Now I Know

Before I became a mother, it was easy to pick out a Mother’s Day gift for my mom. I had the privilege of ignorance. But on February 17, 2006, that ignorance flew out the window of Baylor Grapevine Hospital when a baby boy was placed in my arms. Now I knew.

Having heard on my birthday every year about the 14 stitches my mother suffered during childbirth and how many months she felt that pain, I now felt it.

Having heard my mother say that having a child is like carrying your heart outside your body and letting it walk around, I now carried it. I now saw it take first steps.

I had never loved my mother more. Now I knew. The magnitude of what my mother had done for me all my life started to sink in.

So how exactly am I supposed to say thank you to my mother now that I know?

For countless meals fixed or fetched, for hairdos perfected before school and messed up before the bus got us all the way there, for refereeing more sibling battles than one can count, for pretending and being silly, for enduring back to school shopping with two daughters year in and year out, for carpooling, for taking us on vacations to places we wanted to go, for protecting us from harm, for comforting us when kids were mean, for correcting us when we were mean, for listening to kids’ music in the car, for teaching our VBS classes, for volunteering at the school, for confidentially counseling our friends, for cheering us on from the bleachers even when our team couldn’t win a game, for enduring our adolescent mood swings, for playing basketball in the driveway, for teaching us about Jesus Christ, and for doing all these things with love and a smile on her face. HOW? How do I thank my mother for raising me? And for doing it without letting on how hard it was?

Mom, truly, I thank you. Now that I know, I don’t know how you did it. But I’m grateful. And I hope I can raise your grandchildren in such a way that they remember me with a smile on my face. Even if I put all my money in my purse and spent a year doing nothing but shop for the perfect Mother’s Day gift to accurately reflect your worth to me as a mother, it would elude me. Nothing in a store could ever measure up to your value.

I may have a little gift in my hand for you on Mother’s Day, but I also want to give a gift that means something more. I want to show you your value to me by showing a little girl in India how much value she has to Christ. She is living in a very dark, unsafe brothel and her own mother is a slave to many men. Her mother is unable to care for her because she is not free to stop working. Her mother could sell her young daughter to the brothel and escape a living hell. But her mother wants freedom, protection and life for her child. Her mother is saying, “Help me by helping my daughter.”


With a financial gift made in your honor, God is providing a means of rescue for this little girl through As Our Own. The little girl’s mother will entrust her to their care. When she visits her daughter she will see her thriving and healthy and she will know that she has given her child a priceless gift. The child will be raised by loving women who will nurture her like their own daughter. She will go to school and be educated, which will change the path of her future. She will be introduced to Jesus Christ, who loves her and gave Himself for her. For the rest of her life, a family of believers will devote themselves to her well being.

Rescuing children from horrific exploitation and eventual death from AIDS does not come without a cost. For those of you reading this, the cost is financial. For a team of believers on the ground in India, the cost is spiritual and physical. Today I am looking for people who will partner with us by giving sacrificially to As Our Own. Let’s equip them to do the work God has called them to do. They are anointed for this work. They are even training pastors to take up this cause so that the church in India will become a mighty advocate for these children. The momentum is building and I ask you to please be a part of what God is doing.

Honestly, it is easier not to know about these things. I could have written details in this post that would have made you sick for the rest of the week. What happens in that red-light district haunts me daily. But I will not turn away because it’s easier. I will consider what is happening, how I can help, and I will take five minutes to go to their new Web site and actually do it. The beauty is that right now you and I can impact a child’s future and honor our moms (or a special mother figure in our lives) at the same time. Who is with me?

Donate in honor of Mother’s Day:

About As Our Own

The extreme poverty in India places girls at great risk for exploitation, enslavement, and neglect. Girls are regularly abused and degraded, forced into lives of bonded labor, either in organized begging or the sex trade.

These girls will face a dark, horrific future—unless someone intervenes.

God has opened the door for As Our Own to rescue girls before they are exploited, giving us the privilege to care for each one as our own—for life. We are building strong communities through our Lighthouse church network and training strong leaders and pastors at our Hope College, all to break these cycles for girls in future generations.

Your gifts make a lasting difference for these girls. Thank you!


123 Responses to “Now I Know”

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  1. 51
    Living4Him says:

    Thank you for the wonderful idea for Sunday!!

