Bethesda News

Hope for Mothers

by Scott Dunwoody, Executive Director

Have I ever shared with you the importance of holidays to our guests at the Mission? I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, which tend to take center stage in the rescue mission world. But every holiday is important and provides a valuable opportunity to create memories for our guests. At the Women’s Mission, few holidays bring up as many mixed emotions as Mother’s Day.

I sat down with Shelley Brooks, Women’s Mission Director, recently to discuss more about how the upcoming facility expansion will help further our vision for ministering to women and children in crisis. The thing that she is most excited about is the potential to provide “more opportunities for women to reconcile: with God, with themselves, and with their children.”

“The mothers here feel a lot of guilt and shame for not having their children with them,” Shelley continued. “We focus on giving them the opportunity and time to work on healing their own pain so that, when reconciliation with children does occur, it is positive and healing on both sides. When given the space to reflect, the ladies realize the gulf that abandonment and drugs can create, but that God can heal all wounds.

Most people don’t realize how important good memories are in a person’s life and in relationships. If you think back to your own childhood, I’d bet that many of you have very positive memories of holiday celebrations. And those memories, shared between family members, create a foundation for your relationships moving forward.

Now imagine that you never celebrated Mother’s Day because your mom was nowhere to be found on most weekends because of addiction. Or imagine if all of your holiday memories were painful rather than joyful? This will inevitably make future holidays more emotionally difficult and contribute additional cracks to an already shaky relational foundation.

So, the experiences that our guests have during holidays with us is so important because we need to give them the opportunity to form new, positive memories. Then, when mothers begin to value these new memories, they realize that their own children don’t have those memories! But, as Shelley pointed out, “this is where Jesus shows up!” We get to help them establish new memories of love with their children and inspire hope for new memories in the future.

I’d like to share this poem with you, written by our guest, Amanda. She beautifully describes her own passion for restoring hope in children who were emotionally abused like herself:

I want to bring peace to the earth truth be told
By helping kids with broken souls
To the little ones in need or living in foster
Care and compassion is what I have to offer
To bring a peace to little hearts and minds
It doesn’t take much to be kind
No more sleeping with one eye open
Children shouldn’t have to feel the pain of being broken
Show a little love
Play a game or two
Let them talk it out
For me and my dream
That’s what I’m gonna do

Thank you for your support, which has contributed to countless new memories through the years! Please know that you are greatly appreciated and we consider it an honor that you’ve chosen to be a part of our extended family.

“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations.”
-Psalm 22:27-28

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