Faith > Fruit
I need to talk about this here so that it’s a permanent part of my story. It will be wordy and messy— as most processing is.
Faith is > greater than fruit.
I told my husband last night I literally need this phrase etched on my skin as knuckle tats.
He gave me a worried look.
I don’t make a habit of regretting saying yes to God in starting Mercy House Global —even on the darkest days.
But when you talk about something being hard for so long and “hard” becomes the norm, I think the temptation is to lose perspective.
And maybe —going on 13 years of this yes- that is what is happening to me? I’m fighting to keep perspective.
Starting a nonprofit (as an unqualified, inexperienced 34 year old woman) that now provides jobs for 30 staff in Kenya, 30 in Magnolia, TX, so that hundreds of trafficked teens and their babies can choose life in Kenya and thousands of artisans can provide for their families around the globe— well, it’s hard, to put it lightly.
It turns out keeping it going—- even harder.
Doing so —in, through and after a pandemic—followed by a maternity home burning down, losing our USA warehouse earlier this year and to still be “in business” is miraculous.
Now we are facing a serious economic downturn, higher cost to do business, more expensive rent (forced to leave red barn) lower sales, donations and I’m considering tattoos on my knuckles.
Hard took a turn.
The only thing that calms my fears, eases my frustration, helps me put one foot in front of the other, is remembering my one job: faithfulness.
It’s our calling in this life— to keep showing up, doing the next right thing, abiding in Jesus. Trust the Gardener, stay attached to the vine- this is the ultimate goal.
Gardening a plot in my backyard has taught me that even in droughts, rocky ground, poor soil and the worst conditions, somehow things grow. We plant seeds, water, do what we can, but the harvest belongs to God.
And sometimes things die.
This is also the cycle of growing things.
Honestly, one of my biggest fears is that one day, I will share a post that says Mercy House Global is ending because we ran high on hard and low on money.
We’ve had enough miracle moments to remind me this could happen.
I would be heartbroken.
I will have been faithful.
I pray that day never comes and somehow this organization continues for decades in the fight against the oppression of women… but we all know that isn’t really up to me.
Faith > Fruit
I truly believe the reason Mercy House exists is because a lot of faithful people abide in the vine. And God uses our collective resources to produce good fruit.
Invest in the future of Mercy House Global.
Keep doing good! You feel weary but we are here to support you. I love my bracelets I get from the bracelet of the month. We are making cuts in our budget to afford sending a kid to college but I refuse to cut my bracelets. I’m not a fan of tats on myself but if that is what you need as a reminder, go for it! The fruit WILL come. Season after season it will come. I believe in you and I believe in God’s multiplication system. Love you Kristen!
I understand! I know how you feel! We have been in a long, hard season as well. The marriage of dreams, desire to make a difference and reality is messy! Prayers for strength, endurance, resources and support (both financially & in people) to come to you! Prayers for your harvest of seeds sown!
Hey Kristen, I have often meant to comment over the years & maybe I have but I don’t remember. Such is the life nowdays…
I started following you when you were a regular blogger on “How does she…”. My kids were little bitty – just a few years older than yours – maybe even months older & I saw a person that had a lot in common with me. I watched you go to Kenya & I was raised in Kenya so I loved you even more. At that time we took a mission trip to Honduras. I watched you stumble and fumble as you answered the call of the Lord in your life to “do more” and I did the same thing. I have been watching for about 15ish years now & I am a missionary in Honduras running a school that I am absolutely not qualified to be running but totally equipped to run. I just want you to know that your reach has not been only to the people that buy baskets and invest in Mercy House, not just in what your are doing but the example you are living.
I also feel so much of the faith over fruit. This life is a long haul thing – it’s not a quick, one & done dealy. So much of the world is though & I get discouraged so easily when I look around.
I want to encourage you to look up. keep your focus vertical. It’s where the joy is and where our purpose is. I don’t have much else to say because I am in the exact exact same spot.
I mostly wanted to say: Thank you for being faithful. it matters.
Heather Fiordalice says
Hi Kristen, I commented on your IG post before reading your entire post. But I guess my message is the same: you are hard working and inspiring and life-giving but you make it look so easy on this MHG live sales! Don’t get me wrong: I love your vulnerability. But you also appear so strong and effortless as you sell Fair Trade items. You have totally changed my shopping habits. And I am only one (but I know that there are thousands). Keep listening to God and following your path. We love following you!