Lena is a young woman who made aliyah to Israel last month in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Life there was getting unbearable and living under constant fear of rocket attacks just grew too much for her, and so she decided that the time had come to make a change.
The journey to Israel and the change in culture was very difficult for Lena, and even now as she’s studying Hebrew and working part-time, life seems very hard. This was not the first big challenge that Lena has had to face though. Six years Lena’s husband left her, as he fell into serious addiction to hard drugs, with no desire to be helped or to seek rehabilitation. She described that time as going through hell on earth, as she did all she could to assist him, but to no avail.
Ever since her divorce from her husband, she has struggled with severe depression and anxiety. Nothing seemed to help, not even medication, and here in Israel it just seemed as if she had hit rock bottom on an emotional and spiritual level. Lena recounts how she had reached out to her mother who had been living in Israel for many years, and was attending a Messianic congregation in Be’er Sheva. Lena poured out her heart to her Mom, Sveta, and admitted that she needed peace and release from the all-consuming depression and anxiety in her life.
As Lena lived in Ashdod, Sveta immediately got in touch with our outreach team at Beit Hallel with whom she was acquainted, to ask if we would meet with Lena. She explained Lena’s situation and that she was desperate for freedom from her depression and anxiety. We sent one of our ladies, Hannah, to meet with Lena at her apartment in Ashdod.
When Hannah arrived and entered Lena’s apartment, she could see that this dear woman was carrying a heavy burden that the enemy had placed on her shoulders. Her eyes were very sad and her hands were trembling. Hannah sat down with Lena and immediately started preaching the Word of God to her, about the freedom that is to be found in Jesus, and of how He took our sins, weaknesses and sicknesses on the cross. She went on to explain to Lena that Jesus was standing with open arms, just waiting for her to respond to Him in faith and to receive Him as her Lord and Savior.
It didn’t take much convincing for Lena, as she had always known that she needed God’s forgiveness and salvation, but she had always been too afraid to approach him in prayer. Hanna explained to Lena that God wanted us to approach His throne boldly, as a child would draw near to his father. I asked Lena if she would join me in the prayer of salvation, to repent of all sins and to invite Jesus into her heart. She answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!”
Hannah prayed and Lena prayed after her with sincerity and desperation. As soon as they had finished praying, Hannah looked up to see tears in Lena’s eyes, with a serene expression on her face. Lena said that she felt a weight being lifted off her shoulders as she prayed, and how an overwhelming peace had come over her. The Lord had taken Lena into His arms and would never let her down. She was home.
Lena started attending our Shabbat service and home group meetings, and has found a family that supports her and that prays for her. She had become a new person, and her exciting new journey in Jesus had just begun. Please stand with us in prayer for Lena, that she will just keep growing in faith and the knowledge of God. Amen!
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.