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FSM 304       DO/TS

Winning Gold Medals!

Copyright © 1996 by The Family

December 1996

       Thank you for all the beautiful lessons and experiences with your children you've written about during the past year since "Go for the Gold!" (ML #2961, GN 657) was published. The Lord has confirmed His Word wonderfully, so in this mag we'd like to share some of these testimonies for your encouragement.

Table of Contents
       "I Just Couldn't Contain My Joy!"       1
       Blessings Because of Our Many Children       2
       The Beautiful Fruit of Trusting Him!       4
       We Wouldn't Have Missed the Excitement!       4
       Kids Are Not the End!--They're Just the Beginning!       5
       From a Father of Ten!       5
       The Lord's Family Planning!       6
       Seeing How the Lord Works Things Out       6
       Childless-with Many Children!       6
       Babies Now-Leaders Later!       7
       Dispelling My Fears and Strengthening My Faith!       7
       The Choice       8
       Baby in a Bathrobe!       8
       Family Training Helps Us Have Good Deliveries!       9
       A Kiss from Heaven!       9
       From the Kids' Point of View!       10
       My First Ministry-A Teacher and Childcare Worker       11

"I Just Couldn't Contain My Joy!"
From Ashley Rose, YA, Bulgaria
       This Letter had a big impact on my life and completely changed my attitude towards my pregnancy. I've been married six months and I'm five months pregnant. At the time I got pregnant, I was on a very busy work schedule and was on a SWIFT trip. I really got sick, and though my mate and I were overjoyed at having a baby, it was hard for me to be sick and have to interrupt my busy schedule to rest more.
       After awhile I started feeling like this was the beginning of the end for me, as my work was increasingly disturbed with sickness, major migraine headaches, food trials and you name it! I didn't want to complain about it, but sometimes I found myself wishing I'd never gotten pregnant. My mate and I discussed the possibility of using the rhythm method, as we were concerned about my weak health and didn't want to have one baby after the other.
       My depressions along this line were becoming more frequent and our new pioneer situation was making me feel more condemned all the time, as I couldn't go out every day. During the most intense week of my battles, this GN arrived. It could not have been more timely for me. I needed every word.
       I cried most of the time while reading it. I just couldn't contain my joy over having received such clear and concise answers from the Word about my great dilemma.
       I had an overnight change in my attitude towards my pregnancy, and miraculously a lot of my sickness and headaches and even food trials started to subside! The only thing that I have to watch is that I get enough rest.
       I even had a good talk with my little baby, telling it that I was sorry for thinking so negatively about him/her and that I would try never to do that again. I also told the baby that I wouldn't stop the Lord from giving us any of its brothers or sisters, and that Daddy Jonathan (Bulgarian) and I had decided to "Go for the Gold!" At first I felt a little silly, talking to my unborn baby, but after awhile I started feeling so happy and peaceful. I really felt my baby understood.
       Interestingly enough, the whole time I was reading the GN the baby never ceased kicking, like it was thrilled that Mummy was getting the counsel and encouragement she needed!
       I already feel very close to my baby, though it hasn't arrived yet, and I'm enjoying my days now. I feel very honored to be pregnant and grateful for the responsibility.
       I want to thank you for your good sample, Mama, as we're a pretty young Home and don't have older or more experienced mummies around at the moment, so this Letter was just like you shepherding my pregnancy -- and right on time!
       I had a chance to visit my own mother (Dove) recently, who has had 12 children. I looked a little more deeply into her life of love and sacrifice for her children. Both my husband and I learned a lot just watching her lay down her life for us and the little ones day after day! When I think about my childhood, I would never wish that one of my brothers or sisters had not been born. They are all so important to me and so special and unique. I'm glad that my parents had the faith to keep having us.
       Now the oldest five of us are all in the EE and all serving the Lord and one of my sisters is also married and pregnant. I guess it's our turn now to learn to teach and train our children, and to lay down our lives for the little ones that the Lord wants to give us. My mum is thrilled to be having grandchildren, and the way I see it is that it's the least I can do for all she's poured into us -- to show her that I appreciate and admire her and want to be a good mummy myself. Lord forgive me for my former independence and selfishness. I really love our children and I have been praying more earnestly for our mummies on the prayer list now!

