Two years ago, when I went to Honduras, I was really touched by the mothers I saw there. They loved their children so much, and worked so hard to try and provide for them. They would carry them in their arms miles and miles to the clinic, to get them the medical care they need. They would spend extra time getting those white school uniform shirts clean. I’m not exactly sure how, I can’t get my whites that white with my very fancy washing machine and dryer. But they get some creek water in a bucket, and keep those clothes looking new.
I’ve spoken (many many times) to other moms in our MOPS group about this, and it was really on my heart this year to do something for these moms. I wasn’t sure what, or how, but I wanted to do something.
My first thought was that these moms needed some slings or snuglis! I mean, they carry their babies everywhere. A stroller wouldn’t work well going up and down a mountain pass (and aren’t common anyway), but a sling…that might work. Baby wearing is very ‘in’ here in the states, but I wasn’t sure what the moms in Honduras might think about them.
Since we were also collecting socks and underwear for the kids, we figured we might as well collect some for the moms as well. If the slings are weird and awkward enough to give out, then the underwear sure would be!
Another team member helped to organize her friends to collect small pampering items. Soaps, lotions, hair ties, combs, nail files, etc. She put them in little treat bags, and we added a little card with John 3:16 in spanish to them, then tied with pretty ribbon.
We still weren’t sure how these would be given out to the moms. A few weeks before our trip, while trying to wrap up all these little details, Rebeccah mentioned to me that they had a young woman interning with them for the year. She works on community health, and had been looking for a way to get the moms of the CNI kids together to talk to them about proper nutrition and to hopefully start a support group for moms to talk about parenting issues.
Which sounds a lot like what our MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) group is here at our church. Since there were 4 MOPS moms going on this trip (and several other moms) it seemed like a great idea. To make it even more like our MOPS meetings here at home, I got the okay to provide food for the event.
So Monday evening, we ran home to clean up after a long day (though several team members didn’t make it home, and came straight from the contruction site to the event! gotta love that dedication!) and came back up to the CNI to get things set up. It’s uncanny how much like a MOPS meeting it was. I mean, it WAS a MOPS meeting. In Honduras.
Rebeccah had arranged for snack, chips, soda, and ice cream for the mamas. They started arriving and sitting down around the round tables that had been set up, chatting amongst themselves (just like our meetings back home) and we served them their soda and ice cream. One of the pastor’s wives, Marlen, had been asked to speak at the event….and I have to say, she’s one of the best public speakers I’ve ever listened to. Honestly, my spanish is AWFUL and yet I still understood every single point that she made. Between her clear and simple points, her animated speech, and the slides that went with it….I know those moms enjoyed the evening. She’s a beautful lady and spoke to the moms about parenting in love, leading by example (children learn what we do, not what we say) and went over the food pyramid, talking about good choices in nutrition.
(I’m hoping to add a photo of her speaking….I don’t have one…but thinking that one of the other ladies might)
While she was talking we finished setting up our little ‘Victoria’s Secret’ in the corner.
We weren’t sure at all how the moms would react to our odd little gift, but after the meeting was over, they started checking out the table and went nuts! They were holding them up, handing them out to their friends, smiling and laughing…it was great!
Then we started handing out the slings and snuglis to the moms that had small babies with them. The first few we gave out had been donated in the package. Packages which had photos and directions in spanish. We gave those out, and the moms looked at us like “Um, okay. Thanks I guess. Not sure what I’m going to do with THIS.” and started wandering off.
Then we ran out of the ones that had directions, so we pulled the last few moms with babies aside and tried to demonstrate how they were to be used. We put the snuglis on, showed them where the baby was to sit….and they got excited. REALLY excited. They went and got the other moms that had left and brought them back! Several of the moms wanted to put their babies in for the walk home, so we helped them out.
(we are pretty sure we put that baby in ALL wrong, so no lectures por favor! it’s been years since any of us had little ones small enough to wear, and she had a serious case of ‘I WANT MY MOMMY’ from the second a gringa touched her, so we just wanted to get her in there and happy!)
*oooooo, squishy baby goodness!!!*