On this Mother’s Day I find myself experiencing a wide array of emotions….
One emotion that stands out to me the most right now – is unrelenting thankfulness for all the moms who have helped our crew of kids through the highs and lows of our ministry journey…
There’s Momma Gigi... who undoubtedly has taken our family on as her own. I understand the deep love she has for my children… because I share that same deep love for hers.
She was just 2 years old and 7 pounds when Gigi came into our lives. She required a lot of medical attention, which I was able to provide. But I needed someone to babysit her while I was busy doing ministry. It was hard to find a caregiver that I could trust with Gigi.
SO… I hired her mother to care for her… and 14 years later Momma Gigi is one of my very best friends. She’s a trusted & faithful woman of God who serves alongside us…. and has filled in as momma more times than I can count. With every medical emergency or unexpected trip to the states – she fills the gap staying in our home & taking care of the whole clan.
Then there’s Beth... who’s faithfully served alongside us…. going on 8 years as their school teacher though she’s way more of a mom to everyone on this campus.
I’d like to take credit for the way our children love and embrace their Savior but honestly it’s been Beth morning after morning – pouring everything she has into them… discipling them daily.
She’s also a momma to the 36 orphans who love to climb, play, pray, and do fish lips together. She’s a trusted confident to these little ones – as well as my children – as they share their hurts & struggles. They love their Momma Beth with all their hearts…. as do my children… as do I.
This week I was able to get just another small and precious glimpse of this beautiful momma and her harvest….
Levi: I want to be baptized.
Levi: I want to follow Jesus and do what’s right. Jesus talked to me Sunday night. I heard Him say: Levi it’s your choice to follow me.
Beth: wow! What else did He say?
Levi: I don’t remember. I was so surprised He was talking to me.
Then there’s my sister Lori… who drops EVERYTHING when we show up in the states – taking 7 kids at a time for several weeks each furlough – trying to soak up every ounce of love from them…. only to drench it right back on them.
Of course then there’s all the health drama – theirs or mine – where yet again she’s rushing to our side. Her van has to have 200,000+ miles on it – and all of it is a testimony to the love and affection she has for her Jesus and children/youth everywhere who are desperate for someone to care for them at the intensity that she does.
My children are amazingly blessed to have such an incredible role model who’s ministry is so deep rooted in her heart … it’s impossible to know where it begins or ends… it just is. You can’t separate it – it’s not a thing she does – it’s who she is.
I can’t believe I get to be her sister…. that my kids get to be her nieces and nephews… oh how she has changed our lives – year after year…. a steady stream of love and support available to us always at a moments notice.
Then there’s my momma… Lord have mercy!! All the drama this poor momma has endured being blessed with hundreds of children who loving claim her as their momma… because that’s what she is to everyone who meets her.
My first trip to Haiti was 37 years ago in the cushy stomach of my momma. Already with 3 kids at home, one on the way, she sees Bena on the side of the road… a little boy scraping the enamel out of a metal pan trying to eat it. Homeless, severely malnourished, and orphaned no more… still working side by side with Jose and me today. That’s just one of about 50 Haitian brothers I have!!
Whether it was Vietnamese Refugees or foster children in the states – or the hundreds if not thousands of kids here in Haiti – those who have passed on or are still alive today…. they knew Jesus – they knew unwavering love – because of her efforts, energy, patience, faithfulness, kindness, and resolve to follow Christ through the good times and bad.
Fabi is just one of 18 children who’ve spent anywhere from months to years in my home. Jose gets nervous every time I go to clinic as most of these children have come through this ministry – it’s a working hazard for sure!
But you see… I’m just following in the footsteps of my momma.
You see I can’t think of a time when she wasn’t surrounded with the least of these… with those who felt unworthy of love… with those whose hope had vanished… with those whose pain runs too deep to put in this post….
My children are among the ones who were and are “lucky” enough to be loved by her… to laugh with her… to play dolls with her… to play cards with her… to play trucks with her… to cook with her… to fall asleep on her… to wet the bed beside her 😀 … to travel with her… to have their tears wiped by her… to be completely spoiled by her.. to be counseled by her… to be prayed for by her… to be baptized by her… to be taught and discipled by her.
I am who I am – my kids are who they are – because she’s held us up when we were too weak to stand… because she’s spent nights on her knees praying fervently for us… because she’s laid us at the feet of Jesus time after time… drama after drama.
There’s so many more moms I could thank today for the love they’ve bestowed on our family, for the way they’ve come alongside us, for the way they’ve supported us through the hardest parts of this journey…. and I thank God for them daily.
Yes I’m overcome by an ocean of emotion today… but I’m choosing to ride the wave of thankfulness… to let the tides of everlasting love bring my family safely back to shore as it has done time and time again.
Categories: Mission Stories