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Have you ever felt forgotten? Has the overwhelm of a crisis left you so depressed and disillusioned that it was hard to breathe?
Do you ever have that longing to have someone scoop you up, broken heart included, and reassure you that you matter – that you are worth it?
I know I have. And I’d guess many of you have, too.
She is forgotten.
But imagine what it would be like to grow up in the largest slum in the world; especially as a girl.
Envision a life that doesn’t extend more than a few miles beyond the little tin hut you call home; the one infested with rats and bugs, with sewage water flowing through every time it rains.
You have several siblings. Your father may be present, but there’s a good chance he’s not. You watch your mother, worn and worried, do everything she can to put food on the table; skipped meals are the norm.
Most Western girls grow up with grand dreams for their life. But in the slums, you know it will be very difficult to secure a dignified job that pays a fair wage.
If there’s barely enough money for food, then there’s nothing leftover for school fees. Besides, you’re just a girl; your education isn’t a priority.
Even if you are bold enough to dream, you know there’s very little hope of them ever coming to be.
From here, any number of tragedies could await you.
One sure way for a female to earn some money is through prostitution. This is no life for a young girl like yourself, but you may find yourself in that place.
Maybe your mother has broken down through desperation and is insisting you sell yourself for sex. But perhaps your own sense of guilt and responsibility has left you with no other option.
A girl might be spared the sentence of being trafficked for sex, but there are other threats than can await her.
The slums are a very dangerous place. Therefore, forcible rape is very common.
Abused, exploited, trafficked, raped – now pregnant.
Do you feel forgotten yet? Do you in anyway feel loved?
She is loved.
This describes the life of too many a girl in Kenya.
13,000 Kenyan girls have been kicked out of school for being pregnant (Centre for Reproductive Rights).
25% of pregnant girls women in Kenya are HIV positive (ObGyn in Kenya).
Every 30 minutes, a woman is raped in Kenya (Nairobi Women’s Hospital)
Mothers often force their daughters into trading sex for food in the slums (CNN)
Where is the hope, the mercy or the justice for these girls?
Even if the culture has marginalized them, or the society has oppressed them, or the rest of us in the free and prosperous world have forgotten them, God has remembered them.
At every turn, I only saw hopelessness. I wanted to shut it all out. I was so angry and silently accused God. Where are You? These are Your people; You created them. How can You allow so much suffering?
For a moment, time stood still. I stopped and closed my eyes. I saw God’s finger pointed at my chest as He asked my spirit the same question: “Kristen, how can you allow this?”
In that exact moment, I knew my life would never be the same.“Rhinestone Jesus” by Kristen Welch
Mercy House Global, founded by Kristen, is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.
In the last decade, they have established three maternity homes in Kenya. They have also rescued 54 pregnant girls between the ages of 12-16.
When each teen arrives “home,” she quickly learns that she is loved.
Through the program, the girls also receive proper medical care, healing support, resources to help them embrace motherhood, and a chance to complete their education, and yes, dream big dreams!
She is priceless.
God took one “yes,” and launched a movement to empower marginalized and oppressed women, which has spread around the world.
She is not only loved by God, she is priceless to Him.
He could have solved all of the problems with a wave of His righteous right hand, but instead, He has woven women, like you and me, into this miracle of redemption.
When you look into the darkness other people live in, and you allow it to recalibrate your perspective, it creates fertile ground for God to grow amazing fruit through your life.
I hope reading this has grounded your outlook a bit, and brought some new gratitude into your life. We all need this!
And so, I leaped at the chance to represent this organization as a Mercy House Ambassador one year ago.
My friend, it is truly our privilege to share what we’ve been given. As the hands and feet of Jesus, the ambassadors of His love and heart, we are called to show mercy and stand up for justice.
Today, I am humbly asking you to join the She Is Priceless campaign and help them raise the $70,000. That way, when the restrictions are lifted, their front-line team will be positioned to bring some precious girls home!