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Finding comfort through care
The Hostetters were told early in the pregnancy that their baby girl was afflicted with a fatal birth defect, Anencephaly. They were also told that even if their daughter survived the pregnancy, she would probably die shortly after birth. In spite of the hopeless prognosis, the Hostetters were committed to being their child’s parents for however long she lived.
Sadly, on Oct. 25, 2010, the Hostetters had to say goodbye to their daughter, Aliyah Joy, who didn’t survive the birthing process and was still born.
“What was supposed to be one of the greatest days of our lives turned into the most painful experience we’d ever had,” recalled Janae Hostetter. “However, in the midst of our pain and questions, God was extremely near and faithful.”
Because of their loss, the Hostetters received many offers of help from friends and family. They decided to establish a fund that people could donate to in Aliyah’s honor. Janae Hostetter recalled how she and her husband responded to people’s sympathetic generosity.
“We began praying about what organization to give money towards,” said Janae. “We both felt that the most appropriate redemptive idea for us was to raise money for a pregnancy center that supports women who choose to carry their babies rather than abort them.”
Through extended family, the Hostetters were introduced to The Comforter’s Center, a disadvantaged pregnancy center, located in Kampala, Uganda. They decided to partner with this facility in their mission to “save unborn children and support families who choose life for their children.”
Initially, the Hostetters donated money directly to the center but they eventually expanded their efforts. In 2012, they began raising money for the construction of a youth hostel to be built next to the Kampala pregnancy center. The hostel was to be called the Aliyah Joy House in honor of their first daughter. The purpose of the hostel was to generate income that would make the pregnancy center self-supporting. In addition, it would offer affordable housing to local college students and create opportunities for the center to counsel young women who are at risk for having abortions.
The Comforter’s Center is an important resource in Kampala, where there is rising poverty, limited access to health care, and high numbers of unsafe abortions. At the center, Kampala women can receive free pregnancy counseling as well as birthing supplies required for having a hospital delivery. This service is invaluable to impoverished women who may otherwise seek abortions because of lack of financial support. The work of the center seems to be successful &tstr; over 300 women chose to carry their children instead of aborting them last year. The Comforter’s Center also offers an preventative abstinence training program for local schools to positively influence student choices.
As of October 2013, the Hostetters had raised $30,000 toward their goal of $50,000 for the construction of the Aliyah Joy House. In November 2013, Janae and a team of 13 other volunteers made a ministry trip to Kampala. They served at The Comforter’s Center as well as other orphanages and ministries. Their visit also marked the groundbreaking of the Aliyah Joy House. To date, the Hostetters are only $400 short of their $50,000 construction goal. They are within reach of realizing their dream to honor the sanctity of human life and the memory of their daughter through the completion of The Aliyah Joy House.
“Our firstborn daughter, Aliyah Joy, who never had a chance to take a breath on this earth has left an incredible legacy that will continue for generations,” said Janae during the fundraising.
The Hostetters’ vision has become a reality since Aliyah’s legacy will undoubtedly give life to many unborn babies in Kampala and make their world an increasingly better place.