Mercy Me-Part II

(cont’d from yesterday…turns out there are A LOT of peekers out there!)

It was just another regular day. I didn’t know when I opened the email from Maureen it would change my life and that of my family.

It said, “Last night, God spoke to me very clearly. You know the pregnant girls in the slum you asked me about many months ago? The ones we have been praying for? God told me He wants me to help them. This is what He is calling me to do. Will you help me?”

Immediately, instantaneously, when I read it to my husband, I knew, we KNEW that this, THIS was why God had dropped Africa in our heart. This was what He was calling us to do, to help Maureen, help them.

That night, I remembered reading a blog post about an American woman who was opening a maternity home in Ethiopia. I spent the next hour searching for the article and when I found it, I emailed and asked them to contact me.

Little did I know that within 48 hours, I would be connecting with American’s premiere pro-life leader, who had started more than 35 maternity homes in American and her first in Africa.

She listened as I poured out my heart about Africa and Maureen. She advised and counseled and offered to help us. She also asked for help. And that resulted in an amazing baby formula drive for starving orphans in Africa-more than 1,000 cans, $3000 and a huge shipment of 600 cans from Similac (thanks to the behind-the-scenes work from a reader)!

When we met with Maureen in Oklahoma at her Student Life camp, we met and dreamed and prayed together.

We knew that not only had God united our hearts as a family, He was birthing something new and ordained of Him:

The Mercy House.

So, this is it, The Mercy House is what we’ve been planning and praying about the last few months. The Mercy House exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in nutrition, housing, prenatal care, counseling and job skills for sustainable living.

Yes, we are helping Maureen open a maternity home (Rehema House) in Africa!

We started paying Maureen so she can be the full time Executive Director of the The Rehema House in Kenya. on September 1. In January, she will travel to Ethiopia for hands-on training at the maternity home there.

You can read about the vision, the plan and the monthly budget. I’m not going to pretend that we aren’t SCARED to death! We don’t know where all the money is going to come from, but God has spoken this God-sized dream into our hearts and we are believing Him to meet every need.

Part of the proceeds from my blog and my proceeds from my  book will go to The Mercy House, which currently has  501c3 status as a non-profit organization (which makes your gifts tax deductible).

We’ve assembled an amazing Board of Directors to help us with important decisions…you might know two of them who are familiar with women’s issues and : Amber (and her husband, Seth) and Lisa-Jo.

We also have a cute Etsy store (more on that tomorrow with some fun giveaways and new items added!!) which will help offset some of the expenses.

Honestly, the last thing, my hubby and I wanted to do was start something. We’ve fought against that very thing. We thought we could appease the call in our spirits by giving some money, helping the poor, etc. But sometimes, God answers your prayer by asking you to risk it all.

The Mercy House is slated to open in 2011.

We need a lot of miracles and we want you to join us. Would you visit the site and pray about how you can love mercy?

Tomorrow, I’ll share specific ways YOU can be a part of this needed work in Africa.


Comments

  1. says

    God certainly has been moving your family towards some great things! Talked to my husband about making the monthly gift. He agreed that we can do the $25 monthly starting in October! Does your paypal have a reoccurring monthly option? If not, I will just set it up with my bank to make it automatic.

    We will continue to pray for The Mercy House, your family and Maureen.

  2. kristen says

    Thank you so much, Terri! What a blessing!
    My Paypal doesn’t have a recurring option since it’s a free account, but I can add your name to the monthly reminder email.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  3. says

    It was my pleasure to help you create Africa out of scripture. What an awesome ministry you are starting. I can’t wait to read about what God does through you.

    Blessings
    Honey

  4. says

    Continuing to pray and prepping posts to help spread the word. Hubby and I have agreed to be buying necklaces all around for Christmas (and will ask others to do the same.) God Bless you!

