Imagine just for a moment

 Imagine just for a moment that you are a young twenty five year old woman, living in a place that the world would consider 'unlivable'. A place ridden with raw sewage and infectious disease around every corner. A place where hearing the word positive, is dreaded, because in Korah it is usually preceded by the word tested and followed by the word Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Leprosy or HIV/Aids. As in tested positive for Tuberculosis.  A place where the absence of a mourning tent in your community is surprising, and attending funerals for loved ones is a regular occurrence. Just as we in America go to the grocery store like clockwork, Korah residents can count on attending funerals the same way. Imagine just for a moment, no running water, no refrigerator, no flushing toilet, or even a toilet for that matter. No pantry stocked full of basic cooking staples. No heat, no shingles on your roof to keep the rain out, no access to a washer or dryer, not a band-aid, tylenol, cold medicine or antacid in sight. 

Imagine just for a moment you are the mother to a beautiful 5 year old daughter and find yourself pregnant as a result of what we call 'date rape' in America. You daily take your 5 year old to the trash dump, to scavenge for food, and items that you can recycle. Your mother lives with you, and this is who taught you how to sustain yourself off the local trash dump. Your home consists of an 8x12 foot room, with two straw beds, which houses 2 adults and 3 small children, which by Korah standards is spacious. 

Imagine just for a moment that you give birth unexpectedly to twins during a traumatic pre-mature birth. One girl, one boy. They are very small. Very, very small. Your milk never comes in and your only choice is to give them raw cows milk. The babies are unable to maintain their body temperature. You have nothing to clothe them in, and no diapers. You lay them on your bed, and eventually the bed is soaked in urine, and the babies loose more body heat. They look sick, you are unsure what to do. You have no access to medical care. You are scared. You wait and watch, wondering what will become of your babies. 

Imagine just for a moment, that after meeting an American, and spending 2 weeks with her going to countless hospitals and seeing doctors and nurses, and having several tests done on your boy baby, without really knowing why, one day you are told why all the tests have been done. While sitting in your home with your mother, the american, an ethiopian friend and a translator....you listen intently and hear the news no mother ever wants to hear..... Your little boy is very sick, the doctors here have said that there is nothing they can do for him. His chances for survival are not good. He needs an operation. He needs to go to America for the operation. There are two choices, and as his mom, it is up to you to decide. Choice one is to have no operation, and his life expectancy will be short. Choice two is to allow your 3 month old baby to travel with the American to America for a surgery. This surgery offers no guarantees, and includes risks, but if successful will give your baby boy a hope and a future. Hard, heartbreaking news. News that opens a floodgate of tears by everyone in the room. Prayers are said, and the room cries out to God on behalf of the tiny boy. Hugs are shared, a decision in the making. A decision that only this young 25 year old women could make. It is hers alone. 

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; 
be courageous; be strong
1 Corinthians 16:13






courage.... the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear; bravery.


Meet Shebre Abebaw Mangsta... this is her story.... she is the most courageous, selfless, strongest young woman I know. She is a good mom. She deeply loves her children. I am blessed to have her in my life. She reminds me daily to take up my cross and follow Him. I am honored that Shebre would entrust to me a priceless irreplaceable treasure. Her precious son, Juddah.

These pictures were taken on the day that Juddah and Shebre said goodbye to each other. The day that Juddah would embark on a journey that would not include his mom. A day that Shebre was full of courage and hopeful that her son would be returned to her with a new hope, and a bright future. 







8 comments:

Jamie said...

Thank-you so much for sharing... This is beautiful on so many levels of beautiful...
Love and Blessings,
j
www.beneaththeacaciatree.com

Jim and April said...

those babies are SOOO precious and beautiful...has he had his surgery yet? what a great mom they have, breaks my heart just imaging what she has to go through!

Kat said...

Tears in my eyes....

jody said...

love it. absolutley love it. so glad y'all are here, living in my basement ;)

ps-word verification for this comment is cureewe, as in CURE YOU, and the ewe is interesting given my mamasheep status...coincidence? i think not. ;)

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing! Praying with my whole heart for momma and baby Juddah! Blessings
Andrea

Carla said...

Such a beautiful post. I am praying for Shebre and all three of her babies, as well as everyone at P61.

Tammy said...

Oh Cherrie, she IS so beautiful... and so are those babies! Thank you for being His hands and feet and fighting for this precious child of God!!!

Teresa said...

This is just wonderful...I know God has amazing things in store for these babies and their Momma