Friday, December 2, 2016

Auction Time!!

Make sure to check out our Mercy for Mamas Auction group on Facebook! You do not want to miss out! We have amazing handmade Ugandan crafts and jewelry. Essential oils, LuLaRoe, Thirty-One, Scentsy, gorgeous wreaths and home decor! Ugandan coffee, spices and sodas! Noonday, Trades of Hope, gift cards, and more!!! "Join" the group and get to bidding! Auction closes Saturday night at 9pm CST. 
MERCY FOR MAMAS AUCTION GROUP!

Here is just a sampling!









Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful

Today we're all remembering all of the blessings we have been given and the things we are thankful for in our lives. We are all truly blessed and we serve a God who gives good and precious gifts.
As the leadership of Mercy for Mamas reflects, we are thankful for each of you and your commitment to helping the women we serve in Uganda. We praise God for every $7 gift (the cost of one mama kit) and the women/child it represents. We are thankful we can help so many women throughout a country we love. We give God thanks for His provision. We praise God for the lives that have been saved, the women encouraged, our fabulous ministry partners in Uganda, and the people drawn closer to Him through our combined efforts
Today, as you give thanks, remember to thank God for His provision and your ability to help be that provision for someone else. Praise God for medical care and supplies, for education, and for people who love and encourage you. If you have a child, praise God for the life of that child and your ability to bring them into your family whether by birth or by adoption/foster care.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SALE, SALE!!

We're extending our t-shirt and tumbler sale through the weekend!  Email your order to info@mercyformamas.com  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Back in Stock!

Thankfully we were able to replenish our stock of mama kits this week!  We were able to buy 800 more kits! We hope most all of these will be given out in the next month. Then we'll place one more large order before the end of the year. Your donation dollars make a difference every day!
Recently delivered mama kits!
Teenage moms in a slum in Kampala recently
attended a workshop for them  on being a mom and how to have a healthy pregnancy.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Shirts! Order Now!!

We have some adorable new t-shirt and sweatshirt options for the whole family!  We are so excited to have these new options for you to share your love for Mercy for Mamas.  We have 6 different shirts styles in several color choices for each option. You can get what is just perfect for you and your loved ones. These would make great gifts for anyone you know who loves Africa and/or who loves the work we are doing to help pregnant women in Uganda.


Just head on over to our Bonfire Site to order, click HERE. There you can look at all of the options and pick your favorites!  We're taking orders through Monday, November 14th.  All shirts should ship by November 25th.

When you wear your shirt you are a walking testimony for us about the work that we do. I can't wait to hear about the conversations you have with others from wearing your new Mercy for Mamas gear!
Remember all proceeds go directly toward our work and our profit margins go way up the more shirts that are ordered.  So go ahead and order 1 or 3!  Shopping for a great cause is always a win-win!

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Impact of Our Work

Mercy for Mamas has been working in Uganda for six years now. In the beginning, we had no idea this would be a long-term work or the impact this work would have on the women of Uganda. Looking back it is amazing to see all that has been accomplished.  Here is a brief snapshot of our success:

  • We have passed out close to 30,000 kits to women in Uganda!!  Wow. It's crazy to think each kit represents one mama and at least one baby.  We have no way to measure how many lives have been saved because of the kits, but we do know that each kit represents a birth where a woman was able to use sterile clean supplies and had the opportunity to seek medical help.
  • We've been able to work in virtually all areas of the country, from large city areas to remote villages and islands.
  • Mercy for Mamas often provides for a need that the government and other groups are not meeting. The Ugandan government has a goal to provide mama kits to all of the women in Uganda, but so far it has not had the resources to meet that goal. Often they only provide even the largest government hospital with about half of the kits needed to meet the daily birth rate. In the more remote areas there are no supplies available. Without a Mercy for Mamas kit these women would go without, which can easily lead to infection and complications for the mother and the baby.
  • We are blessed that we have been able to find a Ugandan supplier for our mama kits. This means the women get exactly what the hospital requires, they are materials/brands they are used to using, and they can be produced locally. We love getting to help the local economy in this way. It also saves us a ton of money on shipping and import costs!
  • We have a wonderful Ugandan staff. We have an in-country coordinator and two Ugandan nurses that we use to help with our activities. We love that they know the best way to reach the women within the culture.
  • We have fabulous ministry partners and I am so excited that the majority of those partnerships are with Ugandan-run ministries. I love to invest in groups and to help Ugandans help Ugandans. I feel like often times this provides the most effective ministry and sustainable ministry. 
  • Mercy for Mamas provides life-saving prenatal information. We teach women important pregnancy and birth warning signs. We want these women to know the most dangerous signs to look out for so they know when it is essential to seek medical help. Often they are not getting this information anywhere else.
  • We have heard story after story of women who had no plan for their birth, no prenatal education or care, and no supplies until they met with one of our partners in ministry. Many received the kit and information just in the nick of time for their births. Women who were already in labor, giving birth along the road, walking around with a serious unknown complication.
  • We love to also look at the spiritual impact of our work. We have been able to pray with and encourage thousands of women at our outreach events. We invite women to join a local church or bible study. We encourage teenage girls to take part in the classes and training available to local pregnancy centers. We want these women to have safe childbirth, but also get the spiritual help they so often need. So many of these women are not pregnant by choice and need spiritual and emotional counseling to help them to become the best mothers that can be. 
  • We work with local clinics and ministries to continually encourage women to come for health education. They can come for prenatal education, nutrition, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes. This is information these women are often not getting anywhere else. It is so exciting to see them get the information they need to better care for their bodies and their babies. We always try to have local nurses do the teaching and explain things in a way that will be easy to apply to their everyday lives. 
Six years ago we never could have dreamt that we would have accomplished all that we have done. We did not even fully understand the need and scope of the work at the time. It's amazing now to look back and see how it has all come together over time. We have had a lot to learn and God has not wasted any of these experiences. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unexpected Blessing

We received a great testimony this week from one of our ministry partners. The team at Hope for Women in Crisis had quite an exciting night earlier this week.  One of the teenage mothers, Brenda, thought her pregnancy was full-term, but they took her for an ultrasound last week and they told her she was only 7 months along.  A few days later around midnight Brenda started having a lot of pain. They thought it was labor pains, so they loaded her up and took her to the local hospital. At the hospital, they examined her and told her it was not labor, but an infection. They also did another ultrasound and again said she was just 7 months along. They said they were out of hospital beds, so they gave her some medicine and sent her home. 

Once they returned home, Brenda was still in a lot of pain. The mother of the Director of the Home thought something was not right and decided to check her again. She said that Brenda was definitely in labor and that they should take her back to the hospital. Before they could even pack up to leave again, the baby was coming. They opened up her mama kit, and around 2:30 this sweet baby boy arrived.  
They called a nurse friend to come over to help with the afterbirth. The nurse started Brenda on an IV, delivered the placenta, and cleaned her up. Around 4:30am, they headed back to the hospital where Brenda had to get a stitch, the baby went in the warmer for a bit and got checked out. Baby weighed about 5 pounds at birth. Mom and Baby went home around noon that day! 

Now that was an exciting and eventful 12 hours!  The director of the home said, "Thank you Mercy For Mama ministry for our Mama Kits. We had what we needed for the baby and mama to be safe during this emergency ."

We are so glad that we could help Brenda to have a safe delivery!  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Successful Outreach

Mercy for Mamas was happy to be able to help host an outreach event yesterday in the Kakajjo slum in Kampala. Despite downpours just before, around 20 women were able to attend and learn about hygiene, nutrition, and how to use a mama kits. We worked with Youth for Christ on this particular project. What a blessing to get to serve these women.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Good News in a Broken World


Friends, today I received a picture of some of the teenage girls at our partner, Wakisa Ministries, receiving their mama kits. It breaks my heart to see these girls who look so very, very young, pregnant with babies of their own. These girls should be playing with friends and studying at school, not preparing to give birth. We live in a broken world. 

