Monday, November 11, 2013

For Mercy's Sake

Way back in the warmer weather of August, I saw an invitation on (in)courage that made me want to leap. They were inviting writers and bloggers to join together to raise funds for an incredible project called Mercy House Kenya.

In 2010, Mercy House was founded by a woman who had been sponsored as a child through Compassion International and who had completed their leadership program. Maureen Owino was 27, single, and determined to offer an alternative to help young women in her country who were seeking abortions because of unwanted pregnancies that occurred when they were forced into prostitution to support their families.

Maureen connected with blogger, Kristen Welch, during Kristen’s 2010 trip to Kenya, and the two have been working in tandem to support this ministry ever since. Maureen is executive director in Kenya while Kristen and her family work to raise money and awareness here in the US.

The young women in the Rehma program (rehema means mercy in Swahili) receive prenatal and post-natal care, excellent nutrition, counseling, education, and spiritual guidance. They are trained in marketable skills that will allow them to support themselves in their community.

When I first became aware of this opportunity to get involved, I was so excited and looked at the five phases of the project to see which one would be the best match. It didn’t take too long to come to that conclusion. Phase 4, Advance Mercy, was about providing a computer lab to enhance the education of the girls, and since my non-blogging day-job has me working in technology in education, I knew this was going to be my phase.

Except it’s not now.

You see, today, November 11, was supposed to be the launch day for the Phase 4 team. Today was supposed to be the day that 17 bloggers who hadn’t written before would share the story of Mercy House and invite their readers to join in the support of Mercy House and a new computer lab for its residents.

photo by Bess Brownlee
But the Spirit has been moving in the hearts of readers, writers, and those interested in doing His good work here and now, and Phase 4 was funded several weeks ago in mid-October! In just 40 days, the (in)courage community and its readers raised over $21,000 for our sisters in Kenya for a needed van, classroom, generator, and computer lab.

So what’s left?

Phase 5 is a really big deal. And it officially kicks off in December. Because we’d love to give these girls a truly amazing Christmas present. We’d like to help give them a new home. A second home will allow the Mercy House staff to expand its reach, and in the future will help house the offices, classrooms, and labs.

It’s a huge project. Over $46,000 is needed. But you’d be surprised what can happen when we moms, sisters, daughters, and God’s women come together to accomplish something. I joined Lisa Jo Baker and some other friends last month for project Laundry Day, and in less than 8 hours we’d raised over $5,000 for a laundry facility in South Africa. For most of us – it was about the cost of a container of laundry soap.

This is more

This is more than a laundry facility; more than a van; more than a computer lab. Frankly, it’s more than a house. This is an investment in the lives of people who don’t have a tenth of the resources we do on our lowest day.

I recently listened to a favorite author passionately exhort and remind us that we are the palace dwellers – those of us who have been blessed to be born into these North American homes. We have been truly blessed, but we have been placed here for a reason. We are where we are for a time such as this – not to make an impression, but to make a difference (thank you Ann Voskamp).

This is a time to make a difference.

photo by Bess Brownlee
Whether you are a mother or father, daughter or son, wife or husband, you can take a moment and make a difference for people who Christ loves and calls the least of these. Don’t think that you can’t participate because you don’t have thousands or hundreds to give. If you have something to give, it will make a difference. 

I have six words from Micah 6:8 tacked up on my bulletin board, six words that next to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul. and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” encompass much of what we are called to do while here on this plane: Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. I believe that joining this Mercy House project will make an unfathomable difference in the lives of these young women. I hope you do too.

You can donate through the link on the left side of my blog. Or learn more and donate through the Pure Charity site here.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!

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