children are learning what it means to take responsibility. They gain confidence in themselves as they interact with the horses and learn to ride. And the consistent building of quality relationships with the stable staff makes the children feel valued, loved and accepted each for who they are. 

One of the single mothers, whose child is currently attending the camp shared with the staff of CBN Israel a message of gratitude:

“The children are really enjoying this camp. Each week they can hardly wait for Friday to arrive. It gives them confidence. I am really thankful that God provided donors who could help and support our children!”

This camp is meant to be a place of growth and responsibility for these children who lack fathers. Because the camp is available to these children all throughout their adolescence, the children will have a safe place to deal with their problems and have a greater advantage towards achieving their goals in life. 

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”- Winston Churchill

Hundreds of single mothers and fatherless children are receiving emotional, spiritual and practical help through the work of CBN Israel because of donors like you! We are grateful for every gift we receive that directly impacts the lives of those we serve. Thank you for all your prayers and support! 

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A Single Mother’s Hope In Times of Trouble

When *Mazaa immigrated to Israel many years ago with her husband, she could never have imagined the challenges she would face. Her husband’s love for alcohol lead to abuse and eventually, to abandonment. Mazaa was left to fend for herself and the needs of the children alone in a new land.

Mazaa needed to find work quickly. She worked long hours cleaning houses, but the income was barely enough to cover the monthly expenses. Working, cooking, cleaning and caring for her children brought her to a place of utter exhaustion.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”- Romans 8:37

Hope began to glimmer in Mazaa’s situation when a friend shared with her about the work of CBN Israel. After meeting with the staff, she became a part of CBN Israel’s community of single mothers and regularly received food vouchers. Mazaa had finally found the support she needed.

But just as things were beginning to look up, she experienced a major set back when, on her way home from a meeting, she fell and broke her leg. She was told by the doctors she would need to take two months off work to fully recover. However, the break was so severe that it took over half a year to heal. Unable to work or pay rent, Mazaa was looking at the very real possibility of being forced to leave her home. 

Unlike in times past when Mazaa faced challenges on her own, she now had a community to turn to in her time of need. The staff of CBN Israel began looking for ways to help. One organization, Orphan’s Promise, paid for several months of rent. Another organization donated towards a leg brace, and CBN Israel provided supportive shoes and food vouchers.

“God provided everything I needed during this difficult time,” she said. “I want to give back to all who gave to me through the gift of hospitality.”

With her leg now healed, Mazaa has not only resumed her work, but is also helping others in need. 

“And Jesus said, ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me….Whatever you do for these my brethren, you do unto Me.”- Matthew 25:35-40

*Name altered for privacy

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It Was The Third Night of Hanukkah

A Hanukkah Poem

It was the third day of Hanukkah, and all through Beit Sar Shalom, everyone was mingling, the single mothers felt at home.

Spread across the table, were salads, latkes and more, enough for every person to come and eat round four.

The Hanukkiah candles were lit to start the evening, and then the staff led the moms in choruses singing;

“Banu Choshech Legaresh” and “Maoz Tzur Yeshuati”, these were the songs that were sung by all, oh so joyfully.

After came the meal to everyone’s delight, and then Hanukkah donuts to top it off just right.

When everyone was satisfied and had eaten their fill, the room came to a hush and everyone was still;

As a mother from Ukraine, danced with all her might, to glorify the Lord clothed in a garment of white. 

Though many things took place this night and memories were made, the most important thing to remember is how much we have to give thanks. 

No matter what one goes through or what troubles one may face, God is still good, at work in our lives, and is worthy of all praise!

Amen!

At the close of the evening, each of the women received a gift card to be used to buy clothes for themselves and their children. It was such a beautiful and heartwarming experience to be both with these women, and in the presence of God. The women were touched, and God was glorified. This was a Hanukkah celebration to remember.

 

God bless you.

 

 

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Give it to God

*Alice is a hard working woman who cares for her severely disabled son alone as a single mother. Though she was exhausted from life’s demands, bills needed to be paid and her son needed her help. But the high cost of living, drove her like a hard task master. 

