Today I’d like to tell you the story of a mother named ‘Gerlie’. It was a typical Wednesday afternoon at Glory Reborn Clinic. Women were lined up waiting for the first glimpse of their baby growing inside the womb. As the mommies to be waited for their turn to get an ultrasound at the clinic teachings were going on to prepare each of them for the life of motherhood. I greeted Gerlie and explained all about what we would look for as we proceeded with the ultrasound. As I continued to scan her pregnant belly and showed her the baby growing in her womb she began to cry. I thought at first perhaps these were tears of joy except Gerlie kept turning her head from the ultrasound monitor. I quickly re-scanned her chart wondering if she had lost a previous pregnancy, nothing remarkable except that this was her fourth baby at age 29. I paused for a moment and asked her why she was crying. The tears now continued to flood down her cheeks. I assured her that the baby boy looked healthy and there was nothing to be afraid of but this didn’t seem to bring any comfort to her. Eventually through the tears she began to tell me that her husband had died a few days before of a ruptured appendix. They had no money to take him to the hospital the days before the rupture when he was in pain. Eventually the pain worsened and the appendix ruptured, taking his life.
My heart sank. I didn’t know what to say. Here she was pregnant with her fourth baby, living below the poverty line, she has no work, no income, no college education, her partner is dead and she is just a few months away from delivery. What a reality to be faced with! There are no words that could fully comfort this precious mother but there is a God of Comfort. And so I began to pray for her, believing that Jesus knows exactly what Gerlie needs and has a plan for their family. He has not forgotten her or her children and He promises to sustain our every need, physically and emotionally. After praying I asked her if she wanted me to show her her baby boy. This time she lit up and her baby boy even waved a hand at us. It was precious. Gerlie is now enrolled in Glory Reborn’s Social Work Program. We will be providing for her needs throughout the remainder of her pregnancy and first few months after delivery.
But our story doesn’t just end there. As I went to work a few days later a woman came in to the clinic in labor during my night shift. I recognized her when she walked through the door. Delina too had a similar story. When she was just five months pregnant her husband was shot accidentally by a stray bullet during a shoot out in their neighborhood. This too was Delina’s fourth baby at only 25 years old. Through the process of care at Glory Reborn and through our counseling program Delina had been living with the counselor’s family as she grieved the loss of her husband. I can not even begin to imagine the pain and fear of the future that these brave women face daily. Having no opportunity to work without a college degree (which is required even to work in McDonald’s in the Philippines), having children who need to be fed and living in a squatter one room home all alone and pregnant on top of it all! Their situation truly seems hopeless but then slowly the seemingly hopeless situation becomes hopeful. Delina came for a pregnancy check up and spoke with the counselor at Glory Reborn who offers to take her and her children in. Her pregnancy, delivery and post delivery expenses are covered by the clinic, she has a place to eat and sleep for the nights to come. Her children can start school through the local church’s sponsorship program. Little by little hope is returned to her heart. Tonight was no different. Delina came into the clinic in active labor with her support team of midwives, nurses and our counselor ready to rub her back, fetch her water, and do anything we could to make this emotional time hopeful. After an hour Delina’s beautiful baby girl was born, healthy, pink and crying. She was 7lbs 2oz of pure Hope. It was only fitting when I asked Delina what she would name her baby that she said, â€˜Hopeâ€™. It couldn’t have been more perfect! This is what it is all about. One life at a time. Taking the time to know each life that comes through our doors. Where each mommy is not just a number or a stat or another mom in labor but each life is valuable, unique, with her own story, her own heartache, her own joys, her own future and we get the privilege of investing in her and her baby. These are the mommies and babies that may go through life “unseen” but now someone sees them, someone invested in them and today they have a hope and future. Thank you for being a part of changing lives with us. We are truly grateful that through your support we have the opportunity to give Hope to these precious lives that may otherwise would have gone “unseen”. Thank you!