Surprised to Work with Megacity Mums

With a childhood of climbing trees and muddy football matches behind me, I spent my early adulthood avoiding every ladies-only event in church (no manicures or spa days for me). So when we moved to Asia as a family over ten years ago, I was sure I would not be spending much time working with women.

Perhaps it was inevitable, though, living on an alleyway in a Southeast Asian megacity, that I would in fact spend most of my time with women. The other mums around me were my natural allies.

There’s Putri’s mum, who once broke up a fight between two angry grown men on our alley. She rules over her boarding house with absolute authority – and yet is every young mum’s go-to person for help and support.

Galih’s mum buys gold with any spare cash to save for the unpredictable future. She never stops smiling even in the worst family crisis – because ‘angry words don’t help anything’.

Alfan’s mum is bringing up her children in a tumbledown home off the main alley. She survives by working two or three cleaning jobs – her husband doesn’t really work at all. ‘This is not the life I would have chosen,’ she shared during one of our afternoon chats, with the kids playing around us and a gentle breeze lifting the heat of the day. But she is the heartbeat of her family.

These three Muslim women have never in their lives been to a spa day or manicure, but their hands and feet are marked with the beauty of a hard life well lived. God broke down my preconceptions about being a blessing to women and graciously allows me to serve them. My heart’s prayer is for them to know that he sees and cares for them. Will you pray for these women and many others like them too?

Written by Bee Cecil*

* named changed for security reasons.

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