Any business, or organization, forms for a purpose and to give a service that is needed. To succeed and continue to function, the leaders must consistently evaluate the changing needs and demands of their business.
Abundant Hope International is no different. In fact, with the Holocaust Survivors we serve, the older they get the more their needs change. As they age, their needs vary, expand and increase.
We are deeply aware that God has asked us to stand with them and serve them, until they no longer need us or reach the end of their lives. They are living history for us all and we need to learn from them while we still can.
Over the years we have shifted our focus as needed, offered different services, increased our need in one area and possibly dropped completely other items on our agenda. We have become quite adaptable.
But one thing we will not change is our commitment to them. If we can help, we will. If the need is beyond our abilities, we find someone else. In the last year, even six months, we’ve become acutely sensitive of a new need developing. Though we saw it coming, we were not then sure of our role in the solution.
Holocaust Survivors’ Living Situations
As the Survivors age, they need someone to be their advocate at the doctor’s office, to get their groceries, explain insurance, apply for Survivor compensation and sometimes to intervene for an abusive situation or depression brought on by loneliness. Many of them have family members to help in all these areas. But there are quite a number of them who have no one, no help and are so alone, often paralyzed with fear and worry.
We are becoming painfully aware of the need for those Survivors who are still independent enough to care for themselves such as dressing and washing, but need some help remembering to take medicine or even to eat- and have no one to help. They are left trying to fend for themselves. You can read about an actual situation in the article “Identity: Holocaust Survivor; Status: Alone”.
Case in Point
We are currently in the midst of a need for one of our elderly here in Israel; whose family is not in this country and he is in the beginning stages of dementia. After minor surgery he could not be by himself and came to live with us at Beit Shalom for two weeks. We began taking him home to sleep at night but soon became concerned over his confusion. We remind him of daily personal needs, dispense his medication and monitor his food and liquids. We take him to his doctor visits and are now in the process of finding assistance through the social services of Israel. We discussed it with his family by phone and have made the decision to bring him to Beit Shalom to live for a few months while we evaluate how best to make more permanent living arrangements.
This action is so far outside what we have done in the past here at Beit Shalom- quite a change! But God is good in allowing us to see the need, learn how to meet it, understand the social service methods and giving us wonderful volunteers who can and want to help.
He is only one of many who need small help or are in desperate situations. We ask ourselves who is going to intervene when someone comes to their door with scams, or knocks them to the ground to rob them. They need help.
So, what is next? As these needs increase, how can we handle it? The way to always find answers is to ask God. We have been praying for direction. Here is what we believe God is showing us, what is next…
Beit Shalom- do we have to move?
Our home in Akko has housed many people over the years. Now we are faced with the problem of repeatedly not having enough room . There is so much more happening here, a variety, with guests and volunteers sharing quarters, events in Beit Shalom or outside in the yard. Teas, meetings, prayer, meals, paperwork, projects, staff, more volunteers for visiting- and now our elderly guest temporarily moving in with us! We are always in need of more room- and more hours in a day!
Our desire to purchase our current Beit Shalom was frustrated by a dramatic increase in price. We turned down the opportunity and expected to have to move. But to where? It turned out to be God using the owners even as he did Cyrus- for our benefit.
This week God gave us the answer. He showed us “Yes, stay, temporarily.” The owners of the house have offered to rent to us longer, in a renewable contract that we can end on our terms, with no increase in the rent and a calm relationship with them. They agreed to every one of our requests! PTL for answers to your prayers!
For years we have asked the Lord if he could give us a “small hotel” in Akko. It has long been our desire to have a place where we could combine a living arrangement of our volunteers with Survivors who have no family. We began to see the need long before it became urgent. We consider this to be the best way to help those who are alone and need light assistance.
Our new contract with Beit Shalom gives us the freedom to stay where we are while we begin a building project and plan for the future. This new building would be called Beit Shalom Community House. Go HERE to read more on the Community House.