November 30, 2023

Palm Beach Atlantic University Nursing Students Help Friend Flee Israel

PBA News

Nursing Students Help Friend Flee Israel

In the summer of 2014, AnnaMae Predtechenskis attended Camp Shoshanah, a conference, retreat and Bible camp in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York. It was there that she was introduced to Liel, a nonverbal and autistic 13-year-old who was born and raised in Israel. AnnaMae was immediately drawn to the way Liel interacted with others.

“My first instinct after meeting her was, ‘I don’t fully understand how you see the world, but I want to understand,’” AnnaMae shared. The two became fast friends, and through that, AnnaMae was introduced to Liel’s entire family. In 2017, AnnaMae saw the family’s request for a caregiver at camp, and she and her sister, Claire, volunteered.

The sisters stayed in touch with the family over the years – mostly via text messages and phone calls as AnnaMae and Claire live in the United States and Liel’s family lives in Israel.

Crisis Strikes: Claire and AnnaMae Respond 

When Hamas launched a terrorist attack against Israel on October 7, 2023, Claire and AnnaMae immediately contacted the family and sought a way to help. They offered their home to Liel, whose bed was moved to a bomb shelter because of the attacks, and to anyone else who needed solace. In a few hours, Liel’s parents purchased a one-way ticket to the United States for Liel, and they formulated a plan to help her escape. They wrote a notarized letter to the Israeli government giving Claire and AnnaMae temporary, legal guardianship of Liel, and they continued to pray.

After overcoming a series of logistical obstacles, Liel’s parents packed her bags and drove her to the airport, unsure of the next time they would see their daughter.

“On her way to the airport, the sirens went off for a rocket attack,” Claire explained. “They sent us videos of them running for shelter. Through all of it, though, The Lord has had abundant favor on Liel, and we are so grateful that she got here safely.”

AnnaMae works at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida and is currently working on her Master of Science in Nursing at Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University. Claire is finishing her undergraduate nursing classes, and she is working at the St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Despite their chaotic schedules, however, they welcomed Liel with open arms.

 A New Chapter in the Friendship Begins in Florida 

 On Friday, October 27, Liel arrived in Florida to live under the care of AnnaMae and Claire. They are taking it day by day and are figuring out how to navigate their new life as students, nurses and now caretakers, but they have seen God’s hand at work clearly in every aspect of their lives – and others.

“In saying yes to this and by being obedient to The Lord, not only have my sister and I just been so blessed by Liel, but her parents have been able to minister to a lot of grieving people in Israel,” Claire said. “To do the smallest act of obedience and then see the domino effect of it has been incredible.”

They have also been encouraged by the overwhelming support and generosity of so many individuals who want to help. Liel is an elite swimmer, and she competed on the Special Olympics swimming team in Israel. When she arrived in Florida, Claire and AnnaMae reached out to the Adolph and Rose Jewish Community Center in Boca Raton, Florida to see if there were any opportunities for Liel there. The sisters contacted the special needs department, and after explaining their situation, the center agreed to fully fund Liel’s participation in their after-school program.

“We have just brought her into our life as much as possible,” AnnaMae explained. “Navigating school and work and now caring for Liel has definitely been challenging, but there is so much comfort in knowing that God is a good Father who sees me and loves me and is never going to let me go. I fully trust that God will provide a way through whatever storm comes our way.

 Claire and AnnaMae’s story support for Liel has been highlighted in the news. Watch it here.  


Related Articles

Back to All News