Thursday, July 28, 2011

Update On Mercy Graduates Trip To Uganda/Watoto!!

I cannot think of a time that I have ever been more proud to write a report to those of you who follow our @mercyministries news. Even as I write to you today, our team of 18 are in Uganda and have just finished building four classrooms for the Watoto children. Not only did our graduates build these classrooms, but they also raised the money to be able to pay for them. I thought it would bless you for me to highlight a small portion of the pictures and reports they have placed on their daily blog. I pulled out just a few, but at the end of this report I will provide a link for you to be able to go on and see all the pictures and read all the reports posted daily. There will also be an opportunity for you to comment with an encouraging word. I’m sure that our Mercy graduate team in Uganda would love to hear from you and know that you’re cheering them on from a distance.

First of all, I wanted to show you a picture of the entire group of 18. This team is being led by staff leaders, Katelyn Rollins and Nandi Pryce. Not only have these beautiful young women built classrooms, but they have also spent time with the babies and the children in the various Watoto homes during their stay this week.

Our wonderful team:
Our girls loving on the babies:

Our girls pouring out love on the children:

Check out our team hard at work:

One of the host families they had lunch with:

In closing my part of the story, I wanted to share with you in its entirety the graduate blog that was posted today, which is day seven of the trip. The reason I want to call attention to Natalie’s blog today is because of the significance of her writing today’s blog. Natalie is actually celebrating her five year anniversary date of having graduated from Mercy (see Natalie – pictured right)

Day 7 – The Bulrushes and the Craft Market…

Today has been hard to describe. It was wonderful to have a little extra sleep this morning before heading out to The Bulrushes, Baby Watoto, where we were able to stay for several hours. It’s so easy to love those precious babies, to give them my heart, but my heart also aches for them. They are all so tiny and fragile, unaware of their stories, unconcerned with their situations. They lay in groups of 15 or more on the hard concrete floor, but yet they are still just babies, God’s children—born with a purpose and a promise. They are cared for very well by the nannies and the volunteers, and we were blessed to share in that as we fed, changed, and rocked many of the babies. I felt at peace loving on those babies. My mind was still, not racing with what was next or where I needed to be, just calm. I looked around and saw the beauty of creation and the simplicity of the Gospel, and I felt at rest.

After we left the babies home, we went to the Garden City Mall for lunch, which proved yet again to be an adventure. Our host, Melvin, took us into a grocery type store to get some snacks and led us straight to the candy isle…we all went crazy!! Once we left the mall, it was time to go souvenir shopping at the craft market. This is always a fun experience because you have to barter! We all shopped like true women and bought many gifts for our family, friends, and supporters. We ended this evening with an appreciation dinner from Watoto at Mambo Place.

It has been a wonderful day, topped off with the fact that today is a personal victory for me. Today is my five year anniversary of graduation from Mercy Ministries. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of this ministry and to be on this trip on this day in my life! As I reflected throughout the day, God really placed Isaiah 61 on my heart. Thank you so much for you continued prayers and support. Our team is doing very well and has become very close!

- By Natalie

I can’t even begin to tell you how moved I am seeing the pictures of these young women who once walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries broken, not even knowing if they wanted to live, and now they are so full of joy and giving out to others. When you give to Mercy, it has a ripple effect, and you are causing Mercy to be multiplied throughout the nations of the earth. These girls represent thousands of graduates over the years who are making a difference in the lives of others and helping build the kingdom of God, one life at a time. Hope this touches your heart as much as it has touched mine. If you want to see all the pictures and read each day, here is the link where you can do so ( and hopefully post a comment.