- February 18th, 2013
Imagine living in absolute squalor and forging for food for each meal. Our teen moms at the maternity home know this experience well. And while they live and sleep in a warm, safe place with full stomachs and healthy babies, they worry constantly about the siblings, single moms and aunties they left behind. While most of our girls don't have a traditional family unit, they have loved ones that live in unthinkable situations.
Part of our vision at Mercy House is not only to see total transformation of each mother, it's also to help provide a stable situation for them to return to, if possible. While some of our girls do not have a home or support system, several do and as a part of reintegration, we want to offer help where we can through home visitations, counseling, parent training, development and aid in the most severe cases.
Objectives of Home Visits:
- Familiarize with the environment where the residents come from and where they are to graduate to.
- Share growth and development of the resident and baby and also get to hear about the family.
- Sharing the word of God as we have been commissioned to go out and share the good news of hope with others.
- Share prayer requests and pray together.
- Discuss business and re-integration plans with the parents/caregivers.
- Reminder about the parents visitation day to be held on February 16, 2013 at RHRC.
- Give food relief to the families.
Recently when Maureen visited the USA, part of the planning with Kristen concerned how to help each family. After much prayer and conversation, they both felt led to offer each family (where possible) a cow, food relief at the home visits and a micro loan to help start a small business. Families will be counseled and helped thru this process closely (money will not be given, rather supplies on loan to help with a family business). Research shows loans rather than aid are better in the long run.
Maurren traveled a great distance to visit most of the girl's homes or support systems and from Maureen's report, she highlights the positive aspects of the visits.
Communication: The quality of communication was positive, understandable, and respectful among all members at all levels of the partnership. The quantity of communication was also at a level to enable efficient and effective coordination and understanding among all members.
Commitment: Both parties had a sense of assurance about (a) each other's devotion and loyalty to the girl, baby and family, and (b) each other's belief in the importance of the goals being pursued on behalf of the girl, baby and family.
Equality: The members of the partnership felt a sense of equity in decision making and service implementation, and actively work to ensure that all other members of the partnership feel equally powerful in their ability to influence outcomes for girl and baby.
Trust: The members of the partnership shared a sense of assurance about the reliability or dependability of the character, ability, strength, or truth of the other members of the partnership.
Respect: The members of the partnership regarded each other with esteem and demonstrated that esteem in their communications with one another.
There were some very disturbing and unsettling discoveries also. One family has been terrorized by a drunk, violent and abusive father. It was immediately determined that this specific family needed attention and we offered help in order to save the lives of innocent children in the home.
We often don't have answers and have not been promised an easy road, and as we love mercy to the least of these, it gets harder before it gets better. Please pray not only for our moms and babies, but also for their families and the young siblings left in the wake of unfathomable poverty and the dangers that come with this kind of life. Pray for wisdom and safety for our staff and for provision as we begin to spread open the umbrella of care that reaches far beyond a pregant girl and her baby.
- January 30th, 2013
Today there is a family of 6 living in a 5x7 shanty in Mathare Valley slum. There's barely enough room for the entire family to sleep on the mat on the floor. The father, a day laborer, finds work when he can. Some days he walks for miles trying to find a job to feed his family. This month he worked 9 days and he made $10.
The monthly rent on his family's tiny home is $6.
Just a few miles away, there's a large 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom estate enclosed by a mortar compound, gates and guards. There's barbed wire around the top to keep unwanted people out. The house has a servant's quarter, lush landscape and a hefty price tag. It sells for $1.8 million US dollars, an astronimcal price even in wealthy America.
This is the real estate situation in Kenya.
Mercy House currently resides in a house more like the second. From it's conception as a Rescue Center, we provide a safe, secure unmarked home in an undisclosed location for our often endangered girls. The asking price on the house we lease, with escalating rent every year, is 1 million US dollars. Once we bring in 4 additional girls this Spring, we will be at capacity.
We thought we might buy land at some point in our future and build something modest, yet suitable for our growing ministry. But in a real estate market that doesn't make sense, the cost of land has dramatically increased since 2010, making 3 acres in Nairobi, more than 5 million US dollars.
While Maureen was in the US in January, we met and discussed our options at length. We have come up with a couple of creative ideas, and have a lead or two on something we can afford, but simply put, we need (another) miracle. We want to help as many girls as possible and to accomplish this, we need a permanent home for long-term sustainability.
Many supporters and donors look at our 2012 Annual Report and are amazed at what God has done (we are too!), and at first glance it might seem the $115,000 US dollars we've saved for a home would be enough in a developing nation like Kenya. But as you can see, we have a long way to go.
This home and this organization were created from nothing. We have no doubt God will provided exactly what we need at the right time. We are asking God to supernaturally do what we cannot. Please pray with us.
- January 12th, 2013
Maureen Owino, Executive Director, is in the USA this month for meetings and speaking engagements. She hand delivered this letter, written by our girls at Mercy House for you:
Much greetings from Mercy House girls. Happy New Year! We hope your year was fantastic. First and foremost, we would like to appreicate all of you for your prayers. We have been praying for you too so that God may continue blessing the work you are doing. We girls, we have a reason to thank God for the things He has done to us. There is no other way we can thank Him but thru prayers.
Mercy House is a Christian organization and truly speaking it has proved to us and our parents at home and even the staff that it is a true Christian organization. Why are we saying this? Becase we are not the same people we were before we joined Mercy House. All of us joined without knowing who God is, but God opened for us the way until we accepted Him in our lives.
