Last week I sent out an email to all of the missionary women that attended our “Night of Encouragement” dinners in September. I wanted to check back with them to see how they’ve used their mama kits for ministry and see who needed more of them. I received several wonderful emails back expressing gratitude. The women say they are great tools for ministry and are really making a difference in the lives of the pregnant women they know. Several of the missionaries are starting new health clinics or health education programs next year. We are very excited to get to partner with them in their work. The need for good, quality care and pre-natal education is staggering.
But I received back one email that sort of stopped me in my tracks. Here is part of that email:
“Thank you so much for the Mama kits that you gave us. We are working in the village of N– doing teacher training, community development, and agriculture. We recently started a woman’s group. We had a ladies’ tea and 20 women came and they expressed an interested in forming a ladies group to do skills training, Bible Study and English learning. We started a beading group, teaching the women to make bracelets and necklaces that we are going to take home and sell to raise money for our project. Mary is 8 months pregnant and is a part of our group. The Lord spoke to my heart that we were to give her a Mama kit. After bead group we asked if we could follow her home and told her we had a gift for her. “
The missionaries walked home with Mary and learned that she is 21 years old and this is her 3rd pregnancy. She was tricked into becoming the 2nd wife of an abusive man who practices witchcraft. She has a three year old son. She lost her younger baby from a complicated delivery. She had to have c-sections previously, which were done vertically and she has a lot of scar tissue. She has suffered much in her young life.
At 8 months pregnant Mary had not received any prenatal care. The family has no money. When the missionary visited they only had pumpkin flowers to eat for dinner. The missionary got permission from Mary’s family to take her back to town and to a doctor.
The doctor diagnosed her with preeclampsia, excess aminotic fluid, and the baby is not growing properly. She is now in the care of the missionaries. They are doing all they can to keep her and this unborn baby boy well. They both are at great risk.
As somone who has had two c-sections with complications, including excess scar tissue, this breaks my heart. I cannot imagine what it is like to go through these things with no money, no prenatal care, and suffering from malnutrition and abuse.
The missionary ended her note with this:
“ALL of this to say that, if we had not gone over there to give her a Mama Kit I am sure they both would have died at home in the village. There was no way for us to know all this without the “help” of a Mama Kit. Thank you for being a part of this story! We are praying that God has great plans for Mary and her little boy.”
While it is so nice to hear her gratitude that is not why we do what we do. This missionary did not write asking for my continued help, she asked me to pray. I would like you to join me in praying for Mary.
Mary is a young mother. She is not well-known. She is from a family of very little means. She is someone overlooked by most of the world. She reminds me of another Mary we talk a lot about this time of year. No, she does not carry the Christ child, but she is a precious child of God. She deserves a chance at life.
I ask you… as mamas, as fathers, as those who’ve endured c-sections or preeclampsia, as those who cannot fathom the life Mary lives… to pray.
God led these missionary women to this woman, so she could get care and so we could continue to help. A regular mama kit is not going to be enough for this woman. I hope we can help cover the costs of Mary’s care. I will let you know more about that as I get the information. But for now I ask you to sincerely pray for her and those caring for her.
Update Tuesday, Dec. 18th. Mary will check in to the hospital tomorrow and have her c-section on Thursday. Her blood pressure is still high, but remaining steady Pray for her safety and that of her baby.