Berea Clark is a Grace Ministries International (GMI) missionary kid, having lived in Costa Rica from 2004-2012 with her parents, Jeremy (current GMI Executive Director) and Andrea Clark, her brother Jason, and her sister Lydia. At the age of nine her family moved back to the States, though she still enjoys serving in missions. Over the past six years Berea has taken mission trips with her family to places such as Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Tanzania. She has also been a member of the BreakThrough Martial Arts team for the past four years which has worked with local churches to share the gospel in Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico with plans in the summer of 2019 to serve with the GMI ministry in Nicaragua. Berea has been practicing Taekwondo since she was seven and will test later this year for her third degree black belt. Her other hobbies include writing, traveling, and spending time with friends. Berea is currently a 16-year-old, sophomore, home school student and plans to serve the Lord on the mission field in the future.
Something was different. Today, something was upsetting her and I could hear my mama crying softly. What’s wrong mama? Don’t cry. You know I’d comfort you if I could. She continued to cry for a long time. Then suddenly I heard foot steps. Foot steps that started faint, then grew louder as they came toward us.
“Jade? Jade, I could hear you crying from down the hall. What’s wrong?” Said a man’s voice. It was caring and seemed concerned for her.
Mama didn’t respond. She just continued to cry. Mama? Mama, please don’t cry. I love you, mama. I love you so much.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Please tell me,” said the caring voice again.
She gave a few sniffs then a sigh. “Dad, I-I…Oh, I don’t think…I can’t tell you!”
“What? Honey, please tell me. What is it?”
There was a long pause. The only thing I could hear was mama’s soft cry.
“Pregnant,” Mama finally blurted out, “I’m pregnant, dad, and I don’t know what to do!” Then she continued to cry louder than ever before.
He didn’t respond right away. Again, the only thing I could hear for a moment was mama’s crying.
The once caring voice was now shocked and slightly angry, “What? Jade you’re…you’re pregnant? You’re seventeen!”
“I know, dad, I know,” said mama still sobbing, “and I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
There was another moment of silence, then the man finally spoke again, “Who’s the father? Devin?”
“Yeah,” she said softly, then continued to cry.
I could hear more footsteps coming our way. The next voice to speak sounded kind and it belonged to a woman. She seemed concerned as well as to why mama was crying. As she continued sobbing, the man explained to the woman all of what mama had just told him.
“Pregnant?! You’re seventeen! You shouldn’t be-”
The woman stopped mid sentence then continued more calmly, “How far along do you think you are?”
“About six weeks,” said mama.
I don’t understand. Why is she so upset? It made me so very sad to hear mama like this, crying. Oh, mama, you know I’d comfort you if I could. I love you, mama!
I keep growing, more and more every day it feels like. I look forward to the day when our faces finally meet! It’s been about a week since mama was sobbing, it still breaks my heart to know she was feeling as sad as she was. Mama hasn’t really cried since, she just seems so depressed all the time now, I can feel it and hear it in her voice.
“Did you hear what I said? I’m pregnant. Pregnant! With your child!” There was anger and frustration in mama’s voice as she spoke now.
“I know, I heard you the first time…So what do you want me to do, Jade?” Said a voice. It was the voice of a young man who didn’t seem to have much sympathy for mama.
“Do? I want you to help me, Devin. You’re the father! My boyfriend! So I want you to act like one and maybe show a little support.”
The young man just laughed at mama and said, “Alright, so what do you want? I mean do you expect me to marry you, so you me and the baby can all be one big happy family in nine months? Not a chance. I don’t want to settle now, I’m only nineteen. I have years before I’m ready to even think about that. I have no interest in being strapped down to any commitment. No thank you.”
Mama started to cry again, “But…Devin, I-”
“Look, if you decide to even keep the baby I’ll give you some money to help out, how’s that? Honestly, why are you even thinking about keeping the kid? Just go to a clinic and they’ll deal with it for you. You’re not too far along right?”
“Six or seven weeks,” said Mama softly.
“See? Not far along at all.
‘That’s what I suggest. Get an abortion and it’s like it never happened.
