Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Invite your church to give mercy this Mother's Day!


**This post is aimed at pastors and church leaders.  If that's not you, will you please pass this on to someone in leadership at your church if you'd like them to include Mercy for Mamas in your church's Mother's Day celebrations.  Thank you so much!**

What if you could find a way to honor women in your church, participate in missions, and help with orphan prevention? You can! This might seem like a cheesy sales pitch, but it's true. We would love for your church to partner with Mercy for Mamas this Mother's Day.  

Each year on Mother's Day churches across the US take time to honor the women in their church.  They pass out bookmarks, flowers, or candy.  Or maybe they have a contest for the women with the most children, the oldest mother, or the newest mother.  Perhaps your church has a baby dedication service that Sunday.  Every church does it differently, but it is a time to honor the gift of motherhood.

Here at Mercy for Mamas, Mother's Day is a big time of year for us.  The vast majority of our funding for the year comes during the month's of April and May.  This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the important women in our lives, while also helping to support women in Uganda.
Young Mother's receiving their mama kits at a local crisis pregnancy center
Mercy for Mamas works to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Uganda by providing women with sterile birthing kits and prenatal education.  Each day at least 15 women die in Uganda giving birth, which is 40x's the maternal death rate in the US.  Many of these deaths can be attributed to a lack of prenatal care and also to not having the proper supplies for a delivery.  In order to be cared for by a local hospital or clinic a woman must bring all of her own supplies.  If she cannot afford the supplies, she most likely will not receive care.  This leads to many women delivering at home, without clean supplies, and without any trained medical professional (nurse, midwife, or doctor).
Expectant Ugandan mother with her birthing supplies
Since 2010 we've been providing birthing kits called "mama kits" to women all over Uganda.  To date, close to 30,000 women have received a $7 mama kit.  We also hold prenatal education seminars and outreach clinics throughout Uganda.  We work hard to partner with trusted clinics, crisis pregnancy centers, churches, and missionaries. We provide them with mama kits and we also assist them with outreach efforts.  These partners use the mama kits year-round as a way to help pregnant women, but also as a tool to build relationships with the women.  Many women have come to know Christ because of the gift of a mama kit. Others have found churches and bible studies to join because of our outreach events. 

Each mama kit costs just $7.  The kits include very basic supplies including: cotton wool, razor blades, sterile gloves, umbilical cord ties, soap, large plastic sheeting, directions for delivery, and a health care card.
Mama kit.  "Maama" is the Luganda word for mother
Village midwife assisting a young woman in labor
What if your church this Mother's Day decided to take this time to honor the women of your church, but also to offer support to mothers in Uganda? There are several ways you could incorporate Mercy for Mamas into your church. You could do just one of these or all of them!
  • Instead of spending money on a gift for the mothers in your church, you could make a donation to Mercy for Mamas and give each woman a card explaining your gift.    
  • You could show one of our Mercy for Mamas videos during your service and help us get the word out about the great needs of pregnant women in Uganda. There are several options here on our website (look under the "videos" tab). We also will have a new, shorter video (less than one minute) that will be available by the end of April. So you can choose the length that works best for your service.
  • You could collect a love offering for Mercy for Mamas on Mother's Day. We would provide you with donation cards. Church people could then give to their mothers or special someone explaining that they gave in their honor.
  • We can provide you with a bulletin insert for you explaining our cause.
I can tell you this, every pastor that has done this at their church has told me repeatedly how well it was received.  The women of the church really appreciate that a donation has been made in their honor and that gift has a larger purpose and impact for the kingdom. 
From Pastor Nathan Gunter of First Southern Baptist Church of Lansing, KS... 
"We wanted to do something special in our church for Mother's Day. So in place of the usual $2 mother's appreciation gift, we made a donation to Mercy for Mamas, shared the Mercy for Mamas video and explained how a small gift could change the life of a mother and child in Uganda.  Our small congregation was so excited about the idea that they gave even more money to the cause after the service.  In one day we raised enough to buy more than 140 kits! We love seeing God's love displayed through this ministry and will be partnering with their work in Uganda for years to come." 

I love the idea of the church honoring our mothers, helping other mothers live to parent their children, and sharing the gospel all at the same time. This is the church in action.


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