We were late arriving in the district of Yopougon on account of heavy traffic that day in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The Project Hannah cell group could be heard singing from the cement block building that was in a state of halted construction and was now occupied by squatters, one of whom was the person who was hosting their meeting. We met with a woman before ascending the stairs; she was anxiously awaiting our arrival so that she could tell us her story…
In a difficult marriage and pregnant for the fourth time, she prayed that she would miscarry. She did not want to bring another child into a situation that seemed so hopeless. But God did not answer her prayer so she asked for the courage to abort her baby. When she visited her cousin, she told her that she could not sin against the Lord in this situation. She left her home in tears and went to a meeting of Project Hannah where she was given a prayer request – for women who were in difficulty and wanted to have an abortion. Seeing the request, she began to cry. She shared with the women at the meeting what was wrong and asked them to pray for her. And, she prayed and asked God to forgive her.
Small seeds of hope began to take root in her life, and her heart and mind were changed. God gave her a deep love for her child and when she was born, she named her “Divine Grace.”
“Divine Grace.” What an unusual name, especially for one who was so “unwanted.” The word divine means “from God.” And, grace is defined as “the free and unmerited favour or blessing of God.” This mother, in giving her child such a name, was acknowledging that she had received from God what she did not deserve – both in salvation through Jesus Christ and in the birth of her precious little girl.
This woman has three sons. Divine Grace is her one and only daughter. And, her face beamed as she told us just how much her little gift of blessing, at just eight years of age, loves the Lord. God’s grace is truly amazing!
Colleen Shoemaker, Divine Grace and her mother, and Ruth Mbennah, PH Africa Regional Coordinator