Friday, March 14, 2014

Your Help is Needed

Hang with me, this could be long. Friends, I know I often tell you about the needs of the pregnant women of Uganda and I ask you to give. Sometimes, I feel like I am a broken record, but I am passionate about this cause and I love these precious women.  I have seen the needs firsthand.  I have held the precious babies who lost their mothers.  I have cried with the women who have lots their sweet ones.  I have seen the conditions in which they deliver their babies.  The need is real.  

Just this week I got a request from a missionary for mama kits.  This is a critical need and one that I need your help to meet.  Many of you have heard that there is a civil war going on in South Sudan.  You may not realize that this war has forced thousands of Sudanese people to flee their homes.  They are now living in refugee camps (or IDP camps) in Northern Uganda.  This missionary, Curt Iles, and his team work with these people and they are trying to help them through this difficult time.
Refugee camp in N. Uganda
Curt said that during a recent trip to the camps someone pointed out a woman giving birth under a mango tree.  The woman had a group of caring women from the camp trying to help her.  He realized that there were many very pregnant women at the camp and that there was a serious need here.  Then a local pastor's wife pulled out her mama kit and showed it to him.  This pastor's wife received her mama kit from our partners at Uganda Baptist Seminary.  

Side note... We supply the kits to the seminary.  The seminary's nurse gives a kit to each student who is having a baby during the next term. She teaches them how to use the kits and asks them about prenatal care and such.   The students then bring her back reports about the babies during their next term. They also include precious thank you notes written to Mercy for Mamas.  It's been a great partnership.  I got to meet many of the pastors who have benefited from the kits during my recent trip to Uganda.  What a blessing.
Meeting one of the students who used our kit last year.
Chapel service at the seminary.  There are students from all over East Africa
Back to Curt and the need at the refugee camps... Once Curt saw the mama kit he asked the woman where she received it. She pointed him to the seminary.  The seminary connected him to me.  He said that he can see how these kits can meet so many needs in these camps.  "I really believe these kits-- given through the local churches and through the UN's specific channels, could be a major blessing and open wide doors of ministry." 
 
Sudanese woman

Curt estimates that there are at least 500 pregnant women near term just in one camp alone.  My friends, the need is great.   For more insight into what life is like for these precious people read Curt's post here and check out his other stories.
 I cannot imagine fleeing from my home with no plan, no job, no resources... let alone doing so while in my third trimester.
Collecting water at one of the camps
The same day I got the first message from Curt, I also got a message from one of the churches we have partnered with from the beginning.  This church holds health seminars for the women in their church and neighborhood throughout the year.  They do teaching on prenatal care, breastfeeding, nutrition, HIV, etc.  They also often go out into rural areas and do these same seminars as an outreach program.  The director, Isabelle, told me they held an outreach last Sunday.  They had more than 130 ladies attend, many of whom were pregnant.   They passed out mama kits to all those who were pregnant, but more importantly they had a chance to share the gospel. At least 11 ladies gave their lives to Christ that day.  I get so excited when I hear these stories.  This is what it is about.  We want to teach these women the basics of pregnancy, delivery, and raising their children.  We want to give them a mama kit and help them get medical help during delivery, but we also want to use these opportunities to share the love of Christ with them.  We want to show them mercy, give them hope, and help them find peace.
Outreach last year at the church in Muyenga
This is where you come in.  Friends, I want to be able to tell Curt that he can have all of the mama kits he needs.  I want Isabelle to not worry and to continue to plan all of the outreach events that they can.  I want to tell our friends working on the islands that we can commit to providing all of the mama kits needed.  I am in the middle of planning our trip for June where we will host many outreach events.  To put it simply, we need lots of mama kits.  In the coming months I would love to be able to buy at least 3,000 kits that will be distributed all over Uganda.  This is where my flesh steps in.  I start doing the math.  I start worrying.  But then I remind myself that God is in control.  He will provide what we need, but I would love for you to be part of that provision.  

The global issue of poverty is beyond me.  I cannot fathom how to solve these deep seeded issues.  I don't know the best way to handle refugees or how to make sure children don't go to bed hungry.  It is overwhelming when I consider all of the people and serious needs that I have seen during my time in Uganda.  I do not have the skill set to take over their medical care or to give great economic advice, but I can do something and so can you. 

I'm really not trying to sound like an infomercial here, but for just $7 you can show mercy to a precious woman.  Your simple gift will make a difference.  All money goes directly toward the purchase and distribution of the mama kits.  If you'd like to give you can use the "Donate" button below or it is on the upper right side of this page. You can also give through our partner non-profit, The Hope Venture.  Or you can send me an email (info@mercyformamas.com)  and I can tell you where you can mail a check.  

I think the woman under the mango tree who has had her life turned upside down by war and strife deserves to have clean supplies for her birth.  Don't you?

(**If you are new here and made it all the way to the end of this post, thank you!  Be sure to check out the rest of the website to better understand the work that we do!)

Donate now. All money goes directly toward the purchase and distribution of mama kits.



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