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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Generous Givers


We at Mercy Uganda never cease to be amazed at the generosity of others who come alongside us and do incredibly generous things for the women and children in Uganda.  We recently had the awesome privilege of becoming involved with a family who "happened" to come to the Mercy Uganda banquet this past October.  From that "chance meeting" this family felt God leading them to do something out of the ordinary, something that took not just one person's obedience, but a whole family's obedience and tested it. The Donnelly family has been mightily used by God in providing an education for 5 children, a home for them and their grandmother, and a piggery to help her become self sustaining in such a way that she now will be able to provide for this precious family.  Below are a series of correspondences that show the impact their obedience had, and the way God touched many lives through that simple act. 
The message below is from our Director in Uganda, Henry Mello, thanking the family for their gift to this precious Ugandan family....


Dear Joseph,
Am so grateful to the Lord for the wonderful work you have done.
You have tremendously changed lives in this family.  Though it has been a bit challenging, we thank God that the job is done. We have finished the house. We have put up the piggery shelter and I have already bought them 3 piglets which will be brought in two weeks time.
Am so pleased and thankful for this lifetime gift you have given this family. How I wish one day you come and see this by your own eyes but for now adhered are some of the photos.
God bless the Donnellys!  Amen.
Henry.(You can see Henry working on the window of this new home in this picture)


This part is the Donnelly's response to our request to share their testimony...
Thank you for your message. Feel free to use our testimony.  Anything that motivates others to do the same is heading in the right direction.  The way God intended us to lead our lives.

I am very, very impressed at the quality of construction.  Grandmother looked very proud in her photo standing in front of her new home.

This was a great experience in so many aspects.  What other organization can you see such a direct benefit materialize in a very short period of time?  Our children were able to see that yes, you truly can make a difference.  We have yet to imagine how this experience may benefit their futures along with those of the five children in Uganda.  In any case it has touched both sides of the globe!

We really would like to stay in touch with Henry on how we can remain a part of this family's future.  While we can not yet commit to something on the scale of this recent project we certainly wish to continue in any way we can.

Regards,
Jeannie Donnelly

The e-mail below is from the Donnelly's......
Dear Henry:

You have done beautiful, quality work!  Your message and photos made our day!  Thank you so much for overseeing this project and devoting your time to make sure it gets done.

There are not many organizations that provide such feedback.

While we can not control where we are born,  we can however, control what we chose to do with the gifts God gives us.  Your dedication is most admirable!

I do hope that one day we can travel to Uganda to meet this family.

While I did not recognize it at the time, I was involved in a project last year which enabled me to provide additional income for our family.  This involved many hours away from my family, working two jobs, etc.  During this ordeal I was wondering if it was all worth it, feeling discouraged, taken for granted, doubting God's  path. 

In October, we attended the benefit dinner at Covenant, saw the work being done by the Mercy Uganda organization, watched your group via satellite and the sacrifices you and others have made.  At the time, we started to get a glimmer of what life must be like for Ugandans.  A simple convenience we have of having water inside our homes, let alone, having a warm shower every day, while these people must walk sometimes for miles for a bucket of water. 

This whole idea started from water and what others have to do just to get it.    During the dinner in October, we signed up to provide educational assistance for two children on the spot.  Later, Laura contacted us regarding the rare opportunity to provide for these five children.  We were so moved by this and made a family decision to do everything we could to help this family. We were saving for a pool (water again).   Our children wholeheartedly agreed to postpone the pool project in order to make this happen.  Joe sold some stock we had and we emptied the savings account.    It is truly amazing how God works!

We greatly appreciate your efforts in "stretching the budget" to complete the project. 

Please let us know if there are other needs such as bedding, household items, etc.  We would also like to get bicycles for the children to use for school. 

Also is it possible for us to send "care packages" for the children?  If so, how is this done?


God bless you for your heart and efforts!
 
With Regards,
Jeannie, Joe, Kevin and Kimberly Donnelly
 --------------------------(This is a picture of the piggery)
This gift of love, this step of obedience, this generosity of heart.....it has had an impact in ways that will be seen for generations, and will be rewarded in Heaven.  This is one of many stories of generous givers following the voice of the Lord.  Mercy Uganda thanks them....I thank them.  
God is glorified!
 
