Saturday, July 11, 2009

1 New Heart

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

If you are starving to hear a great story coming out of the whole Israel-Palestinian conflict, this is it. Meet Hank Dannecker Jr. and his wife, Michele, two American Christians who pulled up stakes a couple of years ago and moved to Israel to answer God's call to help people. Without even knowing they would have a home to provide a roof over their heads, these two went to Israel to help bring medical care to Palestinian and other Arab children with congenital heart problems. Their home-grown movement called 1 New Heart is linking up Israeli doctors working for free to provide heart operations to needy Palestinian/Arab children. Together with the Israeli organization, Save a Childs Heart (SACH), approximately 15 children a month are being given a new lease on life. For about $10,000, a child can be given the necessary operation and affiliated care and medications. As stated, the doctors work for free, but the costs of transportation, the hospital costs, room, anesthesia, etc must be covered. This cost is divided between SACH and 1 New Heart. (Since the Israeli agency cannot directly find Palestinian and other non-Israeli children to help, they use Hank's group as an intermediary. It is Hank who literally transports the children and their families from Gaza for example, through Israeli check-points, and to the hospital (Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel).

You might be asking the question I myself posed to Hank Tuesday over the phone; why do so many Palestinian children suffer from congenital heart defects? The reason is a high level of intermarriage in Palestinian society where a marriage to say, a half-sister is acceptable. As a result, about 20 of 1000 Palestinian children now have heart defects, according to Dannecker, a much higher than normal rate.

Aside from the obvious humanitarian benefit, there is another great benefit involved. These are children that are being raised to believe that Christians and Jews are evil beings. Their families sit in mosques and listen to the vilest descriptions of Christians and Jews preached by many of their imams. They are told that Christians and Jews are descendants of apes and pigs who eat Muslim babies. This program puts the lie to that. Not only the child, but his/her entire extended family sees the humanity and the charity of these Christians, Jews and Israeli doctors who donate their time and skill to saving young lives. If you still believe that reconciliation is possible between the religions in the Middle East and between Israelis and Palestinians, this is a program you can believe in.

It goes without saying that the crying need is funding. Hank's organization, 1 New Heart, while not yet a 501 C3 organization, collects its contributions through the Israeli Missions Project, which is so recognized and which sends 100% of the funds received to Hank.

I am attaching some photos which Hank sent to me via email. They show a 5-year-old Palestinian girl named Majed, who received a heart operation from Israeli doctors. You can see her family and the doctors in the operating room. I am also posting one of Hank's newsletters and the 1 New Heart brochure below. In addition, what follows below is a film clip showing the actual transportaion of a Palestinian child and her family into Israel proper for an operation. Finally, I am posting the address to which contributions can be sent. If you agree with me on the beauty and importance of this humanitarian project, I hope you will consider a contribution and pass this information on.

From 1 New Heart's brochure:


In 2006, the vision for this outreach was born when we met a three-year-old Palestinian girl named Jumanah, who was fighting leukemia. Jumanah’s name is Arabic for “silver pearl,” and her little life was truly a “pearl of great value” (Matthew 13:45-46).

Upon learning of the difficulties Palestinian families can face in finding access to even basic health care, we helped to raise money and awareness for Jumanah’s medical treatment. We witnessed firsthand what a powerful sign of God’s love this was for her entire family.


Congenital heart disease (CHD) causes the death of thousands of children in developing countries each year. Eight out of every 1000 live births around the world have some form of CHD. While vast resources have been expended in the West to treat these children, most third world countries lack a comparable infrastructure. In Palestine the doctors and hospitals are not trained and equipped to perform the most basic heart surgeries. Even in Israel there are only a few doctors that can perform such complicated pediatric heart surgeries.


We assist in communication between West Bank children’s family members and Israeli doctors, facilitate the children’s travel to Israeli hospitals, and help offset the cost of the surgery. The doctors volunteer their time and expertise, but the costs of the operation room, equipment, the medication, the anesthesia, as well as the transportation costs of the child, have to be covered.


