I am seven months pregnant and live in Fortaleza, a state where there have been confirmed cases of microcephaly-related Zika virus, and where babies have died as a consequence of it. When I watch TV, I am willing to lock myself at home and not leave until the time of delivery. But I cannot do this; I need to be realistic and face the problem.Continue Reading ›
Three women from three vastly different countries and cultures reveal their shared fears and hopes of motherhood as well as the impact of the Child Survival Program.Continue Reading ›
Names are important. They have power. They define us. They’re more than a bunch of letters grouped together to sound pleasant to the ear. Names are more than a convenience allowing us to talk to each other. Names are a gift from God. They contain His power. They define things. They define us.
There are 2 billion moms in the world. How can we help mothers around the world who live in extreme poverty?
Teens at the Calvary Foursquare Student Center are grateful for their center and for the staff’s care. Especially since they live in rough communities where teen pregnancy, violent gangs and drug abuse are rampant.
Our human thoughts can overshadow our faith, but that’s when we have to keep in mind that, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Now that the Child Survival Program is a reality in Mexico, things have started to change. Today, Mexico rejoices to have this program, but everyone is also very aware of the difficult situations mothers and young children face as they struggle to survive.
In the countryside of Bolivia, it’s normal to have your baby at home with the help of relatives or neighbors, rather than going to a hospital. But being only 6 months pregnant, 14-year old Marta wasn’t prepared. She had gone to the hut with her two younger brothers to put her family’s animals away, when she went into labor. Her two little brothers didn’t know how to help. They were scared and cried. Marta had her baby alone in a hut.
Being a mother takes courage. Being an expectant mother in desperate poverty takes courage and so much more.
Each year more than 500,000 mothers die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications, most of which are preventable. The babies who survive while their mothers die are much more likely to die in their first year of life.
There’s a journal sitting on the table next to my bed. There’s also one sitting on the table next to the rocking chair in Edison’s room. I have one to write my thoughts and feelings through my pregnancy and the other to journal through the first few months and years of Edison’s life.
Would you be surprised if I told you they were both empty?
Maybe someday I’ll regret not writing more during my pregnancy and this time as a new mom, but right now all the inspiring thoughts I can get out of my pen go in Edison’s baby book . . . and most of the rest of my thoughts, before he was born, weren’t that inspiring.
For some reason I just can’t write about how awful I felt trying to sleep every night in my bed with my every craving available in my refrigerator downstairs, or at the very least, at the neighborhood grocery store. I seriously don’t even want to try to remember the number of nights I tried to sleep in a sitting-up position in a soft comfy chair because my nose was so stuffed up I couldn’t breathe — and I didn’t even have a cold. As much as I want to complain, and probably did at the time, I know I really had it easy.
And the stuff I want to remember . . . like how cool it was to feel him kicking around inside me and how it is just a little freaky and amazing that God can even do such a miracle in me . . . would be really hard to “get” from words on a page. Right now, I remember these things every time I look at my son’s face and see that he is growing right before my eyes.
So, who am I to regret not doing something so indulgent as writing all this stuff down when most of the new mothers around the world can’t even read, let alone write their own name? Many of these women wouldn’t even believe that their words counted or their thoughts mattered. And I wonder, is it possible to raise a child with self esteem if you don’t have it yourself?
And really, how am I so different from them anyway? Don’t all mothers everywhere want the same things for their children? I still remember the first time Edison smiled at me on purpose. Now I even get to hear him laugh. Can you imagine not hearing your child laugh?
Child Survival Program multiplies the amazing sound of laugher around the world. It is the sound of health, it is the sound of life, it is the sound of Love . . . the kind Jesus was known for.