The Biggest–most AMAZING–Sale of the Year is Here at The Mercy Shop!
Sale Starts: Dec. 1 @ 12:01am Sale Ends: Dec. 1 @11:59pm
Last week I had lunch with two women from Azerbaijan, an oil-rich, but oppressive country situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
They have heartbreaking, but hopeful stories and use their testimonies to work with women who are escaping violence and oppression in the Middle East. We talked about partnering together.
It was humbling to sit with these former Muslim women who daily risk their lives to follow Jesus.
It made me want to live differently, so I can give differently.
With the gift-giving season around the corner, I want to encourage you to think and shop differently this year. Dad doesn’t want another tie and mom has enough cardigans. For the same amount of money, you can give a unique gift and change someone’s world.
Rehema House Gift Catalog-Mercy House supports impoverished moms and babies at Rehema House in Kenya. Not only can you impact lives in Kenya, you can also do so in someone’s name. For every gift you give, you can have an e-card sent to the person of your choice. [Gift options start at $10. For example, you can gift this for $10 in your teen daughter’s name and this for $50 in your grandma’s name.] It’s an easy way to change the world. Check out the Gift Catalog here.
Compassion Gift Catalog-I love Compassion and I believe in what they do. I have seen their work behind the scenes in Kenya and elsewhere and they change lives.
Fair Trade Friday-Fair Trade Friday is a fun monthly subscription club (with more than 500 members) that delivers 3-4 fair trade items to your door. The items are created by impoverished women all over the world who are supported by your purchase. Join the Club or give a Fair Trade Friday Gift Box to someone who’s been extra good on your list. Get $5 off a one-time Fair Trade Friday gift box with this code: 5off
The Refugee Project-Gorgeous hand knitted and crochet items are always on everyone’s list! Every purchase benefits a refugee who has been relocated to the USA from a refugee camp, struggling to make ends meet in their new home. I spend my Friday’s with these beautiful ladies.
No. 41-When you buy a lovely sewn burlap and kitenge bag from Rwanda, it not only supports the young lady who created it after she’s aged out of an orphanage, it also feeds one child, one meal, every day for one year.
Zambia Soap Company -THE PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER -Scented Organic Handmade Soaps and Lipbalms (Families harvest organically grown herbs. Workers distill the herbs to make essential oils for soap, while women widowed by the AIDS epidemic weave gift baskets and attach labels.all overseen by local Zambian churches)
The Mercy Shop-A large percentage of every purchase from the Mercy Shop goes into an account for each of the Rehema House residents who created the items. After graduation, she will be able to use that money to provide school fees for her baby (while Mercy House continues to pay her school fees). So, every purchase helps provide for the future of the babies that Mercy House supports!
Caring for Korah- We believe in child sponsorship. We just added our 11th child to the family (besides 3 of our own). Our dear friends are saving lives in Ethiopia and you can give a child a future this Christmas.
Let’s change Christmas this year.
by Chrystal Evans Hurst
It all started the morning I went for a run and met Linnette.
Well… technically I guess it started before that. I guess it started when I decided to run a marathon.
I have no idea what got into me and why on earth I’d attempt such a thing. I don’t consider myself a runner.
I’m too slow. SUPER S-L-O-W.
But I go out there and put one foot in front of the other.
On one of the days I was out there doing my “so-called-running,” training for a marathon, and preparing my body for the torture of running for 26.2 miles, I connected with a local running group and met Linnette.
She was running easily and we struck up a conversation.I let her do most of the talking.
In fact, I asked her questions so that she would indeed do most of the talking. One of those questions was to ask her about her motivation for running. Was she training for a marathon? Was she trying to lose weight? Was she seeking to check something off her bucket list?
While Linnette was running because it was good for her body, that wasn’t the only reason she was running.
She told me that for every mile she ran, she went home and put $1 in a jar.
I quickly did the math.
Six miles a run. Three runs a week. Twenty bucks every seven days. Eighty dollars a month.
I started getting excited about the idea of saving eighty dollars to regularly reward myself for putting in the work.
My brain immediately started calculating how I could easily earn a massage, treat myself to a pedicure, or indulge in more runner’s paraphernalia.
But Linnette quickly brought me down off of cloud nine when she proceeded to inform me that she didn’t spend that money on herself. She explained that, every few months, after the jar was filled to overflowing, she emptied the jar, collected the cash, and delivered it to her local pregnancy center.
Linnette wasn’t just running for herself.
Linnette was also running for others.
She was putting in the miles so that the blessing of her healthy heart and her healthy life might overflow to the hearts and lives of others.
As I ran, ever-so-slowly, I processed the reality of what this woman shared with me. And honestly, at that moment, I felt like a cold-hard criminal. There I was… running next to an angel basically and realizing how far my thoughts had been from blessing another person with my efforts.
Now… that conversation didn’t change everything.
Yes. I’m still running for me. I like the race. Running is a part of my journey to steal my life back.
But in running to encourage myself, stretch my own limits, and move beyond my comfort zones… I’ve found myself wanting to encourage others too… just like Linnette.
So I contemplated running for a variety of different organizations. I asked around. I googled. I researched. I found a lot of potential groups to partner with but nothing seemed to fit. Nothing felt right.
And then I found out about the Mercy House…And it was my story… half a world away.