  2. 52

    My sweet Morgan donated to this for me as my Mothers Day gift. I hope she will feel the same way about me as you do your mom. I also praise God for sweet mama Siesta taking the time to mother this girl through the years of bible study!!

  3. 53
    Heather says:

    Thanks.♥ God bless ya,

  4. 54

    I am so blessed to have a wonderful christian mother!
    My heart breaks for all the girls in Cambodia, especially the ones who had their mothers sell them into slavery. Oh my heart aches for those girls. I pray that they may find a christian mother in the safe houses. That they may know their father in heaven. I want them to know that their chains are gone and they have freedom in Christ Jesus.
    I pray for all those girls @ RAPHA HOUSE.

  5. 55
    Amanda says:

    Siestas, Sherry and Ralph at the As Our Own office in Chicago said you girls were on fire making donations today. Y’all are AWESOME! I’m so grateful and so proud of our blog community!
    Much love,

  6. 56
    Ruth from North Idaho says:

    Thank you for bringing this opportunity to our attention, Amanda.

  7. 57
    Astrid says:

    thanks for sharing this. i too am deeply disturbed by this injustice and love supporting this type of work. i read most of their website and was just curious about how the orphans are cared for- are they adopted into local families or do the have an actual orphanage home that is staffed by local believers? do you know how many children live there? it didn’t seem very clear on how they operate once children are rescued other than that they attend local christian schools (i did read about the commitment to privacy) i will donate to honor my mother who opened our home to six orphans that i was raised with. its a hard and beautiful work all at the same time

    • 57.1
      Amanda says:

      Astrid, that is a good question. The girls are not adopted out. This ministry is committed to caring for them as their own children. There are two homes, one for older girls and one for younger girls. I believe there are about 60 children at this time. Thank you so much for donating in honor of your mom!

      • Jennifer D says:

        I wonder those same questions. Thanks for asking and answers. 🙂 It helps create a picture to pray for.

  8. 58
    Bec says:

    Thanks so much for this opportunity. Every time you tweet about As Our Own, it tugs at my heart strings.

    Quick semi-off-topic question: how do you explain what As Our Own is about to Jackson? I have a 5 year old daughter who will want to understand what kind of gift we are giving grandma. I want to explain to her how this shares the love of Jesus, but there are just some parts of what these precious girls in India have gone through that I don’t want to get into with her yet so as to preserve her own innocence. Does that make sense? Do you just say that it helps rescue people from slavery?

  9. 59
    Sparki2003 says:

    Hi there,

    What a wonderful idea ! However, I cannot afford to do anything like this right now.

    However, from 2000 to 2004, I was very blessed to be able to sponsor a little girl from Compassion International !

    And, I almost think that I felt “more blessed by her” than she was by me . . . Her tutor helped her write to me at least twice a year, and each time, she would start her letters by telling me that she was “praying for me” ! I still think of “my little Angela” often, and was so sad to have to give up my sponsorship due to God’s change of plans in my life at that time.

    I would like to add that it would be very nice if we were to pray for anyone who sees this blog whose mother has passed away . . .

    And, although I highly doubt that she will look on here, I just read that Amy Grant’s mother [yes, the Christian singer/songwriter] just passed through Heaven’s gates on April 30th, 2011. And, I know that Amy and her family could use our prayers, as well.

    In Christ’s Precious Love,

    Jennifer O.

  10. 60
    Leslie says:

    Thank you so much Amanda! For my mom who taught me compassion by her actions and her words…I think this is the most wonderful gift. His will be done for these precious girls….

  11. 61
    cheryl says:

    what does a mother do when a father has lied to your kids about you and there is so much madness between your kids.No one will sit and hear both sides to the story. the mother gets rude comments made about her on facebook. but clame to be a Christian and they have done no wrong. they have done alot and there life is not clean at all. want to down there sister that is going though some hard times. i don’t get it.

  12. 62
    Kathy B says:

    My heart is squeezed so tightly I can hardly stop the tears. Bless you, sweet Amanda for bringing this to our attention and making it so easy to be involved in something so profound. For all those whose lives have suffered wreckage as a result of such heinous crimes, may the Lord above bring real live healing and Redemption today through this ministry to these little vulnerable ones.