Blessings Because of Our Many Children
From Becky (of Andy), Russia
       "Go for the Gold" is such a beautiful, faith-building Letter. I'd like to comment on a section in paragraph 8, which says, "Some YAs and teens feel that the reason the Family is having many of the battles we are faced with is simply that we have so many children. The fact that we were blobbed up in large Homes (before the Love Charter), the fact that we are struggling financially and that we don't have as many missionaries out on the field any more is because we have so many children."
       After reading that, I feel led to share how the Lord has blessed us and put us on such a wonderful mission field and given us the desires of our hearts, largely because of our children.
       Let me explain: I haven't always been so thrilled with the idea of being pregnant again (we have eight children ranging from 18 years down to two months). After the RNR, when my husband and I left the Family for a few years, we did use birth control during some of that time. I definitely would have fallen into the group of people who probably wouldn't have had such large families unless Dad had been so strong and firm on this issue. However, I'd like to explain what a testimony and blessing having a large family has been as a missionary.
       When Andy and I returned to the Family in 1981, we had one child. The Lord had allowed our other child to go to be with Him in a drowning accident. Of course, this experience brought a major breaking and remolding in our lives. But as we determined to make it for the Lord, we started working on Home Support and building a mail ministry, and were soon able to return to the mission field of South America. We began writing monthly newsletters reporting our activities and appealing for support to the people we met before leaving the States.
       Our supporters came to find out that every two years or so we announced the birth of a new child. I always had the feeling that our supporters respected us, as they knew that we at least were sincere enough in our beliefs and unselfish enough to have more children. In 1994 the Lord led us to return to the States to visit our supporters and relatives. In every instance, our children were who they raved about.
       Andy and I would look at each other in wonder as people commented about how well-behaved, how loving, and how wonderful our kids were! Of course, we know what rascals they can be at times, and how taxing the constant demand of solving their endless squabbles and arguments is and how much work goes into having them. But we had to agree that they were a wonderful sample. Especially when around sweet Christian folks who were receptive to their love, they were very loving and outgoing. We were proud of them.
       When we testified in churches to raise new sponsors, the kids singing and participating with us often moved people to tears. Seeing a group of children performing like this was unusual for them, and was our greatest sample.
       All of this probably helped me to take being pregnant with number eight somewhat cheerfully! Also I miraculously skipped the normal three months of nausea that I've experienced in my other pregnancies, and didn't discover I was pregnant until about the fourth month. By this time we were in Japan, pioneering a smaller Home. However after about a month, we realized that the Lord might be wanting to change our direction to Russia.
       Recently when we took our thoughts about going there to the Lord, He encouraged us that He would bless us if we went. I'd read how Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world, and the Lord put it in my heart that just the fact that I had the courage or faith to have a large family was going to be one of my greatest testimonies in a country where people live in fear about the future. That is exactly what has happened.
       When I was coming through customs just off the boat with my big tummy (I was now eight months pregnant) and with my little kids running around and the older ones trying to ride herd on them, people treated me like a queen or a saint. One customs official, an elderly woman, kissed my hand! Although we couldn't communicate in words, she let me know it was because of my large family that she respected and thought so highly of me.
       People simply don't question our sincerity or conviction when they see our large family. One of our friends who is a communist and doesn't hesitate to let us know it, was the most touched when Melissa, our newborn, was fussing and wouldn't be comforted until he took her in his arms and started singing Russian lullabies to her! This man was recently questioned by a government office about his helping us and he just said, "I'm helping them because they are my friends and they have eight children!"
       It was challenging to be in a small apartment (although large by Russian standards) with so many kids. There really isn't any place to get away from the racket! Those first few weeks when we were just trying to get organized, if our YA son hadn't taken the kids to the park, for sometimes up to three or four hours a day, we might have all gone crazy! Ha!
       But it was at the park where our kids started to meet other children, which led us to start a Sunday school and minister to the neighborhood children. Now we have started following up on their parents, and have found such receptivity and respect amongst them, because they admire us for having a large family and yet still being willing to take time for their children. Although what we are doing may not seem like much or may not be flashy, I believe people's lives are being changed and they are gaining faith and courage for tomorrow because we are here with our large family.
       So to sum it all up, you can be a missionary with children--and in our case because we have children!

