Amy and Jason came to volunteer with AHI, visiting the Survivors, doing renovations and to meet and hug the Survivors they adopted and write letters. Here what they have to say:
“Our time in Israel was a real blessing. To be counted worthy to bless God’s Chosen People who have survived the most horrific and terrible times, is very humbling.
“This was my second time in Israel with Abundant Hope, and I got to see firsthand what Susan meant when she said that when you visit the Survivors, you bring HaShem with you, and when you leave, He stays. Cipora, whom I adopted several years ago was very bitter, fearful, anxious and distrustful when we first met her two years ago. She begged me to send her lots of love in the letters I write.
“When we came this year she was a different person. She was very animated, chatty and full of life. Amazing for a 91 year old! She made the remark that in her life she has experienced both bad and good times, and she guesses that is just how life is.
“Betya, my second Survivor, was thrilled to see who writes her letters, to put a face to the name. She shows the letters to her neighbors and saves each one. Betya says the letters make her days happier to know someone is thinking about her.
“We also did some cleaning and visited other Survivors. Anna was a lady with whom I would have liked to spend more time. She radiated such a sweet spirit and loved having us there. She could converse with us in German, which delighted her.
“What impressed me was that these are very educated and cultured people who made the country of Israel what it is today. They worked very hard and often just for food, especially right after the war. These are strong people who have gone through times that we can hardly imagine. They need our love and support. They need to know Adonai loves them!
“Our translator, Elena, was such a joy to have with us and made our time at Beit Shalom very enjoyable, quietly going about the Father’s business. Susan impressed me with her flexibility, love and commitment to these Survivors. We are looking forward to the time when we can return and revisit this wonderful place. Our God reigns!”
“My experience in Israel was amazing! This was my first time in the country and what a blessing it was!
“Susan asked us to share some highlights of our time with AHI at Beit Shalom. The visits to the Survivors, where we sat down with them and tried to visualize the things they went through, was thought provoking. To try to imagine going through their experiences [in WWII] is hard to comprehend. Some of them were happy, while some were a little depressed.
“One of the best times I had was when my brother-in-law Marvin and I did some drywall work and painting for one couple. They were so appreciative! They did not want us to clean up or anything (though we did!). They gave us some gifts and took our pictures together. Their son came over with one of his children and we had a great time visiting and eating. Wherever we visited the Survivors always wanted to serve us coffee and food all the time. The one morning we arrived and were working only a few minutes when they came out with something to eat! The one thing that amazed me was how they trusted us as total strangers. It really makes me check my own life, how I relate to strangers.
“I was also privileged to meet one of the Survivors we adopted. She was very sweet as we spent some time with her. The other lady we were not able to have a visit, and I was a little sad about that. I was very appreciative of Susan, AHI Director, for all the effort she put into making our time profitable and enjoyable, and driving us places.
“How amazing that God chooses to use us as his ambassadors for His Kingdom, the most important work on earth. We who are human and so fallible, yet HaShem wants to work through us! All praise to Him wo made in one all peoples, tribes and nations! Glory to God!”