But thankfully, they are at a place that loves them, trains them for life as a new mom, and points them toward Jesus to be their hope and strength. Your donations play a part in that and helps to ensure that these girls can get the medical help they and their babies need. Every dollar makes a difference! Thank you!!




Thursday, August 25, 2016

Strength for the Challenge


 

Wow. We received a wonderful and humbling report today from one of our ministry partners. We have worked with the Comforter's Center in Kampala for nearly 6 years. This crisis pregnancy center does such important work in a large slum area. They counsel women who are considering abortions or who are in abusive relationships. They offer hope to teenage moms and women living in unbelievable poverty. They help women navigate the healthcare system. They teach women about their value in Christ and how to be a Christian mother. We are so grateful for the chance to partner with them and we are blessed to know the impact our partnership is having on their work.
From Justine, their Executive Director:"Greetings from The Comforter’s Center. It is so exciting to always receive mama kit donation from you our dear partners. This has not only eased our work as the center but it has also enabled us to reach out to the needy women in our community. Please know how grateful we are to you for your generous contribution towards The Comforters Center’s clients.  We thank you so much for you help, and indeed you are a blessing to our community.Without your support most women wouldn’t be able to deliver from Government health centers as it is one of the requirements for an expecting woman. You don’t know how much our clients appreciate your support. Some women come when they are helpless and not knowing which step to take but giving them mama kits has brought joy and happiness in their lives. It has built more confidence and given them the strength to stand out and face nurses in the health center. They are sure that with the mama kit they will not be disappointed by health personnel. Thank you so much for the confidence that our clients have developed as a result of being given a mama kit. The center is open to all women despite their status, background or religion. We have seen an increase of clients as a result of the support we offer to us. Many women find their comfort, strength and courage to face various challenges as a result of our services.  Since the year begun, a total on 125 mama kits have been given out."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sign Up To Give Monthly!


Have you ever thought about doing a monthly sponsorship program, but you weren't sure your budget could handle it? Guess what? You can sign up to be a monthly Mercy for Mamas donor and you can give whatever amount you choose! If your budget can only handle $7 (or less even!) that is just fine. Your gift will provide one woman each month with a life-saving mama kit! That's 12 mamas and babies a year. What a blessing! If your budget can handle more, you can do so! We have people that give all different amounts. Just click on the donate button on the right side of the page or down below. When the Paypal link comes up click "make this recurring" when you enter your amount. It's very easy to do!! 

One of our success stories, baby Miracle!


Donate now. All money goes directly toward the purchase and distribution of mama kits unless otherwise noted. All donations are tax-deductible, as Mercy for Mamas is a registered 501c3 charity. #46-0693097

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sweet Moments

Some of my favorite moments during our Mercy for Mamas mission trips are when we do the basic exams on the pregnant mamas and the newborn babies. We don't do anything fancy. We check blood pressure and heart rate, listen to their heart and lungs, measure and feel for position, and then we also use the fetal doppler to listen to the baby's heart beat.

 Most of the mamas have never seen a fetal doppler machine before. The hospitals and clinics in Uganda typically use the old school Pinard Horn to listen to baby.  This is a great way to do it, but then the mamas do not get to hear their babies. I love to see the look on the mama's face when we explain that sound is her baby's strong heartbeat.
Example of a nurse using a Pinard Horn.
Often these "exams" are done in very interesting places and conditions. We've done checks on our bus, behind curtains in a church, and on the floor of a school room.  During this last trip, we did checks at one church in a very dark storage room. The women had to lay down on the skinniest benches I have ever seen and it was low to the ground. They didn't even really bat an eye at doing it.  I would have thrown a fit if someone asked me to do that at 8 months pregnant.
During the same outreach as the one pictured above, missionary Kathy Vaughan, was checking out one of the women's babies. This baby was born with a cleft palette and lip and was awaiting surgery. The baby had been sick with a bad cough and Kathy was trying to assess if he needed further treatment. After listening to baby, Kathy took off her stethoscope and let the mama hear her baby's heart. It was such a precious moment. Kathy is such a beautiful example to me of how to love and care for others with gentleness and respect.
And the best news of all...the mama pictured here listening to her baby's heartbeat had received Christ as her Savior at church the day before. She started coming to the church after coming to the women's meetings Kathy and her Ugandan team lead. She got plugged into the local church and saw the way everyone rallied around her to help her with her baby. All of these things put her on the right path to accept Christ.  She now has true hope and peace to carry her through the days ahead. This is what it is all about.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Double Blessing