Alice has been a part of the CBN Israel community of single mothers for several years. When we heard of her situation, we accompanied Alice to request government housing for her and her son. Those who receive government housing, need only to pay a minimal amount of the rent, however, the process of approval can take many, many years. 

After being denied several times, Alice expressed, “I am tired of fighting for what I need. I have done all that I can, and the rest I give over to the hands of the Lord.” Our staff then wrote a letter to the national insurance, explaining the circumstances for Alice and why she desperately needed the help. And then, we waited. 

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.”- Psalm 34:15

This morning, we received a phone call from a very excited Alice. “I’ve been approved!” she exclaimed. Unbeknownst to her, Alice had been moved to the top of the waiting list and was given the approval to be placed in government housing. 

Alice’s story teaches us a very important lesson. We don’t need to defend ourselves, nor to manipulate or force our way into a situation. We only need to do what we know is right and then to leave the outcome in the hands of the Lord. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”- Proverbs 3:5-6

*Name altered for privacy

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The Time is Always Now

*Bella is an elderly, Israeli widow who lives in central Israel. To the passerbyer, she may be considered frail and advanced in years, but on the inside, Bella is as alive and young as the day she was born. Her heart shines as bright as her beautiful, brown eyes and her hands are always full with a gift to give to others. As a faithful member of CBN Israel’s community for widows and single mothers, everyone looks forward to her humor and her smiles, but this holiday gathering, Bella was missing.

Our staff quickly learned that Bella had fallen ill and was hospitalized for her condition. It was in this moment that we remembered the words of our Lord;

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.”Matthew 25:36.

Upon our visit with Bella, we brought her a voucher for the holidays and sat with her as she lay in her hospital bed. As she held the voucher in her hands, she turned to our staff and said,

“The work that you do is of great value because you remember the widows in these important times.”

Bella was recently released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. The moment she returned home, it was back to life as usual; giving, loving and caring for others. What motivates Bella to spend her days loving God and serving others? Just ask her what time it is and you will know the answer. For on her wrist is a watch that only knows how to read one time. The time is always, “NOW”. No one knows how much time they are allotted in life. So the time for loving God and others, which is the only way to truly live, is always in the here and NOW.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”– Benjamin Franklin

Help us care for believing widows and single mothers in Israel by giving a gift today!

*Name altered for privacy

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It Was God’s Idea to Celebrate

“I had no idea it was his birthday”, said CBN Israel staff member,  Arik. “I simply woke up in the morning with *Sam on my mind and I felt the urgency to meet with him that day.”

(Sam is a young man, the son of a single mother,  who has made astounding leaps and bounds in his life since the CBN Israel staff first met him one year ago. You can read his incredible story here. )

Arik had no idea why he felt it was urgent to meet with Sam, but he gave him a call and they arranged to meet in a near by coffee shop later that day. “Order yourself a coffee and some cake”, Arik encouraged Sam. Sam has always been polite and never wants to impose. Growing up in a poor family, he is not accustomed to the luxuries of coffee shops and fine dining. Sam so often declines any offers to enjoy a free treat.

Arik seized the moment to remind Sam that he was valuable to the Lord and that this was opportunity was a gift from Him. “Pretend it’s your birthday”, Arik said. “And take the size coffee according to how much time you desire to meet. If you take a small coffee, we will have a short meeting. If you take a large coffee, we will have a longer meeting. You decide how much time you want.” Sam became excited. “Arik, it IS my birthday today”, he said. “And in all my life, no one has ever celebrated my birthday. So I don’t make a big deal of it either.” Arik and Sam were both in awe of how the Lord had orchestrated for them to celebrate Sam’s life together. In the end, Sam ordered a large coffee and a piece of cake. 

Isn’t God amazing? How He cares for us! He is a good, lovingly, heavenly Father who takes such wonderful care for His own. 

“Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.”Psalm 103:13

*Sam’s name has been altered for privacy. 

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