Right before Mother’s Day last year, I read Francine Rivers’s new book, Her Mother’s Hope. It is the story of multiple generations of women in one family line. The novel powerfully demonstrates how a mother’s struggles and triumphs can impact her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. The story taught me that we can show love to the older women in our families by understanding the unique challenges they have faced and by honoring their victories.
I began thinking about my great-grandmother, Minnie Ola Rountree, whom I never knew. She was orphaned as a young girl and was raised by her older sister. She married a godly man of high standing in the community. They had seven children together, three of whom they buried. My great-grandmother became a widow early on in life. Nevertheless, she put three sons through college through her hard work and sacrifice.
My grandmother, Aletha Green, couldn’t bear to see her mother scrub another floor to put her through college, so she married as young as she could and began life as a military wife. Her mother lived with her and helped raise her five children.
My grandmother’s family endured severe trials together. My mom and my aunt were victimized by someone their family should have been able to trust. Brokenness, pain, and destruction wound through the family like a choking vine.
But we serve a Savior who resurrects lives and families.
My mom wrote a Bible study out of her painful journey to find freedom and redemption called Breaking Free. It went on to help many women encounter Christ’s healing and restoration.
Two years ago, Jesus rescued my aunt from a stronghold of addiction and set her feet upon a rock. She now works at a church that serves people in recovery.
In many more ways than I could share today, God is slowly and faithfully resurrecting our family. He is rebuilding “the ancient ruins and restoring the places long devastated” (Isaiah 61:4).
Knowing what the women before me have overcome, I look at my mom and her sister and I say miracle. I look at my sister and myself and I say miracle. I look at my two-year-old daughter—a gift of grace in my life—and I say miracle.
As Mother’s Day approached last year, I felt overwhelmed with love for these dear women. I was so grateful for God’s work in their lives. How could I honor their perseverance, their dignity in Christ, and the redemption story that He is still writing?
Jesus brought As Our Own to my mind. I thought of the women who have found themselves enslaved in brothels in India—women without hope or freedom. I thought of what it must be like for them to bear children into such dreadful circumstances. I thought of the courage and selflessness it must take to give their daughters—bright lights in a very dark existence—a chance to live a different life. I thought of the redemption story God is writing through these young girls who are now being raised in a secure, loving, Christ-centered home. I thought of how future generations of women will look back at their grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ stories and say that their courage opened a door and the Savior walked right through it. They will see their lives as miracles.
I also considered the women at As Our Own who are raising these precious girls as their own daughters. Their loving care is something to praise God for.
The Lord showed me that I could honor my mother and all the women in our family on Mother’s Day by giving a financial gift to As Our Own. That gift would also honor the courage of the mothers who are enslaved in the red-light district, the dignity of their young daughters, and the love of the women who care for them at As Our Own.
I arranged for a donation to be made on behalf of the women in my family. Then I wrote a letter to my mom explaining what had inspired the gift and what it would mean for more than 60 young girls in India. It was an incredibly meaningful Mother’s Day for both of us.
This Mother’s Day, you can honor your own mother by giving a financial gift to As Our Own just as I did. Your donation will equip this ministry to care for some of the world’s most vulnerable children in Jesus’ name. Your gift can help change a family line for generations to come. Join us in being a part of this redemption story.
Here’s a special way to say, “Thanks, Mom!”
STEP 1 :: Give to our Thanks, Mom! campaign to honor your mom on Mother’s Day, May 8.
STEP 2 :: In the donation comments box, tell us what you appreciate most about your mom.
STEP 3 :: Download a certificate for your mom that explains the gift you’ve made in her name.
About As Our Own
The extreme poverty in India places girls at great risk for exploitation, enslavement, and neglect. Girls are regularly abused and degraded, forced into lives of bonded labor, either in organized begging or the sex trade.
These girls will face a dark, horrific future—unless someone intervenes.
God has opened the door for As Our Own to rescue girls before they are exploited, giving us the privilege to care for each one as our own—for life. We are building strong communities through our Lighthouse church network and training strong leaders and pastors at our Hope College, all to break these cycles for girls in future generations.
Your gifts make a lasting difference for these girls. Thank you!