Keep the baby? Me? But…but why would mama not keep me? Have I done something wrong? She hasn’t even seen me yet. Am I the reason you’ve been crying so much? Am I the reason you’re upset? I haven’t done anything to harm you mama, I haven’t! Get rid of me? Where would I go? Why would this young man say all these things to mama. Poor mama. Why would he be so cruel to her? He doesn’t care for her, only himself. I know he used to love you, mama, but he doesn’t seem to anymore. Don’t cry, please don’t cry, because I still love you, mama.
“You need to make a decision, Jade. The longer you wait the worse it’s going to be.” Said the kind woman’s voice.
“I know! Just…just stop, okay?” Mama sounded angry today. However, there was that same bit of fear in her voice that has been there since the beginning.
“This is ridiculous,” said the once caring man’s voice, who now sounded frustrated and anxious, “What are you considering? We can take you right now, it will be gone and you won’t have to live with this.”
“Won’t have to live with this? Dad, either way, I will have to live with this, for the rest of my life. I made a mistake, a huge mistake, and I have to live with that. Right now I have to decide whether or not I want to give this baby, my baby, a chance at life or end it’s life before it starts.”
“Honey,” said the woman’s voice, “We love you and want only the best for you, and what’s best for you right now is to not become a mother. You’re seventeen, Jade, you have years ahead of you before you even have to start thinking of raising children. Yes, you made a mistake, but there are thousands of other girls who have made the same mistake and have taken the same solution your father and I are offering to you. We are not going to force you to do anything one way or the other, and we will support you with whatever decision you make. However, we are going to strongly encourage you to take the abortion option, it’s going to be what’s best for you.”
The next morning, when mama woke up, I could feel her feeling more uneasy than ever. She was shaking and…and crying again. Oh, mama please don’t cry! Please don’t. You know I’d comfort you if I could. Is it me? Am I the reason you’re hurting? I haven’t done anything, I haven’t! Have I? Oh, mama…I love you.
“Mom, dad,” said mama, still in tears. She was in more emotional pain than ever now, I could feel it, “I’ve thought about what you’ve both said, and you’re right. I am not fit to be a mother at seventeen,” she took a deep sigh, “so, could you guys take me to th-the-,” mama was completely sobbing now, “the clinic, please.”
“Absolutely, sweetheart,” said the woman’s voice, who then leaned in to give mama a big embrace.
Mama continued to cry. Please, please stop crying. I love you, mama!
“We love you, Jade,” said the man, “We want only the best for you, and right now this is what’s best for you.” He then proceeded to embrace mama as well.
“Hello, dear,” said a new voice to mama an hour or two later. It was the voice of another woman, who sounded kind and sweet, “What’s you’re name?”
“Jade Carter,” mama said softly.
“Alright, just write your name on this list and it won’t be more than a few minutes until you’re name is called.”
Called? Called for what I wonder. Mama sat down and sure enough she was called in a matter of a few short minutes.
“Jade Carter,” said another woman.
Mama got up and walked towards the voice.
“Right this way, sweetie,” she walked for a bit then the woman said, “Please change in here then I’ll lead you to the doctor’s office.”
Doctor’s office? Is mama sick? Is that why she’s been crying constantly these past few days? What’s going on? I just want to know. Mama was soon led to another room where she laid down on some type of bed. I heard the door shut behind us. I could also hear many people talking now. Several woman and one man.
“Alright, let’s get started,” said the man, “I have quite a few girls to get through today so I won’t let this take too long. We’ve given you a drug shot that should only take but a few moments to set in.”
I could feel mama shaking, “Wi-will I feel anything?” She said sounding frightened.
“Don’t be nervous,” said the man, “That’s why we gave you the drug. I promise, you won’t feel a thing.”
