I was walking the halls of Casa Alianza, a Cross Catholic-sponsored shelter for teen moms in Nicaragua, when I heard a story that literally stopped me in my tracks. It involved a 14-year-old girl who knocked on the front door of the home, saying, “I am told I am pregnant. What does that mean?”
As shocking as this may sound, stories like this are all too common in a developing country like Nicaragua. The sad fact of life is that most Nicaraguan girls lack the education and social stability American girls are blessed with. This helps explain why the teen pregnancy rate in Nicaragua is the highest in the world, outside of Africa.
Thankfully, there are loving homes like Casa Alianza, where doctors and medical students volunteer their time to care for teen moms and their precious babies. I was particularly moved by the story of Adriana, 15, who was having a tough time recovering from a history of beatings and abuse. Thanks to the patience and expertise of the Casa Alianza staff, she found a new lease on life. She said, “I am so excited about the possibility of my baby daughter coming into the world. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms.” I was also uplifted by the words of Gabriela, 16, who said, “I believe my little girl is a gift from God and I have a wonderful future ahead of me. I want to give that future to my baby.”
These words were spoken by a girl who had been abandoned by her family and who had no education or job prospects. As I listened to Gabriela’s comment, it hit me. All things are possible with God. She is being healed through the love of Christ and now wants to share that profound love with her child.
It is a new beginning for Gabriela – and for her new family. And that is worth celebrating.
*Actual names mentioned in this blog have been changed to protect identities.