Tears welled in her eyes as she sat and began to speak. Slowly, the story started unfolding as the pain and difficulties of the past came spilling forth. She sat on my bed and narrated how she had gotten here…here: to this place of 7 months pregnant.
Abandoned by her “husband".
And left with nothing.
This place in life is where she walked into my living from. And sat to tell me how much she needed help. How sorry she was. How desperate she was to save her baby and her own life now. The story goes something like this:
“My name is Nakato Ruth and I am 15 years old. I lost both of my parents from HIV when I was 6 years old. I was left with my grandmother who helped raise and support me in everything from that time up until now. She tried to pay for school fees for me at a village school but she also had very little help and support for herself and struggled to get enough for us to live on. While growing up, I used to do a lot of farm work as that was the only way for us to survive. I used to dig from morning until evening in the gardens, then come home late and cook. Sometimes it would rain on me while in the garden and the next morning I would be so sick. I used to do all of my housework early in the morning before we headed to the garden. We used to clean the house and then fetch the water from 2 miles away from my house. We used to take the animals to the grazing pasture. I would feed the animals and try to make sure that they lived so that we could have something to sell. I remember going days without food. I could starve because we had nothing. We had very little food.
My house would leak when it would rain all night. Especially where I used to put my head. I had no bed and mattress so I would sleep on the hard ground. And sometimes the water would come like a river through our mud house. we were struggling. I felt like a nobody. I would cry day and night not knowing what my future would be. I felt like I had no use in the world. I had no one to run to; no one to talk to. I used to grow coffee beans to sell to get school fees and some education. Life was getting harder and harder. My grandmother was growing older and older and I knew she was struggling to support me and take care of me. So, one day I fell in love with a guy who promised to support me and take care of me if I loved him.
Because of lack of money and I loved this guy, my grandmother had to give me away to a guy because of the dowry that would help my grandmother and also me survive. We were struggling and we thought that the best way for me to be taken care of was for me to marry. So, I went to live with this guy and I got pregnant soon after. When he found out that I was pregnant, he got scared. He ran away from the village and left me for dead because he was not ready to support me and the baby. And he had no job and had just been struggling to find odd jobs to do to earn a little to live on.
But after he ran away, I felt so lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought about committing suicide and saving both myself and the baby from suffering in this world. I could at least starve, but making a baby starve is horrible. I was so scared and alone. I didn’t know what to do, so I just considered all options. I also thought about aborting 2 times, but people around me said no and encouraged me not to abort or commit suicide. They said that I would make it somehow. That God would help me somehow. So I decided to keep the pregnancy. I was so scared about how I was going to live with the pregnancy though and whether I would really make it. Where would I get food from? How would I get medical help? Where would I get the medical supplies for the birth and help afterwards with the baby now that the boy was gone and my grandmother had no support?
As I was still home, my aunt came and told me about Kupendwa. And what they do to support girls in my kind of situation. I’m so thankful that Kupendwa decided to take me in and welcome me into their hearts and lives. I now have some hope for me and my baby. I am doing so well – they take such good care of me and make sure that I am ok. I am also receiving education and vocational skills training that I never even dreamed I would be able to have. They are so excited about the baby and me and our lives and all that the Lord has in store for us – and I am learning to believe that way too. I am so thankful that God brought me here and I praise His name for still caring about me. I am learning more and more about God’s love and purpose for my life while being here and I am so much more hopeful for my life. May God bless Mommy Amy, Auntie Betty, and Kupendwa.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now she is at THIS place. This place of peace and home. This place of shelter and food. This place of hope and faith. This place of redemption and restoration. This place of smiling – yes, smiling. This place of learning and education. This place of future and belief. This place of discipline and authority. This place of teenage motherhood and sacrifice. This place of pictures of swollen bellies and teasing about pregnancy pain and tiredness. This place of teenage moms and craziness.
This place of love and lots of it.
This place. This place is where she walks from into my living room now. And sits and smiles that shy smile that I still have to coax sometimes. This place of sharing her situation and problems with others who have been there, done that, gone through it – and are looking at her from the other side.
Is where Jesus has brought her. And he is not even going to leave her here. He is going to take her further. Further into His likeness and glory and future and hope. Further with her baby. And further with Him.
Please keep Ruth in your prayers. If you are interested in helping Ruth and her unborn child, you can do so here through our Maternity Home program. There are options for one time or sponsorship giving, but anything will go so far in helping this mother continue to live, learn, and grow.
May God bless you, and our sweet precious Ruth.