Growing up in Brazil, my mother was into black magic. When I was eight, her Satanist friends felt I wasn’t respectful toward their idols and hid explosives in a mixture of incense to blow up in my face. When the smoke cleared, not a hair on my head was singed. I knew it was God who had protected me. So, when I heard the Gospel for the first time 10 years later, I believed immediately.
“It is important for me to emphasize the importance of IStandwithIsrael. Life in Israel is very hard because of the high cost of living and many other reasons. This organization gives hope and help to people who don’t have anyone else to turn to. I pray that God will bless you doubly as you have blessed me. Without you I could not have been released from the difficult financial situation I was in. Now I can start living my life anew!”
I spent 3 years in Bible school and then met my husband Yossi. Together we had five beautiful children and in 2001 made Aliyah to Israel.
Life in Israel was much more difficult than we ever dreamed. The language was hard, so I could only find minimum wage jobs. The kids were young when we arrived and often got sick. But it was when our nine-year-old son Marcus was diagnosed with epilepsy that life began to unravel.
We were overwhelmed with the amount of care Marcus required on top of all the medical bills that came with it. Yossi couldn’t handle it and began disappearing and I began hearing about him owing monies. Before I knew it, we owed 100,000 shekels ($28,000) for things I knew nothing about. After 28 years of marriage, I found out Yossi had taken up with another woman. My children didn’t want him in the house anymore.
He left, and when he left he stole my checkbook. He wrote huge checks in my name so now on top of my son’s medical bills and Yossi’s debts, I had to cover those checks. The legal battle that followed our separation was expensive and exhausting but in the end, the judge ruled somewhat in my favor and ordered me to pay only 23,000 shekels ($6,500) of the total debt.
Still, I am a 56-year-old immigrant and single mother with three children still at home. I was so discouraged thinking I would be paying his debts for the rest of my life.
My congregation tried to help me as I paid on his debts for two years. They even applied to ISWI for me. May God bless the day I received word that ISWI would cover the rest of the debt! Now, I have peace of mind and body. I can sleep at night and I have hope again!