Why She Cried In My Sunday Morning Group

Some years ago, a well meaning person at church asked a friend of mine from another country, “How does it feel to be in America?” The person was smiling and his question showed he thought it was better for my friend to be here. While it is true that I love living in my home city, having traveled on missions trips has shown there are good things in many countries. But the main thing is what feels like home. Imagine not being safe in your home country anymore and having to leave family, friends, and the culture you know and love.

That was the experience of my friend from Venezuela. She comes to my Sunday morning group. She is a single mom with a thirteen year old son. She works hard in a factory job to provide for her and her son and send money home to her parents in Venezuela.

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She left Venezuela because of the brutal dictatorship. Under Chavez, Venezuela went from being one of the wealthiest countries in South America to people not having enough food to eat. She left her family and everything that was familiar to her to come here for safety and her son’s future one year ago.

It has not been an easy year for her and she longs to meet other people from Venezuela. We do not have a large number of Venezuelans living in my city. We have many from other Spanish speaking countries.

Sunday morning we had three new guests come to my group, three young men from Venezuela. We practiced English, prayed, and then Samuel from Honduras sang a few worship songs in Spanish. As he was singing the second song, my friend from Venezuela teared up. She was overcome with mixed emotions. The song touched her soul. She was grateful to meet other Venezuelans. But she also missed her home-Venezuela.

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After we finished singing, she came over to me. I stood up and she cried in my arms. Then she went and got hugs from our three guests. I reassured her that Jesus is with her and that she is safe here. Please pray for her.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Am I Pro-Birth or Pro-Life?

Sunday afternoon I had a good conversation with a young woman about many things in the coffee shop. She is not a Christian, however, she is working on her Master’s in Social Work, so we have some common interests. One of the things we talked about is the political climate in the USA which included the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Roe V Wade.

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A week ago, I shared a post What If The Church Stepped Up? In that post I stated my intent is not to debate and the same is true of this post. In that post I mentioned a few things, providing childcare centers, adoption, and foster care that if the church as a whole had been doing all along, a much better job, perhaps the 65 millions abortions since 1972 would have been a smaller number.

On to my question. Am I Pro Birth or Pro Life? By Pro Birth I mean we protest, work against, etc abortion with no follow through in the years to help the mother. By Pro Life I mean that we step up and provide child care in low income areas for single moms or low income moms and other efforts to support disadvantaged women.

I read about a case of a woman who was raped but chose to keep the baby. Her rapist sued for custody and child support. How is that conducive to being Pro Life? How in the world does a rapist be given custody and the woman who was a victim forced to pay child support? The judge reversed his ruling, but still it should not have happened in the first place. A link- Article.

Laws need to be in place to protect women in such cases and we who claim to be Pro Life should be the loudest voices for such.

A blogger I know, Vanessa of braveblessedandbeautiful.com is a shining example to me of what Christians could have been doing all along. After having two of her own children, she opened her heart and home to adopt three children. She even has an arrangement for one of the birth moms to be involved in the child’s life.

A family at my church provided foster care the baby of a single mom who was put in jail for a short sentence. The family loves the baby and husband and wife were the first parents the baby knew. But they maintained friendship with the birth mother and the birth mother became a Christian. The birth mother was reunited with her baby after she was released, but it was emotional for the family who took the baby in. Now the single mom and her baby are part of the family and join for things like Christmas celebrations.

So what I am proposing is that we as Christians step up in a variety of ways that are Pro Life not merely Pro Birth with things like working for compassionate laws for women who are rape and incest victims, using money to fund child care centers not multimillion dollar buildings for church buildings with all the fancy things, work for better adoption laws, and much more.

One other issue is what about women who have an ectopic pregnancy, or the baby is not viable in the womb, or the mother’s sorely needs life saving medical treatment that could put the baby in danger. We should be advocating for women and laws to protect them in such cases.

These are the types of issues that cause me to carefully consider am I Pro Life or only Pro Birth?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What If The Church Stepped Up?

With the recent Supreme Court decision and possible ramifications of it, my post is not about the decision itself or debating it. My post is about things the church could have been doing all along that will be sorely needed now. When I say church, I mean it in the overall nationwide sense not regarding any specific individual church. I also mean the members of the church as in Christians.

I have worked in Title I schools for thirteen years. Though my work is specifically with refugees/immigrants, my work has made me very aware of the plight of those living in low income neighborhoods. I have often wondered why Pro Life has not included adding being the hands of Jesus for people struggling in life.

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Foster care is a huge problem. There are far too many children living in foster care. I will never forget a little boy in Kindergarten Jump Start, which is one week for the little ones to experience school before all the kids start. The first morning he told me he was nervous. As I listened, he told me he does not live with his mom or dad. His expressions and body language showed me he felt shame. What could happen if more Christians stepped up as foster parents?

A huge need for single moms and moms with partners in low income areas is childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. What could happen if churches put more emphasis on something like supporting both financially and with staff free childcare centers in low income areas?

Adoption is perhaps going to be needed now more than ever. What could happen if more Christians stepped up to adopt babies who for whatever reason the birth mother cannot or in some cases it would be harmful for her to keep the baby? The video I am sharing is a powerful message about what can happen when a loving family adopts a baby.

These are just a few thoughts/questions that come to mind as I think about not only what could happen if the church steps up in such ways, but also what could have happened all along. If the church had been doing such things all along, how many of the 65 million babies aborted over the past 70 years could have been born?

Thank you for reading. God Bless,

So Important to Pray for Families/In Jesus Name by Katy Nicole

I watched the following video by Katy Nicole yesterday. For me it is a powerful reminder of the importance of praying for families at this time. There is so much turmoil in our world what with the pandemic, wars, gun violence etc.

It is so important to cover families with prayer. Not just our own families, but also families of people we know. Whatever their lives are like, prayer is so important. I have seen the look of appreciation when I ask people how they are doing and let them know I have been praying for them.

One example is a young mother who teaches at the school where I taught in the mornings. She has myocarditis as a side effect of something due to a previously unknown genetic predisposition. After she confided in me, I would ask her a couple times a week how she was doing and let her know I am praying for her. We developed a friendship over the school year. She had a positive report from the Mayo Clinic a few weeks ago when she went up there with her husband. My continued prayer is for her to fully recover and be able to see her baby boy grow up and have children of his own. My friend is in her mid twenties, so I think it would be wonderful for her to live to be a 75 year old grandmother.

Let’s be praying for families. They need now more than ever.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Mothers Day

It is my privilege to teach a group of moms English in the mornings and another group in the afternoons. The moms come to class to learn English and so much more. They come to make a difference in the lives of their children by learning English and also gain an understanding of the education of their children.

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We have fun in class. They like to joke with me about going shopping. I talk about eating cheeseburgers and fries, so I can get that look from them. When I offer to cook for them, they smile and say no thank you.

Teaching these moms from different cultures/languages has shown me how motherhood and all that goes with it is a cultural universal. When I ask who is worried about their children, they all raise their hand. When I ask who wants their children to have en education, they all raise their hand. They all worry when their children are sick. They all try to make sure their children are eating healthy.

Their dedication is inspiring. Think about it. They all come from warmer climates and yet they are willing to brave the winter time to come to school.

My post today is one I have written, so I can share it on my Facebook for them to read.

Happy Mothers Day to my students and to all moms.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.