How home visits help minister to mothers impacted by poverty
Written by Rayo Adegoke
When mothers first walk through the doors of Mekane Yesus Church in Mekanisa, Ethiopia to enroll in the Compassion Survival Program, they are often carrying a certain heaviness. Many are new moms who have little support and no training to help them ensure their children survive and thrive through early childhood and beyond.
The Compassion Survival Program is designed to empower moms to raise healthy and happy babies through training and practical support. A crucial component of this program is home visits, which allow a one-to-one interaction between Survival Program staff and caregivers in their own homes. During home visits, Compassion staff can tangibly support families who have been impacted by poverty. Visits are a chance to journey together through physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Eyerusalem and Eden are Survival Program staff who have walked with many mothers on this path of developing hope for the future. They engage in close relationships with many moms and have seen the redemptive power of the gospel in their lives. Staff come alongside moms and their babies like extended family, providing them with medical assistance, nutrition support, and childcare training.
Faith arises in fellowship
For many mothers the Survival Program has been a place where they find encouragement, prayer partners, true friendships, and community.
“‘All will be well. May God help you,’ were the first words I heard from Eyerusalem,” says Taitu, recalling her first visit to the church after her daughter was born. “Even if there was no concrete hope at that time, I left her office feeling optimistic and believing that all would be well indeed.”
When Taitu and her husband, Dereje, had their first child, they had no means to feed themselves, let alone a third member of the family. After she was accepted into the Survival Program, Taitu received even more support than she had anticipated. She considered Eyerusalem and Eden her new-found family whose encouragement, care, and concern made her feel accepted and valued.
During the home visits, Eyerusalem and Eden sought every opportunity to sow seeds of faith in the lives of Taitu and her family.
“The more I listened to them talk about Jesus, the more I understood His love for me. I came to know Jesus through them. My husband also gave his life to the Lord. Their prayers have truly uplifted us during our times of need,” Taitu adds.
Today, Taitu holds a stable job as a cleaner in a private hospital. The job enables her to adequately support her family. The transformation in the life and family of Taitu is a testament to how the program truly is a journey of healing and hope for many moms and their families.
Moving forward as a body
Motherhood is both a hard and joyful road. It’s clear we cannot bear life’s burdens without Jesus, nor are we called to bear them without one another. As Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “For if one falls down, his companion can lift him up.” Every mother needs a community who will link arms with her and uphold her in prayer and encouragement.
This is the holistic support that Compassion staff like Eyerusalem and Eden bring into the homes and lives of moms like Taitu. For Taitu, home visits are opportunities for fellowship and friendship.
As believers, we are all part of one body—the Body of Christ. When our physical body is hurt, the rest of our body feels that pain and is compelled to respond to it. This is how we are called to rise and respond to any part of the community of believers that is in need. Would you consider helping other moms like Taitu continue to benefit from the Compassion Survival Program? Learn more at compassion.ca/survival.