A lot of people know my father’s story – gang-member, heroin addict saved through the faith of a praying mother. Many do not know the story of the woman who has been by his side for over fifty years.

Carmen Feliza Torres, my mother, grew up on a farm in Mexico. After her father abandoned the family, it was up to her mother to keep a roof over their heads. Life was not easy for my mom, but her God was her comfort, and He had a big mission in store for her.

My mother had the heart of a missionary early on. She was touched by the suffering around her, and she wanted only to see people come to know the love of Jesus. She attended Latin American Bible Institute in California with the plan of going into all the world. What she didn’t realize was how nearby that was – or that she wouldn’t be going alone.

In her mind, missionaries went to far-off countries where people hadn’t even seen a Bible. But God had other plans. Mom and Dad met in college with the same passion for the lost and broken, and she followed him to the streets of New York. To her, Brooklyn sure seemed like a foreign land.

Mom was unfamiliar with drugs, violence, and prostitution -- the particular brand of desperation that flooded the streets of the city. She was familiar with the God who transforms life. It is my beautiful mother’s faithfulness, her steadfast love for the Lord and people that has been the heart of our family and ministry.

In my book, Wonder Women, are stories of women who have been knocked down by life’s circumstances, challenged beyond their own strength. Women like you who find faith and courage in the touch of the God who made you. Heroes.

My mother is my hero. She sacrificed much to reach others with the Gospel, faithful as wife, mother and friend. We turn to her, because she turns to her Heavenly Father, and taught us to do the same. My mom is a constant source of grace, wisdom, and compassion. She is my example. Still, I do miss the mark sometimes.

Mothers are not perfect. I’m sure not. There are great moments when I think I’m winning at this parenting thing – and then there are times when I wish I had a do-over.

You know how it is -- maybe we spoke too harshly, or missed an important moment, or a hidden hurt. That’s when we have to remind ourselves that our children were God’s first, and still are. We rely on Him to guide us, and know His love will cover our kids when we get it wrong.

Today we honor our mothers. We ask God for direction, and strength for the task as we do our part to shape this next generation.

We are no ordinary mortals.

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