My heart still cries every time I look at my children. But today I know that despite all my worries God is taking care of me. My name is Maria, I’m 24 years old and I have two children. During my first pregnancy I lived with my partner and although I didn’t know much about baby’s care, I had my mother’s support in all I needed. When my daughter was born, I named her Lara, and despite all the hardship we faced, I was happy to have a family.
When Lara was 4 I enrolled her at the Compassion project. Since Lara started going to the project she has changed a lot. Before, Lara was a quiet girl but now she tells me everything she’s learned when she comes home, mostly about the Bible. Sometimes she puts the toys on the floor as if they were students and pretends to be a teacher. She told me she wants to be a teacher when she grows up and it makes me really proud. Although she is only a child she also teaches me a lot. She always tells me stories of the Bible and all Jesus did for us on the cross. She always reminds me that God is in the Heaven looking at us. I just really understood this a few months ago.
In June 2017, my partner left me and abandoned our home. That day, my world became sadder because I saw my family collapse. One day I had family, and the other day I was alone. My husband left me a lot of expenses and no money. A few days after he left I found out I was pregnant again. When I told my partner I was pregnant, he didn’t care about me and moved to another state in Brazil. My world fell once more, because besides being alone I was pregnant and without support to raise two children.
My second pregnancy was very difficult because I felt desperate and alone, so over time I went into depression. I didn’t feel good about anything and I locked myself in the house. The only thing I could think was that everything I had was over and that life would get harder and harder with that child inside of me. Although having my mother around, I was already in my second pregnancy and I couldn’t depend on her for everything. She also had her own problems. So one day, the church project came into my life once again to help my family. When I was about four months pregnant I discovered that the Survival Program provided support for pregnant and single mothers just like me and I wanted to get involved. When I was hopeless, God provided the opportunity to participate in the Survival Program.
Since I started to be part of Survival, my life has changed. The church has helped me a lot in all the stages of pregnancy. I’m still not completely cured of depression, some days the memories of my old life come and I feel really sad. I know that if it weren’t for the Compassion project I’d be so much worse off. It’s great to know that someone cares about you. Everyone is always willing to help. They always come to visit, ask me how I feel, give me advice, teaches me about Jesus and encourage me to move on with God’s help. With them I learned many things about baby care that I didn’t know when my first child was born. In the project I was also able to learn how to embroider and make art with recycled materials.
Beyond all support they give me, I’m very grateful for everything they did for my son. I didn’t have money to buy anything. My family held a donation meeting, but I didn’t get much. We live with the help of the government’s support and my mother’s help. I always felt sad that I couldn’t give a better future for my son. But as always, I was worrying about things and God was already preparing everything for me. The project gave me a first born essential kit with all things my son needed: baby clothes, blankets, diapers, bath products and a baby bathtub. In February 2018, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy boy; his name is Gustavo.
I love to go to church and attend meetings with other mothers. Sometimes Lara asks about her father and kneels in prayer asking God to bring him back. That’s why Survival home visits are important as they help me grow spiritually and reinforce my relationship with my children. They make us feel important and loved and Lara understands that God is a father that never leaves us. I want to see my children growing up in the church and having a better future than mine. My dream is to build my own house, because here when it rains everything gets wet. The blessings I want today are to offer something better to my children. I know that slowly I will rebuild my life with the God’s help.
I’m thankful, I have hope, I have a new family in Christ and I know that I am not alone in this journey.