We are all born again Christians and we are all baptized and we would like one day to be able to transform other girls who cannot live at Mercy House by sharing with them the word of God, encouraging them about life and also to share with them the skills which we are being taught.
Mercy House is one of the best rescue centers in Kenya. It is a rescue center situated in an estate where ministries of Kenya are living, so you can imagine how fabulous it is. In Kenya, many rescue centers are situated in the slums. In Mercy House there is everything and by God's love and grace, we have never lacked anything. Mercy House is better than our own homes, we have all the basic needs, our babies are well and healthy and being taken care of nicely. Mercy House menu is the best, we eat well and we are very healthy girls.
We have never had a problem with the staff quitting due to salary problems, the rent, taking the babies to the hospital and even we've never slept hungry, even a single day.
Thank you very much our donors, for the great work that you are doing. May you be blessed this year by our God in Heaven, very much. Don't give up, remember whatever you do, work at it with your heart as working for the Lord not for men.
Since it's a year of Jubilee, please give yourselves a way so that God may use you.
Thank you very much and may God bless you,
From, Mercy House Girls
- December 1st, 2012
God has perfomed so many miracles on behalf of Mercy House! It's been one after another for more than two year. So it should come as no suprise that He provided more than $10,000 for Violet's needed surgery in less than 24 hours! Wow!
Just moments before surgery:
Violet had her surgeries just two weeks after the money was raised in Nov. 2012. She has recovered marvelously and each skin graft has been successful.
She is on the road to standing, walking and returning to normal activity.
Thank you for praying, giving and supporting Mercy House!
- November 25th, 2012
Mercy Shop's biggest sale of the year is just a few hours away! It's a one day sale (starting tonight at midnight, ending Monday, Nov. 26 at 11:59 pm). And here is a sneak peek at the super special deals while supplies last:
- Get the Love Mercy Sari bag for only $15, reg. $22
- Violet's Beautiful Feet t-shirt for only $20, reg. $30
- Love Mercy Wristbands for only $1 each, reg. $3
- Paper Christmas Trees for only $20, reg. $25
- Mercy Made This Happen T-shirts (unisex) $15, reg. $20
Plus, FREE SHIPPING on your entire order with code: CYBERMON
First 50 orders get a free one-of-a-kind handmade bracelet from our girls in Kenya!
- October 30th, 2012
Early yesterday morning, we started our fundraising drive for Violet's reconstructive surgery. The scars from her burns have left her skin so taught that her feet are fractured every time she walks. Surgery to fix this complication is scheduled for the end of this year, and the cost is significant. We put a plan together and set a goal to raise the complete cost of the surgery.
I was so excited to come and share an update with you today...to encourage you to buy a limited-edition t-shirt, order a Violet's Story necklace, to donate funds for her surgery, and to continue to pray and petition God on Violet's behalf. With a $10,000 goal and an impending surgery date, I didn't think we could waste any time.
Apparently, however, I was willing to waste more time than God. Because we've already raised it all...
Every single penny of the cost of Violet's surgery has been raised. Every. Penny!
In 24 hours...less than 24 hours...God moved hearts all over the world to give, and, before we knew it, the goal was met.
I smiled in my sleep last night. I've been smiling all day. God continually amazes me with the stories he's writing through The Mercy House.
So today I'm asking you to praise God with me. Watching God move mountains is such a privilege when we're standing next to you and loving mercy with you.
To those of you who have already given to this cause, thank you! Thank you, thank you, and thank you! We can't say it enough.
If you'd still like to be a part of Violet's Story, you can. Grab a t-shirt while they're still available! Donate to Violet's Story. We'll continue to raise funds until December 31st, 2012, and all donations are fully tax-deductible. Any funds we raise above and beyond the cost of Violet's Surgery will be used strictly for the future medical expenses of the girls. (Please mark your donation with "Violet" or "Violet's Surgery".) It's not too late to be part of this incredible story.
- October 28th, 2012
Violet is one of our girls at Mercy House.
She is just one girl. Like most of our girls and so many others in our world, she's lived a life of pain and insignificance.
She has experienced unspeakable hell in her few years on earth. But God saw her sorrow and He went after that one girl... just as He does for each of us.
This is her story.
She belongs at Mercy House and is being transformed more every day! We agreed to take care of her medical costs because we knew you would help us. Our world wouldn't define Violet as beautiful. She is scarred.
But God defines true beauty from the inside out and he makes beautiful feet for those who share the Good News! Violet's surgery is scheduled before the end of the year. It will cost $10,000 US dollars. $1800 has already come in the surgery.
Would you be a part of this story?
For a short time, we are offering these beautiful LIMITED EDITION Beautiful Feet shirts for $30, available in S-XXL. Please note shirts will be mailed 2 weeks from order. (We found a gorgeous Kenyan model to show off our Beautiful Feet shirts. You can read about the shirt details and order in The Mercy Shop.) Order one today.
We are also selling these gorgeous handmade pottery crosses with the Beautiful Feet scripture etched on the
back for $20. Order one here.
If you donate $100 or more to Violet's fund below, you will be sent both shirt and necklace.
We need your help: please consider giving today and if you aren't able to donate financially, please share her story.
Special thanks to NextWave Creative for creating and donating this amazing video and our t-shirts design.
We are raising money for Violet until Dec. 31, 2012. Any money that comes in above and beyond her medical needs will be used for future medical needs at Mercy House in 2013. Your monetary donation is tax deductible. Please mark all donations VIOLET.