Friday, April 24, 2015

Four Reasons You Should Give Mercy this Mother's Day


The following was written by Mercy for Mamas board member, Kim Gunter. Kim has been a huge supporter of our work from the beginning. Her help, insight, and passion is a huge asset to us.  Kim wanted to share with all of you four reasons that she thinks all of you should give mercy in some way this Mother's Day....
Melissa and Kim on a boda boda in Jinja, Uganda
 "Mother’s Day is right around the corner and we are beginning to think about ways we could honor our mothers.  This is also one of the biggest donation times for Mercy for Mamas.  Over the years we have seen individuals, families, and churches give to Mercy for Mamas as a way of honoring the mothers in their lives and congregations.  I’d like to share with you the reasons I personally support Mercy for Mamas, how our church gets involved,  and why I would encourage you to add your support this Mother’s Day, too.
[Insert Peer Pressure Here:  EVERYONE IS DOING IT!] 
REASON #1: Because people matter, no matter where they live.
I have had the opportunity to be involved with Mercy for Mamas from the very beginning and see Melissa’s heart in this work.  Her passion is to see fewer moms and babies suffer due to the simple fact that they don’t have the proper medical supplies. Lives should not be put in danger over the lack of the most basic sanitation supplies, yet this is exactly what happens every day in Uganda.  The bottom line is, all lives matter. Melissa believes (and I do, too) that if we can do something to save lives, we should.  If that reason is enough to motivate you to support M4M, then you have my permission to stop reading now and send in your donation. While that is a big reason for me, here are a few more:
REASON #2: Because the global sorority of maternity is real.
Motherhood is everywhere, and your mother shares that special connection with every mom, everywhere.  I have the opportunity/responsibility/privilege to be a mother.  I did not have the easiest labor and delivery experience (high blood pressure and some other things made the situation less than ideal), but never once did I ever feel like the doctors in the hospital couldn’t handle it. Why?  Because I had the care I needed.  I was giving birth in a hospital with state of the art equipment and skilled professionals overseeing the situation.   Women in Uganda do not deliver surrounded by state of the art equipment, let alone even in a hospital, because they can’t afford the supplies needed to give birth in a hospital.  This simple fact causes many Ugandan women to give birth without decent medical care, which is why there is a needlessly high mortality rate.  Not long after having my son I remember having thought if I was a woman in Uganda with my birth experience, I would probably not have made it and one of two things would have occurred: my son would not have lived or he would not have his mother.  My friends, that is unacceptable in my book.  I can’t imagine as a mother not being able to deliver my child in a medical facility simply because I couldn’t afford the basic supplies they require.  As a mother, I don’t want another mother to have to make that decision.  And if for $7 I can provide those medical supplies so an expecting mother can have access to birth care, then that’s a no-brainer to me.  My life as a mother in America matters as much as the mother in the village of Uganda matters, and I love that Mercy for Mamas is doing something about it.  In short, I care because I’m a mom.  Your mom will care, too.

Kim and some of the beautiful women at a health outreach seminar on prenatal education
REASON #3: You can do this! You church can do this! Your moms will love this!
Giving a Mama Kit is an inexpensive way to change a life.  Most moms this Mother’s Day will get flowers, jewelry, or candy to say thanks for being my mom.  Those things are great to say thank you, but flowers will die eventually, and candy will cause us to have to do more exercises to fit into our clothes.  So could we think about another way to honor our moms, an eternal way?  For the past few years, our family has taken the money we would have spent on our moms and donated that to Mercy for Mamas.  Here’s what I love about this: I’m honoring my mother and mother-in-law, but I’m also honoring another soon-to-be mom and protecting her life and her child’s life. 
REASON #4: Because spiritual life matters as much (and more) than physical life.
Mercy for Mamas is not just bringing physical hope by providing Mama Kits, but also spiritual hope.  This is one of the most important reasons for me, because it shows the deep heart and conviction behind this ministry.  I had the opportunity to travel with M4M a couple of years ago, and the best thing I saw was that everywhere we went and passed out Mama kits the gospel was being shared.  Mercy for Mamas partners with several crisis pregnancy centers, local churches, and missionaries.  They are using these kits as a tool to open the door for these women to know the Hope of Jesus.  I remember visiting one of the crisis pregnancy centers and thinking these girls are so young, and I know nothing about what they are going through. How do I relate?  I remember God just bringing to mind the story of Joseph (See Genesis 37-50) and the verse when Joseph says “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” (Gen. 50:20). I wanted so badly for those girls to know that God had a plan for their lives.  What might have looked like a hopeless situation still had hope.  They could know the One who is our Hope.  Let’s be honest - while it would be great to say we are meeting a great physical need as Christ-followers, we also need to be addressing a greater spiritual need. I want them to have hope that they will be able to deliver in a hospital because of a Mama kit we provide, but I also want them to have an Eternal Hope. 