Something deep stirred within me.
Because I was an unwed teen mom. And even though I live on this side of the globe, it wasn’t easy. The hurt in my heart was overwhelming and the realities of living that life seemed insurmountable at times. But I did have help. I did have support. I did have a family and community of people who were willing to encourage me and love me as I tried to get on my feet.
These girls, almost 9000 miles away on the other side of the world, are in my same predicament…
Except they are unwed teen mom’s not living in America with a teen pregnancy center available to them or a 1-800 number to call. Many of them do not have the support of their family and are instead encouraged by their loved ones and communities to abort their babies. They are encouraged to choose their next meal over motherhood.
There is no one to give them encouragement and love as they seek to get on their feet. Until Mercy House. Every girl who steps through the door of the Mercy House is offered hope in Jesus Christ.
When I watched the Mercy House video, then later met Kristen personally, I knew this was the organization I wanted to support. I figured that in my running for me, I could also help others by raising money and awareness for an organization that was doing what I would love to do many miles away on the other side of the globe.
I had found my cause… #MilesforMercy
In the weeks to come, I’ll run and contribute $1 for every mile from now until my marathon on December 14th, 2014.
I’m running… but my upcoming marathon is not gonna be just about me. I’m running a marathon and the miles I run will be #MilesforMercy.
I figure if I can buy the shoes, buy the water belts, and pay the marathon entry fee, I can spend some money changing the life of another girl that I will probably never meet.
Maybe, like me, you might donate a dollar a dime or a penny for every mile you run, walk, or bike. Maybe you don’t want hit the pavement but are willing to donate in conjunction with my runs as I chronicle my marathon journey via social media.
Either way, I’d love for you to join me on my #MilesforMercy journey so that we can touch the life of young girls who needs our support. I’m stealing my life back and I’m overjoyed at helping girls on the other side of the globe, steal their lives back too.
Act Justly. Walk Humbly. Love Mercy.
Do you want to run for Mercy House too?
Enter #MilesforMercy in the “instructions for sellers” box so we can keep track of how much we raise!)
Congrats to winners (and thank you so much for supporting this great cause)
Basket #1 Lori Covington | $500
Basket #2 Paula Murphy | $700
Basket #3 Karen |$400
Basket #4 Ben | $500
Tonight is the first Mercy House fundraising gala in Houston, Texas.
I’m tired and so excited!
We are hoping to raise part of the 2015 budget for the work in Kenya so the organization can begin to focus on new partnerships to empower impoverished women all over the world.
I can’t wait to see what God is going to do.
But I knew it wouldn’t be right not to let you be involved. Mercy House started right here in this online place so many years ago with your yes.
Besides raffling off some great items and experiences at the gala and sharing our hearts for the women of the world, we are also having a very special, one-of-a-kind Silent Auction. And you can be a part!
We have four baskets up for grabs virtually…and you won’t believe what’s inside!
Each basket contains:
Are you ready? You can join our big yes tonight!
You can knock out your whole Christmas list with potentially TEN one-of-kind gifts that give back!
There are a couple of other ways for you to be involved:
The highest bidders on all 4 baskets will win!
This silent auction ends midnight CST Friday night.
When I was in Kenya with my family a few weeks ago, I gave a hint about something that was coming soon.
And it’s here. Now.
More than a year ago, God dropped an idea in my heart.
I had this crazy – overwhelming, overpowering desire to empower women all over the world with opportunity and employment in the name of Jesus.
And I had no idea what that meant.
I had more questions than answers.
But I wasn’t able to shake this truth: While it’s often easy to give people in poverty what they need; it’s empowering to help them meet their own needs.
They don’t need more charity. They need more opportunity.
The two homes in Kenya that Mercy House supports are full with mothers, mothers-to-be, babies and toddlers. It’s a wonderful kind of hard when we are at capacity. It means we are helping, but it also means there are others hurting.
There is a heartbreaking slum at the base of the mountain from our beautiful new home. And now every Friday, the Mercy House staff is taking mercy to 12 new young single moms who live less than a mile from our organization. They are being introduced to God, they are learning skills and they are finding hope.
And on the other side of the world, at the same time, in a small, packed room, the same thing is happening with displaced refugee moms.
And it’s happening in Ethiopia, India…
Have you ever felt so passionate about something that it scares you?
This is it for me.
It’s called Fair Trade Friday.
What: An affordable subscription-based club that delivers a box of beautiful fair trade product created by women we support, delivered by the first Friday of every month (starting in September)! Check out the options.
Why: Fair Trade Friday exists as an avenue for women to empower women. We are tackling poverty through job opportunity and empowerment rather than enablement. 100% of the proceeds support the artisans, hundreds of women and children from all over the world. FTF is a ministry of Mercy House Kenya.
When I think about what $30 or $60 a month means to these young mothers–how it will help them meet basic needs for their children–I can’t help but think this is a bit of Heaven on earth.
Plus, it’s really cute stuff.
And fun mail!
It’s like Stitchfix or Birchbox that changes the world.
The club has a limited membership (we will continue to expand in the near future), so join today!
(Sorry, this is limited to the USA only).
P.S. You can expect your box by the first Friday of September if you have a prepaid membership. If you sign up today to become a monthly member, you will get the introductory box around August 21 and your first club box in September!