Heart Matters: Pick a Child, Any Child!


Mary-Southern California, Early

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.”

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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

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

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

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

Pick a child, any child!

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




Heart Matters: Pick a Child, Any Child!
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