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  • Writer's pictureLisa McMahon

Showering Samantha* with Love

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

We read in 1 John 4:12 that “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

I love when we get to see a community coming together in the love of Jesus to help one more child. Here at our Children’s Shelter we often see God present through many different people being the hands and heart of Christ. Samantha* and her three siblings had been in our shelter since December of 2014. Her siblings had experienced severe trauma and had some behavioral issues that many other placements would have not been willing to work with. But God had different plans for this family.

At our shelter, we were able to maintain placement and keep these siblings together regardless of their behavioral challenges.

Samantha was different.

She was very easy going and everyone who came in contact with her automatically felt her sweet heart. She came to Christ while living here and made the decision to be baptized.

But Samantha* made some bad choices, just like all of us do. We received news in late 2018 that Samantha* was pregnant. The day after we found out she was pregnant, she had court and the state was going to try to get a court order for an abortion.

I was at court that morning ministering to her against aborting. She walked into the closed courtroom and came out smiling, telling me: “I chose life”.

The shelter set Samantha* up with our Pregnancy & Family Care Center on campus where she quickly became involved in parenting classes, Bible studies, counseling and more. She was provided many of the essentials needed for her baby including a car seat, stroller and pack ’n play.

During her pregnancy, Samantha* had some health issues and was hospitalized twice. The first time she was in the hospital, church family arrived to see her. Samantha* has been in our shelter for so long the community around us became a family to her.

The wife of an adoptive family in our church told me “we are going to have her come live with us”. And that started the process. Our church was stepping in the gap for this young lady to help one more child receive the family she desperately needed at this time of her life. After a few months of navigating some legal challenges, advocating for this placement and getting the family re-licensed, it finally happened – all of us at the shelter had to say goodbye to our beloved Samantha*.

My staff and I have been family to this young girl for so long. I knew I couldn’t have her give birth to her precious child without a proper baby shower. I called the director of our Pregnancy & Family Care Center and they contacted our church’s Village Park Campus. Within a few weeks, Samantha* had a beautiful baby shower to bless her and her new child.

God abides in us when we come together and love one another. Watching our community come together to shower Samantha* in love was a picture of His perfected love in us. The Children’s Shelter, the church, the connecting ministries -- all the body of Christ. Just three days later, Samantha* had to have an emergency C-section and gave birth to her beautiful and healthy baby girl. And what a relief in such a stressful time that Samantha* knew everything she needed was already given to her through the love of her church family.

*Names were changed for confidentiality purposes

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