We were all strangers
Israel has been getting refugees from all over the world. According to Torah, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” (Deut. 10:18) Our vision to help the most vulnerable of people is embedded in this calling.
We entered into a new partnership with an organization from Finland in 2017. They have rented an apartment in Jerusalem to provide transitional housing for at-risk women. We are using this resource for our clients who are in crisis and need safe shelter. We would like to share two stories of refugees that we have referred to this home.
'T’ escaped war in Ukraine and came to Israel with hopes of building a safe life.
She was able to find a job as a babysitter. Her employers basically treated her as a slave, exploiting her day and night. ’T’ was required to care for their newborn twins, cook, clean and take care of all household chores. She was required to work seven days a week, 15-16 hours per day. For this she received no pay, only room and board. When she came to us, she was on the verge of collapse. We succeeded in helping ’T' to move from the abusive situation and into the apartment. She spent four months there recovering and studying Hebrew. Once she was stabilized, we helped her find normal work with pay and good conditions. She is now living independently and supporting herself
Another client, ‘L’ came to Israel from Sudan also to escape war. At age 15 she traveled all alone from Sudan, Egypt and through the Sinai desert. We can only imagine what she experienced during this time. In Israel, she fell in love and married a Sudanese man. He turned out to be very abusive and violent. At one point he broke some bones resulting in her hospitalization and his arrest. When he was released from prison, they reconciled. When he began to abuse again. ‘L’ contacted Machaseh and asked for help to escape the situation. We were able to place her in the apartment where she lived for four months. During this time, her husband began to understand that ‘L’ was not going to remain in an abusive relationship and that he was going to lose her and their children. He chose to seek help which ultimately led to his repentance. They have since reunited and are working together on their healing and recovery.