May blessings

For the month of May – a story of a mother’s love and graduation…

This young lady in the photo is my former confirmation student from another congregation.  I have remained friends with her mother as well as her and her sisters.  I have their permission to tell their story, but decided not to include their names.   

She was born in Africa when her mother was already a refugee.  At her birth at a midwife’s clinic, there was gunfire in the streets nearby.  She was born with a cleft palate and was unable to suckle.  The midwife told her mother that the baby would not survive and then the midwife fled the clinic to keep her own family safe, leaving a vulnerable baby and her mother to fend for themselves.  Her amazing mother carried her home a few hours after giving birth and then expressed her milk and spoon fed her so her baby would survive. 

Her story shows the power of a mother’s love and the power of a devoted member of the church the family attends.  Her story shows how we bless one another in our daily lives so that God’s glory may shine.  I pray you notice God’s love active in the lives of your friends and family this month as well.

This lovely young lady’s mother is one of the strongest women I know.  She immigrated to the United States as a refugee and a single mother with her children.  Mom only had one year of school and enrolled in classes to learn how to read and write here in the U.S.  She worked very hard and raised her girls to appreciate all the blessings we have in the U.S. and to value education.  The photo above was taken at her graduation from college with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice.  Her older sister received her B.S. degree in Public Health two years ago and her next younger sister is in college now.  Did I mention how strong and amazing their mother is?

Imagine having only one year of education, immigrating to a foreign country, being unable to read or write, and raising 4 girls on your own and having two of them already graduate from college.  Well not entirely on her own… Others have helped in many small ways; especially a very special older woman from church who took the young lady pictured above under her wing, helped arranged surgery to fix the cleft palate, and took her to years of speech therapy sessions and tutored her.  Just to be clear, this was not financial support, but instead, phone calls, communication help, helping mom to complete forms which she could not read, and transportation to speech therapy while mom was working.  If we think about it, we each have many special people who are cheering us on and supporting us in many small and large ways. 

 This month as we remember our mothers and celebrate graduations, may we all be grateful for the many blessings in our lives and live lives helping others to shine brightly glorifying God!

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