The Beautiful Fruit of Trusting Him!
From Lilas (TS), France
       About trusting the Lord for having children, I can testify that you won't have one child unless it's the Lord's will. I started having sex with my boyfriend at 17, and we lived together for two years. Then I lived with another man for one year. All this time, I didn't take any contraception because I didn't mind having a child, even without being married, but I never got pregnant.
       Then I joined the Family in 1979 and I shared with several brothers, one of them regularly for months. Although I still wanted a child, it never happened. Then I met Paul, and when we decided to get married, we asked the Lord for a sign to make sure that it was His will for us. And guess what happened? I got pregnant!
       I'm now expecting our seventh child! Praise the Lord! He's never given me a child until it was His time and with the right person!
       Another proof is this: After our fourth child, I had a tubular pregnancy, for which I had surgery. The doctor wanted me to use contraception for a while, but I refused. Four months later, I had another problematic pregnancy, for which I had to have another operation. This time, the doctor said, "I forbid you to have another child for a year, and I want you to ask me for permission after that!" Paul was worried about me and wanted me to use some kind of contraception, but I believed that the Lord was in full control of my life and I felt that if I couldn't trust Him for that, there was no use serving Him. So again I refused.
       Nine months later I got pregnant again and this time I had a beautiful, strong, healthy baby boy! The doctor who attended the delivery (another one, because we had changed areas) told me that he was amazed at how strong and healthy my womb was after five children! He never fails and those who trust in Him will never be ashamed! Hallelujah!
       (Editor's note: God bless Lilas for her faith! It certainly paid off! However, if you find yourself in a similar situation, please remember to pray and hear from the Lord and operate according to your faith. You have to have the faith for it personally. God bless you!)

We Wouldn't Have Missed the Excitement!
From Steven and Christina, Sweden
       We can certainly testify, after over twenty years of marriage, that one can definitely trust God regarding sex and pregnancy! We now have seven children and have never used contraceptives, and the Lord has perfectly spaced our children apart so it has never been too much to bear. Now in our "older years," we have not had a baby in seven years, and still are not using any contraceptives and have plenty of sex, although Christina still has her periods and could get pregnant. God certainly knows how many and how often He wants us to have babies.
       Often, such as in our case, the older children help to take care of the younger ones, so we were never really without help. The Lord has always raised someone up to help, like a sweet single brother, through all these years. We have now gone from a large family to a fairly small family of only two younger children to care for, as most of our other kids have long ago flown out of the nest and are today on their own as individual Family members. Praise the Lord! So things usually take care of themselves with time.
       We do not regret having a single one of our dear precious children. It definitely would not be the same without them. Being married and having children has been the most precious learning experience of our lives--such as learning at 19 and 20, as young parents of three, how to care for others and help them grow in the Lord. If anything grows you up, maturing and teaching you to take responsibility, it is having children.
       It also grew us up in leadership responsibilities. After our first two children, we pioneered our own Home!
       Like Dad says in "Real Mothers," your children also have a great influence on you. So who wants to miss out on the excitement of having children? Living and traveling with our children, as missionaries, has been one of the most exciting experiences we've had during our whole time in the Family.

Kids Are Not the End! -- They're Just the Beginning!
From James and Abigail, USA
       It's a challenge to see how you can get your little ones involved in your witnessing. We have found that taking our young kids out singing opens just as many doors to reach the top as the teens did, if not more. If you just put your energies into teaching your kids to sing and dance, you can have a beautiful program. We have our little four-year-old sing some of the solos and she is a hit! My kids all perform together and even our little two-year-old will come in and do "Let's Twist Again!" In years past, when my 14-year-old was only two, she sang right along with the other kids and would win people's hearts right and left. She gave it her all and the people loved it. It helped open many doors and win lots of friends and supporters.
       So having little ones isn't the end of your ministry -- it's only the beginning! You'll be surprised at how much more they can do than you ever could. Just read "What Is That in Thine Hand?" (ML #315, Vol.3). It really helped me.

