This is my mom. I love her like crazy and am so grateful to have her in my life. We’re very close – she was even the matron of honor in my wedding! But in the last 11 years, we’ve only spent a little over 3 years living near each other, sometimes going 2 or 3 years in between visits. Mom and Dad live in Papua New Guinea and I live in Pennsylvania. I know that even as her adult daughter, my mom wants to care for me and wishes we could live close all the time. She couldn’t be here for my college graduation or my son’s birth or so many moments in between. She’s had to entrust my well-being into the hands of friends, fellow Christians and other mentors in my life – many of whom she’s never met – to fill the mom role when she’s not here.
This is my son. There are no words to describe how madly I’m in love with him or how he brightens my life every day. In a perfect world, I would spend every day with him playing in the dirt, driving tractors around the living room and eating peanut butter sandwiches. But as a part-time working mom, I’m extremely grateful to some close friends, my mother in law and some wonderful preschool teachers who invest so deeply and personally into my son’s life when I’m at work.
This is Yvonne. She lives with her husband and 3 children in Zambia. Both she and her husband are HIV+, though thankfully all three children have tested negative, including Baby Shareen. It is a significant struggle to provide for the family. Baby formula (to prevent HIV transmission) is expensive, as are school fees for the older sons and antiretroviral medication. Yvonne and her husband have no viable way to make a living a this time, especially when their health is poor. Their tiny house and plot of land affords a little space to raise chickens, but no room for a garden. She says, “We are tired of living this kind of life. Pray that God can make a way.” Even in this dark situation, there is hope. A local clinic provides counseling and health assistance to Yvonne and her husband. Their local church, a Forgotten Voices partner, provides food aid for the family and school fees for the two sons. Forgotten Voices is honored to partner with Yvonne’s local church to invest in the family’s needs now, and also have a plan for care in place if someday AIDS makes it impossible for to care for her children herself. This is the reality that so many families and churches live with throughout southern Africa. So many mothers (and fathers) live with the daily knowledge that they may not see their children reach adulthood. Who will care for the children left behind?
3 moms, all deeply invested in the well-being of their children, yet also reliant on others to give their kids the best life possible. Can you relate? This Mother’s Day, consider giving a gift to Forgotten Voices in honor of the mothers who have inspired you! Give in honor of your own mother or give in honor of other women who have invested in your life. Give in honor of those women who invest in the lives of your children, who are part of the village raising up your child. Give in honor of women like Yvonne who need someone to come alongside them with a commitment to help care for her children, even if she is no longer able to do so. Donate here and receive a gift certificate which you can present to your mom or other special women in your life this Mother’s Day.