    Sarah Neely

  5. says

    Kristen~ I am just brought to tears by this post. How amazing to stand here on the sidelines and watch how God has worked in your heart and your husband’s. What an incredible God we serve! Jim and I definitely want to help support your new ministry. As you know we are right in the middle of funding our adoption, but we both have committed to praying and seeking God’s face today. I think we are both leaning toward starting to give now, rather than wait until our son is home. I will let you know. Either way, we are praying big time for your sweet family, and we will definitely be supporting you financially at some point whether it be now or in the near future. I will also write a post for my blog featuring your ministry. This is so exciting!! Keep living your life out loud. Your story is part of ours, you were one of the people that God used to open our eyes to the the truth. I love how He is able to weave and tangle the lives of believers together – believers who have never even met! Be blessed, Kristen….

  6. says

    Bless you. Oh how amazing it is when God plants a dream in your heart and starts to fulfill it. We are between dreams right now, eagerly watching and waiting …..

    I’m so excited for you and your family. It is scary, but it’s an exhilarating scary! There is nothing like knowing God Himself has planted a dream in your heart. And, God doesn’t give unfunded mandates. He will supply. Every time, in His way as long as you’re following Him closely.

    ‘Delighted in God’, a biography about George Muller, may provide some encouragement as you embark on this new journey.

  7. says

    Definitely will be keeping you in my prayers as you begin this new adventure God has given you. What an awesome mission! I always felt so heart-broken hearing about abortion statistics and it hit me that much harder when I had my first miscarriage (my first pregnancy) to think that some women willingly go through that here in the US for selfish reasons, but those poor women in Africa who do it because they feel they have no other choice…it really is heartwrenching to hear about. How wonderful God has given you this vision to help them!!! And you know He will provide, because it is from Him it was borne in you!

  8. says

    Kristen, I’m so proud of you!!!! I’m behind on stalking your blog… its been crazy since I got home from Africa. I left my heart in Ethiopia & Uganda, but praying about what God wants to do with me next. I get to lead 2 trips back in 2011. Thanks for sharing your heart this morning!!

  9. says

    Kristen, I just want to be like you when I grow up (even though we’re the same age)! When I read your post yesterday (and I peeked at the website), I got that feeling of “YES! THIS IS IT!!!!” I’ve read your blog for so long and I’ve known from the beginning that God had something like this in store for your family…. but it’s greater than I could ever fathom. Thank you for listening to His call and inspiring others to do the same!!!!

  10. says

    So amazed and blessed to be on this journey with you. My tired, aching heart feels so lost and knows the only way forward is to walk into His will and the ways He offers us to help push back the darkness.

    ~Lisa-Jo

  11. Heather says

    I am in pure amazement of your devotion to our mighty God. To see someone walk so humbly and faithfully is such an inspiration. I will be in constant prayer for this mission as this is what His will has called. I’m very proud to be a WATF reader for a long time, and even more happy that you have stepped out in faith. Prayers for you and your sweet family and definately for this mission that will shine His light in places of this world that the rest of the world has bypassed…

  12. says

    Oh, the goodness of God! I stand amazed! And your family’s heart for this is beautiful – full of faith and hope. You are and encouragement to all of us who want to faithfully serve the Lord. My family is committed to do what we can to be part of this.

  13. says

    Kristen, so excited for you! Praying and will continue to pray.

    I have shared Maureen’s story w/ my daughters and friends. One of my daughters friends heard her when she spoke in Atlanta. He fb Mandi (my daughter) saying he had heard I girl from Kenya speak (knowing Mandi leaves for Kenya next week).

    God is doing a great thing.

    I hope I do not bug you by my RT and DM msgs

    It was your “Africa” story that God touched my heart deep.

    YOU are touching lives…making a difference.

    Hugs,
    Teena

  14. says

    I am brought to tears by your post but mostly because of your journey. My husband and I are wrestling with the adoption question right now and I want to scream because I know God wants something from us, but He has not said yes to a specific direction yet. I want him to just tell us and we’ll do it!

    It is such and encouragement to see that wrestling with God is a journey and I will just wait on the Lord. I’m definitely going to start praying about involvement in this project though. Thanks for sharing your heart and being vulnerable about the journey.

  15. says

    This is SO exciting!! Thanks for following God’s leading and inspiring all of your readers to do the same! I serve on the board of a a newly-formed organization reaching out to kids in Kenya called Jump for Joel (www.jumpforjoel.org) so I’ll be following your adventure with joy!!