From a Father of Ten!
From Jim (of Lily, formerly Bani and Mercy), Turkey
       I am a father of 10, from the ages of 19 down to two, and this Letter was a "gold mine" for me! Praise the Lord! It was so beautiful to see how the Lord lovingly brought out His Truth for all of His children. Even though I feel this may be a hard saying for some, it was so loving, and thoughtful and faith-inspiring.
       I have had some battles with having a large family, as it was not something I would have planned, but honestly in recent years I have really enjoyed being a daddy with a lot of kids. We had a set of twins three years ago and our tenth child two years ago.
       It was the children that kept our marriage together through the difficulties and hard times that we experienced. So through it all, I am very thankful for each one of the kids the Lord has blessed us with. I am always using it in my witness--saying that we are a family with ten children and we home school the kids, etc. In most situations it has brought a very positive response and is usually a very good opening to witness more, especially in Muslim countries, where we have been labouring for the past seven years.
       This Letter is so encouraging--to know that having children is God's highest will for us, and to help fight the System attitudes that are strongly against having lots of children. If I have had any battles in having more kids, it's been out of concern for Lily, who has had the job of bearing and caring for the children physically. Now that we are both in our mid 40s, I was wondering if there was a way out, so to speak, as we still do enjoy the activities involved in "going for the gold"--ha--but there was this barrier. So this Letter is thrilling and I am so thankful for Mama's honesty and the beautiful prophecies the Lord gave to help us all make our own choices, according to our faith. Praise the Lord!
       Just after this Letter came out, I was reading the Bible to the kids for bedtime. I read Mark 6:3 which says: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" I had read this before, but to read it after "Go for the Gold" was a real encouragement -- to see that Jesus had four brothers and at least two sisters, meaning that Mary had at least seven children, depending on how many sisters Jesus had.
       So thank you Mama for pubbing the true gold. I pray that I will be able to continually choose to "Go for the Gold" in all aspects of my life and service for the Lord and the Family.

The Lord's Family Planning!
From Mercy BP, Russia
Dear Mama,
       I love you so much and you are such a wonderful example to me of being yielded to the Lord, of not having any opinion of your own, but asking the Lord about everything that is not clear, really getting His view on situations and questions like in the Letters about music and "Go for the Gold." This gives me so much confidence in you and your leading of the Family, because you are not moving one bit without hearing from Him. Thank you so much!
       The Letter "Go for the Gold" spoke to me so much about the Lord being in control of each pregnancy. After I had four children in our first five years of marriage, I have not had another pregnancy for 14 years now, although I really love babies and would have liked to have had more. It shows so clearly that the Lord is the One Who gives babies and I count them as a real privilege and special gift.

Seeing How the Lord Works Things Out
From Dove (TS), England
       I've just had a baby after seven years of not having one. Being single with five children, I was questioning if what I'd done was really right; but looking at my son, I know it was. You can look at people with big families and say that they go through hardships; but you don't always see the joy and change that a baby brings.
       My son, who is 10, is a real rascal, but since the birth of his brother his behavior has changed a lot for the better, as he's found a challenge in being an older brother and loves to help and take care of his little brother. I'd prayed for the Lord to help him, and this is what has helped the most.
       Some YAs and teens may say they feel they didn't always get the personal attention they needed because of the number of children in their families. However, I came from a family of only two children, and I never got much attention from my parents, as they both worked! I'm sure this is true of many children in the System today.

Childless - with Many Children!
From Hannah, India
       I am single and have no children. I have been serving the Lord for almost 15 years now. One of my hearts' desires for many years has been to have a baby. I did conceive this year, but for some reason it was not the Lord's will for me at that time, as it ended in a tubular pregnancy.
       I admire our mothers and fathers, whether they are single or married. I especially admire the larger families who have been blessed with a large number of children. My reaction to this beautiful GN is somewhat from the other side of the coin. I know that a child is a big blessing, created from the very hand of God. Being single and having no children myself, I appreciate very much those who do.
       I was just thinking the other day about life outside the Family, about the many lonely people who don't have anyone. Even if we don't personally have children, there are always the larger families that you can be a help to, and in many ways this also helps to fulfill the need in our hearts for caring for a child.
       We are highly blessed with many beautiful children, and I am so thankful for these inspiring prophecies which remind us of that. I feel that if we truly live together as one family, we should all be concerned for the welfare of the children, as well as that of the parents who struggle at times. Perhaps the parents with the larger families wouldn't have to worry about caring for yet another child, if we as singles would sometimes help carry the load and get involved as we perhaps should.
       If you are a couple with five, eight, or even ten children, you might hesitate to have another one. But I look at those families and think that they must be very special since the Lord is blessing them so richly. The parents in the Family that have many children deserve all the help that they can get, and in the process of helping, we all get to share the joy of being with a child.

