Months before our wedding, my fiancé started a toy-manufacturing business to create jobs in Honduras. We moved to Tegucigalpa as husband and wife in 2010, starting our life together in a country with the world’s highest murder rate.
Needless to say, we skipped the honeymoon phase. In addition to the shock of a new country, language, and culture, I faced the violent reality of life in Honduras’s capital. Rates of robbery, rape, and murder climbed to levels unimaginable in Los Angeles, where we lived prior to our move.
Since 2010, the company has taken off, and we’ve settled into life in Central America. But the transition was never easy for me. I tried different jobs and ministry roles, unable to find the right fit. We struggled to conceive, and doctors in both Honduras and the States couldn’t discern why we were infertile.
Last summer, we stopped treatments to give my body and heart a break. And then, in August, I got pregnant.
We decided years ago that if we ever conceived, we would stay in Tegucigalpa for the birth. Despite the political upheaval and health scares, including outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses like dengue and chikungunya, we believed this is where God had called us. When we first heard of the Zika virus spreading through Honduras and other parts of Central America in early 2016—about halfway through my pregnancy—we determined not to waver.
But Zika quickly proved different. In addition to symptoms like fever, rash, and joint pain, the virus is believed to pose severe threats to unborn children though researchers are still investigating the link. Pregnant women who contract Zika risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a defect that causes abnormal head and brain ...1