Abandoned Mother Turns to God

Abandoned Mother Turns to God

By: Galia Oropeza, Bolivia Field Communication Specialist and Leura Jones, Contributing Writer   |   Posted: January 18, 2011

Mother gives birth at home alone and fights to save the life of her newborn daughter.
Lidia was desperate to save the life of her daughter, Celia, when she was first born. Thanks to the Lord and the Child Survival Program, today Celia is a healthy toddler.

Lidia, seven months pregnant, left her work at a meat factory in El Alto, a high plateau city in Bolivia. She headed home early on this cold, rainy day after feeling strong labor pains.

It was yet another frightening moment in her stormy pregnancy.

Before she became pregnant, Lidia began working at the factory because her husband told her that his earnings weren't enough for their family, which included daughters Pamela, 6, and Jenny, 4. When Lidia learned she was expecting another child, her husband accused her of cheating on him with someone at work.

"He used to tell me, 'That baby isn't mine. Which worker were you with?'" she recalls. "Since my first month until I was seven months pregnant, I cried very much. He insulted and humiliated me."

All Alone

With great difficulty, Lidia made it off the bus that day and was able to get home. When her husband came home and found her lying on the floor, he was afraid and went out to find help. At 9:30 that night, Lidia gave birth to Celia on the cold cement floor, all alone.

"After around two hours my baby was already dying," she remembers. "My husband arrived with a woman who said that the baby was already purple; she helped me. We were both very cold, I couldn't even get up to hold or wrap my baby, because I was unconscious and very weak."

Three days later, Lidia felt a little better and decided to take Celia to the medical center. The baby had blisters all over her body and a serious infection. She was also very small and underweight because of her premature birth.

"I was still very sick and hurting," says Lidia. "My baby was very sick, and she needed medicine. I didn't have any money. When I called my husband, he answered me: 'Let her die.'"

Keeping Her Baby Alive

Fighting for her baby girl, Lidia was able to obtain part of her salary in advance to pay for the medicines. Though Lidia's husband soon abandoned her and the children, they found help through Compassion's Child Survival Program (CSP). Lidia was enrolled when Celia was 8 months old.

"Thanks to the program, my baby is healthy and chubby," she says today. "They help us so much. I thank the Lord very much. If it wasn't for this help, where would I be right now?"

Lidia is confident that the Lord is looking after her family, and she knows she can depend on the CSP workers. She counts the days until she receives a food basket from the Child Survival Program. Although she no longer has a stable job, she is learning to knit and sell baby clothes.

Relying on the Lord

"I learned to knit at the church, and I will sell what I knit. This helps us very much. I would also like to learn pastry, and many other things. I know the Lord will provide customers," she says.

Lidia is one of many mothers who have experienced terrible challenges and heartbreaks but are now finding help, relief, and strength through the Child Survival Program.

"She (Lidia) used to say, 'I am ugly,' and she was always sad and crying," her CSP implementer says. "Now she smiles."

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