During the recent Mercy for Mamas trip we had the great privilege of getting to hold several brand new babies born using our mama kits. It is always such a thrill and blessing to me to get to see these sweet little ones-- the fruit of our labors. These precious mamas have no idea how excited I get to see them with their babies healthy and strong. 
At one of our last outreach events, we did some basic check ups on the women.  We discovered several women were pregnant with twins. This is a huge honor in Ugandan culture! Some of them knew before our exams and others did not. What fun news to share! One of these women in particular looked uncomfortable and very near the end of her pregnancy. Her blood pressure was high and she looked dehydrated. We told her we thought she would deliver soon. I prayed for her and told her to go home and rest and drink a lot of water. 
The next morning we got a wonderful surprise! This sweet mama had come to the clinic late that night. She delivered two baby girls with no big complications shortly after midnight.  I guess she got her mama kits just in the nick of time! When we came in to meet her around 8am, she was dressed and wanting to go home! We encouraged her to hang around just a while longer to make sure everything was okay. I talked with her for a while and found out this was her second set of twins (and she had two singles in there too!) Several of us got the honor of praying for this mama and her babies before they went home.
I am so glad she was able to have a safe birth. She had the supplies she needed. She went to a medical clinic with an experienced and trained nurse to deliver. She received the love of Jesus by those who took care of her and her babies. 

Mercy for Mamas is thrilled that we got to be a small piece of the puzzle for this mama.  We marvel at every success story and make it our goal to help as many woman we can to have a similar outcome. Every safe delivery and new baby is a gift. I pray that we never forget the beauty and miracle of each and every birth. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Thank you!

Thank you so much to all of the churches and individuals that have donated to Mercy for Mamas in the past month. It's been so exciting to see God continue to provide for our work.

Our mission team of 12 people leaves for Uganda in about two weeks. During that trip, we will pass out 2,000 mama kits to women all over the country. We will host outreaches in all different kinds of locations. We'll be everywhere from larger churches in the capital city to meeting with women under the gathering tree on a remote island. I love that our mission teams get to experience so many different aspects of life in Uganda. We'll once again host missionary encouragement dinners for women serving full-time in Uganda. We covet your prayers for our travel and safety and for the women we meet and relationships that will be built.



If your church collected money for Mercy for Mamas in the past month for Mother's Day, we'd encourage you to get those donations sent in to us as soon as possible. We've placed a large order for mama kits and we'll need every penny we can to meet the demands.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Welcome!

Lots of people learned about Mercy for Mamas for the first time yesterday (Mother's Day!).  If you fall into that category, "Welcome!"

It is amazing to hear the reports from churches all over the country about how they shared about our work yesterday during the services. They raised awareness about the need and they also raised a lot of money that will help us do our work. Hooray!

Also many of you gave donations in honor of your mothers, wife, friend, etc., which also raised awareness and led many women to hear about Mercy for Mamas for the first time.

If you are new, please check out our website and our Facebook page so you can see the scope of the work that we do. You'll be amazed at what every $7 donation can accomplish.

A Mercy for Mamas mission team leaves for Uganda in just 4 weeks (Yikes, that is coming up fast!). We will be working with thousands of women across Uganda. We would like to have close to 2,000 mama kits on hand to pass out during the trip and to leave with our partners afterwards. Your donation dollars truly make a difference and will help us best minister to these women.  Please be in prayer for our team, the women we will work with, and for the events we will host.



