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In my recent missions-related travel to east Africa and Central America, one of the things that struck me was this: In the midst of cultures that are quite different from ours here in the US, certain human traits are universal, chief among these being the love and care mothers have for their children. Mothers everywhere, it seems, will take whatever measures they can to assure the well-being of their children, and often with great personal sacrifice.
Cinde and I had a chance to visit SAMS missionaries in Uganda and Ethiopia and, later, Compassion International mission projects hosted by Nicaraguan churches. These ministries work among those living in extreme poverty, where they express the love of God through holistic relief and development in the form of health and nutritional training. Mothers, I found, are deeply impacted by this training – they are “hungry” for any guidance that will help them raise their children with a hope for a better tomorrow.
These transformational outreach efforts are practical demonstrations of the love these Christian workers have for mothers and children, and ultimately create a bridge for the communication of God’s redeeming love in His Son. We heard of an impoverished mother, being served by a Christian ministry, who said, “I didn’t know that Jesus loved me until He fed my children.” Scripture makes it clear that when Jesus touches our lives with His love, the Holy Spirit will transform us and, indeed, love the world through us. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Acts 1:8.) Ask Him to help you be the tangible love of Jesus in this world and to increase your experience of His grace and love so that you can, in turn, share it with others.
On this Mother’s Day, let us thank God for His gift of love, in particular the gift of a mother’s love. Jesus Himself found that image of maternal love to be a very powerful metaphor to describe His care for us: “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…” Matthew 23:37
The Rev. Jeff RawnPastoral Care, Men & Mission
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