In our work with teen moms at Thomas Jefferson, we have seen many girls battle the same challenges. Last year, several of our girls had problems attending school due to inconsistent child care. Grandparents and baby daddies would cancel last minute. Affordable day cares felt unsafe. Daycare through DISD has a wait list of six months to a year. Our leaders kept encouraging girls to do what they could in order to attend school. We prayed with girls. Our team even stepped in on a few occasions to watch a child for a day or two. However, we knew we were not equipped to meet this need ourselves.
We presented the need to the Village Church at a prayer gathering. A few days later, I (Ali Smith) received a phone call from a woman who felt like God was asking her to step in to this place of need. Becky, a mother of four with two in college and two still at home, found a new rental home in the neighborhood by Thomas Jefferson and committed to use it to help some of our teen moms.
Beginning this school year, Becky began watching two toddler boys. Zae's mother, Imani, dropped out of school as a Senior last year two weeks into the school year. She didn't have consistent child care for Zae and needed to work. She kept this a secret from us for nearly 5 months because she struggled with her decision. When we found out, we told her that we would walk beside her as she finished school and help her figure out a way to make it possible. Imani had a scholarship to Baylor for track before getting pregnant. She is now back at TJ and motivated to graduate. Aiden's mother, Emily, has attended a few different high schools to try to graduate. She is also back at TJ this year as a Senior and is looking forward to finishing.
While their mothers are working hard at school, the boys are receiving incredible care from Becky. She plays with them, interacts with them and teaches them about the Lord. By opening her door to these families, she is ministering to both the children and the teen mothers. Becky has a huge passion to teach littles about Jesus. Zae and Aiden are "God's future ambassadors" according to Becky. She will be working in child care for us at club and campaigners this school year and helping to develop curriculum to present the Gospel to even our youngest children. We will be adapting BSF child care curriculum to instruct our little ones.
I love thinking about the impact this year is having on these families. Volunteer leaders cared enough about teen moms to spend time with them and pursue relationships. Through these relationships, we learned about a huge need for reliable, safe, loving child care for some of these small children. God connected us to someone who could meet this need. These little boys are being loved in an incredible way and these young mothers are being empowered to finish their education. Most importantly, they are all daily being reminded of the love, faithfulness and power of our God by a woman who loves Jesus with her whole heart, mind, soul and strength.
If you'd like to learn more about what Becky is doing and contribute in some way to her needs for these children, please email her at email@example.com.