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Families

When Love Is Fierce

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When Love Is Fierce

Those that are fierce are sometimes thought to be unloving. Those that are strong are often believed to not be gentle. Those that are brave are sometimes thought to be unkind. But this–of course–is not always true. 

Yeshiwork's story is the stuff of sensationalized media, yet it's all true. As a child solider, she barely survived a battle along the border of Somalia–a battle which killed 75 people. She became a child bride at ten years old and stood by his side for 55 years . . . until he left her. To this day, she doesn't know if her husband is alive or not, as he could not be located after a flood. 

Yeshiwork has suffered much, yet has overcome.

She is a tall, fierce woman. She is strong. She is brave. Yet, she is also loving, gentle, and kind, as evidenced by the little boy who has so clearly stolen her heart. 


Moses walks into the room, weighed down by the heavy backpack on his tiny shoulders. He looks shyly at the guests in the room, yet marches over to Yeshiwork, and climbs onto her lap to plant a kiss on her cheek. A sparkle can be seen in her otherwise serious eyes.

She prays for him, believing he will be a leader. Though she loves him, she is not given to nonsense. Yeshiwork expects him to be disciplined in his studies and to attend the after-school programs at school in addition to his regular schooling. Without her, Moses' life could have looked so different . . . if his life had come to be at all.

Yeshiwork is Moses' grandmother, and without her desperate plea for his life to be spared, Moses would have been aborted. Conceived through rape, Moses was a sign of shame. Tradition dictated that, once he was born, he would be an outcast and he would forever be reminded of the pain that brought him into the world. One week after he his birth, Moses' mother left him in Yeshiwork's care. Out of humiliation, his grandfather left.

June 2015: Yeshiwork and Moses with a Journey Trip team

June 2015: Yeshiwork and Moses with a Journey Trip team

Yeshiwork had nothing but a tiny, defenseless infant. She was a warrior for him before he was even born, and yet that was only the beginning.

Believing it was important to "give him a life," Yeshiwork has loved him like her own son. Through the World Orphans Home Based Care program, a local church has partnered with Yeshiwork, enabling her to care for him well. The church's partnership helps to ensure that Moses is being provided for physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Home Based Care enables Moses to grow up under the loving care of the woman who fought for him. Without the local church, Yeshiwork would most likely have been forced to surrender Moses at an orphanage, unable to provide for his needs as a single elderly woman.  

Orphan care, at its roots, should always be about strengthening families, both the families that have welcome orphaned children into their homes and those families whose children are vulnerable to abandonment. Through Home Based Care, families are strengthened through the local church with support, educational resources, and provisions for the child's education, food, and medical needs as is necessary. We know that children thrive when they are in families, and we seek to see those families stay together rather than be torn apart by poverty. 

Yeshiwork has fiercely and selflessly loved Moses, a boy previously destined to be an outcast. It is a privilege, as the global church, to stand in her corner and celebrate Moses' precious life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfect Pumpkin: Raising Kids with a Heart for Missions

By Kevin Squires | Senior Director of C2C Partnerships

SPOILER ALERT: It is hard to be a parent. Perhaps even more so… it is hard to be a parent raising kids in a Christian home that happens to be smack dab in the middle of a not-so Christian culture. So, what do we teach our kids? How do we teach them not to do bad things, while simultaneously teaching them to love people who do? How do we teach a 3-year-old boy that when another child chucks a matchbox car that hits him in the arm he shouldn’t retaliate by launching a monster truck at the kid’s head? Oh, the joys and perils of parenting!

Early on, my wife and I stuck to teaching the basic lessons of the Bible… you know, love God and love others. But, as my life and career continued to center around missions, I found it difficult to train my children to have a missions-focused heart. At dinner, I tried the go-to threats that “children in Africa are starving to death, so you better eat your broccoli!” However, deep down inside, I could name hundreds of children whom I had met in Africa that wouldn’t eat broccoli if it were the last thing on earth! Reality is, threats like that never work. To get to a child’s heart, we have to find ways to speak to their heart.

Several years ago, the moment arrived… and I almost missed it! It was a Friday in the middle of a beautiful autumn day in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains. That morning, I spoke at a local Christian High School on the poverty crisis in the Developing World and how Christians are called to love, care, and serve those in need. I told story after story of children who were emotionally scarred, ignored, and often abandoned. Then, I followed those stories up with stories of hope, where churches united to care for these kids who had been left for dead. I tell you this because in the back of the room, crawling under the chairs (playing with the infamous monster truck) and ignoring everything I was talking about, sat my three-year-old son, Grant. We’ll come back to this.

perfectpumpkin
perfectpumpkin

After school that day, my wife and I took Grant to a local farm that was hosting a Kid’s Day. They had hayrides, corn mazes, and strange games that only mountain people would understand. But the highlight was always getting to pick out your pumpkin at the HUGE pumpkin patch. There were literally thousands to choose from! Being competitive creatures that we are, my wife and I turned it into a contest for who could find the “Perfect Pumpkin.” But, then there was Grant, who meticulously searched through what appeared to be each and every pumpkin in the patch. Finally, as it was beginning to get dark, he held one up! My wife and I looked down at the pumpkin and our jaws dropped! It was the worst pumpkin in the patch! It was scarred, and clearly had been purposely ignored and abandoned by every person who had visited the patch that season. We tried to convince him that there were better pumpkins out there, but as three-year-olds often do, he refused to listen. Then, as if he was channeling the inner wisdom of King Solomon, he simply said, “Dad, at school today you said we’re supposed to love the ones that no one cares about.” Then he paused and shrugged. “Dad, this one’s perfect. This one’s mine.”

When a child’s heart opens, there is nothing that can get in the way from seeds being planted. Whether we think they’re listening, or simply playing with monster trucks, the message of Christ can easily find its way into the smallest crevices.

That autumn day, in the middle of a pumpkin patch, my three-year-old son taught me a great lesson. And in the end, my wife and I lost the contest… Grant found the “Perfect Pumpkin.”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the

least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

- Matthew 25:40

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