It’s miraculous how much can happen in a year.
When I left Agnes’ house in a slum in Kenya last April with my family, we went straight to a public bathroom and shook the bedbugs out of our clothes. We found a table, ordered a Coca Cola for comfort and sobbed our eyes out.
Because hopelessness will do that to you.
As we sat in her home, she had wiped tears away roughly with the back of her hand as she described selling her oldest son as an indentured servant to a neighbor. I shuddered as she explained the desperation that made her choose prostitution for her and a daughter so the rest of the family could survive. Her pregnant 14 year old ended up in the maternity homes supported by Mercy House Global. She named her little girl Kristen Mercy.
We sat quietly gathering our thoughts and mostly our courage while we sipped our sodas, and we began to dream with Maureen and Oliver, our in-country directors, about what God was asking us to do. And we asked him to do the impossible. To somehow someway, change Agnes’ life and that of the other families we had visited. We dared to believe God for the unlikely. We envisioned kilns and imagined looms.
When I left her home two weeks ago, I returned to that same restaurant. This time there weren’t bedbugs that made us shudder and the tears we shed weren’t sad ones. She was no longer in a home in a slum and she proudly showed us her concrete floor and second room. Music blared from her radio and when we entered her home, we danced.
And we danced some more. And our dancing turned to weeping. We held hands and thanked God for doing the impossible. Again.
On the way out of the house, she introduced me to her son. The same boy that was owned a year ago without freedom or a future, he shook my hand, looked me in the eyes and smiled. He was free.
I couldn’t stop the tears.
Because hope will do that to you.
In just a year, Agnes has become a master weaver at a loom. Her gorgeous rugs that each take five days to make, thread by thread, are for sale at Mercy House Global. She and the other grandmothers to babies at the maternity homes supported by Mercy House Global sit at looms and kilns every day. They were poor women without hope or a future and God has reminded them they are priceless. They are a miracle.
Earlier this year, Ann and I sat at the looms and stood on holy ground as eyewitnesses to the miraculous. We held ceramic beads from the Kenyan earth and ran our hands over the soft cotton and we committed together–that every woman everywhere deserves the simple dignity of knowing she is priceless.
Agnes and her sweet family have suffered great wounds. They have been abused and hurt by this world. But God is taking the pain and sorrow, the grit of this life and He is creating something beautiful. He is writing a new story.
Every woman everywhere deserves to know that she is loved and valued by the God who created her. She is priceless like a treasured pearl. She isn’t a commodity to be bought and sold, but she has been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus.
Tell her she is priceless. It’s the goal of the dozens and dozens of ministries we work with who work to remind women of this truth. Tomorrow, May 15, we are joining our hands around the world and raising money for 10 non-profits who exist to empower women in oppression and poverty with She Is Priceless, a Global Giving Day.
We are donning our pearls (#putonyourpearls), taking selfless selfies, giving sacrificially and standing up to say we see these injustices, these desperate women who are begging God for provision so they don’t have to make desperate decisions.
Mercy House is specifically raising $20,000 for a new roof and immediate needs at our maternity homes in Kenya. If everyone shared just a little of what they have, it would be enough.
Will you please join with us today and boldly declare with your time and resources we see you and we are here to say, you are not alone. He is with you.
Because women around the world–including you–are priceless.