I truly enjoyed the thought provoking posting of the legacy of 105 years restoring families. It reminded me of a Friday, the weekend of Mother's Day about 6 years ago at the Star of Hope Men's Development Center.
The day was going as normal as possible when I thought about the fact that these men are somebody's son and I wondered the same thing, "When was the last time you spoke to your mother?" I imagined the many times in a 24-hour period that a mother thinks about her son if she has not heard from him especially when she knows he's involved with drugs, alcohol or crime. Being a mother myself, I could understand the relief she would feel if she received his call after such a long time. So we, together as staff, handed the men our phones and suggested, "Why don't you call home? I'm sure your mother would love to hear from you!"
Many of the men, and I do mean most, were terribly reluctant, almost folding in fetal positioned fear, because the last time they saw their mother, she was highly disturbed with them, disappointed and disgusted for stealing their cars, jewelry or money and probably would not want to speak to them. Many of them were convinced that she would probably hang up in their face!
One man said the last time he saw his mom, she was so angry with him for selling the food from her refrigerator then coming back hours later and stealing the refrigerator! It was the last time he saw her and had not spoke to her or his children for over 6 years. Can you imagine? It brings me to a soul wrenching sickness to think of it.
Somehow through eye contact we connected in faith and managed to believe that refrigerators, money, jewels nor cars could outweigh the love a mother has for her son and we continued to pursue the notion that a heartfelt forgiveness was simply waiting for each man on the phone line, just a call away! satan, and I purposely leave his name with a small letter "s", has a way of turning an incident, an addiction, a exchange of words that cut like a knife into years of generational curses, separating the foundation of a family into years of estrangement. satan's purpose was to turn every person that has love for this man into unforgivable hatred; that can kill any man to be viewed by his family as worthless!
I knew he was behind every excuse not to call but God was ahead of him as always, thinking for us and speaking through us, convincing each man one by one to take a leap of faith that could release them from years of shame and guilt and it surely did! Our God is an awesome God, he would not suffer our foot to be moved! Every man was a testimony to us; One by one, the power of God was released to heal and deliver souls from a miry clay and eternal bitterness. Firsthand we were able to witness despair disburse speedily back to the pits of hell from whence it came.
Every man that accepted His invitation to make that call was greeted by their mother's elated joy to know that her son was alive and had making a commitment to live a more productive lifestyle! The bonds that had them tied like a prisoner was finally released! The atmosphere was indescribable!
Thanks for reminding me of the true meaning of the work we labor to do here at the mission. It is the work of the Lord whose reward is far greater than any material gain.
Star of Hope Men’s Development Center