Why We Always Keep an Empty Bed

We keep an empty bed at Mercy House.


Even when we are overwhelmed and understaffed.

Even when Rotovirus runs through the house and lands three babies in the hospital for three days and the unexpected bills add up.

Even when we don’t think we can handle one more thing.

It’s our tangible step of faith. We openly declare that God is building this house and we will depend on Him to meet our needs.

And He has every time.


Violet’s Story

Twice now, the empty beds have been filled with girls we didn’t expect.


Edith’s Story

I don’t consider myself brave.

I still marvel at how we built something from nothing.

But I’ve learned even scared people can say yes.

And I’m reminded who’s really in charge.

Our scaredy-cat yes encourages other frightened people to do the same.


I look at young girls who came to us more desperate than you can imagine, alone and terrified. I’ve watched them transform, one brave, shaky step at a time. They have worked through their inner turmoil, fallen in love with a child they didn’t want, learned skills that will provide for their futures.


They are courageous and they make me want to say yes again and again.

Even when I’m scared of the unknown, overwhelmed with mothering and just life.

Our empty bed is actually a mattress on the floor right now. We have 20 full beds and cribs.

It looks like God is sending us another scared mom-to-be this weekend.

So, we are having 2 iron beds made. One for the mattress on the floor.

And one to keep empty.

I think when we leave room for God to show up, He does.

[Our 9th baby was born this week! He’s a miracle]


  1. 2

    Deb L says

    That you are frail only shows up more clearly God’s amazing work. His glory just shines and shines and shines in the faces of those babies, those mothers and in all the hardship of going-against-the-grain of the brokenness of this world. Keep going, Kristen! Keep pulling us along with you! Keep holding on to Jesus! You are shining a light for others to walk along the narrow path.

  2. 4

    Karen says

    Just finished studying Ruth and one of the things we talked about often was how God takes ordinary people who are going about ordinary lives and then does the extraordinary. It is awesome to watch!

  3. 5

    Carol D says

    Kristen, I am loving all these photos from your recent trip. They make my heart sing with joy! The difference in these girls’ lives is tangibly documented by the photos. I laugh with them and smile through tears, seeing the light of Jesus in their lives. This whole journey is SO amazing, so life-changing, not just for them, but for all who read and follow and support Mercy…..

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