Francisca and Francisca
Every bit of encouragement, every hug, and every smile at BethanyKids has the potential to save a life.
Francisca and Francisca share a bond. The older Francisca works as a student mentor at Joytown. She is a spiritual advisor and Spina bifida teacher. She was born with Spina bifida and suffered stigmatization until she had surgery at BethanyKids. One day as she went about her duties with the children at Joytown, a new parent approached her and said, “I know you.”
Francisca did not remember her, but the mother hugged her and started crying. When she gave birth eight years ago, her daughter had Spina bifida. She gave her the name Grace. As a single parent, still in college and with no income, the thought of bringing up a disabled child was too much to bear. She started contemplating killing the child then committing suicide, but then she met Francisca, who was volunteering with BethanyKids and encouraging parents.
After a lengthy chat with Francisca, mama Grace chose life for herself and her baby. The few weeks that they interacted at BethanyKids made her change her mind completely. She even changed her daughter’s name officially to Francisca. When Francisca the younger and her mom were discharged, they lost contact with the older Francisca.
Six weeks ago, the younger Francisca was taken to Joytown to start her education in class one. Francisca’s mom was discouraged because of her daughter’s incontinence. She had not gone back to BethanyKids for clinics after the surgery, so she knew nothing about Clean Intermittent Catheterization. Her diaper bills had taken a toll on her small earnings, stigma was rife in her neighborhood and life was becoming generally unbearable.
That is when she met the older Francisca again, right when she needed a shoulder to lean on. They shared the Word, and this young mother received Christ. Her strength to fight came back, and she went home happy knowing that her daughter was in safe hands.
We thank God for the younger Francisca, whose life could have been cut short. She is alive and her mom has new life in Christ. And we are grateful to the older Francisca, who shows that every bit of encouragement, every hug, and every smile at BethanyKids has the potential to save a life.