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Monday, April 26, 2010

GIFTS

 Sewing machines......we hope to purchase 4 this summer
(A young lady showing off her newly learned knitting skills...tools and yarn were provided, along with teaching)
I have often heard the saying, "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime".  How true that is.  Mercy Uganda has been involved in so many aspects of life in Uganda that sometimes we have to take a deep breath and evaluate it all.  Everything we have and do, all that we are, comes from God.  He allows us to be stewards of all He provides.  This includes our involvement in the lives of others, in using those resources to expand the kingdom work.  It is so easy to just give someone something, knowing that they need it, knowing it will help them.  Some things are meant as a gift, straight up.  The emergency medical care for Julius and Alex are examples of that.  The ongoing therapy and help for Lawrence is important in that it provides a way for him to learn and become independent.  The child sponsorships are that way as well.  An education is one of the most important things one person could offer another.  It provides hope and a future, a way to learn and to "eat for a lifetime".  The well project is such a gift.  This simple act will provide generations with  better health, and therefore, hope and a future.  There are some things, though, that we can do to help in the teaching, by providing one thing, and then teaching the use of the one thing.  Sewing machines.  Did you know that in Uganda the sewing machines are non-electric and controlled by pedaling?  This makes sense because electricity is a luxury most cannot afford.  We can purchase a sewing machine for $100.00 and teach a lady in a poor village how to sew. She can then use that skill to provide for her family.  We hope to purchase 4 sewing machines this summer for ladies in particular villages to help them, and to help begin a vocational program for others.  We also hope to raise the support needed to send a young lady to nursing school.  She wants to start a clinic in a poor area.  She is a Christian,a and an orphan girl who grew up in one of the poorest parts of Africa... Karamoja.We are also working on support for a dear Christian young woman to go to law school in Kampala.  Uganda needs Christian women, advocates for the lives of women and children in that country.
(Lydia, seen in this picture with our liaison Gabriel, left,  and friend of Mercy Uganda, Ronnie, prepared for nursing school)
(This is Irene, and her husband Alex, with Nathasha, newly adopted to save her life....Irene hopes to begin law school in August)

So you see, sewing machines, education, these teach a "woman to 'fish' so she can feed her family for a lifetime". Investing in God's children, that is a wonderful means of stewardship, and service to God.
Please pray for Mercy Uganda, for the women and children God has placed before us, and for the whole villages that are positively impacted through what God is doing in and through our efforts, and the love and support of those who walk alongside us in the ministry work.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grateful Hearts!

I am just constantly amazed at the way God provides!
 
Debby over at Just Breathe had a give a way recently.  To win you just had to leave a comment and she used a random thingy to choose the winners.  One of the things you could do was to pick a $50.00 gift card or make a contribution to your favorite charity.

I was over reading and to my surprise and great joy.......one of the winners, Carrie at Cottage Cozy won and asked that her prize be donated to Mercy Uganda!  A check is on the way and let me tell you, Carrie, what a precious and wonderful thing you have done and how much it means to us.

In Uganda, $50.00 can do so much more than it does here in the United States.  It can go a long way towards medical bills, badly needed medications and supplies.  $50.00 will buy two mosquito nets with $10.00 left over! Mosquito nets prevent malaria!


From these sweeties and many more, a big thanks to both Debby and Carrie!  Like the loaves and fishes, God will multiply that $50.00 for His glory!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Simple Act of Generosity




It is amazing what a small gesture can do....how a small act of kindness can start something much bigger.  For years, my husband and our son have collected aluminum. I would complain about the bags of crushed cans beside our garage. And then, last week my husband Mark, laid $17.50 on the counter and said "this is for Mercy Uganda". I asked him where this came from and he told me "from the cans I cashed in". We have been struggling with the funds necessary to wire much needed money to Uganda.  As a young and not-so-rich ministry, it really affects us to pay $45.00 every time we wire money. We never ask our recipients on the other end to help absorb this cost because they are already in need of the funds we send.  The needs are so great there, that every little amount of money makes a tremendous difference.  Then it occurred to me......this aluminum collecting could be our ongoing project to fund the wiring fees.  We just started getting the word out, and are already getting businesses and individuals willing to begin collecting for Mercy Uganda.  We may even have an old aluminum boat donated!  This simple act of generosity.....this $17.50 given to show support for the work God is doing in and through Mercy, has opened a door of opportunity for us as we continue to send much needed funds for medical care, emergency care, sponsorships, and more.  I just love how God takes the faithfulness of others and fertilizes and waters it, and makes it grow for His Kingdom's work.  Please tell your friends about this project.......we pray that it will continue to grow and continue to provide a way for us as we seek to serve the Lord in ministry. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Testimony of a Miracle....



This is George Yawhe, a tremendous help to Mercy Uganda!  Here he is holding one of our sponsored little girls, Rovisha.  If you would like to see the children that still need sponsors go to our website.
 There are still many that need sponsors.

