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Monday, November 30, 2009

Return to Bethel Maternity Home

It is always a difficult experience when a young girl finds herself pregnant with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

You may recall our dear friend Veronica who is the director of the Comforter Pregnancy Center in Kampala, Uganda.   Girls go there to find out if they're pregnant, learn skills that will help them take care of their babies and also learn about the great love Jesus has for them and their babies.

Joy Luswa was on the board of regents for the Comforter Pregnancy Center.....through her many conversations with Veronica and seeing how desperate the girls were not only for information and training, but for a place to live, she felt God's calling to have a place, a home where the girls could live.   Many of the girls were turned away from their homes and families.  Their lives could even be in danger.

Return to Bethel Maternity Home was born.  It is a home, something most of these girls had to leave behind, a safe place for girls who are pregnant to come and live.  They receive a safe shelter, food and medical support while in the home.  There, they are also taught about the Lord. 

Last January, one of the girls living at Return to Bethel was due to have her baby any time. She suddenly stopped feeling her baby move.  This 14 year old girl waited until the next day to tell anyone.  Joy quickly took her to the hospital and several tests were done in this quite primitive hospital.  The baby had died......labor was induced and two days later this little 14 year old gave birth to a dead baby girl.

The father of the baby is Muslim and because they believe in burial the day of death.....and because in the Ugandan culture the father has ownership of the baby, the father of this little baby girl came, took her body from the hospital to have her buried.  The mother did not get to attend the funeral as she was still recovering in the hospital.

The middle girl in the picture below is that 14 year old girl.

Notice the mosquito nets on the beds.  They need those to protect them from malaria.

Below is Joy Luswa.  She is sitting in the kitchen of the home.  She cares deeply about the needs of these girls.  Many of these girls come from villages quite a distance away, some because they have been sent away from home due to the pregnancy, some because their boyfriends have rejected them because they became pregnant and some because they and their families are so poor they lack the basic resources to care for a pregnant girl.

One girl who came to Return to Bethel was a victim of rape.  Hopeless, they come.  Hope, they receive. Joy gives of her own resources, which are limited, to care for these girls.  She is looking for others who share her love for the unborn and these young mothers to help in this ministry.

Just like girls you see here in our own country who face unwanted pregnancy, these girls are scared and helpless.  They need this safe place to live and to learn how to give their babies the basics of life.  They learn how to depend on Jesus.

Lauren Walker, an American, is moving to Uganda with a one and a half to two year commitment as our Ministry Liaison/Client Advocate in Education. Lauren will be working with us in our child sponsorships, in homeschooling for pregnant teens, English as a second language for women who want/need to improve skills, work with area Ugandan schools in a teaching and advocacy capacity, as well as other projects related to Mercy Uganda.  Lauren is honored to be a part of this exciting new ministry.  She graduated from Florida State University in 2007 with a B.A. in Spanish.  She spent a year working at a maternity home in Florida as resident staff and education coordinator.Mercy Uganda is privileged to have Lauren's commitment to the Lord's work through Mercy Uganda.  She is a blessing. 

Don't forget to go over to the website and check out what's going on with Mercy Uganda and see children who need sponsors.  There are so many ways to help us, but more than anything, we need your prayers.

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