During the midst of a discussion session two weeks ago one of our moms received a phone call. She appeared distressed and wiped some tears from her eyes but didn't comment. Several days later we were told that her husband had walked out on her. A week later another mom told the same story. Now all but one of our group are single mothers.
Lately we've been talking about parenting issues. We discussed the poem -
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness. If children live with fairness, they learn justice. If children live with faith, they learn hope. If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them. If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Oksana translated this into Russian and last week we made up wall hangings. It's a challenge to find craft supplies. Fortunately Mennonite Heritage Cruise passengers had brought humanitarian aid supplies along and we found some pretty paper. We managed to find narrow wooden moulding strips which we used for framing and then set the moms to work putting things together.
They had a great time being creative and were so grateful for the message. The mom in the red hat asked for five additional copies to hand out to her friends. Most of these moms don't come from a faith background, so it came as a surprise when they asked whether they could do something similar with the Lord's Prayer. Consequently next month Oksana will review the parts of this prayer and they will have an opportunity to practice their creativity again.
We are in the process of procuring some resource materials for this moms group and are very grateful to friends in our home church who have donated towards this purchase.