Monday, May 10, 2010


Yesterday was Mother's Day...a traditionally hard day for me. It has become even harder since we've moved to South Africa.

Yesterday in the Diepsloot service I was asked to share the message - the closing on a series on gossip. Diepsloot, as a unit, struggles with the temptations of this world, and the whole of the church can get sucked in quickly. The problem is, Christians are not supposed to gossip about one another...about anyone, actually.

My "preach", as they call it here, was designed to address lightly how this problem falls into the paths of women. Since women like to talk and openly process things (I can't believe I'm making this generalization) the trap is set for us to fall in to.

The whole preach was translated by my friend, Anica, who translated for her first time. In addition, she didn't translate English into her native SisPedi, but rather into Zulu. She did the best she could, but it was her first time. My preach was also my first in a local church context (I have preached in "the bush" before, but only to groups that were LTT crowds).

I struggled to get my point accross, then ended with a story...the story I heard when Vince was in kindergarten. It's called "I Love You Forever" - a children's book meant to make grown people weep.

On Saturday I realized that the whole book could possibly get lost in translation and asked Portia, Darrell and Ebi to translate the book for me into Zulu. I practiced reading it aloud to see (mainly by Ebbi's eyes) if I were getting the pronunciation right.

The story begins with a young mother holding her son in her arms after he was born and singing a simple song, called I love you Forever. It continues on and on as the boy grows into a man, and the mother is still the same mother to him, singing the same song. It's a touching story of how a mother's love endures even when the kids misbehave, rebel, smart-mouth,etc.

It is also a parallel of God's love for us. God sees us as His precious children all the time, even during periods of rebellion. The story makes me cry deeply when I read it...and I did let a few tears roll in the service.

When it was all over, the hall burst into applause, mainly for my attempt at Zulu, but also because the people enjoyed the story. I could see many mothers had been crying.... especially the Zulu moms.

I see the stroy as one that transcends time and boundaries. It grips us to know that Mothers will do anything, absolutely anything for their children.

This is where my heart is, but for many who observe from the outside, it may look like I don't put my money where my mouth is. I love my kids, and would do anything for them. Even so, God is my incredible all-consuming fire, who requires everything from me, and I really feel His will here. I will do anything for my God. Anything for Him above anyone else.

He loves me forever...and I can turn and love my kids (no matter what age) with the same love.

Or try to.

It was a great Mother's Day. Everyone called me... my kids that is!!