What does it really mean to love your neighbor? Jesus’s command radically changes us from people focused on ourselves to people looking to help others, even those different from us.
In Serbia, our staff discovered just who their neighbors were: young moms entering into motherhood totally alone.
In a country with high unemployment and inadequate social services, some pregnant women struggle to find work and stay out of poverty. Choosing to give birth and struggle through parenthood without family or a partner is daunting.
That’s why our staff started NEST. Inviting new and expecting mothers to stay in the maternity home gives them a chance to experience Christ’s love firsthand through the care and support of believers. Both mom and baby are nurtured in a safe, furnished apartment, with access to meals and medicines, assistance with physical and spiritual health, and educational and vocational help. New moms are transformed from feeling helpless and hopeless to being prepared for motherhood and their own futures.
It’s really working—on a spiritual level as well as physical! These women are seeing the connection between the compassion and care they receive and Jesus’s charge to LOVE. A mother who stayed at NEST in her first months of motherhood shares this about the NEST:
My name is Kosara. In the last eight months I lived in the Maternity Home of Choose Life Center.
My childhood wasn’t easy, nor later life. I married to get away from a bad family situation, but that marriage ended when I had to flee with a two-year-old child to a safe house for women due to domestic violence.
After that the struggle for survival started.
In Serbia, life is hard for most of the people, and unemployment is very high. I worked part-time jobs and mostly lived in poverty. I wanted to start a family. I wanted a stable life, so I began to live with a man—but when I told him I was pregnant he threw me out of the apartment.
It was January; it was so cold, and I was on the street, pregnant and with a six-year-old child.
I was trying to find a roof over our heads. My immediate family has not done anything to help me. I relied on a small number of friends but their hospitality was short lived.
At that time, I contacted Choose Life Center. They were full of compassion and they encouraged me a lot. They followed what was happening to me and bought me food. When I was in the 7th month of pregnancy, it was clear that I had nowhere to go and then I was admitted to the Maternity Home.
I cannot describe how it feels when someone starts to take care of you when you are in such a vulnerable situation.
Vesna told me that what motivates them in their work is Christ’s commandment, “Love your neighbor,” and that she wants for me what she would want for herself—to experience peace and prosperity while preparing for childbirth.
On September 19th I gave birth to a daughter. Her name is Jelena. I am very happy and I enjoy every day with my two daughters.
I am grateful for all [the NEST] has done for me, because they have affected every aspect of my life. I go to church, I learn about parenting, and they have even included a psychologist to help me solve some of the issues from my past. My life looks different now; I have much more hope for the future.
I thank God that Choose Life Center exists, because the need is really great, and in our city there are a lot of women who are in a similar situation to mine. If only we could help them all!
This month, we are running a special project campaign to help NEST Serbia. We want to help them equip these women to sustain their families by teaching them new business skills. For $7900, we can provide sewing machines, instructional classes, materials, and child-care for new moms in Serbia.
You can be a part of the continuing story of hope for these women and their families by giving today!