In honor of Mother’s Day coming up on May 12, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Leading up to Mother’s Day, we will feature four different bloggers to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today’s first post comes from Jessica Turner.
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It's been three years since I traveled to the Dominican Republic with World Vision.
And when I think about my time there, I think about the mothers. Many of them were single moms, like Maria, working hard just to make it.
But with Mother's Day this coming Sunday, my mind has been on the motherless children around the world -- the orphans who every day live in poverty, without even the love of a mother to lean on during the hardest days.
Orphans like 12-year-old Nica in the Philippines, who lost her mom to pneumonia was she was just 2.
“It is difficult if you do not have a mother," says the fourth-grader. "I feel lonely whenever I see children with their mothers and I do not have my own mom. I wonder if she loved me.”
Nica is the youngest of seven children, and she lives with her father, Sergio. He earns a living by buying and selling used bottles and scrap metal. He also scavenges to find things to provide for his family and home like used clothes, old jars, and wall clocks, among others.
Nica longs for a Barbie doll, but her father hasn't found one in his scavenging and they can't afford to buy one. She does have a small Toy Story Woody that makes her smile.
“It is hard to earn money. Sometimes there is money; sometimes there isn't. It depends on how much you gather during the day,” says Sergio.
They live in a small shack with no electricity and water, because they cannot afford it.
“There are times we don’t have food to eat, because my father did not earn enough during the day,” Nica says.
Reflecting on Nica's mother and their current situation, Sergio says, “Times were better when my wife was alive. I was inspired and we were happy. Even though my earning was minimal, she stretched our budget and she took care of the kids.”
As much as Nica misses her mother, she has found hope and love through World Vision's child sponsorship program, which she became a part of when she was in first grade, three years ago.
In addition to providing school supplies and special meals, World Vision's local staff and community leaders encourage Nica.
“They tell me to take care of myself, not to stop studying and to love God,” she says.
“Now, I feel the care of someone who [has] a mother, because every Saturday we have values formation. We learn about God. This is my favorite activity,” Nica says with a smile.
This Mother's Day, skip the chocolates and flowers and generously support an orphaned child through World Vision's child sponsorship program. Think about Nica and thousands like her who need your help. Child sponsorship is one of the most rewarding investments my family makes each month.
As a mother, the greatest lesson my children can learn is to be generous and serve others. Child sponsorship is a tangible way to teach that lesson. And on Mother's Day, I can't think of a more beautiful gift than coming along side of World Vision and sponsoring an orphan. Together, we can make a difference.
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Jessica Turner writes on The Mom Creative about memory keeping, frugal living, working motherhood, and faith. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Matthew, and their two children, Elias and Adeline.
Consider sponsoring a child who has lost a parent. Your support will help bring life-giving necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, education, and healthcare. You will also have the opportunity to develop a personal, lasting relationship with your sponsored child through cards and letters.