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A Message to Mothers

A message to mothers My name is Lisa Miles [3], and I have been a sponsor with Compassion for two years. My husband and I sponsor a 9-year-old boy in Ethiopia, and we have a correspondence child who is 17, also from Ethiopia.

I am not a Compassion exec or even a Compassion advocate (yet!), I was never a sponsored child myself nor am I a fabulous Christian recording artist. My perspective is simply that of a sponsor with a passion for Compassion — and someone who deeply loves her sponsored kids. I have to confess that the day of fasting and prayer on behalf of the global food crisis did not impact me. At all.

I fasted — I felt some minor discomfort — but speaking as a mother, one day without food is like a drop in the bucket of sacrifices I’ve made since my child was born. You mothers understand.

We have sacrificed our sleep, our free time, our career goals, our figures, our freedom to watch anything on television that isn’t animated. One day without food — not a problem. To be a mom is to sacrifice for others.

Now I’ll tell you what would impact me — and again I’ll speak as a mother.

Ask me to wake my child in the morning and tell her she will have nothing to eat today. Ask me to put her to bed at night crying because she is so hungry. When she looks at me with complete love and trust — knowing that she depends on me for everything — ask me to tell her there will be nothing to eat tomorrow either. Now ask me to repeat this daily until her ribs protrude, her tummy bloats, and she can hardly walk.

As a mom, I want to give my child everything — the best of everything. Now tell me that I can give her nothing — not even the food she needs to keep her alive.

In a heartbeat, what was once a token activity would take on an awful significance.

Sixteen thousand children die of hunger-related causes each day. Each day — 16,000!

Even as I write this, I feel the need to go back and double check that figure, because I think surely it must be wrong. It is not.

The majority of these deaths are not attributable to outright starvation, but to diseases that move in on children whose bodies have been weakened by hunger. (1) I weep for these children — but I weep doubly for their mothers. I cannot imagine their pain.

How easy it is for the rest of us. We don’t have to live that reality. We don’t even have to watch it happen. In fact, we can lead our daily lives pretending that it doesn’t happen. And I think that would be not just sad but heartlessly cruel. These mothers need our help, and if we can offer it, we should.

So I’m asking you moms today to dig deep and do what you can. Give generously and often to the Global Food Crisis Fund.

I have to add that I won’t feel bad if there aren’t a lot of comments on my post. I know firsthand that you mothers are incredibly busy laughing, cuddling and playing with your kids — and cleaning up a mess or two, or twenty, along the way. (I cleaned an entire can of blue Play-Doh off the cat today. That was a new one.) So all I’m asking is that you give me an “amen” or two — then donate what you can.

Thank you for everything you do — and will do — to help children [4] and their mothers. I know they would do the same for you.

P.S. My husband said “ditto for the dads.” :)

(1) Black, Robert, Morris, Saul, & Jennifer Bryce. “Where and Why Are 10 Million Children Dying Every Year?” The Lancet 361:2226-2234. 2003.