Celebrating Be’ad Chaim’s 30th Birthday

by Alison Marchant

An advantage of getting older is to be able to look back and give thanks for what God has done over the years. When I was in Israel a while back, I met again 2 delightful young men I had known over the years. One a vibrant young man about to start his army service, the other in a wheelchair, but full of life and fun and part of a loving family, and I marvelled afresh that neither of them would have been alive if it hadn’t been for the work of Be’ad Chaim. Both their mothers had had crisis pregnancies and had been considering abortion. However they had found understanding and support for themselves and been helped to choose life for their babies. It had not been easy, but neither regretted their decision. – Just a tiny sample of the precious fruit of a very remarkable work of God.

I have been involved with Be’ad Chaim since around 1983 when the first seed thoughts were planted by Gary Burgel, an American who asked me to research abortion in Israel in order to rewrite and publish in Hebrew, a booklet he had written on the subject for the USA. Although I had not been interested in the topic, once I saw the statistics (possibly slightly inflated), which appeared to show that just under 1 in 3 pregnancies were being aborted, which is the same proportion of world Jewry that Hitler killed, I knew I needed to sound the alarm.

The battle was fierce but after several years of prayer, networking with other believers with similar concerns from all over Israel, lively committee meetings, and fundraising, the Be’ad Chaim amutah (charity/non-profit) was registered on 23rd January, 1988. Exactly 30 years ago.

It says a lot that several from those early days are still involved, such as Tony Sperandeo, Ted and Linda Walker, Ma’ayan Leonard, and Julie Ben Avraham; and many others, too numerous to list, have played their part in many ways over the years in supporting financially and practically, praying, leafleting, teaching, administration, counselling, manning the 24 hour hot line, producing the news letters and calendars, sorting baby clothes and equipment – the list is almost endless of all that has gone into enabling Be’ad Chaim grow and flourish for 30 years.

However, it had a pretty rocky start, when we feared “our baby” would die at birth, but the Lord resurrected it and Be’ad Chaim has gone from strength to strength, building on the prayers and planning of the early days. For some 10 years Ted Walker was director, and many babies were saved through leafleting, street outreaches, and making congregations, leaders and teens aware of the value of life. Counsellors were trained and offices established in several towns. The Silent Scream video was sent to every Member of the Knesset to raise awareness.

Under Sandy Shoshani, the current Director of Be’ad Chaim, the work has continued to grow enormously in the last 13 years. There are 13 counsellors covering effectively the whole country. Many of the referrals now come through a social media campaign to increase public awareness of alternatives to abortion and to combat the idea that abortion is good for women. Be’ad Chaim’s mandate is to defend the rights of the unborn and their mothers. Links have been developed with Social Workers and the IDF who also refer girls, and there has been opportunity to meet with several Knesset members to discuss the need to stop abortion. Be’ad Chaim has been on national television, in news reports and been written about in national media. It was also a great honour, in July 2016 to win an award from the Knesset, for their outstanding contribution to women’s health in Israel.

The Be’ad Chaim hotline number enables girls to talk to an advisor, consider their options, find out what help is available and take time to think through their difficult choice. They, and perhaps their partners and family members, can then talk more with a counsellor near their home, who will give real support as they think things through, and offer continued help if they decide to keep their baby.

In 2006, Sandy, together with others, had the vision and faith to start the Operation Moses Project to provide, if the mother cannot; a bed, stroller, baby clothes – whatever the new baby needs – plus diapers and formula for its first year. The mothers keep in touch with their local office each month and can get emotional as well as practical support, plus parent craft and other practical courses. Though the project started small, (15 in the first year), it currently supports 500 families throughout the country. 350 are in the Operation Moses project and 150 are pregnant. It costs $1,800 to sponsor a baby for a year, but through faith and the generosity of supporters, the Lord has supplied, and in 11 years, over 2,000 lives have been saved through Operation Moses. Sadly the need is constant, so if you would like to sponsor a baby please contact the office. You will receive a certificate with the baby’s name and birth date, plus information about the child at birth and at one year, when the baby leaves the programme.

The counsellors also care for women who have had abortions and are suffering the often devastating effects of Post Abortion Syndrome. These mothers can also plant a tree in Be’ad Chaim’s “Gardens of Life” near Latrun, in memory of an aborted child whom they may not previously have been able to acknowledge or mourn properly, and often find forgiveness and healing through this.

Only God knows how many babies this wonderful work has actually saved over the last 30 years. Some of those babies are parents themselves by now. Some of the Mums have chosen life through reading a leaflet on the street, or been caused to reconsider by just looking on the website, and never contacting the office. We give thanks to the Lord for them all.

All the staff are Messianic believers who believe that every child is created in the image of God. Their goal is to save babies from abortion and give women new hope as they learn that God cares about them and has a good plan for their own and their child’s life. The emotional and financial costs are huge, as they work on the front line in the battle for life, and not every baby is saved. So they need our prayers. A weekly prayer email and a quarterly newsletter can be requested from the Be’ad Chaim office info@beadchaim.org.il, detailing the work and prayer needs around Israel.

At this special time of thanksgiving and celebration, please pray for provision for the work; strength and wisdom for Sandy and the staff, and guidance for the future: blessing and protection for the mothers and babies, especially those whose lives are right now in jeopardy, as well as those who have been given the gift of life over the years; also for those who are seeking peace and healing after an abortion they now regret. Pray that all may have life. Life in all its fullness.

This article originally appeared in Be’ad Chaim’s newsletter, January 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.