An Invitation to Step (in) Mercy

Three years ago today on Sept. 12, 2010, I invited you to be a part of an incredible God-story. Some of you may remember…
MH 68

Thirty-six hard, beautiful months ago, Mercy House was born. It has been a labor of love to help those who would need to labor and learn to love.

An unlikely family was created, babies conceived in abuse and desperation, united sisters through grief and shame.

 

MH 62

One-thousand-eighty days ago, Mercy House opened it’s doors to be a haven for pregnant girls to become mothers, to fall in love with their unplanned babies. It’s a home of second chances, an environment for orphaned girls to connect, for lifelong friendships to establish.

MH 66

It’s a place where hope is born.

MH 4

It’s a home for new life and 12 tiny miracles so far…

MH 19

It’s a house where aunties are created and cousins play.

MH 76

It’s a refuge where girls like Cindy can lay down their burdens in exchange for transformation.

“When I joined the house, my challenges were nothing to smile about, it was not a joke because I had a big burden deep inside me. I worried a lot even though I never wanted to show it out directly. I also wondered how I would get used to the new environment at Mercy {Rehema} House with new people and policies set since I never had any at home…It was nothing close to my home having been brought up in a filthy slum. But I thank God for this far, am totally changed and my life transformed am a proud mother, the burden is gone and above all a new creature fully transformed.” Cindy, age 18

MH 56

It’s a beauty for ashes kind of place, where God takes what the world has trampled and turns it into something breathtaking.

Twenty-six thousand minutes ago we said yes to a God-sized dream.

MH 65

And today, we are inviting you to be a part of the story again. We have the opportunity together with (in)courage through Pure Charity to change the world for the girls and babies of Kenya.

Phase 1: Drive Mercy {Van}

Phase 2: Learn Mercy {Classroom Additions}

Phase 3: Generate Mercy {Generator}

Phase 4: Advance Mercy {Computer Lab}

Phase 5: Live Mercy {Second Home}

Mercy House is a place that will change your life the minute you step into the story.

MH 37

Will you step (in)Mercy today? <—————– Click to learn more about Phase 1 (of 5)

M_Fg48rcJp1YEawH4jyovEbIJJ8qebow-lJ1zJt7WLc

Thank you Dayspring and (in)courage for being a part of this dream!

photos by Bess Brownlee



We are Building a Playground in Africa

Do you want to know what the best thing about starting a maternity home in Kenya is?

Birthday pics! March 2013 070

First

Birthday pics! March 2013 069

Birthday

Birthday pics! March 2013 068

Parties!

Birthday pics! March 2013 057

Not only do we get to see young girls transform from scared, lonely, hopeless girls burdened with the world and child, we get to help them become mothers and watch them fall in love with their babies who were sometimes products of their abuse and usually unwanted.

We now have eight babies–six babies over 1 year old and two 10 month olds. (This past weekend we brought in new girls–more on that later, but please pray for this difficult transition for all involved).

Our adorable babies are healthy, beautiful and very mobile.

babiesnov12

Because we have so many living in our home, space is often a challenge, as is keeping areas toddler-proof. Maybe it sound familiar? The weather in our area of Kenya is beautiful most months of the year and we’ve been dreaming of a playground for our babies to roam freely and safely, with a gated area to keep them from wandering off.

Playarea 003

My sweet, pregnant friend, Stephanie (co-founder of (in)courage) is celebrating her miracle baby by throwing a baby shower over at incourage today with the help of Pure Charity! And Mercy House gets the gifts! You can be a part of building a playground for our babies and toddlers at Mercy House Kenya! You can learn more here.

I am leaving later this week for Kenya. I can’t wait to blog from our maternity home and share all that God is doing with your help!


Community Mess

The curtains hung half hazard, cups and plates piled high, throw pillows thrown. My hubby wiped the table, I put away leftovers, stepping over a misplaced toy on the kitchen floor, the kids tattled. “Mom, one of the kids said a bad word tonight.”

It was just another night of community group in our home, kids and parents at our table, breaking bread -and apparently wall hangings-together.

No one said it would perfect. This loud, messy gathering of friends filling our house and our hearts. Sure there’s inconvenience and sacrifice involved, but we cannot deny the absolute benefit of doing life with others.

Click to continue reading over at (in)courage


Get Real {Life}

The food kept coming, freezers full. Friends from church and school delivered desserts and veggies, roast and brisket, neighbors created a schedule of meals for my brother-in-law and teen nephews. The food piled high and we vacuum-sealed and froze portions for the weeks and months to come. Toilet paper and napkins, loaves of bread and CD’s of praise music for the family were dropped off all day long.

The hours and days following my sister-in-law’s death last week were the most beautiful display of community I have ever seen.

Her husband and sons are being held by their community of friends and neighbors in the plains of Texas. As my mother-in-law and other sister-in-law cut cake into pieces and I wrote dates on freezer bags, we talked about the beauty of community and how it’s with you in the ebb and flow of life. The joy and sorrow.

I walked away from that kitchen with a deep sense of thankfulness and a longing to create community just like my dear sister -in-law did. If filled her life and brought comfort in her death.

I’ve made it a goal in 2013 to work harder at this real life community thing. It doesn’t come natural for me, but I’ve seen the power of it up close and it’s good.

As women, there’s a tangible, real way for us to create community is thru (in)RL:

 

  • Registration opens Monday January 14th at www.inrl.us 
  • It’s FREE!

 What is (in)RL?

  • About: (in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments at (in)courage craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.
  • Think of it as a FREE girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared here.
  • When: The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 26 and (in)RL meetups follow on Saturday, April 27.
  • What: Last year we explored the nitty gritty of community. This year we’re taking a closer look at what it takes to stay rooted in community when sometimes just walking away would be so much easier and tons more convenient. Women share stories of how they’ve chosen to stay through hard marriages, challenging parenting, worthwhile friendships. How choosing to stay has freed them more fully and unexpectedly than if they’d cut and run.

  • Everyone who registers on the day registration opens (today) gets a copy of our (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last (US residents only).
  • Everyone gets a copy of our first eBook: “Best of the Beach House 2012.”

I hope you’ll join me and be a part of this opportunity for connection today.