Mama, what’s going on? What is he talking about? Are you sick? I just want to know why yo-
All of a sudden I could feel something. Something large and sharp was touching me and began to poke me. What is it? I’ve never felt something like this before. I try to move away, but it touched me again. What is this? However, this time it grabbed my leg and clenches it beneath its spike like teeth. With what little strength I possess I try and push it away and release myself from it’s grasp. It only clutched my leg harder to the point of pain. Extreme pain. It maintains it’s grip and begins to pull harder and harder, digging it’s teeth into my skin. There is nothing I can do, there is no where I can go. Mama, please! Help me! It hurt’s, it hurt’s so much! It continues to pull with great strength until, my leg…it’s gone! It ripped my leg off my small fragile body and now I’m in more pain then I thought possible. Oh, mama! Please, oh please, make it stop! Make them stop! Suddenly, I can hear her. She was crying again. It wasn’t a cry of pain, but one of sadness. Extreme sadness. Mama, if you are upset by this then make it stop! Please! You can tell them to stop, you can! One by one this object grasps and slowly pulled my other three limbs off. I struggle, with all the strength I have, to get away from this object that is determined to…what? What do they want from me? However, struggling is no use. It manages to get it’s way by grabbing hold of all my limbs and tearing them off my small fragile body. What is happening? Why are they doing this to me? Mama! Do you care? Do you even care that I am in so much excruciating pain right now? Suddenly, it stops and I feel the object that was tearing me apart no more. Is that it? Is that all they want? To just strip me off my arms and legs and leave me? Then, I hear something. Something loud. What now? All of a sudden I’m being pulled. Pulled by some force. Pulled away from my comfort. Pulled away from safety. Pulled away from mama! Wait, it’s not time yet! I’m not ready to leave! I’m not ready! What is happening? Where are you taking me? Mama make them stop! Make them leave me alone! Please! PLEASE! I move as much as I can and struggle with what little strength I posses, but it’s no use. I have no legs to kick away with and no arms to grab with. It’s useless. I’m in more pain then I can explain and am being taken away from my place of comfort and safety. The only place I’ve known for the first seven weeks of my life, I am now being stripped away from, against my will, in a very painful way. The sound is growing louder and louder I continue to be dragged away from mama. How could mama allow this? Doesn’t she love me? Doesn’t she care enough for me to make them stop? Please, don’t let them do this! I love you, mama.
One moment I was struggling for my life, doing everything I could to escape the loud and horrible sounding object that was dragging me away from mama. The next moment I am being blinded. Blinded by something horribly bright that is hurting my eyes. My eye! I can see! I’ve only known darkness during my short life, and now all of a sudden I can see! How? It takes me a moment before my eyes are able to adjust. I can slowly make out the shape of a tall and wide object in front of me. As it becomes clearer I’m able to see that I’m in front of a gate. A beautiful gold gate that was almost too tall to see the top of and stretched forever on both sides. I look around and quickly realized I’m sitting on a gold road leading right up to the gate. Wait…I’m sitting up. My legs! They’re…there, and my arms too! I move my legs and wave my hands to make sure it was real, and it was. What is happening? How did I escape the pain I was experiencing only moments ago? Suddenly, I felt something behind me. A gentile touch that lifted me off the ground. I turned my head to see the most beautiful thing ever. Someone just like me only bigger and stronger. He was dressed in white, his face was kind, and he smiled at me.
“Hello, child,” said the man sweetly. I was still shaken regarding the previous event’s and the man took notice, “Don’t be scared. You’re safe here, no harm can come to you. I promise”
He caries me towards the grand gate, which opens at our arrival. He caries me down the gold road and on either side were hundreds, thousands, millions of people. All different heights and sizes. Some looked young and others looked very old. Some stared at me and began to whisper. Others were just staying silent and looking at me with complete and utter sadness. The man continued to carry me further down the path and past the people until we reached a tall building, which sparkled and was just as beautiful as everything else around me. He walked into the building with me and we entered into a large beautiful room. The room was covered in gold and other wonderful objects. At the end of the room was a throne. A throne that shines and sparkles. The throne is surrounded by hundreds, thousands, millions of children. Young children just like me. All sitting, smiling, and looking so very happy. Among all the children is a man, sitting, playing with, and smiling at the children. He shines brighter than anything else I’ve seen today, I never could have imagined someone so beautiful.
“Lord,” said the strong man holding me, “I have another.”
The man with the children stood up and looked at me his smile quickly faded.
“Another?” He said sadly, “I see.” The man held out his arms and said, “I will take the child now. Thank you, my faithful servant.”
