Always Grateful

Imagine for a moment what life would be like if you were living in a country torn with civil war...

You're afraid of walking down the street because you may be shot. You're afraid that someone may come in to your home and hurt you or your family or worse yet kidnap and rape your young teenage daughter.

You're afraid to stay because you know that the future is so uncertain and bleak. You want a better life for you and your family. You want peace, freedom, liberty, safety, and security. That's why my mother decided to gather my siblings and me and leave our African homeland, Ethiopia. She knew we had no future there in the poverty stricken war zone we called home.

The last memory we have of back home is hearing the distant echoes of gunfire while driving out of the town where we lived. As we were driving out, I remember seeing dead bodies lying on the sides of the road and mass graves being dug. I was only 11 years old and that picture has forever been engraved in my mind.

The next part of our journey was refugee camp in Kenya. We lived in Thika camp outside of Nairobi for two years. Waiting to find sponsors so we could move to Canada was a long process. However, I never heard mom complain.

She was very protective of us and we were number one in her life. Being a single mother of six children and then having to be exiled in a foreign country was no easy task. Nevertheless she took it all in stride and made the best of it. She had faith -- even in the darkest of hours she kept telling us that things will work out for the best.

She'd always make sure we had the basic things that we needed. She had started weaving baskets so that she can supplement the food we were getting from camp. To get food, we had to stand in line for about 5 hours per day and what we received was not much. My mother was a trained social worker in Ethiopia and made a decent living. Making this change, for our sakes, was very difficult for her, but she never let us see her fear and disappointments.

Yes, my mom was determined to get us to a better place in life. She kept going back to the UN office begging for them to find us sponsors. She just would not give up.

I remember the day when we were sitting in the UN office and looking at a tall Canadian woman who was going to tell us our fate. She said, "We have found sponsors for you to go to Canada."

I can still hear those wonderful words in my head like it happened yesterday! At the time it meant everything in the world. We were coming to a land of freedom, where there is plenty of clean water and peace.

Today, I am a mother of a 4 year old, and I can only imagine the horror my own mother went through. I put myself in her place and realize how lucky I am to be living in North America -- a place where we all feel safe and have plenty of food and necessities -- things that are easily taken for granted.

On this Mother's Day, I give thanks for my hero, my mother.

She made so many sacrifices in her life so we could have a better life. She taught me to have faith and be persistent. Never complain. Always be grateful for the good things you have. Even when we were in a refugee camp and had absolutely nothing my mom used to say, "Look we are still alive and we're healthy." She always saw the glass half full.

My mom was an amazing woman and we were lucky to have her.

Neseret Bemient 

Receive our free newsletters

The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available. 


The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.

Visit Answers2Prayer

Subscribe Here:
The Illustrator
The Nugget

Your email:

Please be aware that you will receive a confirmation message via email. Once you receive it, please click on the link mentioned in the email. If you have problems please email us.