Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fruit of our Work


I wanted you to see a few of the faces that your donations have helped the last few months. We've been able to pass out about 1,500 more kits since July.  Your donation dollars have been hard at work helping mamas and babies all across Uganda.  

We've been able to start working with some new partners.  It is so exciting to find groups who can truly use and integrate the mama kits and good prenatal care into their existing ministries and work. They get so excited when I tell them that we can provide them this help free of charge.  What a blessing!

These are just a few of the many success stories.
This sweet mama was able to safely deliver her 10 lb. baby at home in her village with the help of her mama kit from Healing Faith Ministries.
These beautiful women received mama kits at a health outreach seminar hosted by Muyenga Baptist Church.  More than  165 women attended and several women received Christ as their Savior at the event as well.  
These ladies at Comforter's Center in Kampala were go grateful to not have the financial burden of buying a mama kit.
These teenage girls at the Youth For Christ Center received their mama kits. 
Uniquely Woven is a ministry reaching out to pregnant women in one slum area of Kampala. They've started a bible study with the women.  At this meeting the ladies received their mama kits and they were thrilled!

These sweet babies were born using mama kits they received this summer.  Their ministry reports, "We are happy to announce that many healthy babies have been born because of these kits!...THANK YOU to all who donated money to buy these life-saving kits!! "
shortly after birth
The babies and mom at two months oldThese conjoined twins have had a special place in my heart the last couple of months. They were born via emergency c-section to a young mother from a village.  They had no way to transport them to Kampala to the main gov't hospital for treatment. Mercy for Mamas and other friends were glad to be able to pay for their transport and care. They've received one life-saving surgery, but they need more.  Please read more here about how you can help these precious little ones.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Trip

I once again must apologize for my lack of keeping up with this website.  If it's any consolation, I often think of what I would write while I'm driving in my car. If I could find a way to voice-text some blog posts to you all I totally would, but I can barely voice-text my hubby to ask him if he can pick up some milk.

Anyway, the 2014 Mercy for Mamas Mission Team had an amazing trip. I hope some of you were able to follow along on Facebook a bit.  (If you haven't done so yet, please like our Facebook page because I update there more often because of convenience).
Our team at the Nile River
We had 13 ladies on our team and it was such a great mix of people.  Every one found their purpose and job and pitched in to make the trip a success.  It was fun to see people from 5 different states and from all different walks of life gel into a unified team for ministry.  I'll admit that I was a bit nervous when I realized how many first-timers and type-A personalities we had on our team, but they were so flexible and such hard workers.  When we would come to a new situation or things were not going as planned I would tell them, "I'm not sure what's happening, but I know whatever it is, it's going to be FABULOUS!"  Thank goodness that was true 9 times out of 10.  Beth wrote a bit about finding her place on the team here.

We held seven different outreach and health education events. These were in a variety of locations from village churches, under the "meeting tree" on an island, to a women's prison.  We visited four different crisis pregnancy centers and enjoyed times of teaching, prayer, and encouragement with the young ladies at those centers.  We did basic prenatal exams on at least 150 women.  We hosted two missionary encouragement dinners for about 130 missionary women serving in Uganda full-time.
The amazing Agnes teaching under a tree.
Keeky (missionary) and Stephanie talking to a woman during her check-up
Missionary dinner in Jinja
During our health education events we taught on basic hygiene, prenatal care, warning signs to look for in pregnancy, delivery techniques, caring for newborns, breastfeeding, HIV, and even menopause.  It is always so interesting to me how each group has a different feel and different topics they want to focus on.  You can tell which women are delivering their own babies at home, which areas have more HIV present, and who needs to know the very basics of pregnancy and how a child forms within the womb.  We were so blessed to have such gifted teachers and nurses with us that could adapt our lessons to each group and their needs

We also had a doula, Staci, on our team. She was such a great asset to our team.  She gave the women some basic positions and moves to help with pain during delivery and to help speed up the process.  She got all of us standing up to practice our lunges and squats.  She taught them pressure points and how to massage a woman's back during labor.  In most situation in Uganda, other women are around while you are in labor, but they are not necessarily helping or supporting you.  One of our goals' is to encourage the women to help one another during labor.  We want them to offer physical and emotional support and also help look out for warning signs in their friends.  You can read a bit more about Staci's experiences here and here.
Staci teaching a belly lift. So fun.
And my, oh my, we saw so many pregnant women. It still amazes me to see so many expecting women gathered in one location.  I just love looking out over the crowds at their growing bellies and their big smiles. We got to pray one-on-one with many of the women, which was such a blessing and a joy to me.  The needs of these women are real.  I heard so many stories of unbelievable pain and suffering.  I saw many women who had lost hope and needed to find peace.  I met women scared for the health of their babies and desperate for prayers for their unborn babies.  My heart is still heavy for these women. I pray that they can find the joy, peace, and hope that can only come through Christ.  I pray they can rest in Him when everything around them seems so overwhelming.


