Los Desaparecidos: Mothers of the disappeared

Los Desaparecidos: Mothers of the disappeared

Mothers throughout human history have fought hard to protect those they love. What can this “mother-love” teach us about Father God?

Like the Los Desaparecidos, Mothers throughout human history have fought hard to protect those they love. What can this “mother-love” teach us about God?

Ashley JankiewiczJun 8, 2023, 10:10 PM

Argentina’s “Dirty War”, a campaign between the late 1970s and early ’80s, lasted eight years. The perpetrators’ goal was to rid the country of those who opposed the military dictatorship of the time. During this period, an estimated 30,000 people were abducted, tortured or killed. Many babies and children were kidnapped, particularly for the purpose of rehoming them with families who supported the dictatorship. These people were called “los desaparecidos”, meaning “the disappeared”.

In 1977, 14 courageous mothers whose children had disappeared set out to protest against the government, marching peacefully in the Plaza de Mayo (a city square and main foundational site of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires). They wore white scarves or nappies on their heads, all embroidered with the names of their missing children. Over time, this protest movement grew, despite the kidnappings and murders of many protesters. These mothers, known today as the “Mothers of Plaza de Mayo”, showed courage and strength, risking their lives in order to fight for their children. Despite the silence of the media, the refusal of friends and neighbours to support them as well as the threat of death, these mothers continued to march.

Today, these same mothers who lost their children years ago and are now elderly, continue to march for justice, refusing to let the current government gloss over the brutalities of the past. For more than 40 years, these mothers have been fighting for their children, resulting in some success. As of 2017, 122 of those who’d disappeared had been recovered.

Deliver us

Throughout the ages of human history, mothers have shown this same fierce loyalty and willingness to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their children. Consider the story of Moses, recorded in the Bible and portrayed in the film The Prince of Egypt. When we think of Moses, we might think of him in the bulrushes, the Ten Commandments or the parting of the Red Sea, but rarely do we give much thought to Jochebed, Moses’ mother.

The Egyptian pharoah, fearing the increasing number of Hebrews, ordered all newborn boys to be killed (Exodus 1). It was in this environment that Jochebed, a Hebrew slave, gave birth to Moses, a boy, and then risked her life to hide her baby. After three months, when it became too difficult, Jochebed wove a basket out of reeds and hid Moses in the Nile (Exodus 2). Given her status as a female slave, Jochebed’s family would have been her whole world. However, to save her son’s life, she was willing to give him up and place him into God’s hands.

To read more, go to Signs of the Times

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