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Goodbye to a dream team!

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Posted on: 
22 Jun 2021
Goodbye to a dream team!

In keeping within Israel’s visa regulations for foreign volunteers, sadly we must say goodbye to three amazing and professional women with unique giftings. These ladies dedicated several years of their lives serving residents at our Haifa Home for Holocaust survivors.

During their time in Israel, they had to deal with the difficulty of the pandemic and the recent Gaza war. As German Christian volunteers, Natalia, Debora and Kerstin have become an integral part of the lives of the residents and the running of the Home.

Tears will flow as we let go and say goodbye, but there is also much gratefulness for the immeasurable impact they have made on both the residents and staff, as well as the lessons they have learned in their own lives. Here are their impressions of their time serving at the Home:

Natalia Ochs, nurse (3 years)

The Holocaust Survivors show so much strength in every situation. I have gained so much from their wisdom.

In these three years I got to know myself even better; my weaknesses, and my strength and through the daily interaction with the residents I learned patience and humility. The Survivors showed so much strength even in the most difficult circumstances, which taught me not to panic so quickly. The most beautiful thing that happened during this time was that I felt God’s very deep love for the Holocaust Survivors.

Debora Wanner, physiotherapist (2 years)

At times there were many challenges, especially during the Corona pandemic and my time in the Haifa Home was not always easy. However, I was amazed to see how God used the difficulties to bring us closer to the residents, Israeli staff, and international caregivers. Besides the differences in culture, age, and religion, I see myself now as part of a big, accepting, and nurturing family called "the Haifa Home". Serving as a physiotherapist, I saw many changes in the residents and I will treasure a bucket-load of moments in my heart, like: a person smiling at me for the first time; a resident learning to walk again after a serious injury; a resident who hardly left her room before, willing to participate in a weekly gymnastic group; a hug of love shared shortly before a person died; someone’s difficult story of their past shared with me in secret; and a handmade scarf knitted as a surprise for me! I am so grateful for the opportunity to collect such beautiful memories and being able to see God at work daily!

Kerstin Hoffmann (optician by profession)

Israel and her people have left their unremovable footprints in my life. My heart’s desire when coming to Israel was: “I want to leave my comfort zone.” This happened far more intensively than I could have imagined. – Life starts after leaving your comfort zone! God has shown and taught me so many things during this time and He has used our dear residents for His purposes. It is not about me; it is about Him and His people. I have learned that my boundaries are not His limits. Time is one of the most precious things you can give, while friendship and trust need time to grow, and love knows its way. These Holocaust Survivors have so much love to give. It is always worth it to have patience and keep on going until you see growth in what you have invested. And, you will even be surprised how our heavenly Father has given you more than you could have asked for!

A new team on the horizon

After a long wait for applicants, in March we received applications from very professional and capable women, who feel called to come and serve with us. In August and September, we will be welcoming a new team of five ladies to the Haifa Home: two volunteers just out of high school; a physiotherapist and two nurses, who will help us further develop the level of services and quality of life for the residents of our Haifa Home community.

Thank you for your support to our special place of warmth and loving care for our precious Holocaust survivors in dire need of assistance.


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