‘ I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might’st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead;
I gave, I gave My life for thee,
What hast thou giv’n for Me?’

Being a mother to ten children is not easy no matter where you live in the world. It is especially difficult in a country like Zambia, where mothers constantly have to choose between feeding their children and educating them. Besnart struggled day in and day out to make sure that her 10 children would not face the same poverty she did as a child.

mothers day
Besnart in the African Vision of Hope Empowerment Ministry

She is the mother of African Vision of Hope’s Zambian Child Sponsorship Coordinator, Elliot. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Elliot to tell us about his mother and the impact she had on his life.

“My mother is a very hard working woman. She is very much like the woman in Proverbs 31. Growing up, we faced many hardships. My father did not make enough money to support our family, so my mother would work by selling things in the market. She always made sure that we were in school and paid for our schooling and books, even if it meant we had little money left over for food. When I went to college, she sold her belongings so that we could pay for my food and boarding.

Even though we had little ourselves, she would open our home to those in need. Whatever we had, we shared. The most important lesson my mother taught me was to love everyone no matter their position in life. Don’t look down on others, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. That lesson has helped in my work with the orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia through African Vision of Hope. Her lessons have also helped me in my marriage. She taught me how to love my wife and take care of my family.

Mothers day
Elliot, African Vision of Hope CEO Judi Bertels, and Besnart

Our mother groomed us and helped us stay on the right path. In Zambia, many parents do not care about their children’s futures. Our mother never saw us as a burden, but as blessings. Because of her sacrifice, many of my siblings, including myself, are in successful careers and are leaders in our communities. One sister became an African Vision of Hope teacher, one brother is becoming a doctor, and I am a Child Sponsorship Coordinator. Some of my siblings are also students at African Vision of Hope Schools, which has lifted a large burden from her shoulders because she no longer has to pay for school fees.

My mother’s favorite hymn is ‘I Gave my Life for Thee.’ One verse goes:

‘ I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might’st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead;
I gave, I gave My life for thee,
What hast thou giv’n for Me?’

I thank God every day for my mother and all that she gave up so that our family could survive.”

It is because of Besnart’s sacrifice and God’s grace that Elliot and his nine siblings have broken the cycle of poverty that claims the lives of millions of Zambians. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers who give their love and care so selflessly.

 

Give in honor of a special mother in your life today