Home. It was the last place I’d planned to be.
I should have been on a long plane ride to Kenya and instead I stayed home for another long week. This season has brought a new kind of grief –the kind that comes with staying instead of going. Yes, this pandemic has provided disappointment and discouragement.
At the same time, it offers us the gift of perspective.
It’s the kind of present that is hard to unwrap—a way to look at our loss and mounting problems from a new vantage point. It’s the kind of gift that offers to show us what we have, instead of what we don’t. It doesn’t make our loss less, and yes, there has been so much loss-but sometimes just seeing what others don’t have, makes us grateful for what do have.
While North America bemoans the boredom of quarantining day after day, the Global South goes to bed hungry night after night. While we absorb the impact of cancellations and church online, children in poverty go to bed on an empty stomach. Social distancing, staying home, stimulus checks—this is the vocabulary of the privileged. Those who live on less than a dollar a day cannot comprehend our luxury.
Instead of flying to Kenya with Mercy House Global, I was feeling the first world loss. Instead of hosting an art camp for teen moms, I was logging in my daughter for her art lesson online. In the middle of my homebound days, I received this urgent message from our Kenyan staff,
“The greater majority living in the slums and streets have no concerns towards the spread of this dreaded disease. People in the slums live hand to mouth. In order to survive, they have to step out and look for casual jobs, open their small businesses where they sell vegetables. Their deplorable living conditions has meant that access to safe clean water and hygienic conditions is a mirage- something that can never be achieved. They don’t see the sense in following government directives of staying indoors to curb the spread. This to them only translates to spending days and nights without food.
Friends, my beloved friends, while some of us complain about boredom due to necessary quarantine and isolation, the poor complain they are being denied their source of survival: food.”
These words have both haunted and reminded me that while my full pantry and stocked refrigerator at home don’t erase my loss of income or diminish my disappointment, they do remind me that I have so much to be grateful for in the middle of a global pandemic.
I am home.
They also offer me an opportunity to share my own abundance by remembering the poor. The word home has never meant more to me (or the world) as much as it does right now.
Each year Mercy House Global raises funds to rescue 6-8 new pregnant girls and alter their course for a lifetime. The goal is to bring them home. We step into their lives; remind them that God loves them. Together, we say, “You are Priceless!”
In the middle of the COVID-19, the maternity homes and all of Kenya are on strict lockdown. While we can’t yet rescue new girls, we want to continue to provide a home for the 55 teen moms and their children. We have already identified girls that need to be rescued and we want to be ready to bring them home.
This year we are trying to raise two months of operating expenses in Kenya.
What will this do? It will put Mercy House Global in a position to be ready to rescue new girls once the lockdown is lifted.
Monthly costs to run three maternity homes in Kenya – $35,000 includes:
• Food for girls, babies, and on-site staff
• Electricity, Clean Water
• Pre-Natal, Post-Natal and overall Healthcare for mother and baby
• Counseling, Group therapy
• Education and Vocational Training
• Staff Salaries
It’s a home—a lot like yours—only a whole lot bigger—It’s a sisterhood of second chances.
Will you link arms with Mercy House Global today to remind these girls—and those unreached—they are loved by helping us continue to provide a home for them in the most difficult of circumstances?
Will you draw a red heart on your hand in solidarity?
Will you help me remind these young moms they are priceless?
Will you join me and unwrap the gift of perspective in the midst of a global crisis today?