True Story: Lidia

Lidia & Celia

Hi all~

I hope today has been a good-en’!

I’ll try and post at least one True Story: each week. It’s so encouraging to hear about women who’s lives have been changed and restored through the love of others. Today’s beautiful lady is Lidia – her story comes to us with much thanks to Compassion. This is her story..

Name: Lidia

Age: Unknown

Origin: Unknown

Lidia pressed re-dial on the work phone once more, knowing it was pointless. Though her husband was physically in her life, he had withdrawn his emotional support when he decided to have nothing to do with her pregnancy—even claiming it wasn’t his. As another labour pain ripped through her body, Lidia hung up the phone and walked outside to wait for the bus home.

Seven months ago, Lidia’s usual anxiety of providing for her two beautiful daughters—Pamela and Jenny—had been outweighed by the news that she was expecting a third. She could see that the stress of having another mouth to feed was becoming too much for her husband; every day he became more and more resentful of her swelling frame. Their desperate situation led her to find work at a small meat factory, despite her pregnancy.

Now, as she stepped from the bus to the muddy road below and started for home, she felt her labour pains quicken and strengthen. Her husband arrived home soon after her and hurried out with their two daughters to find help for his wife—now lying on the concrete floor of their small home. He didn’t make it back in time for the birth, so Lidia delivered baby Celia alone.

“Two hours after my baby was born, she was already dying. My husband arrived with a woman who said that the baby was already purple, and 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,” says Lidia.

Celia’s premature birth left her thin, weak and susceptible to infections. Though Lidia was worried for the health of her newborn, it was three days after Celia’s birth before she could manage the long walk to their local medical centre. Lidia felt the slow weight of defeat as she listened to the nurse explain about Celia’s infection, most likely caused by the conditions of her birth. Celia desperately needed medicine to treat the infection before it spread.

“My baby was very sick, she needed medicines and I didn’t have any money. When I called my husband he answered me, ‘Let her die’,” Lidia says.

It therefore came as no surprise when Lidia’s husband decided to leave his family altogether. Lidia was left to find the money for Celia’s medicines and provide for her children alone. She gained an advance on her salary to purchase medicine, and Celia’s health rapidly improved soon after. However, Lidia felt abandoned and unsure of how to provide for her children.

Lidia was registered with Compassion’s Child Survival Program when Celia was eight months old and now considers the Compassion staff to be like family.

“I know what days the lady from the centre will come and am excited to see her. She is like my sister,” Lidia says.

The Child Survival Program is now providing for their immediate needs with a weekly food basket, as well as preparing Lidia for the future by teaching her to knit mantillas—a type of cloth for babies.

 “I am very thankful to the Child Survival Program. Thanks to the program, my baby is healthy and chubby. And I thank the Lord: if it wasn’t for this help, where would I be right now?” said Lidia.

Read Lidia’s full story at the Compassion Child Rescue site by clicking here.

When I read Lidia’s story, I just couldn’t imagine the heartbreak of hearing your husband say the words, “Let her die” – talking about a baby you have created together. Lidia’s spunk is inspirational – she fought for the survival and well being of her children and found a way when there didn’t seem to be one. It must be such a relief for Lidia to know that every week, food will arrive – and the fact that she now has a healthy (and no doubt more enjoyable than a meat factory!) way to bring in an income for her family.

These are the people I’m aiming to help through The Sunflower Effect – a new blogging project with the aim to conglomerate all our small pieces into one big piece. Mercy House Kenya is equipped to help and support mothers and their babies – we’re equipped to help them do that 🙂 If you’d like to support the work of the Mercy House, here’s how you can get involved:


1. Read Compassion’s fact sheet on the five biggest killers of children under five. Knowing some quick facts helps when the subject comes up in conversation and we have the opportunity to raise awareness of the needs out there.
2. Join with Micah Challenge and host a “Survive Past Five” 5th birthday party in celebration of the children who make it to 5 and to honour those who don’t. Talk to guests about the Compassion Child Rescue program, explain the facts surrounding child mortality and how so many children die before the age of 5. If you want to, you could even take donations for the Every Mum Matters project! Click here for more info on the Micah Challenge idea.
3. Share the clip below with your online friends, via facebook, Twitter, email etc.

As always, please tell me about your experiences.. If you host a party, I’d love to hear about it! Let’s work together, share our experiences and encourage each other – together we can do so much more!

If you’d like to support The Mercy House Kenya, please click here to visit our Razoo page where you can safely and directly donate to The Mercy House.

See you on the morn!

Joni x


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