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Heart Matters: Pick a Child, Any Child!

Mary-Southern California, Early 1960s

Most of my teachers didn't know what to do with me. According to one report card, I "lacked attention and self control." One teacher noted that I would rather "make up stories and sing songs than do my other school subjects."

Thankfully, I had another teacher. Her name was Mom. If I hadn't listened to my mother during my school days, I don't know where I'd be today. With tenacity, love, and lots of prayer, my mom encouraged me to use my songs, gifts, and talents. She made me aware of the wonderful truth that there's nobody else in the world like me. She encouraged me to be myself and to use whatever God put in my hands for his glory.

Mary-30 Years Later

My mom developed a brain tumor and, at first, they thought it was inoperable. As she sorted through all the family heirlooms, my mom handed me a treasure chest of all my memorabilia from my childhood. In it were all my report cards I'd never seen -- all the struggles of my childhood that were so difficult. When I asked her about it she said, "Mary, I knew you were gifted and God would use your gifts to his glory."

Funny how the report cards showed the problems I had, but my mother showed me all the possibilities I had. And God showed me how to use both to become a committed musician and family-oriented minister.

Darcie-Central Ohio, Mid-1960s

I had a hard time catching on in school. I struggled with reading and writing, and I had to repeat the second grade. My mom took a special interest in me, however, believing that I had something special that God wanted to use. She owned a fabric store and she taught me how to sew. It didn't seem to mean a lot at the time, but eventually I sewed puppets that my brothers and I would use in church.

In the meantime, my mom read to me and helped me get through school. "I know you'll be a much better seamstress than me," Mom said. "Just wait and see."

Darcie-30 Years Later

Today my original Puppets With a Heart are in countries all over the world. I can read and write much better, also, thank you. And, I owe it all to my mother, who insisted that I was special, and to God, who uses my gifts and talents to minister to parents, teachers, and children all over the world.

Mary and Darcie-Today

In God's great time, he put the two of us together to discover that we could encourage each other, maybe where our mothers left off. Our prayer is to be a source of help and encouragement to families, and to help them realize that God has placed in their hands a very special gift.

Our message is simple: It only takes one person in a child's life to be the one who says, "You can do it," or "I will pray for you."

Will you be the one who picks a young girl and helps her believe that she's very special and that God has a great plan for her life? Will you be willing to find that broken, wounded little boy who simply needs just one person to show him God's love and give him hope?

Pick a child, any child!

Mary Rice Hopkins and Darcie Maze help families deal with the tough issues facing them today. MaryRiceHopkins.com

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