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May, 2004 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Meiner Mutter
Vorsicht Satire!
Rachel Seilern
Zurich Connection
A World of Contrast
Dear Mom
KW & Beyond
The Ritchie Boys
Hansa Club's 40th
Anniversary Celebration
Unter dem Motto
Concordia Choir Concert
A lose-lose Ending?
At the CKWR Studio
Toronto has the Sound
Youth Culture
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
German Heavyweights
Tafelmusik in Parry Sound
Harbourfront Centre Events
Nature's Perfect Gems
Support for Shaw Festival
MoMA in Berlin
Brothers Grimm Movie
Lessons from Dresden
Frauenkirche nears Completion
Lufthansa News
"Radio Goethe"
Rudolf Stussi Exhibition
Biography - A Game
Snow Sport Show
Schumi Continues Sweep
Germany against Canada
Travel 'Smart'
Building Bridges
Most Contented Germans
Population Dwindling

Mother’s Day-Motherly Love


Rachel A.I. SeilernThe best thing about giving is the feeling of really knowing you’ve enriched someone’s life. That reward certainly came my way after my family (the Forget-me-nots, the Szauters, etc…) gave a benefit concert for the Bethesda Centre for Unwed Mothers this past April.

Our regular caravan of five vans drove down to London, Ontario, to the centre, formerly a little old Salvation Army hospital, where the bright and cheery Major Debra welcomed us in. Major Debra of the Salvation Army initiated the project and called it Bethesda, which means "pool of healing", with the hope of helping heal the broken lives of some of the community’s youngest and most vulnerable mothers.

In the dining room we all gathered for supper, the teenagers with their babies joining us. I found it quite hard not to cry over the sad situation these girls found themselves in. The sad part does not seem to be motherhood for the girls as much as it is anxiety for the future and a gnawing loneliness in their eyes. I heard histories littered with abandonment and abuse. Media doesn’t often share such stories with us or tell us how common this problem in society is. Major Debra decided to make a difference in her area when she began the project and today it is clear she is a loving mother figure of all the girls at the Bethesda Centre. She and other staff show these girls love that many of them did not know. In that nurturing environment they are able to finish their high school education and receive training on everything from being a good mother to life skills like doing their income tax forms.

In a nearby church our family gave a concert of Austrian folk singing, dancing and instrumentals, and Bluegrass/country/folk music complete with clogging (Appalachian-style dancing with metal-cleatted shoes) and a surprise visit from Dolly Parton (me! Shh-don’t tell!) and Porter Wagner. It felt terrific to donate every cent we earned to the cause! Many of the girls were crying out of gratitude and hugging us---we really touched their lives and gave them hope and inspiration. What a reward we receive when we just step out of our everyday groove and find someone who needs us.

I had a childhood smothered with love, but did I do anything more than other children to deserve it? No…since I was given love, I feel it is my duty to pass it on to those who need it. I was very inspired by my experience with the Bethesda Centre, to pursue my dream of being a foster mother. People need to be more educated that it’s real love, motherly love, as opposed to cheap imitation illusions of love, which makes all the difference in this world.

By Rachel A.I. Seilern


Comments to: rachel@echoworld.com


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