For the last four years we’ve been on a journey of building community across time zones and zip codes, connecting women to their sisters in Christ right next door and around the globe.

Can you believe (in)courage is now four years old?!

(in)courage turns 4-001

And for three of those years we’ve been on a journey of amazement and wonder with (in)courage contributor, Kristen Welch. It’s taken us into the slums of Kenya and connected us to women half a world away who are our neighbors and sisters in Christ.

In fact, it was three years ago to the day that Kristen published her first post about their journey.

In Kristen’s words, “We are just a simple family who said yes when God asked.”

Terrell and Kristen have been married for 18 years and are raising three children. Kristen writes the parenting blog, We Are THAT Family and contributes a monthly post to (in)courage.

And three years ago we followed her as she traveled to Kenya, Africa, with Compassion International, the world’s largest child sponsorship program, to blog their relief efforts in the slums of Nairobi.

We followed her into heartbreak at the conditions of Kenya’s daughters who are taken advantage of and forced into backstreet abortions.

And then we followed in awe and prayer and amazement as Kristen and Terrell followed God on the journey to open a safe house and home for young mothers and their babies in the heart of Kenya. They call it Mercy House.

Mercy House is funded almost entirely by moms here in the States who may never travel to Kenya. But who have an amazing spiritual inheritance now in a place that exists because they followed a missionary call all without ever actually leaving home.

This spring we followed the call of (in)courage co-founder and contributor, Stephanie Bryant, to help build a playground for the Mercy House kids. And that project was funded in just 24 hours!

And this fall we want to do more than follow. This fall as (in)courage begins its fifth year, we want to join the journey.

We want to help provide essentials to the safety and sustainability of Mercy House and its 12 moms and 12 babies.

And we want to invite you to join us.

Four months, five projects. Just in time for Christmas.

Mercy House story telling image

Phase 1: Drive Mercy {Van}

Phase 2: Learn Mercy {Classroom Additions}

Phase 3: Generate Mercy {Generator}

Phase 4: Advance Mercy {Computer Lab}

Phase 5: Live Mercy {Second Home}

We’re kicking off Phase 1 with the celebration of our four year blog birthday. What better way to celebrate than to share our birthday with 12 sweet babies in Kenya and their mamas?


With 12 teen moms, 12 babies, 2 housemothers, a social worker, accountant/assistant and director, the Mercy House staff has to make multiple trips to church, the doctor, and everywhere in between each week since their one van only seats 15. Their director, Maureen, commutes to Mercy House and is on call around the clock for expectant moms.

With a second vehicle, Mercy House would be able to have one van always available at the home and a second free to run errands and take expectant moms to appointments. This would save time and fuel and make it safer for transporting new moms and their babies.

Let’s do this.

Let’s buy a birthday van for our sisters in Kenya.

We’re blowing out virtual candles and throwing confetti to celebrate!

Here are the three ways we are asking you to participate

Give – Click here and donate toward a van for 12 mamas and their babies.
Share - Would you share about this amazing work with your communities of influence?
Rally – Would you ask people to join you in advocating for Mercy House Kenya?

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

Quick links to all (in)Mercy phases:

inMERCY_MainBlogButton_125x125 Phase1-Van_BlogButton_125x125 Phase2-Classroom_BlogButton_125x125 Phase3-Generator_BlogButton_125x125 Phase4-ComputerLab_BlogButton_125x125 Phase5-SecondHome-BlogButton_125x125

  • Kris camealy

    So excited to see this happen!’

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Us too!

  • Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    What a terrific way to celebrate a birthday…I’m in !!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Love it! Thanks Bev. Nothing like being able to change the world without even leaving home.

  • Crystal

    WOOHOO!! Cheering big for you today Lisa-Jo, and Sally, and the entire team behind this. So excited to see this launching and to watch as women around the world come together and make a difference for their sisters.

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Thanks for being such a faithful encourager to us all Crystal. Your heart is as big as that Atlantic ocean between here and Kenya!

  • Jessica

    Oh, this is exciting! Happy, Happy Birthday (in)courage! May this space and its inhabitants and its visitors be blessed in the coming years as it has been a blessing to others. xxoo

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Amen and amen. And may we be a blessing to many.

  • judy

    (In) courage! making it so easy for me to send a bit of support to something in my heart.

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      We love being able to do that, Judy. So grateful to the good folks at Pure Charity for helping make it all so smooth and easy.

  • Vanessa

    Thrilled to be a part of this! Can’t believe I’m just now learning about (in)courage — just goes to show there are so many women just waiting to connect, needing this community, still out there unaware!

