When Jesus encouraged his audience outside the Temple Courts to abandon the empty pursuits which dot the landscape of typical human existence, He didn’t leave them without a picture of how incredible life could be as one of His “sheep.” Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd, who would protect, nurture and ultimately “lay down His life” for His sheep.
Many of us have had the privilege of being nurtured in similar ways by our own mothers. It seems that every Mother’s Day card I write these days is loaded with gratitude. I am increasingly aware of the ways that these women have “laid down their lives” for their families. Whether reflecting on my own mother of 46 years (today!), or my wife, the 22-year-veteran mother of our own five children, I am flabbergasted by how sacrificially these mothers serve!
Their service is simultaneously difficult and flooded with joy—real life filled with highs and lows. Sweet seasons of affection, gratitude and hope are matched by haunting days of disappointment, anxiety and regrets. And they still show up for work each day.
We intuitively know that mothering changes everything. At Hope Haven Rwanda, we want to encourage mothers in our community as they grow in their ability to love and lead their children well! Through a remarkable chain of events involving Susan Hollern, Founder and President of Hope Haven Rwanda, participating in a conference in Louisville, Kentucky, God inspired Destiny Leahy, a US leader with Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International and Favour Mwaba, a Zambian leader, to travel to Rwanda to lead the first-ever MOPS Leader Training Conference in the entire nation! If you think it was exhausting to read that run-on sentence, imagine how remarkable it was for God to bring these incredible ladies together to help shape a community of mothers!
The theme for MOPS this year follows Jesus’ promise to “lay down His life” as the Good Shepherd. The theme is captured in these three words: “To the full!” Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
As a mother, and a leader of mothers, Destiny loves working with moms around the world. As she trained future Rwandan MOPS leaders, she reminded them that “Moms can be better moms through Jesus.” Just like sheep are better off with a good shepherd, families are better off with godly mothers.
If possible, why not surprise your mother this week with a non-Mother’s Day note to let her know how grateful you are? If that is not possible, is there another mother you can encourage? As Destiny concluded, “We passionately believe that better moms will make a better world!”