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Bond of Motherhood

     My daughter shared with me a couple of months ago about when they learned about reproduction in her high school biology class. She said when going over the female anatomy the teacher said, "Isn't it amazing to think that each and every one of us once grew inside a uterus?" One boy (probably just  being a smart aleck) said, "Not me, I was adopted!".  Oh my! But isn't God's creation amazing?! We all come from different backgrounds and have very different childhoods, but it is amazing to think that all of us grew inside a woman's body. God created mothers for us and each of us has/had one. 

      I don't know your history and your relationship with your biological mother. I hope it is a good one. But if not, I'm hopeful that God placed other important women in your life to mother you. There are so many types of mothers in this world. We have biological moms, adopted moms, stepmoms, foster moms, godmothers, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, aunts, and women who have mentored us and been spiritual mothers to us. We have rejoiced when God placed these special women in our lives and we have mourned at their passing. Motherhood of any kind is one of God's greatest gifts. 

     But motherhood is not easy. We also all know women who are stuck in the trenches of motherhood today.  I'm thinking of the new mother overwhelmed with her newborn. The mother with a house full of littles who finds it hard to believe that a day will come when they will all dress and bathe themselves (hang on mama, I promise that day is coming!). The mom trying to find the strength to power through the crazy schedule of homework, practices, and birthday parties. The mother to teenagers struggling to find the balance of independence, safety, and responsibility. The empty-nester mother trying to find her place and adapt to a new role. The mom struggling to make ends meet. The precious friend who would want nothing more in the world than to have a child and to experience motherhood. The mom who faced all of our worst fears and is now mourning the loss of a child. The mother balancing caring for her children and yet also caring for her own parents. The foster or adoptive mom who does not know if she has what it takes to heal this child's broken heart. The mother caring for a chronically ill or special needs child who feels like she has given all she has to give. We know these women. We are these women. We also know we could all use some encouragement. 

     With Mother's Day right around the corner, what if you prayed for God to lay on your heart the names of a few special women in your life you could honor and encourage? This could be your own mother, a friend, a mentor, whomever. You could donate a mama kit(s) (they are just $7 each) in honor of your special person. We'll give you a card that you can give them explaining your gift. Write them a personal note explaining why you choose them. I know this lady would be so honored that you thought of them and that you chose to help a mother in Uganda in their name. 

     Raising awareness and money for a non-profit is not an easy job. I live and breathe this stuff every day. I feel the weight of the need all of the time. I know that truly every gift brings hope to a woman in need. The tricky thing is getting you to understand and see that need too. When you see the photos and hear the stories they seem so far away and unknown to you. When I look at photos I see friends and people I have touched and hugged with my own arms. I see the tears in their eyes as they face the unknowns before them and remember the pain of the past. I hear their laughter and excitement as they talk with their friends.  I see the glimmer of hope in their eyes as they learn about pregnancy and birth and receive their mama kit. To me the need is real and pressing.


     I would venture to say that probably 98% of Mercy for Mamas donations come from women. Why is that? Is it because our mission focuses on women's needs? Maybe. But I also think it is because motherhood is a universal bond. Mamas all over the world face the same struggles of wanting the best for our children, worrying over them, and loving them unconditionally. As women, we cannot imagine what we could do if we faced childbirth without medical help or supplies. We hate the idea of women having to choose to feed their family or buy some gloves and a razor blade. Women should not be dying during birth simply because they did not have a $7 mama kit.  

     You can bring a smile and some encouragement into the life of a woman you see every day and you can also give hope and life to a mama in Uganda. It is such a beautiful picture of how we should do life every day. Loving God and loving others both near and far. 

     Make your donation by clicking the Paypal button below. After we receive your donation we'll email you a Mother's Day card you can print off and give to your special person. If you'd like a more generic card to give, just let us know that as well.