As we went out to the red-light district in Moldova in the Mobile Medical Intervention Clinic, we approached a young woman dressed in a silver dress. She was very young, nervous, and visibly upset. She did not want to talk to us.
We approached her with a gift pack and told her who we were. She recognized us from our previous visit. That is when she opened up to our volunteers and translator.
Sobbing, she said she had given birth only four days before, through a C-section. Even as we spoke, she began lactating, marking her dress with the signs of new motherhood. Though she had given birth in our city, it wasn’t her home and she couldn’t afford to return there.
She told us that she did not have money to go home. Each night she stayed at the hospital she incurred a 200 lei ($12) charge, plus the cost of her C-section. With those debts still unpaid, she also could not come up with the money to purchase a ticket home to her area, over two hours away.
In this work, we must be wary; we wondered whether she was telling the truth. She said she wanted to leave the street; she didn’t want to be there, doing what she thought she had to do to get her child out of the hospital, and go back home to where her mom was waiting for her.
We needed to confirm her story. Our team made a plan: first, we would go to the hospital with the woman; second, we would have a conference call with her mother. In the call we hoped to confirm if their home was where she said it was, if it was a safe situation, and if her mother was truly ready to receive her daughter and new grandchild into her care.
As we pulled into the hospital parking lot, the call patched through. The woman’s phone screen said “Mommy” in Russian. Everything she had told us checked out to be true. We got to work checking out the woman and her 4-day-old baby, “Christian,” from the hospital.
The young mother cried and cried and cried. She said that over the past four days she had been praying for a miracle. Moldovans and people from Eastern Europe are slow to trust, but because she had been praying, she believed God sent us in answer to her prayers.
We took the new mother and her baby to the church office. Our local church had just taken a generous love offering for another of our beneficiaries, and there was much left over. There were things for this new mom, too. We enjoyed spending time with her and the baby while we waited to take her to the bus station.
Written by Becky Sukanen and previously published in the September 2018 edition of Where Worlds Meet edition.