The Domino Effect

When we said yes to Mercy House, so many said it with us.


Babies with Housemom, Winfred

My husband calls it The Domino Effect.

It was like God strategically placed people in our lives, church and all over the world who would be willing to go with us on this journey of starting something from nothing.


Skills teacher Debra seeing The Mercy Shop for the first time online

Most of what I thought would happen, didn’t. Most of the people I thought would help, haven’t. But God has provided the right people at exactly the right time. And we haven’t been alone for a minute and I’ve learned His plans are so much better than mine.

Two and a half years ago, I got an email from another mom that would cause dominoes to fall. It’s actually the reason I’m in Kenya this week.

Suzanne Box emailed me one day and said, “I live about an hour from you. I’m a photographer and I’d like to help you.”

I’m an introvert and have a busy life, so I almost didn’t drive across town to meet an online stranger at a Chick Fil A.

I’m so glad I don’t always listen to me.

Suzanne began to quietly and really anonymously fill in the gaps, volunteering her time and skill on a regular basis. Not only does she take all of our product pictures and help with design, she coordinates our Home Parties and advocates for Mercy House. Most importantly, she’s become my friend.


She called me one day in the fall and said she’d arranged a meeting with her church and pastor (on her own), so she could tell him about Mercy House. She told him our story and he asked my husband and I to meet together.

As we sat in Pastor Jerry’s office and shared our heart for the impoverished pregnant girls in Kenya, another domino fell. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a more affirming meeting and instantly liked this Pastor with a big heart and fatherly love. I cried openly when they told us they had chosen Mercy House for their 2013 Advent Conspiracy recipient, which will provide a significant offering to further our work in 2014.


I came to Kenya this week to meet our new girls, help Maureen make a final decision on a permanent home and mostly, to meet Pastor Jerry and worship leader, John Cordes at the maternity home to shoot two days of footage for four videos during the week of Christmas 2013.


The girls led us in a beautiful time of worship and devotion this morning and afterwards, Pastor Jerry walked up to me and said, “I’m proud of you, Kristen.”

I said, “I know I shouldn’t be proud, but look what God has done!”

With eyes full of tears, he hugged me just like a father.

It’s astounding to think of what came from an email and a willing heart.

As we wrapped up this amazing week today, we worshipped God and shared testimonies, His Presence tangible. The girls presented a very special notebook to my family, full of thank you letters from each girl. I cried when they presented it and I can’t wait to read them with my family.


I want to urge you to say yes right where you are, step into someone’s else’s yes like Suzanne and make it your own. I’m so thankfulGod has provided so many amazing people to journey with…

You just never know where the road will take you.


  1. 5


    Love, love, love, LOVE this. Thankful for my teensy part in it (little donations here and there and my mom-in-law taking a bag to Kenya for Maurine). So, so excited to see what God does next with everybody’s loaves & fishes!!

  2. 6

    Niki says

    It isn’t a big secret your story has been touching my life like crazy lately because I know God is up to something wonderful and I can’t and don’t know what it is just yet! I know that he has placed this story of your journey with Mercy House in my life for some big reasons and I know some of the answers but I enjoy watching God work through you to impact people around the world.

    I must say, I thought I read once before that you were an introvert and so am I, big time – and I also resonated that God still can use that ‘introverted-ness’ that I sometimes have and overcome it with many blessings. I pray! :)

    Thank you and I pray for you and this ministry a lot….at random times, in random ways- God bless you Kristin-you are a wonderful blessing!

  3. 8

    kelly says

    it is so amazing to “see” what God is doing in you and among you. On a total side note. I love your hat!! Where did you get it and is it from the Mercy House store? Thanks!

  4. 11


    Here in the uk at times I feel so separated from people who have my heart, people who inspire me as they step out in faith. I sit here behind my laptop thinking I want to worship with Kristen, I want to love God like she does.

    Then you wrote about Mercy house and it was if this was a call I was looking for. Teenage girls, feeling unloved gosh I wanted to wrap them all in my arms and say you are worthy. You are a blessing.

    So by signing up to support Mercy house I was blessed to both walk with you and show these girls love.

    Thank you

  5. 13


    I teared up reading this. So good to hear of beautiful things happening in the world in God’s name after a week of heart-rending news all over the place. Thank you for saying, “Yes!” to Abba.

  6. 14


    You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog for some time now, and every time I see that you have written about the home in Kenya, my heart fills to bursting and I cry nearly every time I read what you write. This post spoke to me so much, because I’ve been dealing with fear and timidity and I know in my heart that God doesn’t give us that, but that we have power in Him. Hearing you talk about stepping into the yes, and not listening to your own plans encourages me more than you can know. And please know that somewhere in Northern Va you’ve got someone lifting you up to the Father. Thank you not only for what you are doing, but for being willing to share that with people on the great wide Internets. God bless you, over and over and over again while you are following His ways!

  7. 15


    Ugh I’m so happy!!! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!! I love my church, I love you, I love Suzanne, I love John and I love Jerry. Watching this all fall together blew my socks off. Mercy House is exactly what our church is all about! I am just beyond thrilled to have watched this from the beginning, and to be a part of God’s blessing poured upon this amazing work. Our church has been struggling through some stuff lately, maybe Jerry or John or Suz mentioned it, and it’s been hard but this….THIS is one of the best things we’ve done…will do…lately.

  8. 16


    So a woman left a link in a comment on my blog and I followed it here today. What a beautiful way to nudge to me to say yes and receive the gift my husband is offering me today. Thank you.

  9. 20


    I an so touched by this series of posts on Kenya! It’s such an inspiration when people allow God to do His great work in the world! Thank you for sharing this ministry with us :).

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