Giving thanks: God’s best gift was to create mothers

ByJanet Hommel Mangas

I almost forgot that Mother’s Day is Sunday. The birds seem to be quite joyful about it, as they are chirping their happy songs this morning — possibly also because it rained a few more inches.

The rain in the last month has doubled the size of my hostas. And like rainfall that grows a hosta are the tears from a mother’s prayers that grow her children.

My youngest daughter Phoebe and I had the blessing of spending a few hours with Indu Lall (Central India Christian Mission) and their youngest daughter Sarika recently before they left town. Twenty-year-old Phoebe, who leaves for Cuba for her study abroad next week, noted:

“I felt like I was in the presence of royalty.”

I agreed and noted: “You were, she’s a daughter of the king.”

Phoebe nodded in agreement, which later jogged my memory about 14 years ago, when Phoebe accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The day she was baptized, this outwardly demonstrative child wore a golden tiara crown to church because she realized she would be the adopted daughter of the most high King, and she was overjoyed.

The other part was because she is our third child, and that’s how she expressed herself, she also frequently wore this crown in the fishing boat on our annual fishing trips to Canada, which makes me ponder whether the brothers, disciples and fishermen James and John, wore any special fishing hats or head coverings in their boat. But I digress.

As a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a niece, I so appreciate the women in my life who have taught me and continue to teach me lessons simply by living their lives of serving others whether it be by rearing God-loving children while working as the editor of a local newspaper, stay-at-home moms who are the hardworking servant leaders on school and church volunteer lists, a single mom who works, serves and gets their child to church every Sunday.

Or Indu Lall, who has and continues to tirelessly bless the lives of 6,000 children each year as she has for the past 35 years through the “Child Like This Ministry. ”

In addition to the 1,200 children loved and cared for in the ministry’s seven children’s homes, one is specialized for the 90 special needs children. These children were abandoned or orphaned for various reasons, and the ministry has given them shelter, food, clothing and educated them.

As Indu explained, “We call these ‘Children’s Homes’ rather than orphanages. The word for ‘orphan’ in Hindi means fatherless. We want these children to know that they have a Father who loves them very much and that they have a safe place to live and grow up.”

Thank you to the Father who knew one of the best gifts in life was to create a mother.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to