The first speaker to step onto the stage at The Emmanuel Centre in the morning session of March for Life UK was Barbara Wireko-Selormey accompanied by her son Alan. Barbara had been invited to share her story of how she almost aborted her eldest son but had received help and was now a happily married mother of four.
Barbara started her story on the day she found out she was pregnant at age 23 in her home country of Ghana, West Africa. It was clearly an unplanned pregnancy and while she was still studying. Barbara recounted the problems she faced being an unmarried mum in a culture where getting pregnant out of wedlock was frowned upon and not in keeping with her Christian roots. An abortion was booked, she told the audience, but by some strange turn of events (which she still didn’t understand) the father of her child arrived at the abortion centre and urged her not to go through with the termination.
Barbara continued her testimony, sharing details of how she moved from Ghana to England feeling disgraced. She recalled how she found somewhere to live only to be thrown out of the house. It was on that day as she sat in the park that someone gave her a phone number (which turned out to be for the Good Counsel Network) and suggested she ‘call the number and speak to Stuart’. She did this and received much help including somewhere to live. Pregnancy was clearly still a challenge though as Barbara explained ‘all the way through that period my family was not talking to me – I was seen as an embarrassment. It was not an easy time.’
The audience were then told of how Barbara decided to join the army when her son was 2. This was a career which lasted for six years until Barbara explained how a thought occurred to her; ‘I realised someone did something for me and so I have to give something back. I left the army and trained as a nurse. I am now a mental health specialist practitioner’ she told them.
As Barbara neared the end of her talk she encouraged anyone else who might be struggling with difficulties ‘We do go through difficult times but the best things we as human beings have got is we don’t know tomorrow and we have God. We just need to pray and let Him take control.’ She continued, ‘My story has made me who I am. Alan is the best thing that ever happened to me’. Barbara turned, smiling, to her son and asked if he had anything to add. The young man stooped in to the microphone to simply state ‘My mum is the greatest and I’m happy to be here’. From the applause of the audience it was evident that they were happy too.