Muyenga Baptist Church Mama Kit Outreach
We got to meet many babies that had been born using a mama kit in the past year.  I got to hold them and see the fruits of our labor.  I got to hear stories from missionaries, church leaders, and nurses who told us just how vital these mama kits have been in their work and the difference that this simple kit can make.

I got to hear how the mama kits can be a blessing even when a woman miscarries or delivers a stillborn.  In these situations the woman still needs supplies, she still needs financial help, and she needs a bit of hope that someone cares for her.

Overall, we passed out just under 2,000 mama kits during the trip.  We finished out the remaining 700 mama kits this week.  I'll be placing an order for more this next week.  God continues to provide both the funds to purchase them and the partners to give them to for delivery.  It amazes me.


I have many more thoughts and stories from the trip. I promise to try to share them in the days ahead.  There really is so much to process and work through from just a two week trip.  I really hope you'll read Michelle's thoughts on the trip and some of what she experienced.  She said it all much more eloquently that I could.

I also really appreciate these sweet words from one of our teammates Patti.
I have believed in Mercy for Mamas since the organization was started, but now I have seen firsthand what a tremendous impact this ministry has on the women of Uganda.  It is not just the one time trip that so many short term mission trips are - although I do see value in those, changing the lives of those who go and those to whom they minister.  But the difference I saw in Mercy for Mamas is that it not only ministers to the women while the team is there in their midst, but it continues to minister to women throughout the year through the various ministries and missionaries with which you partner.  I met women on this trip whose names are now written in my journal, and I will continue to pray for in the coming months.  The health education we provided to the women of Uganda will change many of their lives - allowing them to live healthier and have healthier babies and children.  The mama kits will enable many of them to have successful births that they survive and will be there to raise those babies, that might not have been the case if we had not been there.  The encouragement we gave to women in the villages and the ones from America and around the world who minister there every day will stay with some of them for a long time, encouraging them to continue to move forward.  I'm glad I got to be a part of all that.
Patti visiting with some of the women and children on Lingira Island
 God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Success!

I have some great news.  We have exceeded our fundraising goal and the money keeps coming in!  We have raised enough money for more than 3,700 mama kits!  I have purchased 2,700 so far.  We can't buy more until we use up the ones we have because of storage issues. What a great problem to have!

In just three weeks, the Mercy for Mamas mission team will arrive in Uganda for two weeks of ministry.  We have six large outreaches planned, visits to at least five crisis pregnancy centers, and a visit to a women's prison. We are going to be busy, but it's going to be so great to once again get to love on these women, hear their stories, encourage them, provide birth and prenatal education, and point them towards the local partners who can help them year round.

Next week, mama kit distribution will happen at one of the refugee camps in Northern Uganda.  Pray for these women who have suffered much in the past few months.  I'm know the idea of facing childbirth and raising a new little one in a foreign country with no idea of what their future holds is very difficult.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mamas out there!  

I am so excited that we are going to be able to bless so many mamas in Uganda this summer because of your generous support.  I truly am blown away by God's provision.  I'm anxious to give you all a total and to let you know just how many women we are going to be able to help.  Look for an update later this week!

If your church promoted Mercy for Mamas this Mother's Day, I would love to hear from you. I'd love to know what you did, how it was received, and how much money was raised.  I've already heard from one church that raised enough money for 400+ mama kits! Please email me (info@mercyformamas.com, comment here, or send me a message on Facebook)



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Shopping in a Flash!

It's not too late to make a donation to
Mercy for Mamas in honor of the special women in your life.
All money goes directly toward the purchase and distribution of mama kits. Each mama kit costs $7 and gives a woman the life-saving supplies she needs to deliver her baby safely.

After you make your donation, we'll email you a card to give your mom explaining your gift.  Mother's Day Shopping done in two minutes!!
This is a win/win for sure!!




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mother's Day Downloads



In a follow up to our Challenge to Churches 2014, I'm including info here to download to help your church feature Mercy for Mamas this Mother's Day.

We've made a bulletin insert that you can download here.

We have two types of donation cards for you.  The first one is to pass out to mothers if your church, as a whole, makes a donation in honor of the women in your church.  You can download that card here.