Babies Now - Leaders Later!
From Lily Thankful (TS), England
       I am so very thankful for this GN. I've needed it to boost my faith and conviction for a long time. The Lord has given me a wonderful husband and 10 healthy and beautiful children. I love every one of them dearly and I am ashamed to confess that I have been tempted to take the pill after each of the last three. As you can see, I never did take the pill -- thank God-- or I would have lost my last two cute little ones, who give us all so much joy!
       Years ago when I asked the Lord what my calling was, He said, "to be a mother," and He gave me the verse, "If a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24). Die daily, I certainly do. The work load is always greater than I can manage and many are the times I've collapsed in tears because I couldn't be as efficient as I would like. This is where our three daily Praise Times have been a tremendous relief to me! -- It keeps my eyes on the goal and gives victory to my soul.
       I just want to add that my oldest two teen girls, who are now such a terrific help and who joyfully chip in with the many duties like cooking, cleaning, babycare and YC school, etc., daily, many times beyond the call of duty -- they were once the two little crying babies I held in my arms at the same time. Then, 16 years ago, we were all crying! The one-year-old was crying because the newborn was crying, and I was crying because I didn't know how to handle two babies at the same time, ha! But I look back now and praise God I had them. In a way, the more I had the easier it got!

Dispelling My Fears and Strengthening My Faith!
From Oliver and Marie (SGAs), England
       I was very thankful for this Letter as I found it encouraging and strengthening! The issue of birth control is something I've been battling with recently. I was born and raised in the Family. Marie and I have been married five years and we are now expecting our fifth child! Thank You Jesus! Each one of them is so beautiful and dear to us. They are such a blessing in our work for the Lord and are definitely heart-winners!
       However, I'm sorry to say I've had battles at times about fully trusting the Lord in this area, as it's been a bit daunting to see the rate at which He's been sending them along! I get concerned about my Marie's health. I feel I'm incapable of giving them each the fatherly attention and training they need. I'm sorry to also say I've even felt like an extra burden to some of the Homes we've been in. Since we've started having smaller Homes, I've often run myself ragged just trying to keep up with the kids and all our other Home duties!
       In the midst of these battles, my wife and I were very tempted to think that using some form of birth control was probably the best thing to do, although it was difficult to face up to as it went against our ideal of fully trusting the Lord. I kept stalling as I didn't want to have to make a decision and I was kind of hoping that your Letter on it would come out soon and give us a bit of leeway and a way out of my dilemma. Like Dad said in the Letter, I just wanted someone else to make the decision for me, so I didn't have to feel responsible!
       When we did receive "Go for the Gold," after sitting down and reading the GN thoroughly, my feeling was one of relief and thankfulness. If it had been any different than what the Word has taught us all this time, it would have been "easier" for me, in some ways, but it would have been a cop-out. I would have felt cheated and compromised!
       Thank you, dear Mama, for the prayer and thought put into this important pub. I was amazed at the Lord's wisdom in His answers to each angle of this complicated issue and in basically leaving it up to each individual whilst making the standard quite clear and still as firm a foundation as ever!
       The promises and encouragement from the Lord were a tremendous boost in dispelling a lot of the fears I've had and in strengthening my faith. It's still tough, as it takes a lot out of you, but like it says in the Letter, we've got to endure hardness, and the Lord is always faithful to give us solutions and supply our needs!
       At the moment we are on our way to the mission field of Nigeria and the kids are all very excited about it. So are we! During the summers here we've had opportunities to do quite a bit of witnessing, singing and busking with our older ones (Lisa, 4, and Juliana, 3). It's borne tremendous fruit both in our witness and in the lives of the kids and ourselves. So we're looking forward to being on a warmer field where the kids can shine even more, God bless them! They are such troopers!
       One thing having so many kids has surely done for me is keep me desperate to stay on track (not that I always am), as it's such a big responsibility to see that they get the right sample from us and are brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, which is my main heart's desire!
       In closing I want to again say a big thank you from both of us, for this Letter and all the other Words you faithfully pass on to us. We love you dearly and keep you in our daily thoughts and prayers. We again pledge our love and loyalty to the Lord, you, our King Peter and our precious Family and pray we'll continue to be faithful in all our house.

The Choice
       The choice is yours-- bronze and silver are fine;
       But what could be better than best?
       Leave it to Me!-- The future is Mine!
       I'll pull you through every test!

       I give you your choice; I let you choose
       Your blessings and your rewards.
       But there's one way you never will lose-
       That's by faith in Me and My Words!

       So go for the gold, reach for the heights!
       Win freedom, peace and be blest!
       For down the path of faith and of trust,
       You'll find that My Will is the best.

       And when the day of accounting comes,
       As a wise investor, rejoice!
       For though you paid the greater price,
       You'll see you made the right choice!

