Our AWE-mazing little guy turns SIX today and he is so excited! We featured some of our favorite baby photos of him in today's e-newsletter to his subscribers but we want to also share a few here...
We also shared a link to his first magazine article feature! Before he was even born, Amari's story inspired women in Oklahoma and Texas.
One of my fondest memories of Amari as a baby was when he was a 13-month old and I carried him to church and to homeless ministry in a sling I bought during a mission trip to Guatemala. I originally bought the sling because I needed another bag to carry my team leader and safety materials in while in Antigua.
Guatemalan women would try to peek inside to see my baby but all they saw was a first aid kit and papers! I had no intentions of EVER having another baby. If you read the G-Life Magazine you'll understand why. The sling hung on my closet door for more than a year. Empty.
One Saturday as I carried him in this sling, that I never intended to carry a baby in, we came across a woman who was sitting on a curb. Our ministry team was offering her food and prayer but she resisted. I walked up with Amari and she began to cry. "He's so beautiful! Today is my birthday but I haven't seen my kids. I miss my kids."
Amari's presence allowed us to get her to accept food and we even sang "Happy Birthday" to her! As I walked away with him in his sling, our team was able to minister to her emotional and spiritual needs.
On the next block we encountered an older man on the steps outside of the new soccer stadium in downtown Orlando. He saw Amari and also began to cry. "This reminds me of my mom. I miss my mom." We were able to give him food and prayer as well. Whew...there is something about seeing a grown man cry and talk about the unfailing love of his mother. It still gives me chills!
I am blessed to have friends and acquaintances on six continents. (The one guy I knew in Antarctica was on an expedition and is no longer there.) I can't tell you how many times someone from somewhere has called, texted or messaged me after seeing Amari's photo or a video of him online and said, "I was having a bad day but I saw Amari and he made me smile," or "You can't be around him and not have joy."
Amari means "Gift from God" and today we celebrate our gift and how God continues to use him to inspire others and even help those who ar feeling 'empty' feel the presence of comfort and joy. What a blessing from God through HIS unfailing love. 💙
- Tammie, Amari's mom
**You can support Amari and show him some birthday love by buying one (or four) of his books, participating in his #LifeWithMari Box House Contest or joining him at the Tallahassee Museum for Amari's Dinosaur Day on May 14th**