Want to go in on a van with me?

When I think of Paris, I think of crisp air, grapes, baguettes, and berets. Cappuccino, bistro, and the language of love.  In black and white, the handsome man fit with a clean suit and a side smile stands in front of Eiffel Tower. The girls pout lips, swiped in red. Then a tiny band begins to play.

It’s like a cartoon, no trash in the streets of my imagination. It’s the same as I remember some things from back home. I’ve recorded infinite details that are true, but when I go back, I see that all the large buildings are actually not big at all. The high chimneys are merely bumps on the roof. They don’t puff out smoke in crayola gray clouds either.

I know when I read, I caricaturize people and places, almost give them bobble heads. Maybe it’s a way to paint the world so I can ingest it better.

When Seth and I first became board members of Mercy House Kenya, we did it as whole-hearted praying believers, but we didn’t really know. We loved Kristen and Maureen and Kenya, and we longed to help the girls who were hurting, but we didn’t know how. We only knew the One who did know how. It wasn’t long until God brought his daughters in for care. The young ones, pregnant.

It took me a while to let it sink in. The realness of it all, not like stories in bedtime books, Mercy House is real like your life is real, the dirty dishes and your need to make appointments and drive to the store. It’s hard to break the story down, and stories can seem so foreign, like how:

  • 13,000 Kenyan girls are kicked out of school for being pregnant. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
  • 25% of pregnant women in Kenya are HIV positive (ObGyn in Kenya)
  • Every 30 minutes, a woman is raped in Kenya. (Nairobi Women’s Hospital)
  • Mothers often force their daughters into trading sex for food in the slums (CNN)
  • More than 20,000 children are sex trafficked in Kenya (Human Trafficking)
  • 1500 women die in childbirth every day across Africa (WHO)

Terrible statistics are hard to take in. I’m not sure we were made to take it in. It’s traumatic to even read. We believe statistics and yet they turn into characatures and take care of themselves somehow. Our hearts go into a sort of shock.

We joined with Mercy House Kenya, and we believed, but then the first baby came, a healthy one that makes your hormones work up. And then more and more, they carried to term and delivered, and flesh and bones were gathered there, people coming to faith, babies making girls into mothers.

If you don’t know about The Vision of Rehema House (supported by Mercy House), here it is:

  • Provide a safe place-a guarded home with six maternity beds
  • Partner with local churches
  • Provide Prenatal Care-vitamins, checkups, Proper Nutrition (protein and regular meals), as well as counseling (post abortion/prostitution)
  • Minister by prayer and Biblical teaching
  • Teach Skills-jewelry, soap, sewing (future products will be sold here)
  • Provide a nurturing environment in which to give birth and a safe place to stay and learn and heal until they graduate from the program
  • Provide an account to start small business or go to school (from products they make and sell)

Friends, this is exactly what’s happening. This and so much more. It’s hard to know what to do at all or how to help even a tiny bit because the needs are overwhelming. But I’m honored to join with the (in)courage team and Pure Charity to make it easier and to even be able to ask for your help.

Join us this Fall as we journey together “(in)Mercy” to provide essentials to the safety and sustainability of Mercy House and its 12 moms and 12 babies.  There are five very specific ways that will enable Mercy House Kenya to move forward in it’s mission of serving women and children.




Would you join us? Today starts Phase 1: Drive Mercy {Van}

Would you go in on a van with me?

After Phase 1, it’s just one step at a time.

Phase 2: Learn Mercy {Classroom Additions}

Phase 3: Generate Mercy {Generator}

Phase 4: Advance Mercy {Computer Lab}

Phase 5: Live Mercy {Second Home}

Click to tweet: I’m going to Kenya without leaving home. You can too.

 Seriously, if you have room in your sidebar or time for a tweet here or there, would you help us spread the word? The beautiful thing about this is that we know times are hard. The widow’s mite means the same today as it ever did. If you’ve read this far down, I feel kin with you. Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for doing what you can with me.

About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
When The Church Doesn’t Fit Or Fix You: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Christie Purifoy
October 12, 2015
The Hurt and the Healing: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Bonnie King
September 30, 2015
Will They Stay if You Change?
September 28, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club Video: Chapters 1 and 2
September 14, 2015
A Mud Stories Podcast on Sex, Shame, Unforgiveness, and the Church
August 06, 2015
Church couldn’t help me with it anymore.
August 03, 2015
Findings: the Parent Circle, the gifts, and the simpler thing
March 13, 2015


Reply September 12, 2013

Amber - I'm in. Bags are packed though I may never feel the red dusty ground beneath my feet. My nose is pressed against the glass in anticipation. Let's go!

    Amber C Haines
    Reply September 12, 2013

    Cheryl, thank you! I just love this. Do you see how phase one is going? It's amazing.

Reply September 12, 2013

Praying for the mission, the girls in need & their families.

Reply September 30, 2013

So! I'm updating my blog - getting it all 31-day ready. I just added the link and could not be more excited #1 to help with Mercy House and #2 that I added something fun to my side-bar (I'm so proud I even have a side-bar).

Thanks Amber!

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