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A Celebration of Family and Love

family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By. ajuperez

Next week, National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) is launching the national celebration of the  Family Week. With the theme “Ensuring Work-Family Balance,”the NCFF hopes that Filipinos have a greater appreciation of Filipino family values that are slowly being eroded by modernism. Pro Life Philippines also hopes that we hold fast to our family and our values, things that are in peril because of the looming anti-life bills like the RH bill, divorce bill, and the anti-discriminatory bill. This week we have several inspiring stories about families; the first one a video of a popular soda brand granting the Christmas wishes of 3 OFWs: to be with their families and loved ones this Christmas. The second is a pro-life story about a woman who decided to keep her baby conceived of rape, and how she found peace, forgiveness and love almost 50 years later.

The OFW Project

This very inspiring story, entitled “Is Life Worth Sustaining, written by Chelsea Schilling for WorldNetDaily  on October 10, 2009, can also be found in the following address:

http://www.inspire21.com/stories/familystories/IsLifeworthsustaining 

Late one evening in 1956 after watching the movie “The Ten Commandments” in a theater, a 22-year-old woman walked home alone in the dark – but she would not make it to the house before eight young men would brutally beat and rape her in the streets.

The woman, Ann, recalled the horrifying sexual assault in a video about her experience in St. Louis, Mo.

“I walked home which was about eight blocks, and when I got close to home there was a used car lot, and there were eight men in there,” she said. “They grabbed me and attacked me. And I made it home after they attacked me and beat me up and did a few other things.”

A child conceived in rape

Already shaken by the traumatic sexual assault, Ann made a shocking discovery when she went to stay with her parents in Jackson, Miss.

“At that time, I didn’t know I was pregnant,” she said. “Three months later, I found out I was, and my parents didn’t want me to have the baby, let alone keep it.”

Her mother insisted that she have an abortion. But Ann adamantly refused.

“I didn’t believe in destroying her, so I had her,” Ann said in the video. “And they forced me to give her up.”

Now that little baby, Juda Myers, is grown and shares her inspirational story of life.

“She knew I was a human,” Myers told WND. “She said she couldn’t kill a kitten or a puppy, much less a human baby.”

A Methodist minister and a Catholic priest were instrumental in helping Ann follow through with her plan to deliver the baby. The priest took Ann to a Catholic charity in Shreveport, La., where Myers was born.

“She gave me up for adoption,” Myers said. “She didn’t want to do that, but under the circumstances she had to.”

When Ann was recuperating in the home following childbirth, an elderly lady brought the new baby to see her. Ann held the baby often, but when Myers was only 3 months old, she was adopted by another family.

Ann was given a photograph, and it remained her only memory of her baby for 48 years.

Myers’ new parents were open about the adoption and told the little girl she was adopted at a very young age.

“My adoptive parents always told me that I was very special because I had two sets of parents,” she said. “They insisted on letting me know that I was loved. I did wonder why I was given up.”

In 2005, almost 49 years later, Myers contacted an agency to help her find her birth mother.

“I wanted to be able to research her address and go there to thank her for giving me life,” Myers said. “I wanted to be able to get those words out before she’d say, ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with you. Leave me alone.’

“All I wanted in life was to thank this woman for giving birth to me.”

But Ann called Myers in December and left a voicemail message before Myers could acquire the address.

She said, “Hi, this is Ann, and I’m interested in what you have to say. I’m sorry I missed you. If you’re my long-lost daughter, God bless you. If you’re not, give me a call anyway. I’d love to know what you want. God bless you, too.”

Myers immediately called Ann, but Ann could not hear her because a group was Christmas caroling in the background.

“I asked, ‘Is this Ann?'” Myers recalled. “She said, ‘Honey, you are going to have to speak up. I can’t hear you.'”

“I shouted, ‘As far as I know, I’m your daughter!'”

Ann broke into tears.

“While I was saying this, the choir was in the background singing ‘Gloria,'” Myers said with a chuckle.

She arranged to fly to her birth mother’s nursing home, but she was apprehensive about the reunion. Would Myers’ features remind Ann of her attackers on that horrific night?

“I have bright blue eyes, and I was so afraid that my mother probably would have had brown eyes,” she said. “I thought I might look like one of the rapists, and I didn’t want to meet her looking like him.”

But when Myers approached the reception desk, she heard, “Juda?”

“I turned around, and I saw the brightest blue eyes,” she recalled. “It was just amazing to be able to see eyes that resembled mine. It was a surreal moment.”

Ann sat in her wheelchair, clutching the photo of her little baby.   “She was holding that picture in her hands after 48 years,” Myers said. “She had never let it go.”

Message of forgiveness and life 

After speaking with her birth mother for more than an hour, Myers asked Ann about the circumstances of her conception. Ann explained that she had been raped by eight young men one night outside of a used car lot in St. Louis when she walked home from the movie. “I was on my knees, and I was crying,” Myers said. “I put my head in her lap and cried.”

But Ann’s reaction to her daughter’s weeping astonished Myers. “She just patted me and said, ‘Honey, stop crying. I’ve forgiven those men.”

She continued, “Look what God has done. He’s brought you back to me. God is faithful.”   When Myers returned home, she wrote a song for her mother and recorded it on a CD. She titled it “God is Faithful.”

“On Valentine’s Day, which is my birthday, I went back, and I gave her that song as a gift,” Myers said. “As she listened to the song, she just stared at me.

“In my entire life, I have never felt that kind of love. It was the most incredible moment.”

Myers said her mother is her “hero” for forgiving her eight attackers and allowing her baby to live.

Because of Ann’s decision to save the life of one baby 53 years ago, five people are alive today – including Myer’s one-week-old grandbaby. She now has two sons and two grandsons.

 

 

 

 

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