The news felt like an additional weight in the backpack of a weary traveler. *Helen had just buried her husband and was caring for her three children, one of which has special needs, when she received a letter informing her of the debt that was left in her husband’s wake. The family were new immigrants in Israel and Helen had not yet learned her way around the culture, the language and the government institutions. She felt paralyzed by all the struggles that were hitting her at once and for lack of knowing what to do, she chose to do nothing.
Leaving the debt to grow interest in the bank, Helen focused her attention on her children and getting the family acclimated to their new country. During this time, she met a single mother who told her of the work of CBN Israel. Helen began attending the meetings for single mothers and over time, she felt safe to open up with the staff about her struggles. Because of the debts in the bank and the demanding needs of her son, she couldn’t afford to pay for a cognitive test to determine the needs of her child.
Arik Peled, the financial advisor for CBN Israel, accompanied Helen to the bank to see what could be done about her debts. The bank agreed to greatly reduce her debt if she was able to come up with the money within two weeks time. When CBN Israel’s partners learned of Helen’s needs, donations began to come in. But to their surprise, not only was the needed amount for negotiations donated, but the amount needed to pay off the debt in full came through!
When the staff told Helen that her burden of debts was over, she could hardly believe it. She was so overcome with emotion, that her sentences were broken up by sobs of joy. She said, “I simply don’t have words to say to you. It was so many years I struggled with these debts and now it’s over. I can hardly believe it! I don’t have enough words to say, ‘thank you'”.
From this situation, Helen has learned a lot about how to handle her money. She has learned how to gain credit without gaining debt. She has learned a lot about the Israeli institutions and how the banking systems work differently than in her native country. And now, Helen is attending CBN Israel’s financial workshops to learn more about what job would suit her best. Regarding her son, CBN Israel paid for the cognitive test and as a result, Helen is better equipped with knowledge to get her son the help he needs.
It is because of those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel that widows like Helen are receiving practical help, hope, care and love. Every donation makes a big difference in real lives here in Israel. When you become a monthly partner, you will receive three of our extraordinary documentaries on Israel! Find out more about it here.
*Name altered for privacy.