**WARNING – KLEENEX MAY BE NEEDED**
Growing up in the Korogocho, Kenya slums, Maurine was a happy little girl just like any child. This all changed when her father left when she was just a young teenager.
She remembers clearly the anger she felt at being abandoned, and the subsequent poverty that followed. Maurine still cannot believe that her real father could not just abandon them like that. In our interview, she explains how she grew up with bitterness. This would often lead to anger that could eventually manifest in very destructive ways, tainting her views of men, money and sex. The hurt of being abandoned and the fact that they had to continually struggle for their basic needs subconsciously influenced many of her bad decisions. She found herself depending on men, selling her body to them for a small exchange of cash or even sometimes food, an act she was introduced by her peer group in the slum.
She began engaging into casual sex with men, she was desperate, confused, and empty. This lasted a full 2 years.
Maurine narrates how she never found satisfaction in sex but it was a means to survive.
“I just needed the money to buy food that was never provided by my guardian.”
In 2012, on her regular route, she met a man who completely refused to use protection as they had agreed. She later realised that she was pregnant. She sunk into a deep depression and thought of many ways to get rid of the baby. One day, while walking around the slum where she grew up, she came across a big sign saying “Don’t throw away your baby, we can help.”
|The Home of Hope counseling staff began helping Maurine. She was given support that later turned her life around, and this helped her to heal both emotionally and spiritually. Maurine was even helped with medical bills.
In January 2013, she delivered a baby boy that was named by her sponsor in Canada, Bishop Madden.
|Later, Maurine was helped with a microloan from Home of Hope to start a small business of selling fruits and vegetables. With consistent follow-up and counselling, she gave her life to Christ and started spending time with other young women who wanted a transition out of the prostitute life.
She became committed to church and fulfilled her passion in a more healthy way using her testimony to facilitate healing among young girls in prostitution.
But, this is not the end of Maurine’s story, unfortunately.
|MAURINE LOST HER BABY TO SICKLE CELL ANEMIA AND RICKETS.
He was born with the condition which required treatment and was not caught in time. This was a setback for a young girl just becoming strong in her faith. As a team, the HOH staff stood by her, encouraging her.For a few months she lost track and returned to the depression she knew too well, but she continued to ask questions. She didn’t completely give up on God. She would ask “Why would God allow the child he preserved, to die when she was just starting to realise how much she loved being a mother?” It took a while, but eventually, she found that she was emotionally healed. One day, she approached the HOH staff saying that she wanted to join Bible College and study to become a “BISHOP” (like her boy’s name) and that she would dedicate her life to totally serve God. She wants to study and serve God on behalf of her son, whom she had dedicated to the Lord. May his soul rest in peace.
|She is working very hard to raise the fees to join. As if Bishop’s sponsor had known her plans, the last time she received a gift, there were pens and notebooks, which she is now keeping for the purpose of use while at school. She’s currently working so hard in her business.|
Maurine has become and continues to strive to be a good role model to other young girls. She wants to be a preacher to reach out with the good news of the gospel to many who are suffering. She has found love both in her relationship with God and Word of Life church family who love and accept her for who she was and is today.
Maurine has been able to forgive her father for abandoning her and her family.
She is one of the few fortunate people able to escape prostitution and alcoholism; however, there are so many more who still remain trapped. Home of Hope still desperately needs support to reach out to more young women like Maurine and save them from their darkness and bring them to light.
Article written by George Akelo
FEATURED IN TODAY’S BUSINESSWOMAN MAGAZINE
|Here is the sponsor’s touching response to this article:
Please pass onto George to tell Maurine how proud we are of her and we will continue to send her necessities for school and such. I’m so glad we were able to help her.
We are so grateful for Home of Hope to have this organization which I see regularly helping those in need in this third world countries and changing lives!! Thank you, thank you, thank you and so proud of Mamma Maurine (that’s what we call her in our home).
RIP little Bishop Madden The tattoo I have for life in his honour.