We also have a card designed for church members to give to their loved ones if they make a personal donation (via church love offering or they donate to us directly).  You can download that card here.

And we also have our brochures, which are you can download and print from here or you can email us and we'll be happy to mail them to you directly (info@mercyformamas.com)

And our video is in under the "videos" tab above.  You can download that from YouTube to play during your church service. (**My apologies, due to circumstances beyond my control, the new version of the video will not be done by this Sunday.  Please use our original promo video)

Thank you for your patience.  And thank your for your continued support and generosity.  We are inching toward out goal of 3,000 kits by June.  We can do this with your help!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Challenge to Churches 2014

**This post is aimed at pastors and church leaders.  If that's not you, will you please pass this on to someone in leadership at your church if you'd like them to include Mercy for Mamas in your church's Mother's Day celebrations.  Thank you so much!

Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Can you believe it?  It seems like we were just celebrating Valentine's Day!  But it's time to start making plans to celebrate dear old mom.

Each year on Mother's Day churches across the US take time to honor the women in their church.  They pass out bookmarks, flowers, or candy.  Or maybe they have a contest for the women with the most children, the oldest mother, or the newest mother.  Perhaps your church has a baby dedication service that Sunday.  Every church does it differently, but it is a time to honor the gift of motherhood.

Here at Mercy for Mamas, Mother's Day is a big time of year for us.  The vast majority of our funding for the year comes during the month's of April and May.  This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the important women in our lives, while also helping to support women in Uganda.
Young Mother's receiving their mama kits at a local crisis pregnancy center
Mercy for Mamas works to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Uganda by providing women with sterile birthing kits and prenatal education.  Each day at least 15 women die in Uganda giving birth, which is 40x's the maternal death rate in the US.  Many of these deaths can be attributed to a lack of prenatal care and also to not having the proper supplies for a delivery.  In order to be cared for by a local hospital or clinic a woman must bring all of her own supplies.  If she cannot afford the supplies, she most likely will not receive care.  This leads to many women delivering at home, without clean supplies, and without any trained medical professional (nurse, midwife, or doctor).
Expectant Ugandan mother with her birthing supplies
Since 2010 we've been providing birthing kits called "mama kits" to women all over Uganda.  To date, more than 7,000 women have received a $7 mama kit.  We also hold prenatal education seminars and outreach clinics throughout Uganda.  We work hard to partner with trusted clinics, crisis pregnancy centers, churches, and missionaries. We provide them with mama kits and we also assist them with outreach efforts.  These partners use the mama kits year-round as a way to help pregnant women, but also as a tool to build relationships with the women.  Many women have come to know Christ because of the gift of a mama kit. Others have found churches and bible studies to join because of our outreach events.

Each mama kit costs just $7.  The kits include very basic supplies including: cotton wool, razor blades, sterile gloves, umbilical cord ties, soap, large plastic sheeting, directions for delivery, and a health care card.
Mama kit.  "Maama" is the Luganda word for mother
This year our ministry is focusing on getting mama kits to more under-served areas.  We're focusing on IDP camps for Sudanese refugees, remote islands on Lake Victoria, and more rural areas with very limited medical care.  We would be honored if you would help us in our campaign to buy 3000 mama kits before June (read more about that in the link).
Village midwife assisting a young woman in labor
What if your church this Mother's Day decided to take this time to honor the women of your church, but also to offer support to mothers in Uganda? There are several ways you could incorporate Mercy for Mamas into your church.
  • Instead of spending money on a gift for the mothers in your church, you could make a donation to Mercy for Mamas and give each woman a card explaining your gift.    
  • You could show the Mercy for Mamas video during your service and help us get the word out about the great needs of pregnant women in Uganda. (*We have the main video that is posted on this site, but we will have a new updated video done before Mother's Day!)
  • You could collect a love offering for Mercy for Mamas on Mother's Day. We would provide you with donation cards church people could then give to their mothers or special someone explaining that they gave in their honor.
  • We can provide you with a bulletin insert for you explaining our cause.
I can tell you this, every pastor that has done this at their church has told me repeatedly how well it was received.  I met just last week with a pastor and he told me that the ladies in his church were so appreciative of the donation made in their honor.  He said they loved that they got a gift with purpose that would help someone else.  Here are some other testimonials in last year's Challenge to Churches.

I love the idea of the church honoring our mothers, helping other mothers live to parent their children, and sharing the gospel all at the same time.  This is the church in action.

If you'd like more information on how you can incorporate Mercy for Mamas into your church please email us at info@mercyformamas.com.  Also, make sure to check out the whole website, so you can get a better understanding of the work we do.