Single Mom's Ministry Returns

One section of the sanctuary was partitioned off by bamboo screens. Behind the screens stretched three long tables end to end. The tables were covered with multiple colorful shawls giving a very oriental feel. On the tables many candles were lit and mounted in a wide variety of brass candlesticks. The candle light shining on the brass bases glimmered and reflected back a beautiful and serene glow. At one end of this little private space sat another small table laden with Indian cuisine. Soft music played in the background. Seated at the table were 9 single mothers from Tents of Mercy and a small team of precious ladies who had traveled from San Antonio, Texas to finance and put on this special occasion for our single moms.

One of the most exciting recent activities at Tents of Mercy has been the rejuvenation of the Single Mom's Ministry. When Talia Asher moved to Italy, there was no one else that was willing to take over this very important ministry. So for about a year and a half it languished. Certainly, various projects of assistance were carried out. However, it really couldn't move forward into its highest potential without someone at the helm with a vision and a heart to take it there.

Then, at the end of December 2007, a national ministry to single moms based in Modi'in (near Tel Aviv) decided to bring a series of weekend meetings to the Haifa area. Tents of Mercy was invited to send some of our single moms to the conference. They also requested that we send one of our leadership women along with them to provide oversight for the group. My wife Katya volunteered to lead and attended the seminars together with 5 single moms from our congregation. However, as valuable as her involvement was, she did not feel as though she had the time needed to devote to this ministry. (Her main focus is the congregational Shabbat school.) We continued praying for someone to be willing to head up the single mom's ministry.

The ladies listening to testimonies
As we began planning for the seminars, one of our mature single moms came to us and shared, with tears in her eyes, that she felt God calling her to this work. This lovely woman, Christy, is very well fitted for the job and in addition speaks Hebrew, Russian and English. We are so thankful for this answer to prayer!

The seminars have been held once a month for the past 4 months. The teaching has been very deep and practical. The curriculum uses the pattern and furniture of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness as a symbolic teaching tool to help the women learn how to connect with the Lord. They are learning how to ask for and receive answers from God to their many problems. In addition, there is teaching on budgeting, how to discipline children and how to receive healing from sexual abuse. Between the seminars, they have met once each month as local small groups to go over the homework for the next seminar and to share how the Lord has been working in their lives. Katya said that it has been very encouraging for her to see the women forging closer friendships and making spiritual and emotional progress in their lives.

Just this past month we also had the beautiful dinner for the single moms (described earlier). A group of men and women from a congregation in the San Antonio area came to visit Tents of Mercy specifically to minister to our single moms. They brought us $500 to buy all the food necessary to make a special dinner for the occasion. We ordered Indian food from a believing couple that came from India many years ago and now have a catering business. One of our young men drove all the way to Tiberius (an hour's drive away from Tents of Mercy) to pick it up. Katya borrowed all the shawls she could find and denuded our home of all our brass-ware to create the lovely environment for the dinner.

Christy and guest speaker Moshe Christy introducing one of the Texas ladies Alah, Katya and Natali enjoying
the Indian Cuisine
Some of the ladies from Texas shared their own personal stories. A couple of them were not only raised in single-parent homes but as adults they have also had to raise their own children as single parents. They encouraged our single moms with testimonies of how faithful God was to them over the years. One of our visitors was a professional singer and gave copies of her CD to all our moms as well as beautifully ministering to us in song during dinner.

Two of the men from the group worked with the kids in the social hall. They had pizza instead of Indian food! One of them, a pastor who was raised by his single dad, gave his testimony. The children listened intently and afterward each child wrote a thank you note to their mother. Afterward, each child was given a very nice backpack. It was an enjoyable and uplifting evening for everyone.

Christy says that the main goal of this ministry is to help single parents to overcome the difficulties and challenges they face. One project we are currently working on is assisting children in their education process. Children with learning disabilities and special needs should be able to get the help they require. They should not be held back because there is only one breadwinner in the house. We want to see all our children discover their talents and abilities and reach their full potential.

We will be continue monthly meetings for all of our single moms, not just the ones who went to the seminar. There will be teaching, testimonies and time for fellowship and fun.

We are grateful and certainly able to receive donations specifically earmarked for the work with single moms. One older couple from Germany recently sent 500 Euros! As well as donations, we would also welcome groups from out of the country, like the Texas group, to contact us if God puts it on your heart to come and be a blessing to these ladies. We are also compiling a standing list of tasks that could be done for the single moms so that when volunteers come to help, they can assist in this area.

For further information contact Christy at: ohaleioa@netvision.net.il

By Moshe Morrison



Donate ... to the work of Moshe Morrison at Ohalei Rachamim

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Comments
Comments:
12:10 04May08 Marion Carrozza -
This was such a wonderful article. I'm married but there are so many single women in our church.I realize the difficulty of raising their children on their own. We need more ministries like this.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Daniel Juster: Why Is Discipleship So Difficult?
Marty Shoub: From Generation To Generation
David Shishkoff and Eddie Santoro: A Place Set Apart