Updated: Jun 19, 2018
She comes every Tuesday to the children’s outreach with her brother swaddled around her neck in a homemade sling. “Little mommas” are what we call these precious tiny caregivers. Life shouldn’t be so hard when you are only six or seven yourself. It’s not fair. Nothing about it is. However, fair or not, this is the reality of most third world children. Their mothers must work to put scraps on the table. Long days. Hard labor. Little pay. No child care.
The first time she came I tried to relieve her of her burden so she could play with the other children. Instead of joining in the fun, she withdrew. I realized she was stressed by my gesture of compassion. She didn’t know how to be a child. My act of kindness was anything but. I quickly realized my mistake and returned her priceless burden back into her care.
How do you break the cycle of poverty? I wish I knew. The more we tried the more we mess things up. There’s no easy fix. No amount of money. No social program. No magic tricks to make it all better. Jesus himself said the poor will always be with you. So how do we respond to the needs that surround us? That’s the million dollar question! All I really know is this, to love a child is to change the world. Jesus said, “Bring the little children to Me." So for this in-over-her-head missionary, I start there.