Mothers DayMy mom is 78. She got married at 16 to a man 10 years her senior. Earlier in her marriage it was not uncommon for her husband to come back from work and find her playing dolls with her girlfriends. She had four miscarriages or stillbirths before my oldest sister came and from then on it was one child every two years, a total of 10 children, of which I am the second to the oldest. If you are doing the math, it’s 20 years of active child-bearing.

During most of those years my mother had no refrigerator, no wash and dryer, no modern stove, and she has never had a dishwasher. She boiled all the water we drank and she soaked all of our clothes in scalding water before washing them.

My mother managed a household with the meager and infrequent salary my father made as a pastor; she made many of the clothes we wore, held devotionals in our home every night as long as I can remember, and made sure that all her children stayed in school all the way through High School. At one time she even went back to school to try to finish High School herself, but the preoccupations of the home front robbed her of this joy.

In spite of all these challenges, my mother not only managed to save her children from going over the edge (no one became a drug trafficker or a gangster and only two turned out to be lawyers 😊); more importantly, she has had the joy of seeing all her children and grandchildren (all 22 of them) become followers of Jesus Christ.

My mother taught me to be compassionate toward the most vulnerable in society. She brought several children whose mothers were destitute to live with us. She fed them, nurtured them, dressed their wounds, lavished Christ’s love on them, helped their moms get back on their feet, and gave their children back to them. I remember two families that lived in the garage next to our house at different times while they tried to recover financially. My mother served them selflessly. She let the ladies use her kitchen, shared her already depleted pantry with them and taught their children the Bible just like she taught us.

I know my mother is not perfect, but I thank God for her every day. I would never be the man I am today if she was not in my life. Her generosity has always astounded me. Her faith in God is an inspiration to all her children and I have no doubt that her legacy will live on long after she goes home to be with Lord.

May God bless all the mothers as we celebrate them this Sunday.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA