Saturday, March 14, 2015

Expanding our Work

I am so excited to get to visit some of our new partners in ministry during my upcoming Uganda trip! (I'll be there for about a month for our adoption). 

One of our new partners is Life Center Ministries Africa, which operates a hospital and nutrition program in a remote area of Eastern Uganda. The missionaries working there told me that they were struggling because most all of the women who came to the hospital did not have their supplies for delivery and had not received much prenatal care. We provided mama kits for them and now they pass out the kits to the women free of charge after they come for at least three prenatal visits. 
"Moms out here don't usually come for antenatal (prenatal care) until they are 6-7 months along so to be able to get 3 or 4 visits in before delivery is awesome! We are thankful to Mercy for Mamas for the kits that have increased our antenatal visits from 5-10 a week to 30-40 a week! Thank you for your heart for healthy mamas and babies!!, " Katrenna, LCMA Missionary.
These precious women just received theirs kits and will deliver their babies very soon!
One of our other new partners is Pastor Fred and Jesus the Way Ministries. Pastor Fred is so excited to get to be a part of our work. I can't wait to see firsthand the work they are doing and meet these women. The women in this area have a very hard time getting proper medical care, so these kits are very important to them and help to keep their births sanitary and free from infection.
This sweet little one was born just 6 hours after her mama received her kit!
This mama got her kit the night before she delivered. Her and baby are doing well.
These women all received their kits at a health outreach at their church.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Creative Ways to Help

Some days I get overwhelmed with the needs of the women in Uganda and my limited resources, time and abilities. I am thankful I serve a limitless God who faithfully funds the work that He favors. It seems there have been many times in the past year when I have been overwhelmed, and then that same day or week God sends little messages to me to tell me He has things under control. One way He has done that is by laying Mercy for Mamas on the hearts of people around the US and giving them creative ways that they can help support this ministry. These are often times people I have never met and they have caught the vision of what we do and have decided to find a way to help. Each time I hear about these beautiful acts of generosity I stand amazed. I thought you might enjoying hearing about them too. Perhaps it will even give you an idea or two.

Kasi in Texas included Mercy for Mamas in her son's birthday party. They were able to purchase 50 mama kits with people's donations!
"We chose MFM to celebrate our son's 2nd birthday. We did this because his bio mom died giving birth to him. We thought this would be a great way to celebrate him and honor her. I often think what might have happened if she would have had one of these kits. We asked people to donate a kit instead of bringing gifts. It was a truly special day..."
C'mon how cute is he? Thanks T for sharing your big day with Mercy for Mamas!
Mandy in Illinois wrote me and share about how her family incorporated Mercy for Mamas into her daughter's first birthday...
"As I was planning my daughter’s 1st birthday party, I had a few relatives asking what to get her for her birthday. Every time I was asked, I would think about how blessed she is to have everything she needs and then some. I started looking online for ideas of what to do instead of gifts. The suggestion of donating to a charity popped up and I thought it was a wonderful idea. Mercy for Mamas was the first charity that came to mind as I had heard about it at a MOPS meeting about a month prior. Mercy’s story really touched my heart and it opened my eyes to the need. My daughter, Hattie, is so blessed to have both her mommy and daddy to hold, care for and love her. The high risk of death in Uganda from pregnancy and birth complications breaks my heart. Every kit donated gives one more mother an increased chance to hold, care for and love her child. On the birthday invitations, we expressed all we really wished for was for their presence to help us celebrate but if they had a desire to give we politely asked them to bring a donation for Mercy for Mamas in honor of Hattie. I also included information about the organization so our guests knew what cause they were donating to. We had a very positive response and our guests loved the idea. I am so thrilled we were able to raise enough money for 50 kits!"
Thanks Hattie!
As Mandy mentioned, she learned about Mercy for Mamas through her MOPS group. Mercy for Mamas has been thrilled to have the support of various MOPS and other similar parenting groups around the country. One group made a donation in honor of each mom in their group this past Christmas. Others have taken up collections, invited me or one of our team members to come speak, or sold jewelry on our behalf.

Several months ago Heidi, the principal of Christian school in Massachusetts emailed to tell me how they are including Mercy for Mamas in their weekly chapel offering...
"This fall our school needed to choose a cause to support with all of the Thursday morning chapel offerings that we collect.  I am happy to say that we have chosen Mercy for Mamas to receive whatever we collect.  We are a small school of 55 students and we usually only collect a few hundred dollars a year, but hopefully it will go a long way towards purchasing Mama Kits.... I purchased a baby bottle for each student in the school and attached a laminated “Mercy for Mamas” tag with information on the back so that students and their families would be more likely to send in all of their loose change on chapel days. " 
I'm anxious to hear how much these sweet children are able to raise this year!
My friend Kristine decided to include Mercy for Mamas at her baby shower. Instead of buying party favors for her guests, she decide to make a donation in honor or her friends and in honor of her new baby. Her friends loved the idea and a few of them have made donations of their own since the shower.  Below is a picture of the Mercy for Mamas display they had at the shower. Isn't it lovely?

Sheli decided to challenge her friends to celebrate her 40th birthday by purchasing mama kits. Her friends donoted enough money to buy nearly 100 mama kits. What an amazing way to honor Sheli's big day! 
Sheli says, "The reason I chose MFM was because I've seen first hand how the lack of medical care can easily devastate a family. Having spent significant time in Uganda and other countries in Africa, I believe the more that we can do to keep families together is a blessing in itself. If a simple $7 can change the future of a child and save the life of a mother, then why wouldn't you support MFM?"
Happy Birthday Sheli!
 A young lady who works as a waitress told me she set up a little display with a few of our brochures in her break room at work and she encouraged the other servers to donate a portion of their tips.  

Some of the sweet senior adults at our church held a garage sale last year and donated all of the proceeds to buy mama kits.

My friend's daughter made loom bracelets and duct tape flowers and then sold them to her friends at school. 

These are simple ideas that make a big impact. Do you have any ideas?