With great hopes, Alejandra and her partner were expecting a baby. However, they lived in poverty, and at the young age of 18, Alejandra didn’t have knowledge of how to take care of the baby and herself. Her baby died when she was one month pregnant. Alejandra was heartbroken and emotionally discouraged. When she learned she was expecting again, she feared losing the new baby too. Her mother insisted that Alejandra go to Luz the Vida (Light of Life) Presbyterian Church, located in the high plateaus of Bolivia. Alejandra had the feeling that it was just going to be a waste of time. Still, she and her baby were registered in Compassion’s Survival initiative.
“I entered because I was told I was going to receive medical support,” says Alejandra honestly, recalling how she was still feeling even after several years had passed by since her miscarriage.
“When I lost my baby, I felt bad. I cried every day. I was still afraid to lose my other baby; I was disheartened. But once I started going to the church, the fear left because I started to trust the Lord,” she says.
Alejandra realized that what she was receiving through the program wasn’t only medical attention, but holistic support. She experienced changes after just a short amount of time. “It wasn’t as I thought; it was different. The implementer told me I shouldn’t be afraid, that I should pray every day and every night for my baby, so she could be healthy. I obeyed her, so I was always praying. They also helped me with provisions so I could eat healthier. They used to say, ‘You have to eat these fruits, vegetables, cereals, quinoa and soy so your baby can be stronger,’” says Alejandra.
During her previous pregnancy, Alejandra remembers that she hardly ate; she didn’t even have a stove on which to cook. Her husband and she only had one bed that her mom had lent them. “My mom didn’t know about having a healthy pregnancy either. She is from the countryside, so there they don’t even know how to listen to their babies. They don’t go to the doctor. But at the project it was different; they were my main help,” says Alejandra.
Alejandra is now 24 years old. She had an illusion that was shattered, but now she is enjoying what she describes as “her blessing,” her 8-month-old baby Lizbeth. Not only does she look happy, it’s evident that Alejandra is a loving and dedicated mother. She applies every new thing she learns, because she knows it’s good. She also continues with a nutritious diet for both of them. “I still eat fruit and vegetables, and at the project, they continue giving me milk, cereals, wheat, quinoa and everything. With the project’s support I don’t lack anything. That helps me very much,” she affirms.
Alejandra feels grateful to the Lord for taking care of her pregnancy and for helping her find the Compassion program. “The implementers encourage me and advise me on what to do with the baby. Even when I was going to give birth, they told me not to yell at my husband because of the pain,” she mentions with a smile on her face.
Alejandra sees the difference between her baby and other babies the same age, thanks to the stimulation she learned to work with Lizbeth since she was in her stomach. “In the program, I learned many things for my baby. They taught me how to stimulate my baby, what to do and what not to do. My baby is brighter; she learns things faster. If I had not been in the program, everything would have been different. Twice a year I have medical checkups, but also every month they checked that I went to my medical controls. This time, I never skipped a checkup; I went every month,” Alejandra says proudly. She also mentions that this time she was able to do things correctly.
When the Survival implementer visits her home, she also gets to learn about the Bible and other activities with the baby. For example, Lizbeth is now being taught how to crawl. Alejandra was also taught to prepare a “special corner” for Lizbeth, where she can keep her toys and know that she has a special place in the house. Alejandra dreams of one day having her own house with a bigger space for her baby, but she also has many other special dreams for her.
“My dreams for her are that she will follow the Lord, worship Him, and serve Him. I want her to always go to church. I also want her to be a professional and not suffer like I suffered. I feel happy; the program helps us. It is good for us,” states Alejandra.
With the confidence of a better future for her and her baby, Alejandra is a spiritually and emotionally healed mom who was able to see her dream granted by having a healthy baby.