The steady rhythm of your heart is wholly unique to you, yet the even cadence of each beat is similar to every other heart. Otnaracy Silva, a MOPS coordinator and family doctor in Brazil, witnesses this phenomenon on a daily basis.
On the outskirts of her town in northern Brazil, Otnaracy saw a great need. The native mothers living in this area were desperate for community. Not only did they need someone to provide them with basic health care, but just as important, they were in search of friendship and the support and guidance of fellow moms going through the same issues, struggles and joys as they were. So Otnaracy did something a little bit crazy and a lot courageous: She started a MOPS group.
In Brazil, these moms are at the very margins of their society — often malnourished and lacking access to health care. These moms started flocking to this MOPS group in order to receive preventative treatment from Otnaracy, for not only themselves but for their children as well.
Armed with a donated stethoscope, Otnaracy soon discovered something amazing. The heart sounds of the moms drinking juice and eating cake on the outskirts of that Brazilian village sounded the same as each and every mom drinking coffee and chatting with friends in any other MOPS group around the globe.
Each beat whispered a similar story — the story of a mom who loved her baby beyond words, the story of a woman desperately searching for a tribe of fellow moms to laugh with, cry with and mother alongside. With closed eyes, listening through a stethoscope, it was clear that each and every one of these mothers’ hearts was seeking the exact same thing: a safe home, health and the opportunity for a bright future for her baby.
Otnaracy and her group of moms meet every week, just like most other MOPS groups. They sit together, address common health issues, read stories from the Bible and talk through devotionals that relate to the reality of living in poverty while raising a family. The reality of these moms is undoubtedly very different from the reality of other moms involved in MOPS, but what’s truly amazing are similarities that all mothers — despite where they call home – have in common.
A mother’s heart beats with vehement love for her children. It beats with gratitude for much needed friendship. And it beats with the hope for the future of her family.1