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Nadia's Story

nadia

I was 15 years old when I walked into a local Planned Parenthood to get a pregnancy test. A close friend accompanied me as I waited.  Upon receiving the results, I called my boyfriend to pick me up. I got home and, as expected, my mother was distraught, expressing a few unpleasant words. My father was present in my life but did not live in the home I resided. He told me he supported whatever decision I made concerning my future. The options of abortion and adoption briefly raced through my mind.  I was young and had no idea what I was going to do. I kept my baby. 

Every day was a challenge – from being young and pregnant, to dealing with the stigma of being "fast", not to mention the pressure of being able to provide for a child while trying to also take care of myself proved to be too much, yet I persisted.  I graduated from high school, able to attend classes since childcare was provided by my school. It wasn’t until years later that kept a promise to myself and graduated from college.

I was able to cope with the difficulties of raising a child by praying a lot and I never stopped working. I kept my eyes on my goals. I was determined to not become another statistic. I refused to allow the reality of being a young black teenage single parent define my existence nor stop me from pursuing my purpose in life.  I, like many adolescents, had career plans and goals before prematurely becoming a mother. I wanted to attend Howard University, pledge Delta Sigma Theta, and hold a professional degree. I vacillated between wanting to be a physician or an attorney. However, without anyone to encourage my desires and provide the mentorship and guidance needed to steer me in the right direction, I viewed my dreams as fairytales that were unattainable.

I was suddenly responsible for the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of another person yet didn't have a grip on those areas myself. I was alone in the overall raising of my child. Society puts so much pressure on women, yet ironically does not support women particularly when it comes to childbearing. Oftentimes, the lives of males rarely change after the birth of a child because our culture does not require it.  Therefore, the father of my child wasn't much help nor was his family. The rare times I asked for assistance from the paternal side, namely from the grandparent, it was received but I didn’t ask often because I felt it wasn't their responsibility. There was, however, support from my own immediate family members - some babysat while I worked two jobs and one of my brother’s would often give me money as well as splurge on Christmas gifts. I wanted so much for my family. Although none of us had much, I never went without what I needed.  In fact, there was a time when I didn’t have much to eat and didn't tell anyone out of embarrassment. A friend happened to call and asked me to come to her home and pick up food items.  She had overspent on groceries and had way too much to fit in her freezer – one of the countless ways God provided. 

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Predators can be defeated


8. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers[a] all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

I Peter 5:8-

Have you ever had a moment in life, when it seemed as if life seemed to go from bad to worse? During this Coronavirus pandemic, a recent discovery was reported of a giant hornet from Japan that has made its way to the United States. Known as the Murder Hornet, it relentlessly can destroy tens of thousands of honeybees. Bees are decapitated with a slice of its jaws. They are even known to sting through bee suits of humans. If that doesn’t make it fierce enough, the Murder hornet cannot be penetrated by the sting of its would-be prey.

Although it appears to be the end for the American honeybee, there’s something you should know. In Japan, the honeybees who are under attack by the hornet have made some amazing offensive adaptions. When faced with an attack from the hornet, the honeybees do something amazing. Documented studies show that the honeybees come together to completely engulf the hornet, by forming a ball around it. At the same time, the bees vibrate their bodies which creates a heat that the hornet cannot tolerate, yet the honeybees themselves are not affected. As a result of this counterattack, the bees literally cook the Hornet in defeat.

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JOURNEY TO THE CROSS

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry."

Matthew 2-4:1 NLT

Lent or "Lencten" is defined as spring or "lengthening of days. This winter in New York has not been met with a lot of snow if any this winter. However, in a few weeks we will soon "spring" clocks ahead and begin longer days until November. Another word for Lent is the word "given".

Lent is seen as the 40 days Jesus experienced in the wilderness after being baptized by John the Baptist [Matthew 3:13-17]. As followers of Christ, Christians remember what Jesus gave to the world through his journey to the cross and resurrection. The greatest act of love for another the world will ever see and be forever impacted by it.

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What is Community all about?

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47 NLT

After Jesus departure and in response to His command to wait on the promise of the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to experience the birth of a new community. In this community of believers they worked together, shared together and served each other. Imagine a community where no one was allowed to go without their needs met. From cash to accommodations the word shared had an entirely new meaning. From this passage in Acts 3 points of community standout.

Community is Reconciling - not your past but your present and future life is of importance and to be supported.Community is not about self Recognition "as each had need". Elitism had no place in this community of sharing.Community is about Relationships - some needs may be obvious, but in order to meet specific

needs there had to be sense of trust where individuals were not afraid to express it with one another.

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