Christian group founded by Bluffton resident helps women in crisis

abredeson@islandpacket.comOctober 19, 2013 

Maureen Gazitua Hueyo, center, poses with her group, Women in Christ: Taking Women in Crisis to Christ, at her birthday party in August 2010 in Bluffton.

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  • WANT TO HELP?

    Women in Christ: Taking Women in Crisis to Christ is looking for people to donate time and money to help women get out of bad situations. The group is looking for people to help with transportation and to spend quality time with the women and their children. They are also looking for a lawyer who will donate legal services. Details: womeninchristministryhelp@yahoo.com

Maureen Gazitua Hueyosaw a lot in her work as an interpreter at the Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country.

She met women who were abused by their husbands. Women who had been raped. Women who had no money.

Women who desperately needed help.

As she worked with them, God "showed her a greater and deeper need," Hueyo said. The Bluffton resident was called to start a ministry, Women in Christ: Taking Women in Crisis to Christ.

That was seven years ago. Since then, the Christian women's group has helped countless women escape dangerous situations and get the help they need.

One of those women is Mary Smith, who asked that her real name not be used in this story. In 2006, Smith came to the pregnancy center where Hueyo worked.

Smith already had two children and had found out she was pregnant again. She and her husband could not afford another child.

Hueyo told her the baby was from God and that everything would be OK -- that she would help.

"(God) said, 'The first thing you will do, you will listen to them,' " Hueyo said of her ministry. " 'You will listen to them with my heart, with my love, and you will tend to their needs. See what they need, and then love them with my love because your love is simply not big enough.' "

Women in Christ members help women however they can, whether it be bringing them meals, taking them to doctors' appointments, inviting them to picnics and parties, or paying their bills.

They host Bible studies and teach the women about Jesus. Hueyo said this gives the women a tremendous amount of hope.

They also connect them to other groups, such as the Deep Well Project, Bluffton Self Help, or the St. Vincent DePaul Society at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church and at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church.

"We started getting a lot of open doors as we started knocking," Hueyo said. "God started opening doors."

Hueyo and her group of friends brought the Smith family food. They invited Smith to Bible studies. They even had a baby shower for her.

After the baby -- a boy -- was born, they helped even more. When he was sent to the Medical University of South Carolina for treatment for seizures, Women in Christ brought the family food, took them to doctors' appointments and did whatever else they could.

Six months later, Smith was hospitalized for a kidney infection. The baby ran out of formula and diapers. The family was out of money.

Hueyo called the hospital and asked a nurse for help. The hospital donated formula, and women from Hueyo's group brought food and diapers.

When the Smiths couldn't pay their electric bill, Hueyo sent them to Bluffton Self Help, which helps families with demonstrated financial needs pay their bills.

And when Smith finally confided in Hueyo that her husband was an alcoholic and was hitting her, Hueyo sent her and the children to Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse, where they stayed for a month.

Smith said she is grateful for Hueyo and the others from Women in Christ.

"Maureen stays in my heart," she said. "I say, 'Thank God for this angel.' "

Hueyo said by doing what God tells her to do for these women, she has more joy than she ever imagined possible.

"To go out and help those in need and make a difference in their lives, there's nothing greater than that," she said. "It's just amazing."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country Deep Well Project Bluffton Self Help

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