Monday, September 14, 2015

BE A PART OF THIS SIMPLE SOLUTION

If you have spent much time with me in the last five years, you know that I can talk for hours about the amazing women we serve in Uganda. I can tell story after story of their strength and resilience.  I could explain to you the hardships they endure and the complex reasons why it can be so difficult to escape abuse and the cycle of poverty. I could talk to you about the prenatal care and education these woman receive, and I could try to describe to you the difficult conditions under which they give birth.  (Check out a few of stats on this here.)
Women at a refugee camp receiving their mama kits.

Oh, how I wish that you could know these women like I do. You could see their beautiful smiles and hear their laughs for yourselves. I wish you could see the heartbreak and also the power of hope firsthand, so you could fully understand me when I say these women desperately need our help.



Since I cannot personally spend hours talking to each of you, I do my best to share stories and pictures to help you all connect to the women and their babies. I want to help you understand the need. I want you to see how this simple solution is impacting thousands of women and opening up new doors of ministry all over the country. Our $7 mama kits provide the supplies needed for a woman to give birth either at home or at a hospital. If you want to know more about what exactly this entails, click here

I want you to know about women like Judith. (Sadly, we do not have a photo of Judith to share) This story comes from Kathy, one of our missionary partners. I have known Kathy for 5 years and she has such a beautiful heart for women and ministry. 
"Judith lives in a slum where I do ministry near Jinja.  She is a neighbor to Milly, my main contact person in the slum.  So when I visited Millie I would often try to engage Judith in conversation, but she didn't seem too interested.  Then I noticed she was pregnant, so I gave her a mama kit. She was so very grateful, and that seemed to open the door!  I told her that the mama kits were given by people in America who wanted babies and mamas to be safe, and wanted the mamas to know Jesus as Savior. Before I went home to America this summer, I gave her a little outfit for the baby, who was born, healthy and happy, while I was in the States.  When I came back, I met baby Jesse, and Judith once again thanked me profusely for the mama kit.  I told her it was God's way of showing her that Jesus loves her and wanted her to know God personally.  Then, about 2 weeks later when I was visiting Millie, she told me that she heard Judith crying all through the night.  Turns out she had a horribly infected finger.  We invited her to Millie's, where I cleaned and dressed her finger, gave her antibiotics, and prayed with her that her finger would heal and that she would know that it was Jesus who had healed her.  I have trained Millie in first aid, so Millie continued to dress her finger daily.  Millie came to my house today to get more first aid supplies, and to tell me that Judith's finger had healed.  Judith thought she might lose her finger, and she saw that it was Jesus who had helped her, so she wanted to become a Christian!  She prayed with Millie and Judith accepted Jesus as her Savior!  That week she and her new baby went with Millie to church.  There's a new name written down in heaven, and it all started with a mama kit!  Please pray for her spiritual growth, and pray for her husband to become a believer.  I met him while I was dressing Judith's finger, and he expressed heartfelt thanks for the mama kit.  We are praying that he will soon join his wife as a follower of our Savior!"
Meet Pastor Ernest. Ernest is one of our ministry partners. He has a huge heart for reaching his fellow Ugandans with the gospel. He takes teams all over the country. They lead crusades, help with building projects, do health outreaches and any other way they can find to be a blessing to the people. We often provide mama kits to Pastor Ernest to use. He has always been faithful to share pictures and stories of how the kits have been a blessing to their work and to the women they serve.
Pastor Ernest is pictured here with two newborn babies he had the privilege to name. 
Recently, Pastor Ernest took a team to far Northeastern Uganda to the Karamoja area. This area has had an extreme drought for three years. It is dry, hot, desolate, and very little can grow. Many of the people there are nomadic as they try to find adequate water and grass for their animals. I knew it had to have been quite the experience for Pastor Ernest, when he told me that he had never experienced anything like it.  Ernest and his team got to meet with the traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in that area. He said that the need there is critical.  The TBAs told him that many of the women get pregnant at a very young age and receive no prenatal care. When it is time to deliver they have very few choices as far as medical care. There are only a couple of hospitals or clinics in the district. If they try to walk to the hospital they often end up giving birth in the dirt along the way or they get extremely dehydrated because of the distance and heat. The TBAs are doing the best they can to help the women, but they have no supplies and often no training. Ernest and his team were able to do some basic prenatal teaching and education. They also passed out mama kits to those most in need. Ernest will be taking a group back to this area in November. He would love to have many, many mama kits to distribute. The need in this area is huge.
Prenatal teaching in Karamoja
We partner with some amazing crisis pregnancy centers that are doing life-changing work. They provide medical care, counseling, schooling, vocational training, and parenting classes. These centers counsel girls coming from some of the most difficult situations you can imagine.  I would never want to sensationalize the stories of these girls, but just for example, at one center they recently had a 10 year old child that was pregnant.  Ten years old. I cannot imagine. They had a 15 year old who had been gang-raped, a 16 year old orphan who had been attacked by another child in her orphanage, and an incest case.  These are real girls who are in desperate need of help. Our mama kits are a simple way to help.  Our kits relieve a huge financial burden for these centers and provide a chance for a safe, clean delivery for these precious girls.
I got to visit most of our crisis pregnancy center partners this Spring.
This is at the Youth For Christ Center in Kampala
Why do I tell you these stories? I tell you because we need your help. Each week I get more and more requests for mama kits. These kits are such a valuable tool for ministry. They help to give women like Judith hope. They give dignity to the teenage girls. They prevent infection for the women in Karamoja giving birth on dirt floors.
We want babies to stay with their mamas.
We want these mamas to survive childbirth and be equipped to raise their little ones.
We have new places that need kits. These group are working with women rescued from sex trafficking, refugees, and women living in extreme poverty.  I hate the idea of having to tell them we cannot help them. By the end of the year we'd like to be able to supply 3,000 women with a mama kit.  We have a mission team going to Uganda in November. We'll need at least 1,500 mama kits for that trip alone.

We are a small organization doing our best to make a big impact. We have virtually no overhead costs, no advertising budget, no marketing gurus helping us. We know so many groups are vying for your donations, and we take your money seriously.  Every donated dollar goes directly towards the purchase and delivery of kits. We work hard to make sure we are working with trusted partners that give mama kits to those most in need and that are also using them as a tool to share the gospel. We use money from our merchandise sales to host outreach events, help with special projects that arise, pay our in country coordinator,etc.

We need your help.  Would you consider a donation today? It's very simple. Just click on the donation link below and you can give through Paypal, even if you do not have a Paypal account. You can also sign up to automatically give each month. Every $7 donation puts a kit in the hands of a mama. The cost of your average fast-food lunch can change a life. Give Mercy today.



**As an added incentive, every person who donates in the next 5 days will get their named entered in a drawing to win this gorgeous Ugandan basket.
Each person who "likes" our Facebook page and shares it on their timeline will be entered to win this Pineapple Novida Soda. This is a favorite and a must-have for most people who visit Uganda. Tag us on Facebook or comment on our post there about this post to make sure your entry is included. Winners will be selected at random.