We are all familiar with those times in life when troubles seem to pop up everywhere. The Psalmist describes these times as being like "surrounded by a swarm of bees" (Psalm 118:12). For us, this is one of those times as some of the kindest, most faithful and generous members of our congregation are facing difficulties. My first reaction was to complain to God, "Why do the nicest people need to suffer so much? It's not fair!" After visiting the families, praying and weeping with them, I realized that my attitude was not helping. That my questioning was a distraction from what needed to be done. When our loved ones are in trouble, that is the time to give as much love and support as we can, the kind of love that will help them overcome.
I believe that this is an opportunity for you also to step up and come next to these families and share your love and blessings. Allow me to describe briefly a few of their stories and see if you too would like to give a helping hand.
Hanna is a crucial part of our team. She prays and counsels with our women and mothers, leads a home group and serves the local people with hospitality and a strong steadfast faith, something she has learned through hardship. Hanna's husband is a drug addict and she continues faithfully supporting him as best she can while raising their child alone and working as a full-time accountant. This dear woman was doing all of this while fighting cancer over the past few years until doctors declared recently gave her a clean bill of health. But Hanna was born with just one kidney and it appears that the aggressive cancer therapy may have injured her lone kidney which is weakened and under duress. Hanna was back in the hospital last week for a battery of tests to figure out what is happening. A show of love and support to help Hanna provide for her family and help her get through this difficult time would do wonders.
Alex is father to five beautiful children and together with his wife lead a home group in Rishon Letzion. A new immigrant from the former Soviet Union, he stepped out in faith to start his own building renovations business some years and has seen the company steadily grow to the point where he, and his wife who also works full-time, are able to provide for the family. Running your own business in Israel is not easy. The government provides no support for small businesses and with high taxes and minimal social benefits Alex works long hours six days a week to keep the business going. A project he had lined up was supposed to begin on January 1st but has been delayed, and Alex has been out of work for two weeks. You can understand the strain this puts on the family and how much a show of support for this dear family would be appreciated.
Nadine is mother to three children and together with her husband also lead a home group in their city. Her oldest son is serving in the Israeli Defense Forces and her daughter completed her service last month. Some weeks ago a large growth was discovered in her stomach which doctors were thankfully able to remove. Nadine works in a shop making curtains but will now need to take 3 months off work to recover from the extensive surgery. Together with the emotional and physical strains of going through major surgery, this has also put a tremendous financial strain on the family. As we pray with the family and provide practical support, we also know that a financial gift would bring great relief from the additional burden of not having the income from work to pay the rent.
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