The MOM Project
By Caitlin d’Esterre of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. -1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NRSV
As a Community of Christ member, I believe we are all called, compelled even, to approach our lives in a critical way. We are urged to look at the world around us and see opportunities for growth, change, betterment, and empowerment. We are then driven to think outside the four walls of our church and be innovators to help our communities.
As a nurse in one of the busiest newborn intensive care units (NICU) in Canada, I see families from all walks of life facing their worst nightmare: a sick newborn baby. One day I was working with a particularly small baby who had never received any breast milk, even though her mother said she was pumping regularly. I asked this mother about the pump she was using. It turned out she couldn’t afford a hospital-grade pump rental, which is essential to the milk supply of a NICU mom.
I called every resource in the city looking for an affordable option for this mother. I was startled to learn that most mothers without employer benefits do not qualify for any sort of cost relief. The most vulnerable mothers in our province are denied the opportunity to give their babies breast milk because of lack of finances.
This situation plagued me for months until I realized that I was being called to invent a solution. My congregation could initiate the kind of service these women needed. After several weeks of work with my pastor and other supporters, the Mother’s Own Milk (MOM) Project was born. The Calgary Congregation purchased six hospital-grade breast pumps to be rented to mothers at a low monthly cost.
We can abolish poverty and end suffering by simply allowing mothers to feed their children the way nature intended.
This was my calling.
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.