By Hannah Saad, ICM Assistant Trips Officer
It has always amazed me when I see or hear about a close mother and a daughter relationship, since I grew up not experiencing one.
I’m Hannah and for the past 18 months I have worked as an Assistant Trips Officer in International Care Ministries (ICM) in my homeland, the Philippines. I have seen foreign faces of different ages and social status, sweat under the heat of the sun, digging septic holes and stacking bricks during our many CR (toilet or comfort rooms) building trips for ICM’s participants. I have seen hearts break as people come face to face with the reality of poverty in my country and have heard their joy as they enjoy playing with the children. And as every trip finishes and our visitors go back home with full hearts and determined hands to help, I am left in my country changed from everything I have seen and realized from their acts of service.
I had a moment of realization not about poverty but about my own life a few weeks ago during a Mother and Daughter trip. Living in a country where close family ties is a top value, I have been used to thinking that it’s different in other countries, especially those that are well off. I thought that as economies grow big time and living costs catch up, even mums need to take off their aprons, go to work and help dads in making sure there is constant supply of everything the family needs, especially the kids. And family relationships are subsequently affected.
All throughout the trip’s activities, a sense of working together between the mums and their daughters was noticeable. The best part though, was seeing the the kids randomly hugging their mothers during the break times, and their mother’s tender responses. They just have very close relationships with one another and for me that was a sight to see since my relationship with my mum was so far from that.
From the moment I was born until now, my mother worked abroad as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. She’s a single mum whose sole ambition in life was for us four siblings to finish college and I look up to her for standing strong on that for 25 years. Although our family is somehow blessed financially, some other important family matters were sacrificed. For instance, our relationship with our mum.
I grew up not fully knowing how it feels to have a loving mum always beside me.
Nevertheless, through the years, I came to understand her sacrifice and my mum and I are building our relationship little by little. I usually tell her about the trips that I work on and the different visitors that I am privileged to know. She is happy that I am enjoying my job and that I am finding fulfilment in it. She’s my number one supporter when it comes to my job.
This Mums and Daughters trip made me see how a good mother-daughter relationship can be and has given me a sense of hope that it’s never too late for me and my mum. In fact, I can’t wait for her to go back home for good because we have a lot of catching up to do.