Wednesday, August 18, 2010

15 going on... pregnant.

Just as the day was winding to an end, I was called in by Margaret to counsel a young girl who was crying inconsolably. She was crying so hard, I couldn’t tell what was wrong. So I looked at her file. She was pregnant.

I brought her to a quiet place and asked her a bit more about it. Poor Natali (my translator) acted like he didn’t know what to do. Apparently, a crying woman is just as perplexing to Dinka men as they are to men back in the States.

It took a while but eventually she started opening up. She was 15 years old. Her father was dead. Her mother lived far away and her brother took care of her. She was beside herself with fear thinking what he would do to her when he found out. The father of the child would probably marry her. But what upset her most was, she would have to drop out of school.

As I watched her shoulders heave and sigh with each new sob, I tried to imagine myself in her shoes. If I had gotten pregnant out of wedlock at 15, I would have thought my world had ended too. Perhaps it has. No doubt her world as she knows it is over. But a new world can begin.

I encouraged her to be truthful with her brother soon because she wouldn’t be able to hide the belly for long. I also told her to return for prenatal care next month so we can help her have the best pregnancy possible. Then I prayed for her.

I prayed for the fear and dread she felt at the possible beating she might receive. I prayed for the father of the child to be honorable and marry her. I prayed that no harm would come to her or her baby and reminded her that God has a purpose for each and every life-- even unexpected ones.

Please join me in prayer. Her name is Veronica.