I'd like to introduce you to April, I barely know her enough to introduce you but I really want my prayer warriors to include this woman in their pleas to the Savior. April is a woman who prostitutes herself on our street. She has very poor hygiene and at times can go days in the same clothes, which nowadays constitutes of an over-sized men's t-shirt and leggings. She walks around the area from 6 in the morning till evening, high on crack at times and other times just miserable but always on the lookout for the next vehicle to flag her down. And she's 6-7 months pregnant.
When we first heard of April it was through another woman of the street who have confessed to yelling at her and asking her why she is doing crack and hurting her baby when this other couple (us) wanted their baby but couldn't have him. I was amazed that her street sisters were confronting her and hopefully defending this child who can't defend himself. However, Dan and I want to get to know and minister to all the women in this area and she is one that God had really laid on my heart, especially because I know what it's like to be pregnant and she knows that. A point of connection and similarity. That's important in reaching these women, because to them they are nothing like us… and whereas at first glance yes we live very different lives but inwardly our souls were just as corrupt and in need of a Savior as theirs currently is. Except by grace, there go I.
I didn't want April to think that I judged her because she has a baby and I don't. I think babies are a gift and hopefully this gift can be what forces her off the street and teaches her to think of someone else besides herself and her addictions. I couldn't get her off my mind so I wrote her a letter sharing my heart with her and the joys that motherhood brings. I gave it to her the first of the week. Made her a sack lunch on Monday and got to talk with her and asked her to come over and pick out some things that I had ready for Asher (diapers, wipes, lotions/etc…) On Tuesday, she came over and looked at it (mostly asking, what's this? and what's this for?) and said "I guess I'll need it all since I don't have anything" She doesn't have a place to put anything so i told her that we'd keep it here and when she needs it to come over and get it.
So, you can see I've just begun to start this reaching out to her. I can tell she's not very trusting and for many reasons, we can't really trust her right now, so it's challenging, but worth taking the time in the next few months to love on her and show her we care. I wish she wasn't spending herself on drugs and sex. And I can't imagine being that far along in a pregnancy and having such a hard life. Above all I want her eyes to be opened to Christ's love and a baby can be a wonderful display of that grace. And I want her to live for something more and raise this child and be his mommy. (she told me it's a boy and that she's nicknamed him "tigger") But if her heart remains stone and she can't give up crack or the street I do want to possibly be an advocate for this child. (I feel like that too is part of being pro-life) I don't want this child taken away from her if at all possible, however, I will fight for the protection and health of that little one if his mom will not fight for it. This post was on Desiring God's blog yesterday and really reminds us of all that a new baby can bring in a tough unwelcome situation
Please pray for her and her baby. Pray for me, that I will have wisdom in knowing how and when to reach her and that I'll know the right things to say. I feel like there is an urgency in getting to know her and in speaking truth to her and I want to balance that with knowing that God is the only one who can change her heart…I can't no matter how much I want to. Many times my friends from TCC that live on this street have reached out to the people around us. And some times they just need a friend and possibly a meal as my neighbor Ben mentions here, and a lot of times they just want money for the next fix. Every time though they teach us something about ourselves and about our Savior. Lord save these women and men here on Seawell Ave. We can't change their hearts but you can. Empower us to love them and to selflessly serve them.