When I was asked to help out in the daycare program two weeks ago, I was quite apprehensive. Honestly, having never been the babysitter-type, I was dreading it. I agreed to this knowing that anyone can survive almost anything for two weeks. I am here to serve where I’m most needed, not to serve where I’m most comfortable or even most skilled.

It turns out that I not only survived the past two weeks, but I actually enjoyed them. I worked in the infant room with Tigist and Meseret, the two caregivers whom I now refer to as the Baby Whisperers. Never have I seen two women with such motherly intuition, strength, and patience. (Five days a week, they spend 9 hours in a small room with about ten children, ages 6 months to 1 year. And to think they have their own family waiting for them at home!) These women can transform tears and fussing into smiles and calm with ease. They work together seamlessly, taking turns with the more unpleasant duties, all the while laughing with and encouraging one another as friends. Their passion and love for the children are obvious. They work with joy and gratitude, and it’s contagious. I quickly began to look forward to walking through the infant room door in the morning, warmly greeted by Tigist, Meseret, and all the babies’ wide, beautiful brown eyes. I didn’t mind changing diapers (it actually gave me a surprising sense of accomplishment – how wonderful it is to hold a newly dry, clean baby!) and wiping so many runny noses. I loved feeling the warmth of their little bodies against mine while rocking them to sleep, discovering their unique personalities, and hearing their sweet babbling.

Strong Hearts’ daycare program is an incredible opportunity and blessing for families in need of sponsorship and support. Working mothers can have peace of mind that their little ones are being well cared for in their absence. Clothing, food, medication as necessary, and fun activities are provided for each child through the generosity of donors and the dedication of caregivers. As a nurse, I’m familiar with the formative impact a child’s early years has on long- term health and development. These children are gifts from God, and they are incomprehensibly precious to Him. This daycare offers a vibrant, safe environment where children can grow in the nurturing love and warm light of Christ.

Jana Mead

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