I want to tell you a little bit about George today.  He is now a walking miracle!  He was at one time a dead child walking!  This is a story of how our Sovereign God works in ways we cannot imagine!

George grew up in the village of Kalangaalo.  His family, like most there, were very poor and George did not have access to an education.

When George was 12 years old, a couple came to the village and offered to take him and provide shelter, food and an education.  His parents wanted more for George than they could provide so they agreed.

They were witch doctors!  Over the course of 2 - 3 years they severely abused, beat, bound and burned George,  leaving him for dead after a final burning of his legs over a fire.

George was picked up and put in a hospital for several months.  No one, not even his family knew where he was.  He was not a Christian at the time, but missionaries came to the hospital and shared Christ with him.  George came to know Christ as savior and Lord, and his first prayer was that his family would find him.

This happened around Christmas time and soon his mother showed up at the hospital!  Can you imagine the joy that filled that mother and child?  George asked her how she found him and she said that someone in the village (Kalangaalo) had found a letter addressed to her on the ground, brought it to her and read it.......it told her where to find George!

George asked to see the letter, but no one had been able to find it since it was read to his mother.  George told his mother that God had written that letter and dropped it from heaven into Kalangaalo.  That was the very first miracle God gave to George!

Years later George was asked to share his story on the radio in Uganda.  The witch doctor couple was listening (coincidence?  I think not!) and called in to the radio station.  They wanted to contact George, not to continue the pain they had caused years before, but to let him know that they, too, had become Christians!  Another great miracle! 

Never, never think that a person's heart is too hard for God to change!  Never think that your life has been so bad that God cannot change it and use it. 

George's testimony shows God's power in so many ways.  This experience led him back to his home village of Kalangaalo to help others.  Today he shares his miracles with many and shows them how God can change their lives.

He works hard with us at Mercy Uganda!  Thanks George!






Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Alex and Irene, and the story of Job


I have read the story of Job many times.  It is a story that makes me pray that God will not see fit to test my faith in such a way.  For many years, and even until recently, I would read that story, and the part that always stood out was that of how Job lost all of his children, and in the end God gives him more.  In my mind I would always say, "but that doesn't replace the ones he lost". Then it occurred to me, that God always has a far better thing than what I can wrap my heart and my head around.  He wasn't replacing those children, He was increasing Job's number of children.....his first children who died still live....they are in heaven. Now Job will have a double portion of his precious children for all eternity in heaven with him. Yes, I know it is so hard from an earthly perspective to think that way. We miss those children.  We want to be with them, to hold them, to love them, to talk to them.  But what is time on earth compared to eternity?  This made me think of Alex and Irene and all that has happened to them in recent months.  They got married just a few short years ago.  He got a job going to Iraq. A dangerous job, not a well paying job, but a job and in Uganda those are very difficult to come by.  His job led him to Iraq for a year. He left and Irene was pregnant.  She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom they named Omega.  Omega had a heart condition and Irene and Alex desperately sought help for her.  There was none.  Omega died at 3 months of age, before Alex could make it home to see his baby girl for the first and only time.  As they mourned the loss of Omega, Alex was due to leave again, this time to Afghanistan.  Issue and issue came up that prevented him from leaving. One of those issues was severe kidney stones that led to him being hospitalized.  We think to ourselves....how many problems can one young couple endure?  We pray to God for Alex and Irene.  We are all trying to make sense of the endless struggles of this precious young couple who desire above all things to honor and serve God, even in the midst of pain and suffering, of struggle and uncertainty.
Then, amazingly......God doesn't replace Omega, He has her with Him waiting for the day she will be reunited with her parents.....and increases Alex and Irene's family by giving them a baby girl who had been born around the time of the death of Omega. A little girl whose mother died shortly after her birth, whose father loves her but cannot care for her.  A little girl with some health problems due to malnutrition, but a beautiful little girl.  Job came to mind again.....all he lost, God gave back......Alex and Irene.....God is doing much the same thing. I praise God for His awesome and unfathomable ways....I am thankful that He has a plan and a purpose for his children....plans not to harm them, but to help them....plans to give hope and a future.
Please pray for Alex and Irene as they minister to the needs of this beautiful new daughter of theirs...Natasha. (Please pray for Alex and Irene......they so covet your prayers as they seek God's will in their new family, in Alex's work, and as Irene seeks to return to law school. Mercy Uganda is seeking sponsors for her education.....Uganda needs Christian attorneys....Irene is someone God has great plans for and will use mightily.  Alex is a mighty prayer warrior who puts his trust in God....they are true friends of Mercy Uganda, partners in prayer.....they are always here for us, we want to be here for them as well)
To see a video of Alex and Irene with baby Natasha, go to www.youtube.com and type in A New Baby Girl