Footprints of Hope
Deborah and Nathaniel’s Story
“Being pregnant has changed a lot of my perspective on life…how I see it. It wasn’t planned, but God gives us tasks in our lives that we know we can handle.”
Being from a Nigerian family and pregnant at a young age meant “disownment” for Deborah and her unborn son. To make matters worse, Deborah was legally blind and homeless, living in and around train stations. Unfortunately, this is the scenario for far too many teenage mothers. Ranking at #8 in the nation for teenage pregnancy, Atlanta’s numbers are harrowing. However, City of Refuge looks to combat this problem.
“…they have been very helpful and supportive…and I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the program.”
City of Refuge programs are designed to assist homeless or unwed pregnant teens with limited family support. This comprehensive program provides these teens with a loving, safe, Christian-oriented home. Teens can come in at any point in their pregnancy and are allowed to stay up to a year after the child is born. Out of a partnership with Grady Hospital, these teenage mothers-to-be receive proper prenatal care, delivery services, and even postpartum care. Best of all, the mother gets to stay in school, which increases the likelihood the child will complete school.
“..this been the roughest year of my life…but I would describe my pregnancy as hope. I just kept believing and trusting in God that everything would work out.”
Although Deborah first arrived at City of Refuge with nothing more than a pair of tattered slippers and a single set of pajamas, the Transformation Pathway has had its impact. Today, she has a gorgeous little boy named Nathaniel and more stuff than she has room for! Most importantly, Deborah and Nathaniel have an insurmountable level of hope for the future.
“Being a black teen woman, in general there is not a big chance that we are going to succeed. When we find ourselves pregnant it makes it worse. It puts our whole lives on pause. Being in City of Refuge has shown me how amazing it is that there is a program here that helps you build yourself back up starting from the foundation. They build you strong with a wealth of knowledge and life skills to be able to weather the storms that will try to take over our future. For this, I am grateful.”
Since 2004, City of Refuge has been providing a safe, Christian-oriented home for teenage mothers. These miraculous transformations are made possible through your generous donations and countless volunteer hours. Click here to help continue the mission started by City of Refuge. This Story of Transformation was adopted from an original work completed by Hayley Jo Photography. Hayley Johnson is local newborn photographer and a proud partner of City of Refuge. We encourage you to check out her amazing collection of work at www.hayleyjophotography.com.