Melanie was still studying at university when she found out she was pregnant. Immediately, she was scared. She was not married to her partner, and she didn’t know how people would react. She knew there were not very many opportunities for single mothers in Fiji. It was going to be difficult for her.
Pastor David Reddy, from the Lautoka church, tells us her story with great sadness. When she told her partner, and her family, she could not have anticipated their reaction.
“When she became pregnant, the guy who was involved, he don’t want it,” Pastor Reddy says. “And the parents, they chase her away.” He shakes his head, and continues, “She went to a place where she did not know what to do.”
Melanie was in the darkness, and could not see the light. Abandoned by her partner and her family, she was forced to move away from her home. She was determined to find a place where she and her child could be safe. That’s when she found Lautoka church, and started going to services there.
“When we met her, we encouraged her,” Pastor Reddy said. “She had no hope when she left her family, her school course she was studying…” He pauses, and his voice becomes spirited. “But she is different.”
Pastor Reddy and his wife, Christy, took Melanie in. She lived with them, and they became trusted friends, almost like parents to her. They helped her figure out how she would take care of her baby.
With help from others in the church community, David and Christy also helped Melanie financially. They helped her pay for food and other necessities for the baby. She had found more than a church — she had found a family!
“I asked her, what do you think? What do you think about your future? She replied — and this is why I am very encouraged — that God will take care of her. When she accepted Jesus Christ, she gained hope and confidence too. She is growing in the Lord, and is willing to get baptised.”
Churches like Lautoka can be a light in the darkness to people who feel like they have no hope. People just like Melanie, who are abandoned, are looking for a place that will be safe for them. That will encourage them. That will help them grow.
When you support Walk For Hope this year, you are helping churches like Lautoka around the world reach out to people like Melanie. You are providing a light in the darkness, to some of the people who need it the most.