       The highest honor will go to you,
       Who trusted in trying times.
       Through faith you won the race, it's true!
       See your medal! Look how it shines!
--Kristine Dayspring

Baby in a Bathrobe!
From Charity, Lydia and Rosita, USA
       David and Rosita had been seeing a midwife who was going to deliver their fourth child in a birthing room at the hospital. Although it was a very nice place, Rosita really wanted to have the baby at home -- and the Lord gave her the desire of her heart! She had been having what she thought were "gas pains" for close to two hours, but didn't want to alert anyone since she wasn't sure if it was labor. So she was resting, while the rest of us settled in for our weekly Home council meeting.
       All of a sudden, she called from the bathroom for David! I ran in also, as it sounded a little more desperate than just gas! -- And sure enough, little Cassidy Michelle was on her way out! No pushing was needed! Ha! I caught her up in my bathrobe: a beautiful 9 lb. 1 oz. girl. It was quite special for us all -- the children all peeked in to see the baby nurse for the very first time.
       David called the hospital, and by the time the medics arrived, new baby Cassidy was clothed and ready to go to get checked, Rosita was walking around, and we were all just elated with what had happened! They were quite surprised, and joined in the joy of the moment!
       The hospital staff was so excited that Cassidy had been born at home and kept congratulating David. Rosita felt great afterwards and the baby also did great -- slept most of the time and in one week she gained 11 ounces!

Family Training Helps Us Have Good Deliveries!
From Tim and Dove, Chile
       Dove gave birth to her seventh child, by natural childbirth! Praise the Lord! It went very smoothly. The Lord brought the contractions slowly during the afternoon, and Christina Maria was born at 11:35 p.m., an hour and a half after arriving at the clinic. She weighed 3.4 kilos, and is beautiful and healthy! Thank the Lord!
       The doctors and nurses present were amazed that it was such a good, fast delivery. No stitches were needed for Dove, and within 24 hours she and the baby were back home. Both the pediatrician and Dove's doctor commented afterwards, "It must be the European training!" (Dove is German, ha!) So Tim took the opportunity to explain to them that it's the training we receive in the Family through the pubs, etc., that helps us to be prepared and know what to do, and to have peace in our hearts that God is in control.
       Both of these doctors always deliver the Family babies for free and attend our mothers and children whenever they need it, plus the clinic always gives us very good discounts! The Family girls are known here for being very healthy, having good deliveries, usually having a lot of kids, and bringing good healthy snacks to the clinic! Ha!

