In the first blog I wrote briefly about the children who do not get to dream, they do not get to choose. When someone a little while ago said to us, Grace is about choice, because at Grace a mother gets to choose if she wants to keep her child. At first I didn’t like that analogy, because it almost sounded like a women’s free choice abortion campaign. But once I spent some time pondering this, I realised the freedom that choice really does bring. We really do take, a ‘simple’ thing like choice, for granted. When a lady comes to us with no home, thinking that she has no way to keep her baby, that there is no choice but to give that child up, but then is given another option where she is able to keep her child, that he/she can attend day care while she works, and not only that, get good nutrition, education, health care, that this ‘choice’ could really change their life. And not only that, the mother can choose to go to school too, that she can have training in skills and be taught how to be a good mother (many of these mothers were orphaned as children and have had no positive role models to learn from), then a whole new possible chance of a life is opened up to them. With this chance, they have choice, and choice brings freedom and power. And also importantly, it enables the mother to no longer be a victim of her own circumstances, she has the choice to step up and be all God has called her to be, she can find hope that when He promised in His word that He gives us a future and a hope, that that includes them, not just the lucky some of us. That we are all His children and loved equally by him. When God made Adam and Eve, he wanted them to freely serve Him, he gave them choice. That freedom of choice brought great consequence in the bad choices made, but God did not want a people that were not free to choose him, for there is no true gain in that.
Choice + hope = strength and freedom and empowerment
The lady in this photo, we will call her ‘Emmabet’, was brought to us by one of our social workers. She was found at 8months pregnant, wondering from store to store with 1 birr (less than 10c) looking to buy poison to end her life. She had been sleeping on the dirt ground outside some ones house, no shelter, no food, no work, nothing but the clothes on her back, no hope of a future for her child. When I first met ‘Emmabet’, her eyes held no joy, no hope. It was so sad. She was broken and had given up. Even when we welcomed her into Grace and offered her that hope, she took it but did not believe it until almost two weeks after her arrival (this is when the photo was taken). She has had much to come to terms with since arriving at Grace, including the fact of finding out she was HIV+, but she is loved, she is accepted and she belongs, for the first time in her life. She is a very proud mother of a 3month baby girl. Her eyes are full of hope, her heart full of joy, she has the freedom to choose to live, live in that hope that is offered to her, and be all God has intended her to be, for her and her daughter.