    I’ve heard your mother say that it’s this really, really awful stuff that God is so good at fixing. In fact it’s His speacialty. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • 62.1
      Michele says:

      Hi Kathy!
      How are things in your area? Any storm damage? I’m looking into coming down that way for a bit.

      • Kathy B says:

        Howdy! Thank the Lord, no damage here. Please come on down. I’ll do my best to be here this time 🙂 We’d have a blast.

  13. 63
    Bridget (Strong Butterfly) says:

    Blessings to you Amanda for sharing this gift of opening our eyes to the plight of other little girls and women. Too long my eyes have been self-centered, even as a Christian. I was moved deeply by the post, and the website. I pray for blessing to give to this ministry for it seems they are truly being Christ’s hands and feet!
    Love to you all there.

  14. 64
    Kim says:

    Amanda! What a beautiful and wonderful idea for Mother’s Day. I am donating to their organization in honor of my mother and mother-in-law. Thank you for this blessing!

  15. 65
    Michele says:

    What an important ministry. I was just reading something recently about the child trafficking problem in Oregon. I wish we could rescue every abused child out of their situation. Lord, have mercy.

  16. 66
    Janet says:

    Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13

  17. 67
    Rena says:

    Thank you for posting this, Amanda! A couple years ago, I saw the documentary “Born into Brothels” and that broke my heart for those in the red light districts… I am in school, but have been looking for ministries to get involved with full-time after graduation. I had never heard about As Our Own before, but they are doing exactly what I want to be doing!!! My family is in India, so I hope on my next trip there I will be able to visit their homes! Thank you for so much for making us aware of this great ministry!

  18. 68
    Katie says:

    What an AWESOME idea Amanda!!! What a perfect way to honor our mothers. I will be making a donation in honor of my mom and my incredible children. Wishing you a very blessed day!!!

  19. 69
    Ruth says:

    “You will keep him in perfect peace
    Whose mind is stayed on You
    Because he trusts in You.”
    Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

  20. 70
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you for writing about this amazing organization. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

  21. 71
    Kelly says:

    Thanks for posting on this! Happy Mother’s Day to As Our Own!

  22. 72
    Sharon Roberts says:

    Sharon Spokane, WA

    Or do you suppose that the scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit (to be welcome) with a jealous love?

    James 4:5 amp

  23. 73
    Lisa Curtis says:

    Love your writing. What a great idea.

    I have a question, so random, sorry. Will you be doing a Summer Bible Study for the Siestas? Eagerly awaiting and checking the blog everyday hoping for a mention of it. Just wondering.

    • 73.1
      KMac says:

      Hey Lisa
      At this time, I do not have any information about whether or not Beth will host a Summer study on the Blog. Just keep watching. 🙂

  24. 74
    Larissa says:

    Thanks for a beautiful idea for a Mother’s Day gift. Having a wonderful mom (and now being a mom myself) makes me realize how much these children in India need a mother’s love. I’m thankful for a way to bless them.

  25. 75
    April says:

    I’m so glad my mom was able to provide for my sister and me after my parents divorced. I made a donation in her honor!

  26. 76
    Kathleen says:

    Well said Melissa, thank you!

  27. 77
    Venita says:

    What a great reminder of all our Mother’s have gone through, and done on our behalf! What better way to honor them by helping mother’s care for their children in India!

  28. 78
    Mary says:

    Children have always been drawn to my gentle mother, who’s now 87 years old. I once asked her if she could live her life over again, what career would she choose. Without hesitation she said, “I’d run an orphanage.” What better Mother’s Day gift could I give her?

    Bless you, Amanda, for letting us know about this amazing organization. My mom will be so honored!

  29. 79
    Dawn Bouchard says:

    Thanks, Amanda, for sharing this wonderful ministry, and a great way to honor a special ‘mom’ in my life this Sunday! Praying for these precious little ones in India to have someone in their life to love them as Jesus would … what a difference it makes, as you well know 🙂 Thanks for ‘sharing’ your mom with us! Have a blessed weekend as you gather.

  30. 80
    Dawn says:

    Beth you have lead me to a life filled with Christ and have made me the mother that I am. I could not be the whole mother for my son if it wasn’t for the word that you bring. Thank you so much. You are my spiritual mother and I hope that you have a great Mother’s Day.

  31. 81
    Jennifer Tricarico says:

    Amanda – thanks so much for a sweet, sweet post and for pointing us to such a great way to honor our moms tangibly. Done.