A Kiss from Heaven!
From Bethy (23, of Peter A. and Abi), WS:
       The Lord blessed me with wonderful victories in the birth of my baby. Although many things happened to keep me desperate, the new little life being born into the world is certainly worth all that it took to get her here.
       In the last months of pregnancy, I traveled to a Home in the States to have my baby there, in order to facilitate her US citizenship. I was able to have a home delivery with Rose Midwife in attendance, God bless her!
       Although it was hard for me to leave my Home and loved ones, that's what the Lord showed us to do and it worked out well. It was a big blessing to have sweet fellowship with different members of our Family in the Home I stayed in.
       There was a YA mommy in this Home who, amazingly enough, was due to have her baby the same day as me. (She ended up having her baby the day before me). It was fun to have another pregnant mommy to compare notes with and who was in the same stage of pregnancy.
       Dear Rose has a very sacrificial ministry, traveling around delivering babies. She has such an anointing for the job, and she makes you feel so at home and loved. I had some symptoms of toxemia in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and it was such a blessing that the person giving me a check up--dear Rose--was in prayer, full of faith and not instilling fear in my heart.
       Throughout my whole pregnancy the main lesson the Lord was teaching me was to trust Him through everything. I learned to trust that He had given me the baby, that it was His will, to trust that He would give me the grace for being a single mom, to trust that He would work out all the details about where I had the baby, and to trust that He would be with me each step of the way.
       When I first got pregnant, the Lord gave me a beautiful prophecy about how the child I was carrying was His reward for my faithful service, telling me that He would be my Husband and take care of me. This prophecy gave me a lot of faith and I hung on to it through many battles. I had many trials at the beginning wondering if I had done the right thing in deciding to go all the way, or if it was a big mistake and I would be forever "reaping the consequences for my unwise actions." (I made the decision to have full sex with my sharing partner before "Go for the Gold," came out, and he moved from our Home around the time I found out I was pregnant.)
       I soaked myself in the Word as much as I could. Sometimes I felt like the Word was the life preserver that kept me from drowning in a stormy sea. But when I looked at the situation the way the Lord saw it, I would get quite excited about having my own baby and being a mother and overall, I looked at my pregnancy positively.
       I did my best to take care of myself properly during pregnancy, and did all my homework for the delivery, learning the breathing and relaxing techniques, etc., as well as picking out verses and quotes to be read, all of which really helped during the delivery. My mom was also there during the delivery, which was real special for me, and it was so nice to be together when I had the baby. I'm such a coward when it comes to pain, so I wasn't really looking forward to the delivery experience. I was trying to get psyched up for the worst possible pain that I could ever have. But actually, the whole experience was much better than I had imagined.
       I had a fairly regular first-time birth. It was ten hours start to finish, but I was pleasantly surprised that with relaxing and breathing, I was able to cope with the contractions. It's a wonder to me how breathing and relaxing can help, but they sure do. The nicest thing about contractions is that they stop, ha! In between contractions, I felt just fine, and had enough time to gather my strength for the next one. My labor went through the night, so the house was still and quiet and it was very peaceful. I sat in a warm tub for a long time, walked around the house, ate when I felt like it, and finally went to my room when things became more intense.
       After seven hours of contractions, I was fully dilated, but the lip of the cervix wouldn't get out of the way, so Rose had to hold it back while I pushed to get the head past that point. I ended up pushing for three hours! This was very tiring, as you can imagine. I would get discouraged that I wasn't doing it right, or worried that something was going to go wrong. In my birth this was the battle I had, and I had to persevere.
       At 11:45 a.m., after three hours of pushing, I was completely exhausted. I looked at my watch and desperately claimed that the baby would be out by 12:00 noon. I told the Lord I had no more strength left, that He was going to have to do a miracle to get the baby out as I couldn't do it anymore. He let my deadline pass by a few minutes, but at 12:03, dear Olivia was born. My Praise Time baby!
       To me the birth seemed more of a spiritual experience than anything. I was so zinged out, I lost all concept of time and at the end, nothing else mattered except getting that baby out! In the next few days as I was recovering, I had time to reflect on the delivery, and the thing that stood out to me the most is that the Lord never gave me anything greater than I could bear.
       He kept His promises, and in the delivery I never once had a contraction that was too hard to cope with, neither did I have to push for longer than I was able. Whatever the Lord gave me, He also gave me the strength to handle it - not only during the delivery, but throughout the pregnancy, and it's continued to this day. Before the delivery, I had made a list of all my prayer requests and brought them before the Lord, and He answered every single one.
       As I got to know my sweet baby in the days that followed the delivery, it touched my heart so much that the Lord would give me such a wonderful child. Before having the baby, it was easy to worry and think the Lord could easily want to punish me, or to teach me lessons or whatever through the whole thing. But it was such a wonderful thing to realize, "The Lord isn't punishing me by giving me a child, He's blessing me!" I guess it's kind of silly that I even thought that, but it was something I worried about, and I found I didn't need to. It was wonderful to comprehend the Lord's Love in it all.
       Now when I look at my baby and think about her, I wonder why I didn't want to have one sooner! It amazes me now that I had so many trials and battles wondering if I had made a mistake. She is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me! I love her so much and I feel very honored that the Lord chose me to be her mother. I've never loved someone as much as I love her, nor been loved by someone as much as she loves me. It's truly a manifestation of the Lord's Love, and she has drawn me closer to the Lord in a way that nothing else ever could.
       After I had the baby, there were still questions in my mind about being a single mom. So I heard from the Lord in prophecy and He made it plain that He has plans for me, and that He would provide for me, and even bring someone along for me in His time. This settled a lot of things in my heart and gave me a lot of peace.
       The Lord has given me peace in my heart that I'm in the Lord's will, and has taken away the fear of being a single mom. Just having such a precious gift from Heaven more than repays being a single mom, and Olivia and I are well cared for by those in my Home.
       The Lord has stayed true to His Word in caring for me, loving me and providing my every need. Although being a single mom has had its battles, as I keep saying yes to Jesus, He keeps saying yes to me and has made things so easy along those lines, giving me the grace and the strength I need.
       It's been so wonderful to have Jesus as my Husband. He certainly is the best husband that you could have.
       In prophecy the Lord told me, "I am the Husband that you can depend on no matter where you are, no matter where you travel and no matter who you are with. And yes, I have given you My child; she's a special link between you and Me. She is the fruit of our love together, your love and My Love together! She is a reflection of the love that you feel in your heart for Me. When you received her from My hand, you felt My Love in return, and you were so happy to realize how much I love you, that I would give you such a precious, priceless, bundle of joy. She is My kiss of love to you and she is the tie that binds us close together that none shall ever separate."

