One of the things I wanted to do when I started this blog was to write about Good Things.
That's one of the reasons for the blog's name. Mostly I'm getting my story down in this space, posting about our family's weeks and my thoughts. And that's a good thing. A good place to start.
But this post?
This is the kind of inspiring stuff I originally wanted to write about, good stuff like people helping people in need. Good stuff like Mercy House Kenya.
Except then I didn't know how, or have the opportunity, or feel like my blog really mattered. Someone else is doing it better somewhere else I thought. But when the opportunity to write a blog post about Mercy House Kenya came into my inbox, I left my excuses behind and jumped at it.
Because it is good.
But more importantly, it's important.
I look at those pictures and I just want to love on some babies! I want to take those little fingers and wrap my own around them. I want to get lost in the soft fabric of the nursery. And scoop that precious little baby in my arms. Such beautiful images captured by Bess Brownlee.
Beauty from ashes. Babies rescued from abortion. Girls rescued from the streets of the slums in Nairobi. Shown mercy. Given hope. That's what Mercy House does.
Here are the issues, according to Mercy House's vision page on their website:
Every 30 minutes, a woman is raped in Kenya. (Nairobi Women’s Hospital)
13,000 Kenyan girls are kicked out of school every year for being pregnant. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
More than 20,000 children are sex trafficked annually in Kenya. (Human Trafficking)
Mothers often force their daughters into trading sex for food in the slums. (CNN)
All these issues are horriffic. But that last one? Can you imagine being so desperate for food that you trade your daughter so that the rest of your family can eat?
Can you imagine being the daughter who gets traded for food? Who then finds herself pregnant?
I have the luxury of not being able to quite wrap my mind around it even if I try to.
But they don't.
I read those stats, then I see these pictures of these beautiful girls -- so young! -- holding their precious babies, and I want to hug them. For a very long time, hug them. I want to encourage them. I want to tell them they are loved. By me, by God, and by you dear reader.
They are survivors. Endured things we can't even imagine. In many ways I am in awe of them. I want to be there for them. Help them.
That's what started Mercy House. Someone like me, Kristen, an American mom of three kids, who visited her Compassion child, saw a need and was willing to help.
Maybe I can't go to Kenya, but I can help these girls and the staff at Mercy House. They have expressed a need for some things: a van to transport the girls to doctors appointments, class room additions, a new generator, a computer lab, and a second home. These things take money that they don't have.
(in)mercy is a project of (in)courage to help raise funds for these needed items. I agreed to be a part of the project because, like I said before, this kind of stuff is what I want to be about. I wish I could do more, but at this point, I can do this: I can give. And I can tell you about it, hoping that you might be open to helping them too.
They need us to do this.
(in)mercy has five phases, each focusing on one of the expressed needs.
During this first phase, which is being kicked off today, we're raising $8,750 for an 8 passenger van. Right now the house only has one 15 passenger van.
Personally, when I do the math, I think they should be asking for more than one van:
12 moms + 12 babies + 2 house moms + 1 director + 1 social worker + 1 assistant = 29 people = 1 fifteen passenger van + 1 eight passenger van, remainder 6 passengers.
But, alas, they are only asking for one Toyota Noah van. To help them get the girls to their pre-natal appointments, and the babies to their doctor appointments. And to get everyone to the church on time. Not to mention all the other places they have to go.
I chose to be on the Phase 1 team, to write about funding a van, because I can relate to the need for multiple vehicles. And I only have three kids to get to their various appointments and activities! I can also appreciate the desire to have a reliable vehicle for transporting that precious cargo.
I'm asking you to donate to this first phase of the (in)mercy project for Mercy House Kenya. However much you want to give, or however little you can give. But please give something. Consider it your Christmas gift to them. We're hoping to have all five phases raised by Christmas. Wouldn't that be a nice Christmas present for them?
I'm asking you to share about this project. Consider sharing this post ora link to the project itself. I believe in the power of multiplication by word of mouth (or, I guess in today's world, it's "by sharing of social media links"). Honestly, I don't have a lot of blog readers so I need your help to get the word out. They need your help to get the word out.
People helping people in need. It's good stuff, people.
"He has shown you, O man, what is good: And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and love mercy, to walk humbly with your God."