The Feed

Stories of Feeding God's Children Hungry in Body & Spirit

The Language of Motherhood

The Language of Motherhood

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Alli Schwartz is the communication manager at Feed My Starving Children.

In March I had the privilege of traveling to Haiti for a week-long mission trip with one of FMSC’s partners,Love a Child.

This was my first international mission trip and I was nervous.

I tried to ‘prepare’ myself for the experience by gathering as much information as possible. I talked to peers that had been on similar trips and I carefully planned what I would need.

Still, my head raced with questions. How would the people of Haiti receive us? Would we be intrusive? How would we communicate, especially with a language barrier?

Shortly before I left, two things reminded me I was already equipped with all that I needed.

A friend texted me to say that God had already prepared the road, with everything else stripped away – I would see, feel and experience Him.

The other reminder, as funny as it sounds, was a blog post about a special language I speak – motherhood.

The post was from a woman who was going to visit a dear friend, a friend who had just lost her 21-month old daughter.

The woman was terrified of what to say – fearful she would fumble over words. The woman had two healthy children of her own and wondered how she could possibly comfort her friend.

During the woman’s visit, amidst the pain and grief, her friend said something profound: you’re a mom, you know. The woman went on to describe the bond all mothers share and it struck a chord within me.

While I will never know what it is like to walk three miles with a five gallon bucket on my head to ensure my children have safe water, or embark on a two-hour trek down a mountainside to reach medical care like the mothers in Haiti do every day – I am a mom, and I know.

I know the deep love mothers have for their children. It’s the same reason I’ve spent countless nights sleeping in a chair with a sick child gently resting on my chest.

No matter if you are a mother living in the U.S., a mother living in a tent in Haiti or a mother living in a mud hut in Africa – we all share the joy of children. Motherhood is a universal language.

During my week in Haiti, I got to speak that special language and share God’s love. I placed boxes of FMSC meals into the weathered hands of mothers. I saw their eyes fill with HOPE and relief. Now they wouldn’t have to choose which child they would feed today.

I may not fully understand the pain of those difficult choices, but I am a mom, and I know. I know that I would do anything for the health and well-being of my children.

One of the greatest honors God has called me to be is a mother. God also calls us to support one another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.

On this day, and every day, I pray that mothers around the world get to experience joy in seeing their children grow and flourish.

That we all can find some way, big or small, to support one another – the mother across the street, or the mother across the ocean.
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