In my previous letter, I had the privilege to share with you my story and how the Lord brought me to this point of today. Now, if you allow me, I would like to share with you about my family and what we have been going through for these last 13 years.
The first day of September is associated with the fact that children in Israel start school. Usually, this is a happy and exciting day for families all over the land. And so, it was for my family, but the events that followed that day carry mixed feelings of joy and sadness. In order to understand it, let me take you back in the past, a little over 13 years ago. Myself, Alla and our three years old daughter, Moriel looked to the future with excitement. We made plans, dreamed, and prayed that the will of God would be fulfilled in our lives as a family. And as we dreamed together, we asked the Lord for a son. And the good news came… we were to have another child. We had only received the news but already loved that baby, not knowing whether it would be a boy or a girl. Some time passed, and we found out that my wife’s blood had the CMV virus, which does not harm the mother but can cause serious harm to the child. It was difficult for us to believe this since we were both healthy and the virus came from nowhere. Each subsequent check only confirmed the presence of the virus. The Doctors suggested a “solution” … to have an abortion. From the very first minute when we heard this, we had a wonderful opportunity to preach the gospel to doctors and professors, explaining to them why we do not even consider this as an option.
However, this was not an easy time of internal struggle and many prayers. We could not find answers to our questions. We appealed to God to give us a word on which we could stand on, and the Lord answered us with the words from John 9:1-3. From then on, we have stood by this word and found great encouragement in the Lord. Our beautiful son Roni, which means Rejoice, was born on September 1st and is now 13 years old.
That is the age of boys when, according to Jewish tradition, we celebrate their Bar Mitzvah, the Covenant son. It symbolizes the transition from childhood to adulthood. The boys read the scripture publicly for the first time and explain it to the congregation. That indicates that they are mature enough to understand the Word of God.
With my eyes full of tears, I looked at my boy in a wheelchair and my heart screamed to God. How much I wanted to see my son perform such an essential act for every Jewish boy. But … unfortunately, my boy cannot walk or talk. What we know is that he can accept love and give it back to others. When he hugs me, I forget all the difficulties and the words of John 9:3 again fill my heart, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
At Roni’s Bar Mitzvah I read an excerpt from the weekly Torah portion. And in this passage, we find in Deuteronomy 18:10 there is a message for all of us: Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire…
Today, as back then, people sacrifice their children to idols. People are afraid of difficulties. They do not want to give up their selfish desires and they live the way they want. People want to rule over their future at all costs. God used our son Roni to change our hearts and our attitude towards people and life in general. Our third child was born. Tali, which means my dew, is a perfectly healthy girl who, from infancy, learned to sacrifice for the sake of her older brother. The eldest daughter Moriel, which means God is my teacher, is always ready to help and loves her special brother very much. Thanks to Roni, my family and people in the congregation have learned and continue to learn a lot. Isaiah 45:9 says: “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?
Trust the Sovereign God, love, and serve other people, even if they are not like yourself.
As we celebrated Roni’s Bar Mitzvah, many people in the congregation could not restrain their tears as my daughters prayed and blessed their brother. Their words were filled with amazing maturity and it was a special evening in which so much love was shown.
Dear Lord, thank you for entrusting Roni to us. Thank you for the precious lessons that are impossible to learn from books, but to draw them from the school of life. We are extremely grateful to everyone who, over the years, have traveled this path with us. Please pray for us so that no difficulties can prevent us from fulfilling our call as a family and that the wonders of God might be displayed in the life of Roni.
In Messiah Yeshua, whom we serve, Aleksey, Alla, Moriel, Roni, Tali, and Beit Immanuel Congregation.