The music was loud. The atmosphere seedy. She sat at a table, waiting for her turn.
Her turn to dance on the counter, scantily dressed, with a number on her back like some commodity to be bought and sold.
Why? What was her reason for being employed in this manner? Her answer: she has two small children to feed and care for.
This young woman in the Bangkok Red Light district is there
because she is a mother.
The prison was crowded and noisy. The conditions deplorable. She sat on the courtyard bench and told her story.
The choice to transport drugs with the promise of enough money to pay off her house.
The chance to provide her children a secure home.
So she took the risk and ended up in an Ecuadorian prison.
Because she is a mother.
The trip was long. The feeling lonely.
She had left all she had known; her village, her friends, her family and worst of all, her children.
How she hated being separated from her children. She wanted to be the one to comfort them when they hurt, the one to laugh with them, to watch them grow, to teach them, to raise them.
But there were no jobs in her village. No way to earn money to provide for even the most basic needs.
And so she had left her children with their grandparents, made the long journey to the big city and was working hard to send money home.
Working hard, far away from her children. Lonely.
Because she is a mother.
How far would you go to keep your children alive?
Every day mothers around the world are faced with this excruciating question. A question that I, a mother of 4, never had to answer. We never went without food. We always had a warm, secure home. When there was a broken leg, we went to the doctor. When they needed glasses, it was done. I worried about many things as a mom, but never about meeting the basic needs of my children.
We had a steady income. Education. Opportunities. We had friends and family, a church and a community. We had government programs. We had so many resources available to us.
But what if?
What if I had not had any of those things?
No income. No education to help get a good job.
Family and friends as desperate as I.
What if my community and my government had no resources to help me?
What would I have done to keep my children alive?
I never had to answer that question and I am humbled by this recognition. Humbled and challenged. What can I do to ease the burden of the thousands of mothers today that are desperate to provide for their children? This question has an answer as there are many organizations helping vulnerable mothers provide for their families in honorable ways. Below are a few that we believe in. You probably know of others.
So the real question is not what CAN we do (as if our hands were tied) but WHAT WILL WE DO?
We at Mercy Market hope that you will commemorate Mother’s Day this year by doing something to help provide hope and life for desperate mothers and their children. Generous sharing of our resources is a beautiful way to express gratitude for our blessings and to say,
“Happy Mother’s Day!”