From the Kids' Point of View!

From Jane and Gracia, Uruguay
       One of our PG moms was eating a snack and little Juan came in and asked, "Auntie, are you eating a snack?"
       She answered, "Yes, it's the baby's and mine."
       He said, "Oh, if you give me a bite, we can teach the baby to share!"

From Marie (18), DF Home, SEA
       Priscilla (5) was pretending to be expecting a baby. Peter (6) and Arthur (5), reported that it was time for her to go to the hospital because, "Her bladder just broke and she is having contraptions."

My First Ministry -- A Teacher and Childcare Worker
From Timothy (of Eden), IVM
       I was involved in Family education for some time, and I learned a lot through it. Most of all, I think the Lord used that time to develop real love in my heart for the Family and our young people. It was good preparation for the fatherhood and shepherding role which He was to give me later.
       When I first joined the Family I had two children and I was in a Home of about 250 people in Zion, Texas. My two children were the only children in the whole Home; the rest of the Home members were teens and YAs. The Home shepherds were Amos O'Test and Jeremiah Singer, who was in his teens at the time.
       No one knew anything about children then, and since I had been a hippie and into "education," trying to raise my children outside of System schools even before I joined the Family, I got a real burden for childcare. It seemed natural that I would go into childcare in the Family first off.
       We didn't have Childcare Handbooks or MLs on children or any kind of counsel specifically geared for the training of children, so a lot of it was progress by trial and error! But those were beautiful times--pouring into the children, teaching them the Word, learning what to share with them and what to feed them. It was all very much a pioneer effort over the first several years up until the time of the Dito Letters.
       Until that time we had a myriad of theories and teachings coming from Deborah and the Bassetto School in Italy, but it wasn't very effective, as it was too centralized and couldn't cover the needs of each individual child. We received answers to our questions by mail all the way from Italy! The whole system was a bit ineffective, which I realized when we got some counsel back that had gotten confused. They wrote me about an 11-year-old, when I was talking about a 2-year-old who was having problems wetting the bed!--It was quite a mix-up, ha! At that time, there was a need to decentralize the training and get some pubs and Word on the care of our children, so that we, as teachers and parents, could manage their care and the shepherding on a local level.
       Through working with children and teaching children, I learned a lot about the care of people--caring for little flocks of children, taking them out witnessing and keeping them clean, training them, keeping them inspired and feeding them spiritually what they could relate to. I was also learning what was not necessary to teach children, such as heavy Endtime messages and so forth. At first we didn't really know the difference, so we figured we'd give the "Forty Days" message to our group of three-year-olds! Ha! We thought that they must understand it, because this was what was coming out in the Mo Letters!
       So it was a bit of a comedy of errors. But somehow the Lord blessed it, and a lot of the ones who were children in those days are now some of our strong young leadership of the Family. Even though we didn't know much, didn't have much and weren't very organized, the Lord blessed it because we had a desire to care for the children.--And we were YAs ourselves, sort of raw recruits, just doing our best!
       Until the time of the RNR (in 1978), I always carried two school trunks with me wherever I went. They were basically a library of childcare teaching supplies. We had all the kids' math and language arts equipment--everything from teaching phonics to phonograms to little readers, Ladybird books, taking them all the way up to the reading stage. It was all miniature, so it didn't take up much space. We still had a little curriculum, even when we were on the road. It was much more like "home schooling" even than what we're used to now.
       Now we have so much to draw from to feed and tend to the children, and we also learn a lot as we go! I think it's a thrilling time to be in childcare or the education ministry! Our methods are much more refined and more mature, prayed about and counseled through. I would be very proud to be a teacher and childcare shepherd these days -- working with our children, using the good Word tools that we have, planning their curriculum, planning their classes, feeding them, watching their faces light up with the inspiration of the of the Holy Spirit, taking them through the steps of their spiritual life, praying with them, sharing with them my own love for the Word, getting them on fire and imparting a broken heart for the lost and witnessing, as well as just filling them up with the wonderful legacy of Truth and Word that has been given to us by Dad through the years!
       I think it's a wonderful calling and one that, by tradition, has been very respected. When you look at the Jews, a rabbi--a teacher--is the highest, most respected position in the Hebrew community. One of this learned man's main ministries is training children. I think it's important that we preserve that same value system and realize that the real world-changers are those who are in their childcare groups, surrounded by little smiling faces, teaching the leaders of tomorrow!


Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family