On October 26th, our South Jersey home had their annual banquet at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin, NJ. It was a lovely evening and the mothers, babies, and children at our home in Riverside will benefit greatly from the generosity of the attendees. There was just one standing ovation that night and it was for Niketa Burke. Niketa is a beautiful 23-year-old woman with a deep spirit. She spoke from the heart that evening while lovingly holding her one and a half year old daughter in her arms.
“It is funny how the people that say they love you and will always have your back no matter what would turn their back on you in a heartbeat.
When I learned I was pregnant, I was not sure how to tell my family- so I did not.
I am the youngest of four and I could not tell my parents because this little girl did not know how to say I was having a little girl also.
I wanted to have an abortion, but when I heard my baby’s heartbeat, I could not.
It was then that I met Linda, who was a manager for Abortion Alternative. She surrounded me with people who said they would support me and begged me not to have an abortion. Linda said she would help me find insurance, put me to school if I wanted to go back and find a place to live when I needed one.
I kept crying saying I didn’t know what to do. Knowing I was Jamaican, Linda kept telling me, “every little thing is gonna be alright…”
I hid my pregnancy until I was 7 months, and when my family did find out, they wanted me out of the house immediately. I understood how Jesus felt when He said, “My God, why have you forsaken me.”
I called Linda and said do you remember the Jamaican girl? I am going to need a place to live.
Linda gave me Good Counsel’s 800 number. I called it and spoke to Ms. Martinez. Ms. Martinez asked me if I could get to NJ, there was a room for me there. I only ever lived in New York and I was scared. I did not know anything about New Jersey and did not know how I would get there, but I knew I had to go and I was thankful. I did not know Good Counsel, but I had no doubt in my mind this is where I was to be.
I arrived at the Riverside home, and before I decided to ring the doorbell, I saw the sign on the door that said, “pray before entering.” I was relieved and thanked Jesus for getting me and my baby here safely. When the door opened, I immediately felt welcomed and knew “everything would be all right.”
Good Counsel provided me with the love and support I was promised, but never received. Good Counsel gave me food, shelter, all my basic needs, and a family that supported me without judgment. They taught me how to budget my money, and helped me to transfer from a NY company to a local Walgreens where I am employed as a pharmacy technician to this day.
I have been living on my own now for a month and a half, paying for my own apartment, and am providing a better life for my daughter. Every day I look at my daughter, I thank the Lord I did not have an abortion. She has changed my life in so many ways. Because of her, I want to strive to be the best I can and be a role model for my little girl.
To the staff, volunteers, and donors of Good Counsel, and to God, I will be eternally grateful.”
We are eternally grateful for you, Niketa, for your beautiful humility, strength, and faith.