  16. says

    That is AMAZING! Really, truly amazing! What an awesome calling. I know it will be more than successful since it is inspired by God. And BTW, LOVE the logo! I’m glad you were able to find someone who could do the Africa design.

  17. says

    WOW! This is an amazing story. I love learning of people who totally listen to God and are obedient to Him. Somthing that is so hard to do. Amazing.

  18. says

    This is so awesomely wonderful! I know God is opening something in my own heart through this and the Compassion team. I don’t know what’s next…can’t imagine it, but I feel something brewing.

  19. Laura Marshall says

    This looks like a great ministry, and much needed. I will be glad to donate $50 per month – just let us know when you get a merchant account with recurring payments set up – or another option.
    My brother runs Children’s Relief International (www.childrensrelief.org) which has a multi-part ministry in the Kikuyu area outside of Nairobi. If you are going to be in that area you might want to network with them. Let me know if that sounds useful.

  20. says

    WOW! I followed your posts from the blog tour in Kenya and I’m delighted to see this maternity home coming into reality! I worked in Kenya for 8 years with Wycliffe. I will publicize this on my blog but will get in touch with you for more info and your permission before doing so. BLESS YOU! God does amazing things in the hearts of those who are tender to Him and His children.

  21. says

    ME ME ME!!!
    Please count me in for a monthly donation and just let me know where I can make the commitment <3

    I am crying my eyes out reading this…
    Lisa-Jo, Amber and YOU are doing the WORK we are meant to.

    I have been so honored to read along on this journey.

    And my heart is so full right now it may very well burst.

    Thank you, sister—for carrying that love farther than I can…..and for giving me the someday-hope of doing MORE.
    There is no small gift but, there are those that swoop forward propelled by an ocean of grace to do what seems impossible. Thank you for being a witness of God's miraculous Hand.

    Sara Sophia

  22. says

    So amazed that this is going on in my backyard….well, SIDE yard. Having you all as neighbors is inspiring. And your KIDS! What a legacy. Mine will be saying, “my mom made cookies;” yours will be saying, “my mom saved women and children in Africa.”

  23. Ginger says

    What a fabulous project! One idea I’ve seen work very successfully for sponsorships is co-ops, especially with the current state of the economy I think that people are sometimes scared to commit and so they don’t get involved in a project even if they really have the desire to. Essentially a group of people get together & decide how many sponsorships they will provide for & ask each member to commit for one year. This way, if an individual can’t find $25 per month in their budget, but they still want to help, they can join the co-op & contribute $5 or $10/month for example. This type of tco-op idea works well for getting children involved too…like a class of 25 kids can contribute $2/month each to cover two sponsorships…they could use their allowance money, collect & turn in recycles, etc. I’d encourage you to go to churches that are very vocal in the pro-life movement (such as the Catholic church) about getting their youth groups, religious education classes, etc. involved in supporting this project. You should compile presentation materials that can be sent to your readers who are interested in getting their churches/communities involved in it to to increase your reach across the U.S.

  24. says

    This is simply AMAZING, Kristin!

    There has been a “movement” in our church about the importance of missions abroad and here at home. EVERY Sunday our Pastor has been challenging us about what it really means to “Follow Him”. what are we willing to give up and leave behind. And that “the appeal of sin, self, and stuff would FADE (Faith and Disciplship Experiment) in the face of the Savior”. We are getting ready to start small groups again where we will be reading the book “Radical”. I’m pretty sure it’s one that if you haven’t read it you WILL WANT TO.:)

    I am so excited to hear more about this Mission of Mercy God has called you to!

    Blessings to you and your family!

  25. Jodee says

    Wow this is amazing! I am touched and moved by what you and your husband are doing! This so falls in line with what our pastor has been preaching on! To be willing and ready to do whatever it is God gives and tell us to do and to see life through Gods Eyes and not our eyes. I will pray for you and your family and this project.. I hope I will be able to contribute financially in the future. I am going to start praying about it. This is indeed awesome!

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