    This issue has turned my stomach since I really first heard of the rescue mission supported by Life Today. It’s like the Lord just keeps gently pointing me to ways to get involved.

    The christian school my kids attend is prayerfully considering service projects and I have some ideas for ways our older girls can make and sell items to benefit organizations like ‘As Our Own.’ Right now it’s just a nagging idea or three. We’ll see what happens. Praying.

    Meanwhile, happy Mother’s Day to YOU, to all the moms in Siestaville and to our beloved “Siesta Momma” xoxo!

  32. 82
    Kathy says:

    Happy Mother’s Day from one grandma to another.

  33. 83
    Dianne Walters says:

    Dear Beth,
    Happy Mother’s Day! I pray that God blesses you exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or desire according to God’s power at work in you!!!

    I thank you so much for being my spiritual mentor for many years. Kinda weird that my mentor is younger than me, but I’m so grateful! Thank you for inspiring me to be in God’s word and to memorize scripture. As we await tests and diagnosis for a chronic cough my hubby has experienced for some time, I want you to know the scriptures I am memorizing have been a source of strength and comfort … like Psalm 62:1-2, Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 5:3, Psalm 27:14. Treasures from His Word! And my read the Bible through passages these past days are all from the Psalms and I’ve just repeated many of them right back to Him!

    Please pray as we await test results over the next week to 10 days. Thanks again for sound teaching over the past years, Siesta! Hope your Mother’s Day is the best ever!


  34. 84
    Tracey Knight says:

    my mom loved it, amanda. thanks for letting us know.
    love to you~ tracey

  35. 85

    My Mother and Mother-in-law were thrilled with their “gifts” to “As Our Own” Ministries. Thanks!

  36. 86
    Lisa says:

    Hi, friends!

    Psalm 119:17-18, NLT
    Be good to your servant,
    that I may live and obey Your Word.
    Open my eyes to see
    the wonderful truths in Your instruction.

  37. 87
    Amy Beth says:

    I’m a day late, because I was out of town, but I just wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, Beth. I love it when you say you’re our mama.

  38. 88
    Dawn says:

    My sweet daughter Brooke donated in my name….it is one of the nicest and most thoughtful gifts I have rec’d!! Thank you for sharing Amanda…..we shared with all of our friends, too! I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!

  39. 89
    Delores says:

    Please pray for Ryan & Lana Slaughter, they lost their 4 yr old son Landon in an auto accident, funeral is Thursday. Lana said he got up that morning singing “This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice & be glad in it.” He now sings in Heaven with Jesus. He was a precious little angel, he will be missed. The accident caused his spinal cord to separate from the brain stem, he was brain dead upon arrival to Vanderbilt. They were able to donate all his organs. Many lives will be touched by his gift. Lana was also injured both ankles broke, broken collar bone, laseration to her spleen. Please keep them in prayer, precious young Christian couple.

  40. 90
    Jen says:

    What sweet, sweet sentiments about your mom 🙂

  41. 91
    Pat from Kansas says:

    Thanks for sharing Amanda. What a wonderful group to support. May God pour out His blessings on the girls and the workers!

    I know you all are busy, but I miss the more frequent posts.:( I don’t have a twitter acct so am feeling out of the ‘loop’. Hope the James taping went well. I can’t wait to do the study. (And am expecting to be a bit ‘uncomfortable’. It’s such a hard book, but good).

  42. 92
    Patti says:

    Miss hearing from you, Beth! Hope all is well!

  43. 93

    Thankyou for telling us about this Amanda…

  44. 94
    Pam says:

    KJV Titus 2:13

    Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our saviour Jesus CHrist!

  45. 95
    Nell Brinkley says:

    He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. NIV Romans 6:14
    Chattanooga, Tn.

  46. 96
    Sandy says:

    Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God,for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man. James 1:13 KJV

  47. 97
    Janae says:

    Phil. 4:6 (NIV)

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

  48. 98
    Donna says:

    If you confess with you mouth, Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Romans 10:9

  49. 99
    kkirsch says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful heart wrenching post. I followed a link from a friend to get here and I am glad I did. You put into words about your mother what most of us feel but never think too say especially as you have. The evil that satan does is truly unbeleivable but the goodness that God does forever over powers the evil. Thank you God for your goodness.

  50. 100

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