Maria, My Mother
by Leon Mazin, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network

Maria and Leon
In October 1968, a young lady in Belarus gave birth to her firstborn child. That young lady was my mother Maria, and I was that baby.

Maria was also born in Belarus. She was still a newborn when her family had to flee from the Nazis in 1940. During the war she was wounded from ammunition shrapnel, but her life was miraculously spared. She grew up in an economically challenged home and had a tough childhood and adolescence. For that reason she never denied me or my children the privileges of life. She cared deeply and practically for her family, gave preference to the needs of others and had a servant's heart.

One morning in August 2014, at the beginning of the new school year, my bedridden mother called me to check whether I had remembered to take my own youngest children to school(!). Later that same day I received a 'phone call from her caretaker, who said that my mom had passed away. It all happened so suddenly, and yet even on her last day on earth, she was thinking of others.

Nina and Leon with
his parents on their wedding day
Unlike many Jews in the Former Soviet Union, my mother received a good Jewish upbringing. However, the family culture under the heavy-handed Soviet rule of Communism did not encourage an open expression of emotions or communication within the family. In retrospect, I see this as a great loss - the Iron Curtain had covered our hearts as well as our nation. Now that my dear mother has gone to be with the Lord, I do have one regret: not having spent enough quality, heart-to-heart time with her. With God's help I try to act differently with my own children.

Growing up, as she did, in an atheistic regime, Mom was not very spiritually oriented. She did, however, enjoy attending our Messianic services from time to time. I am greatly consoled by her confession of faith in Yeshua the Messiah, during the concluding days of her earthly journey.

Maria and Avraham
Of course, even after the seven day Shiva (the Jewish mourning period), we are still grieving as a family. But with the hope given to us through the New Covenant, we know we'll be reunited one day!

Some may have esteemed my mother for her devotion to her family. In my eyes her great value is based on the fact that she was created in the image of God. Death has NO power or authority to destroy this image.

"He is not the God of the dead, but of the living ..." (Mark 12:27)

He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... and the God of Maria, my mother. May she rest in peace.

I thank our ministry friends for their prayers and support during our time of bereavement.

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