 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Earth Is The Lord's


The prayerful goal of Mercy Uganda for 2011 is to raise the funds needed to buy about 10 acres of land in Uganda, and a vehicle. We have been praying about this for quite some time, and now that we have our NGO status it will save us considerably by giving us a tax break on these purchases.  Our desire is to use the land to provide shelter, food, and training to the orphans in our sponsorship program.  While not in school, they will live in dormitories that we will build there, and will receive training in agriculture and livestock.  This will serve many wonderful purposes related to the mission of Mercy Uganda, and will provide for so many in need.  Needs such as nutrition, health, safety, preparation for the future.  The orphans will receive love, our love, but more importantly God's love.  To buy 10 acres in an area that would provide the rich soil, and be in a safe and fairly accessible part of Uganda,  will cost us anywhere from $7,000.00 to $10,000.00 per acre.  But, we know that our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and that the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.  We know that if this project is His will, and His plan, He will provide the resources needed to obtain the land and begin this next phase of ministry work. 

Also included in this prayerful plan is a vehicle.  Transportation is probably one of the biggest hurdles in Uganda.  Public transportation can be difficult, to downright dangerous!  For our team to travel the distances we must travel to get from one village to another often takes several hours.  For safety and flexibility in travel with the ministry, we have rented vehicles (usually a car or van owned by someone there), and then pay a driver.  This adds up quickly as team members from the U.S. are there several times a year doing a multitude of things in several villages, some remote.  A good van that will carry 12 passengers is about $14,000.00.  It is 4 wheel drive to accommodate the terrains.  A van that size also allows us to carry needed food and supplies to the orphans, women, children, and villages to whom we minister.  (The vehicle in the picture used to be a taxi in Uganda, the owner rented it to us. In this scene, our medical team is also working a small clinic out of it in Karamoja)
We ask that you pray for us as we move forward with these two major projects during 2011.  God has done far bigger things, and we know He will do far more than we ever dream or believe possible.  We would love for you to share this information with others too.  We have pay pal on our website now, so that will make it easier to accept contributions.....which are tax deductible by the way!!  Our website is:
www.mercyuganda.org 
It is SO exciting to take steps with God, to see where He will lead, and what He will do.  We will see what great things He has for 2011.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011


Here it is, January 2, 2011......a new year has begun with new hopes, new plans, new goals......but God is teaching me lessons about all of those things.  I always have a tendency to dream big and plan bigger....sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't.  God is teaching me to seek Him first, to ask what His plans for us are....and then to obey Him, to follow Him.  Sometimes I feel  a little like Abraham....when God told Him to move to a land he did not know.  How hard would that be?  What a step of faith that would take!
To know that you hear God telling you to do something that absolutely makes no sense at all......that's when we want to sit down and write out our agendas, our plans, etc.  When we want to see if it will work or not, to see if it actually makes sense and is realistic.  But then, that doesn't take alot of faith.  Faith is definitely something that God has been working on in my life.  As you can tell from previous blog entries, I struggle with it.....boy, do I struggle with it!  I have found it is easier to have faith when you are praying and seeking something for someone else than for yourself, probably because that doesn't really take so much faith on your part, and you don't really have alot at risk or alot to lose there.  But when it comes to you personally.....it is all on the line.....either you trust God or you don't.  I further complicate that by pondering this....I get passionate and excited about doing things and then wonder...am I excited about this because God is doing this, or am I trying to convince myself that it is God's will because I want it so badly?  I've actually been on that side of it before, and it is not a good place to be.  So, now I'm REALLY desirous that I seek God, and ask Him to take a passion and desire away if it is not in line with His will.  That brings me back to Uganda.  My husband Mark and I have been prayerfully seeking God's will and direction for us as we look into moving to Uganda to immerse ourselves full time into the ministry work of Mercy Uganda.  Yes, this is a big step.....we leave behind a lifetime.  We leave behind 3 adult children, and 4 grandchildren, 2 of them not yet born.  But one thing that God has been teaching us over the past few years, is that our children don't belong to us anyway....they belong to Him.  Whether we are in the U.S. or in Uganda, God still has our children in the palm of His hand....He still directs their steps, and ordains their lives.  So, what we are doing for 2011 is praying, reading scripture, praying some more, and moving forward with plans to move to Uganda, asking God to guide each step, and close doors along the way so we don't try to guide ourselves.  It is a huge step for us but one we want to take if that is what God wants.  This plan involves a 24 month schedule of downsizing, support raising, planning, praying, and sharing.  We hope that you will pray for us too.  We pray that God will be ahead of us each step of the way, and that His will be done, not ours.  Two thousand and eleven will be a year of preparation.  But then, every year should be that. God tells us always to be prepared, in season and out of season, to share the gospel.  Please pray for us.  We want to do things God's way.  Our prayer is found in Psalm 90:17 "Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands."