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A Child In Need Of Hope! Traci VanSumeren & Patricia Maier

Some time late in the night, two of the Real Life leaders were talking in the kitchen. They were a bit startled when out of the dark, a face appeared in the glass window. When they opened it, there was a young Swazi girl. She told them her name--Abigail, and expressed that she was looking for Bailey. Immediately, they realized this was the girl that Bailey had told the team about just a few days earlier. Bailey wore the glow of new friendship, and spoke passionately about this young acquaintance she had met and poured her heart into at one of the Care Points.
Though the hour was late, they welcomed her into the house, and went to find Bailey, knowing there was more going on than just a casual visit. As it turns out, Abigail's step-mother had kicked her out of her house that night. Her dad was gone--at the clinic for some health concerns of his own. She walked several miles, barefoot, and under the black sky--no streets lights to be found--in order to get to the team house. Bailey was comforted to know she thought of her as a safe haven, but had no idea what to do. Abigail is only fourteen and is seven months pregnant--raped by her uncle.
Bailey fixed some food for Abigail and kept her company in the kitchen, while the leaders tried to discern what to do. The Pastor's phone was switched off, so they had no choice but to walk over to his house. They were grateful that they could see some of his lights were still on, but though the walk was brief, the air was cold and the path was dark. There was also the eerie thought of the black mamba lurking nearby--seen as recently as the day before. How did Abigail make that walk barefoot; in the dark without a flashlight; and alone? It must have taken her almost an hour from where she lived.
Abigail speaks English incredibly well, and especially for not having finished school. She spoke with restraint, though, clearly masking the years of hurt and anger just below the surface. A hateful and neglectful step-mother, her real mother deceased years before, an abusive uncle, an ill father, and an entire culture willing to look the other way while her life comes crashing down. Where is God in this? How do you convey to her that He has been there all along? What words will restore her hope? What conversation will bring her spirit back to life?
After Abigail finished eating, she, Bailey, and the Pastor sat down to discuss the situation and come up with a plan of action. A few minutes later, they concluded that Abigail would stay with the Pastor's family for the night, and they would move forward the following day. How frightening it must have been for Abigail to leave her homestead and her community that night, uncertain of what her appearance at the team house would mean; unsure of what would happen to her and her unborn baby as a result. This is unparalleled hopelessness; the desperation of a child coupled with the burden of an adult.
Matthew 5 calls us to be the light of the world. Without even realizing it, Bailey had shone that light for Abigail. The lights of the team house were visible in the dark of the night, but it was the light in Bailey's compassion, love, and joy that drew Abigail here.

What is your fourteen-year-old doing? No, I'm not on andsc_4014 anti-drug campaign, but I ask that question in light of how our fourteen-year-old friend, Abigail, spent her afternoon. The uncle that raped her is currently in jail for the offense, which alleviates only some of the stress of the situation.
Abigail has not gone to the clinic since she first found out she was pregnant, and she is more than seven months along. Given the stage of her pregnancy, her age, and the circumstances surrounding the conception, she would not be able to go to the clinic without receiving the third degree. So, Pastor Gift suggested we take her to the  police station, and partner her with a social worker in order to get a waiver explaining there were special circumstances, and the police are already involved.
Unfortunately, the social worker was in another town tending to some of their cases. We sat there for close to an hour before our efforts were confirmed to be futile. Her case is already being handled by another social worker, so they were not allowed to get involved. The officer suggested we go to the clinic anyway, and just explain that we had just come from the police office.
So off we went to the Lubuli Clinic--the same clinic we took baby Moses to back in February '08. Again, we hit a wall. The nurses said she was beyond the point of receiving any aid from a clinic, and would need to go to a hospital for scans. The problem today was that the nearest hospital with a scan machine is nearly an hour away. It was already too late in the afternoon to be able to go.
Additionally, the nurse said they have her HIV results, but she is not interested in seeing them. For many Swazis, the term "ignorance is bliss" seems the best approach when dealing with HIV testing. With Abigail pregnant as young as she is, there are so many variables regarding her future. Many girls in her situation choose to forfeit an honorable, yet difficult life after the birth, and instead, pursue prostitution as a means of survival. With HIV issues, many young girls are also high suicide risks. The decision to find out her status has to be completely up to her, and it is very dangerous to force her one way or another.
The risks of not knowing clearly out-weigh, in our western thinking, but that is not how many Swazis perceive it. For them, enlightenment with a positive status, is basically a death sentence--they feel like there is no hope. Without knowing, though, they can carry on as if they are fine--again, ignorance is bliss. What many of them don't realize, is that with knowledge can also come a better way of life. They are able to get the proper treatment earlier on, and possibly prolong a healthier way of life.

End of Traci’s Blog

In Swaziland many young women are forced into Prostitution because of no skills, or hope for a better life for themselves or their child.  Their life becomes one of survival, and leads into some of the most deplorable situations you and I can mother_and_sonever imagine.

Please join with me in helping Abigail.  Who is a victim in events beyond her control.  In helping Abigail and her unborn baby we stand in the gap for young girls like her to give them hope and a chance at a better life.

For only God knows that in helping Abigail could be the catalyst God would use to help more young girls like her. In a major change against child abuse issues in Swaziland.  When God begins to reverse what the enemy  meant for evil to Good.  Something I am claiming for Abigail and her baby, and pray that you stand with me for them and the many like them in Swaziland. 

If you care to help then click on the link below and in the note box post “For Abigail”

To Help Abigail

Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

(Article taken from Traci VanSumeren’s blog with ending note from Patricia Maier.)