I was handed off and the strong man, that was holding me before, walked away. The once smiling man, sat me on his lap as he placed himself in the throne. He looked more depressed than ever.
“What oh what has that sinful world come to?” He said holding me, “Will no one do anything to stop this mass murder? I did not create humans so that they can turn to kill their children. How can one bare to support this treacherous sin? Even many of my followers on earth stand by and watch this crime take place and do nothing about it. How can they? It breaks my heart to see my little children, who have yet to begin their life, have it taken away from them. Taken away from them when they have done absolutely nothing to deserve so.”
The man then did something I didn’t expect. He cried. The man who was just smiling and playing happily with the little children was now crying. Crying just like mama did, and now for the first time I cried. Both of us, holding each other in our arms cried together for a long while. Finally, the kind man stopped weeping and wiped away my tears.
“My child,” he said, “I love you, and all the little children so very much. Know that you are safe and cared for now, for all of eternity, in my kingdom.” He paused then asked, “Now, would you like to see your mother?”
And for the first time, I spoke, “Yes.”
The man carried me to a large window, which was placed near the throne. He sat me down in front of it and said, “This is my window to the world below. You can come here when ever you like to see your mother.”
The man smiled the sweetest smile, then left to give a warm greeting to someone else who had just entered the building.
I looked through the window, and for the first time I could see my mama’s face. She is so beautiful, except so sad. She was crying again, and I could hear her.
“You made the right choice, sweetie,” said the woman to mama as she hugged her.
“I’m proud of you, Jade,” said the man, “I know this was hard for you.”
“Proud of me?” Said mama, “Hard for me? This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Why are you proud of me f-for…for killing my own child?”
“Honey,” said the woman, “You were only seven weeks pregnant. It couldn’t feel anything, because it wasn’t even fully grown yet.”
“Yeah…it,” said mama. She now sounded slightly angry, “I don’t even know if “it” was a boy or a girl! How sick is that? I should have resisted. I should have never let you guys talk me into getting an abortion! I’d rather have given birth to my child and raised a baby at seventeen, than kill it. Not even grown? So you’re saying it’s okay to kill off someone who isn’t fully grow-!?”
“That’s enough!” Said the man sternly. “It’s done and now we’re done with this conversation.”
So mama did want me. I knew she loved me, just like I love her. She just didn’t love me enough to fight for my life. Mama gave into everyone else’s wishes to kill me, and I can see she greatly regrets that now.
As the years pass, I come to the window as much as I can and watch mama. She has grown into a beautiful woman and is now married and has two children. Today, she gave birth to her third child. A gorgeous baby girl. Mama is laying on the hospital bed holding her new child. A nurse walks in the room to fill out paperwork. She then begins a conversation with mama.
“That’s a beautiful baby girl you have,” said the nurse, “but the child is so sick, as we told you. She will most likely not live past the age of five. We offered you an abortion. If I may ask, why didn’t you take it? It would have made your life so much easier.”
“Why didn’t I take it, you ask?” Mama sighed and said, “I’ve had an abortion before and regret it every day. At seventeen years old I became pregnant and everyone around me told me to get an abortion because it would make my life easier. As much as I didn’t want to, I gave in, and killed my baby. My child paid with its life for my mistake and I will carry that guilt with me until the day I die. This baby girl in my arms is my child and I have promised to take care, love, and protect her no matter what until the Lord takes her home when it’s time. That child I let them kill inside of me all those years ago, I will beg to forgive me when my time comes and I enter heaven. According to His book I committed the most sinful crime, murder. However, as horrible as my sin was I know my Father in heaven has forgiven me, and right now he is holding my baby, loving and caring for him or her.”
The nurse looked skeptical, “Alright, let’s say what you say is true and you get to heaven. The child you aborted years ago is there too. What would you say to them?”
A tear rolled down mama’s cheek as she spoke, “I’d say, ‘My child, I am so very sorry for giving you up all those years ago. I made a horrible mistake and have regretted it my whole life. Could you ever forgive me? I love you, my child.’”
I smile as a tear rolls down my face.
I love you, mama.