(Today’s #10outof10 post is from Emily Ryan, one of our staff serving the children in Uganda.)
One of the very sad realities at many of the prisons where Sixty Feet works is the percentage of children who are sexually active. What this means, for us, is that we encounter teenage girls who are pregnant. Child-mothers are one of the categories of critically vulnerable children. These girls are 14, 15, or 16 years old, living in a prison cell, and pregnant.
Sixty Feet lives every part of its mission to bring “immediate relief” and “long-term restoration” for these child-mothers. Our care starts upon learning that they are pregnant. We immediately work with the medical team to supplement their diet with nutritional food. We also take the girls to the hospital for check-ups to ensure both their health and the babys’ health. At the same time, our justice team works to get the girls out of prison on bail. Once the girl can legally leave the prison, we then work to identify crisis pregnancy centers, where they girls receive counseling and health care services, and have a safe place to live. At this point, Sixty Feet continues to aid in their girls resettlement process by identifying relatives and working to restore the girl to her family and community.
When working with Child Mothers, Sixty Feet enacts all parts of our ministry to bring justice, love, and restoration. One of the girls who received such counsel was Diana. Sixty Feet was able to sponsor her in school until she received permission to leave M1 and go to Wakisa Crisis Pregnancy Center. There, Sixty Feet and Wakisa worked together to bring the mother and daughter together to complete family counseling. During this time, Diana was able to graduate primary school under Sixty Feet’s sponsorship program. Diana is now living at Wakisa, waiting to give birth.
However, her story is not finished. Through family counseling, her mother desires for Diana to come home and live with her. However, the mom’s house is tiny…there is not room for a baby. The mom lives day-to-day and cannot imagine feeding two more children. Our team is working to find more ways to help Diana and her family. Our work is not yet done. We will not abandon Diana or her new family. We will not leave them until we see completion for the work the Lord has called us to.
Our work here is messy; there are rarely any easy answers. The problems of poverty and vulnerability run deep. But the Lord has called us to this place, so we respond by walking faithfully in this work…in the gaps, in the messy places, in the hard, and in the places where we have no idea what to do next. And He shows Himself faithful and strong, so we trust and continue in the works He has called us to. Will you join us in working for justice, hope, and redemption in these critically vulnerable children’s lives?
UPDATE: Diana gave birth to a precious baby boy! Please continue to pray with us that God guides and directs them and they get the support they need.