My journey to The Living Vine Maternity Home in Savannah, Ga., has been divinely orchestrated. Like the unwed expectant mothers who are housed there, I have been pregnant.
As a result of my actions, I found myself in a situation I never imagined for myself at only 18 years old. I was young and, to say the least, stupid. And Jesus was not the forefront of my life.
That pregnancy ended in abortion, and it forever changed my life. For an entire year afterwards, I was in bondage to my guilt, shame, sin and feelings of unworthiness. It was only until I was reminded that God still loved me and already had forgiven me that I was able to forgive myself. Telling my mother was the final piece of the puzzle that I felt needed to happen. Once I did that, God’s freedom engulfed me.
This summer is by no means about me. God has called me and the other missionaries to these girls and has prepared us up to this point. But I know and understand the very real reality of being in bondage and freedom seeming so far away.
I want more than anything for these girls to know God’s truth. I want them to know we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). We already have God’s peace surrounding us (John 14:27). We are not the same people we once were (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have freedom because we have Christ (Galatians 5:1).
The young women at The Vine all have experienced pain, neglect and/or financial instability in some way. The Vine’s purpose is to guide these girls in the way of Christ so that when they leave, even if their external situation has not changed, they have been renewed internally.
The fact that God does not need me to do his work, but chose me anyhow, leaves me in awe. I am in no way qualified to lead these girls. I simply hope that the light Christ has given me will exude itself and the Holy Spirit will be ever present. Please keep The Vine, its staff and the summer missionaries in your prayers. Pray that right now hearts are being softened and seeds are being planted.
DeEdra Branch, a student at the University of Houston, is serving this summer at The Living Vine Maternity Home in Savannah, Ga., with Go Now Missions.