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Mummy, we see Jesus in you and we hear the gospel from you. Happy Mother’s Day

4 min read

On, this Mother’s Day, I would like to pay special homage to mothers who have played a significant role in my life. At different stages of my life, I was nourished, disciplined, blessed and supported by mothers. 

After the death of my father, my mother, Catherine and my sister, Evelyn, picked up the baton and raised 4 boys. It was tough. They made sacrifices, but they did so with grace. They prayed, guided, counselled, fed, educated, clothed, financed and fought with us and for us. Thank you for all you do, mummy and sis. 

In the early days of ministry at Nakuru Christian Center, mothers, too many to mention, always prayed for and supported me. Special mention to Mama Dorah (Mrs. Lihanda). She loved my brothers and I like her own kids.

When we were in primary school, Mrs. Kiveu, opened her home to us for after-school tuition.

Mrs. Gicheru and her husband fed us. They owned a restaurant, and would often shop and drop goodies at our home. They were a blessing to our family.

Mrs. Kimeu accompanied my brother Dennis and I to a boys boarding school. It was the first time. I will never forget how she took time off work to rush us to school. She defended me when I lied about a teacher in high school. She did. 

Before I came to South Africa, Doris Wanjiru aka Mama, a mother, and a friend helped me buy my air ticket and a suit. Thank you, Doris.

When I landed in South Africa, Pst. Mary Amondi Kirumbi, a mother who I hadn’t met before, opened her home. I lived with her family for a few months. Thank you, mama.

Dr. Marlene Van Wyk, my pastor at Joy Ministries, gave me the first opportunity to do ministry alongside her. She was the music director, and I played the keys. She and I worked together for many years. She was a blessing. Behind her back, they used to call her my mom. Thank you, mom.

Mrs. Estelle Scott, time and time again, had a doggy bag for me.

Sharon Glover allowed me to play with her daughter, Makayla, who has now matured into a young responsible lady. I am the unofficial ‘godfather’ to her kids.

Jeanita Sayers aka Mama J has always opened her home. I’ve had many a braai’s and curries with her family. We’ve had some intense, loud discussions at the dinner table late into the night.

My mother-in-law, Alice Bowler, accepted me as a son—knowing full well I had nothing to offer her daughter. She gave me her daughter. I thank her sincerely. I hope she lives long enough to see something she and I have talked about.

Marcia Witbooi, my sister-in-law. Towards me, she has always been kind. And the whispers? (She always has something to tell me up close).

Gloria Bowler, another sister-in-law, has always been gracious and welcoming. She is kind to me.

I have seen my wife Jenny take care of her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews—especially the energetic Atiya. She is always looking out for their best. She will be a good mother to our kids, one day.

I have been living in South Africa for the past twelve years and I have not missed seeing the role and influence that mothers have played in the making of this great nation. Recently, we celebrated the life of Winnie Madikizela—Mandela, who was known as the mother of the nation. She was a fierce advocate for the freedom of black people. She stands alongside mothers—black and white—who were at the forefront of the liberation movement.

I have to confess, though, that I didn’t regard mothers as highly as I should have. I really didn’t. This is surprising since a mother and sister who later became a mother in her own right raised me. I would hear other people talk highly about how their mothers had influenced their lives. But all that was lost in translation.

It took the gospel to open my eyes to how Jesus valued women of all types—mothers, singles, wives, widows, young, old, barren, fruitful, etc. I saw how Jesus valued women and that transformed my heart. I saw how he defended, healed, appraised, and valued women throughout his ministry—even one caught in the act of adultery. Jesus defended and forgave her. (John 8:1-11 NLT)

Mothers point us to Jesus 

As I have grown in the gospel, I have discovered what my mother and other mothers were doing was pointing me to Jesus and his work for me. They were grace, personified. They were pointing me to the gospel. They prayed, mediated, supported, counselled, disciplined, guided and even gave up their lives for me. This is exactly what Jesus did and does for us right now in heaven. This is the gospel.

Mummies are grace, personified.

Give their lives? Oh, yes. Many mothers ‘die’ for the sake of their kids. Just like Jesus gave himself up for us. (Ephesians 5:2, 25 NKJV) After the death of my father, my mother left for the U.K. She went there to work so she could provide for us. Her dreams ‘died’ so we could live our dreams. She ‘gave up herself’ for us. And this is the essence of the gospel and who Jesus is.

So, mummy, who you are and what you do points your children to the ultimate person—Jesus. You are a picture of who Jesus is. You reflect who he is.

Mummy, I am sure you have this nagging feeling you haven’t been a good mother. And it may be true, yes, that you haven’t been a good mother. If so, I need you to know this, Jesus has used your imperfections for his glory. His power has worked best in your weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT). It hasn’t been easy. Cheer up. Jesus always works things together for good. Nothing is wasted. Encourage yourself.

Mummy, we see Jesus in you and we hear the gospel from you.

Happy Mother’s Day

That’s what grace looks like

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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Schulter Etyang leads The Life Place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Schulter is one whom Jesus loves. He loves his wife, Jenny, and enjoys reading, travelling, cooking, running and playing squash. He also enjoys conversations with friends about Jesus and about life.