This Mother’s Day as you are thinking about what you will give personally or what you are doing at your churches - I’m talking to you, pastors (or probably more accurately, fellow pastor’s wives) - would you consider supporting Mercy for Mamas?  Our church has had a great experience partnering with this ministry over the last few years.  Instead of passing out the traditional Mother’s Day trinkets to all the moms, our church has donated the funds that normally would have purchased those small gifts and given a starting donation in their honor.  Beyond that, our congregation has given generously in a special offering to support Mercy for Mamas in honor of the mom’s in their lives. I believe our congregation loves this about our Mother’s Day celebration because it’s making an impact for eternity.  This is my challenge to you and to your church, could we think outside of ourselves this year?  Could we have a kingdom mindset and say, “Mom, because who you are and what you do matters, we are giving so that women in Uganda would know their lives matter?”  Could we think beyond the bookmarks and flowers this year and give life, give hope, give mercy in honor of our mothers?"

Thanks Kim for sharing your heart. If your church is interested including Mercy for Mamas in your service this year, please send an email to info@mercyformamas.com. We'll be happy to send you a downloadable card you can pass out to your congregation explaining your gift. We can also mail brochures to you if you would like. 

If you would like to make a donation directly please click on the Donate button here and make a note that you'd like to receive a donation card to give your loved one.



And don't forget to check out the wonderful digital prints we are selling this Mother's Day! They would make a great gift. 
Thank you so much for your support.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mother's Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is one of the best times of year for Mercy for Mamas. What better time of year to give to help mothers in Uganda, then this time we set aside to honor our mothers and the special women in our lives.

This year for Mother’s Day, Mercy for Mamas is excited to partner with our friend Mandie Joy at Echoes of Mercy. Mandie makes incredible digital prints for all occasions. She designed these special prints just for Mercy for Mamas.  We have two quotes to choose from. They are just $14 each, which will provide two mama kits to women in need in Uganda.

The first option is a quote from Mother Theresa. She said, “Do small things with great love.”  I think so often as mothers we worry if what we are doing is really having an impact. We fear we are not making moments special enough for our children. Are we really taking the time needed to impart wisdom, love, grace, and mercy to our children? But in reality, the greatest truths that are children learn from us are in the small, every day details. It’s the lunch that is packed every day for school. It’s tucking them in for bed at night. It’s cleaning up after them when they are sick.  It’s in these moments that our children learn about sacrifice and true love. So as we fold laundry, wipe noses, and fill out school forms we are showing our children love. I think a copy of this print would be a great way to tell your mom thank you for all of the small things that she did for you and the lasting impact that she has had on your life. This comes in two color/design options... blue and coral. The watermarks will be removed from each one when your order.
#1 Do small things (blue)
#2 Do small things (Coral)
The second quote comes from Pastor Andy Stanley. He said, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” Again, I think that many women fear they are not living up to expectations. They question if their actions are good enough for God or are really making an impact for the kingdom of God. I think this quote is a great reminder that one of the most important tasks for a believer is to pass on their faith and passion for God to their children. Yes, God wants us to be great missionaries. He wants to reach the lost, and to lead powerful ministries and to serve in the church. But our first mission field most always first be within our home. This print is a great gift for the mother, grandmother, or special someone who helped to raise you to know Christ better.
#3 Your greatest contribution (this watermark has a typo, but the one you get will be corrected!!)
 
These prints are available as a digital download for $10 each.  You can order through Paypal right here....

Mother's Day Print Options
We will email you the digital version along with a card explaining that all proceeds from the print go toward purchasing mama kits.  Then you can print if off, put it in a lovely frame, and your Mother’s Day shopping is done! (*Mandie recommends that you print on 110 lb. cardstock at your local Kinkos or print shop. It is usually less than $2 each.) And remember, these make great gifts for anyone in your life, such as a friend, mentor, teacher, or even for yourself.
Another great Mother’s Day option is to make a donation to Mercy for Mamas as your gift. This can be something you add-on to another gift, or make it your entire gift. You can donate any amount starting at just $7 (the cost of one mama kit) Just make a donation using the Paypal link and make a note that you need a Mother’s Day card. We’ll email you a donation card you can print off and give to your loved one.

For those new to the Mercy for Mamas website, our goal is to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Uganda. We want to help more women survive childbirth so that they can have the opportunity to raise their own children. We do this by providing sterile birthing kits to women called mama kits. We also provide prenatal education and connect women to ministries, clinics, and churches in their areas that can provide long-term help.  We do all of our work while also sharing the love and mercy of Christ with the women we serve.

For just $7 you can provide a mama kit to one woman, which relieves a large financial burden for her, gives her all of the tools she needs to deliver, and also gives her dignity and hope.  Just as Mother Theresa said, sometimes we show great love by doing small things.  A $7 mama kit, may seem like a small thing to you, but to these women it can be life-changing and it shows them great love.