In the past few months I have had some really difficult phone conversations with birth family members in Ghana. Ones where I had to fight back the tears as I felt my heart sink and my jaw quiver. Conversations that left my heart broken, shattered. Left with the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Even now to think back my eyes instantly fill up.
I have seen poverty more than once in my life. In high school and college I went on multiple mission trips to Guatemala to work among those most in need. I lived in Ghana for two weeks as we finalized our sons adoptions. I have walked among the impoverished, seen it and touched it. Still I have never lived it.
I have never been left wondering when the next time I could feed my family, I have never been so hungry that I have tried to eat chalk or dirt in desperation to ease the pain. I have never wondered if I could afford to send my child to school. When I wake up in the morning I know that my family will be fed, clothed and provided for. I do not have to spend my entire day wondering how I can make it reality, rather I far too often complain about making dinner.
Not only do I just have clean water for drinking, washing and watering my flowers I also have hot water. We have sewage disposal and do not have to walk through waste and contamination causing us to be at risk for diseases. When one of my children are sick I can rely on modern medicine to help fight a bacteria.
I know that when I am pregnant I can go to a hospital equipped with well trained medical staff and interventions to safely deliver my baby. If a crisis arises during delivery or my baby comes prematurely I know that the advances in medicine that we take for granted will literally save my little one’s life. While in other parts of the world most women cannot afford to give birth in a hospital. In desperation many will lay on the ground in front of the hospital when they go into labor in hopes that if something goes wrong perhaps medical staff will bring them inside and care for them.
How can people who live in such moments of desperation have joy or hope. How can they have faith so strong when day in and day out they are met with such hardship. Will the cycle of poverty ever be broken. Why is it so easy for me to see poverty and then turn my eye and go back to my comfort of living.
How can a good God allow so many of his children to go hungry every single day. I struggle with the thought as I complain about my house being too small, the water not being the right temp or having to go grocery shopping. I am left without answers and my heart shaken as my own sons whisper prayers for their birth-families to have enough food today. Poverty is not foreign to them and no longer to me.
While we were in Ghana we were introduced to an amazing ministry and organization, really just one woman’s love and total self-sacrifice to care for those among her. The Fern House is a crisis pregnancy center and children’s home, which started with a woman caring for pregnant mothers by taking them into her home. Soon her selflessness flourished needing to move into a permanent facility allowing for more women. In addition they began to take in orphaned children in need of food and education.
The Fern House provides shelter, food and education to mother, babies and orphaned children. In addition it helps mothers learn how to care and provide for their babies. Most recent a young 15 year girl who has suffered years of abuse was brought to the Fern House. She is pregnant with her baby due in December. She came to the Fern House very malnourished and broken. She is being fed, loved, prayed over, and cared for. Her baby is growing and her joy is returning. The Fern House is in need of a sponsor for her delivery so she can safely have the baby at a hospital. If things go without complications the cost for a delivery is $300. In addition she also needs a monthly food sponsorship which is $40, which will continue to help her and her baby develop.
The Fern House also has several children in need of both food, $40 and education, $70 sponsorship. Please let me know if you or someone you know have interest in sponsorship. In addition to your monthly donation there are also opportunities throughout the year to send clothing, shoes, basic necessities to your sponsored child along with letters and pictures. You will receive pictures of your sponsored child with your care packages.
The Fern House and those who help run and setup sponsorship is a very grassroots organization, a lot of loving hearts just trying to feed God’s children. So there isn’t a fancy website or development team, just you and I striving to care for the least among us.
“Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” St. Teresa of Avila