I was sitting alone, trying to stay awake, in an airport in the middle of the night waiting to fly from one African country to the next. Sleeping sitting up wasn’t going well. The airport was nearly empty and the only noise was the old TV monitor above my head. The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants was playing in a different language.
As I stared at the screen and yawned, four friends shopped together. I pieced together the plot and remembered these girls found a seemingly ordinary pair of jeans that fit them all perfectly, despite their very different sizes. They dubbed the pants the Traveling Pants and decided to share them while they were apart over the summer.
I nodded off after remembering it was mostly a movie about poor choices and pants that worked miracles (ah, hollywood) but when I woke up to board my plane, I was still thinking about those pants. No, not the comfortable one-size-fits-all denim that will solve all my problems, but how when we share what we have, it’s multiplied. Maybe even miraculous.
You see, when my plane landed a few hours later in Kenya, I met some of my sisters who were desperate for a miracle and a second chance.
When I embraced the new 13 and 14 year old girls who were moving into the Mercy House Global maternity homes, their swollen bellies pressed against me. I whispered “welcome home” into their ears because the world had tried to ruin their first chance.
When a sister moves into this second-chance home in Kenya, she is afraid because she is completely out of chances. The world has let her down and she doesn’t know if this last-chance stop will really become home.
It’s the singing and screaming she hears first as the van pulls through the gate and this isn’t just a song, it’s the brave and holy cry of a sisterhood, more than 50 teen moms now, celebrating in their sanctuary of rest, lifting their voices loudly to a Father who turned their last chance into a second one. Their song isn’t one of sadness, although there is sadness in their story, theirs is a song of praise.
It’s the song sisters sing to welcome sisters. The melody is one of acceptance of love. It carries in its notes the unspoken truth of the common circumstances that have made this second chance place, home.
And if the thunderous singing and shouting don’t put a smile on that new sister’s face, the dancing might. The earth quakes under the feet of this small army of teen moms marching around the living room for half an hour, with hips that have welcomed unplanned babies and babies that are toddling miracles and this second chance ground is holy.
Just listen to this song:
The sweet new girls are wide-eyed and can’t contain their shy smiles any longer because who can resist a welcome like this? Outside of these gates, they have been shamed– their pregnancies are a stigma, their bellies a burden. Hands cover their growing grins and they wonder if this home is heaven, where dinner plates are full of food and they have their own bed for the first time in their lives and medical care for the unborn child and hope. My God, the hope is palpable.
Only He knows the suffering that comes with the kind of slavery these little girls have endured. But tonight, they are safe and sound in a sanctuary. Inside this second-chance-house, with sisters who have walked this last chance road, their unborn babies are a second chance at a brand new life and they can hardly believe it.
And for most, it’s a first chance to lay down their heavy burden, to love, to learn, to really live. It’s the first day they believe they are priceless.
Today, is She is Priceless, the annual Giving Day for Mercy House Global. We are raising money to pay for six new sisters to join this sisterhood of second chances and we need your help. Sister, will you share what you’ve been given so that it can be multiplied by your sisters? Will you join us in the song of hope and welcome home a pregnant girl, wanting and waiting for her second chance?