Like most women, Helena Titus always assumed that when the time was right (when she was married to a good Christian man), that the children would come next.
That dream died a painful death in 2001, after major surgery took away her ability to have a baby.
“I was crying my eyes out one day in the hospital room (shortly after the surgery) and my sister came in unexpectedly,” remembered Titus, who was in her 30s at the time. “It was lunch time, and I asked her what she was doing there,” said Titus of her sister Judge Patricia J. Titus, who was supposed to be working in downtown Los Angeles. “She asked what was wrong, and I said I can’t have children. It was horrible, and I was trippin’ hard. She said to me ‘you’re alive aren’t you? . . . there are other ways to have children. You’re alive and that’s the main thing.’”
Her sister’s blunt words helped wake Titus up and made the former classroom teacher and ordained minister realize just how blessed she was to be alive after the emergency surgery.
When she returned to the classroom, Titus said she was fired because her illness had caused her to miss so much work. But instead of fighting to regain her position, she decided to volunteer at her local ministry–The Power Christian Center in Carson pastored by Rev. Gene Johnson.
“His main thrust is what does the Word look like in life; it’s not enough to learn the world, it’s how do you do the Word,” said Titus, who continued to ponder the question as she began work at a special education advocacy law firm. Then a single-car accident caused by a blinding pain in her side sent her to the doctor, where the young woman received another devastating diagnosis–cancer.
“I really didn’t want to have surgery; not at all, because the last time was so traumatic. I decided to go into the prayer closet and not come out until I heard from God.
When she came out, Titus went directly into chemotherapy, and while undergoing this treatment began taking a business class at her church.
In that class, she finally was able to crystallize the ministry she felt compelled to create-PowerGirl Ministry.
“This is a health and wellness ministry which seeks to direct young urban women toward success in life,” explained Titus, who said the program connects female students with people and experiences that can positively influence them.
And one of the events she will offer is a teen health summit May 31 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The event will discuss subjects such as nutrition, sex, relationships, obesity and physical fitness, and the cost is $20 per person.
At the summit, Titus will launch the next phase of her ministry, a four-week program where girls compete for the title of Miss PowerGirl 2008.
Participants, comprised of eligible middle, high school and college students will be given a set of community service tasks they must complete in order to be eligible to win the $1,000 scholarship.
In addition to these activities, the PowerGirl Ministry also includes a career day, networking with women in various professional settings. And finally in August, PowerGirl will host its annual back-to-school leadership luncheon, where the winners of the scholarship competition will be acknowledged.
For more information on PowerGirl Ministries, go to the web site www.powergirlministries.org or call (323) 873-3038.