…is to sponsor one child per month and utilize the doors God has given us to open a way into the spiritual hearts of the families we are working with. We have the opportunity to watch new life begin through the physical changes a life saving heart surgery brings. As we build relationships with these children and their families, our main focus and goal is to share Christ’s love and His ability to change their spiritual hearts as well.


The most important thing you can do to help us in this work is to pray for us. Pray that we would have the right words to share at the right times. Pray that the Lord would continue to open up doors for us to minister to these hurting children and their families. Pray that many would come to know Christ through this work.

The sponsorship for each child’s open heart surgery is $5,000. If you, your church or organization are interested in storing up treasure in heaven by sponsoring a child, please contact us for more information. All sponsored children receive 100% of all the funds raised for their heart surgeries.

We invite you to come visit us and to catch God’s vision for changing the hearts of people in Israel and the Middle East, one child, one family, one heart at a time.

7-1 Hamalach Belavan Street
Jerusalem 93545 Israel

Below are pictures of 5-year-old Majed and her family as she traveled to Wolfson Medical Center with her family and received her heart operation.

En route to Wolfson Medical Center

Arrival accompanied by her grandfather

From 1 New Heart's May newsletter:

Dear Friends,

Spring has arrived here in Jerusalem and with it much change and new life! It’s been a few months since we have communicated with you, and we would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on the work and ministry being done, as well as to give you a glimpse in to what is happening in our family life.

In our last newsletter we shared about 5 year old Majed, the little girl from Jenin who underwent open heart surgery. Miraculously she was able to go home within one week following her surgery. Unfortunately we cannot bring another child until we are able to pay SACH for Majed’s sponsorship of $5,000.

Our desire is to continue this work of compassion, helping other children in the West Bank territories receive medical treatment and heart surgery.

Part of what we do is to communicate with the children’s family members and Israeli doctors, facilitate the children’s travel to the hospital and help offset the cost of the surgery. The doctors volunteer their time and expertise, but the costs of the operating room, equipment, surgical supplies, medications, as well as the transportation costs of the child, have to be covered.

The total cost to bring children and perform open heart surgery is $10,000. for each child. This is a much reduced cost because of Save A Childs Heart (Israeli non-profit org.) and Israel’s socialized medical care. It is our heartfelt goal to sponsor one child per month but it cannot be done without the body of Christ responding to this need. For us to continue this work we need to raise half the cost which would be $5,000. for each child.

We feel so strongly about this work that, during these last three months, we have written (and re-written!) a strategic plan/proposal and recently submitted it to the BICWM (Brethren in Christ World Missions). The WM board of directors will be convening in early June and our prayer is that this work of compassion will continue for years to come.

It is with great joy we extend to you or your church this awesome opportunity to store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy. All sponsored children will receive 100% of all the funds raised for their heart surgeries.

Family life is also in transition. We learned in early March that a new addition is coming soon! We are expecting our third child – the due date is sometime between November 9-15th. We all are eagerly anticipating a new baby brother or sister!

So, we thank God continually for you as we partner together to impact the land of Israel for time and eternity!

To Jesus be all the Glory!
Hank, Michele, AbbyRose & Levi

The DANNECKER’S serving in Israel
Prayer and Needs Update May, 2009

We serve under the auspices of Brethren In Christ World Missions. For more information, you can contact BIC, PO Box 390, Grantham, PA 17027-0390 or in Canada; 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville, ON L6H 6E1.

Financial support can be made payable to: Clear Creek BIC, attn: Vicki Stiffler, 6150 Big Creek Rd., Clearville, PA 15535. In the memo blank, write "1 New Heart".

Dannecker family information: Mailing address: 7-1 Hamalach Belavan St. Jerusalem 93545 Israel
Skype (PA) phone #: 814-806-1014
Email: OR

The website for 1 New Heart ( is not yet up and running. The website for Save a Child's Heart (SACH) may be found at:


  1. Thank you Gary for bringing this wonderful charity to our attention. What wonderful people we have on this planet.

  2. Isn't it amazing what the power of Love can do? Christians and Jews working together to save the lives of Muslim children.

    These operations cost the families nothing. Not one cent.

  3. And the attitudes of entire families towards Jews and Christians are changed.

  4. The 1 new heart webpage is now up and running and is linked by my site.