    Cannot wait to see God’s work continue to be done through this ministry in Kenya! Thank you for the humbling opportunity to help!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Wait, whaaaa??? JUST now learning about (in)courage. I feel I have failed as a host of FMF :)

  • Stacey Thacker

    I’m in! Let’s do this! Woot!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Yes ma’am!

  • Kristen Strong

    This is gospel gorgeous, I tell you.

    So glad to be a part of it!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      “Gospel gorgeous” -= my new favorite phrase :)

      • brooke

        Mine too! :) To God be ALL Glory!!!

  • Joanne Viola

    So excited to be a part of this journey with you all. Crazy excited to see what God is going to do!!!

  • Amanda

    Happy Birthday, my dear (in)courage!! God has worked mightily through you in these four short years, and specifically, He has equipped me to encourage other women through you. Thank you for your obedience to Him and your love for women! I’m so excited to be a part of these projects for Mercy House, and know that God will do even more than we can imagine through them! Love & cupcakes to you!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Thanks Amanda. Our favorite part of (in)courage is hearing the stories of the women who meet Christ and each other here. Thanks for being part of our story!

  • Kate Battistelli

    Love this with all my heart! Let’s be the difference, the change, the ones who not only say but do. Count. Me. In! Oh, and happy birthday!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Yes and yes and YES! Thanks for being part of this story and this sisterhood, Kate. Your wisdom and encouragement is such a gift.

  • Mollianne Massey

    Happy Birthday, (in)courage! Oh, how we love Mercy House at our Massey House. What a blessing to give to Mercy House from our abundance!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Yes to connect with our sisters a country away. Amazingness.

  • Shelly Wildman

    So, so happy for (in)Courage, for all of you dear writers, for Kristin, and especially for Mercy House. How God has blessed me through your words and actions. Praying that Mercy House would be incredibly, mightily, beyond-all-we-could-ask-or-think blessed in these next few months. Excited to be a part of it!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      It gives us chills watching the way he has called women to step across time zones to love on their sisters in real time. Just chills.

  • Ashley

    So exciting…can’t wait to see this come together! We love Mercy House!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      We can hardly believe it either. Amazing days!

  • Holley Gerth

    Four years! Time flies when you’re having fun…and getting to watch God do all kinds of fabulous things. So grateful for this community. :)

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Tears in my eyes and so much gratitude in my heart for you and Steph and your big brave audacious God dream to open the doors to this amazing, life-changing place.

  • Kathy Cheek @ In Quiet Places

    Congrats on four great years and the opportunity to serve a beautiful ministry!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Thank you Kathy. It’s better even than birthday cake!

  • Kristen

    Happy birthday, (in)courage! What a blessing you’ve been in my life these past 4 years. Thank you for dreaming with me. Your presence in my God-sized dream and my life has been tangible. The road has been long and hard, beautiful and inspiring and I thank God you said yes with me!

    • Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

      Thank you, Kristen for teaching us all what brave looks like. How it often looks like tired and run down and still yet still determined. It’s been something to be able to join in on this with you. Thank you for bringing us along.

  • Jennifer

    I am so blessed to donate to this wonderful project. We have very close friends who are missionaries to Thailand. I know what a difference we are able to make when we support each other in what the Lord has called us to do.
    Thank you for this beautiful privilege. God bless the Mercy House and the heart of all the (In)courage women for listening to what the Lord has spoken!

  • Anne @ anne b. good

    Happy Birthday (in)courage! What a wonderful way to celebrate. Thanks for inviting me to the virtual party! xo

  • Cris

    Amazing! Happy anniversary, what a wonderful way to celebrate!!! I have a mom friend who lives in Kenya/Nairobi and she coordinates a MOPS group there. If you are interested in contacting her or meeting her, please write to my e-mail. Her church runs a pre-school in the slums with over 100 kids. Thank you!

  • Tammee

    Thank you for what you all do – GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL THOSE BABIES & THEIR MAMAS in Kenya! I am in – here’s to reaching ALL the goals by contributing dollars and prayers, and spreading the word!! :)

  • Tonya

    And doesn’t this just have me all weepy at school!!!! And how did I miss the blog party about this…????? Epic fail.
    So much love in this post!!! Praying that Mercy House will see God’s provision beyond the wildest of expectations!!!! This here is Kingdom work… this is holy work!!!! This is community work! Good on ya (in)Courage.

  • Julie

    Woot Woot! So excited to be a part of this!! Thank you Lisa Jo and the whole Incourage team for all you do for the Kingdom!!

  • Sandra Crittenden

    Happy Birthday (in)courage!!! So happy I am apart of something that feed my soul and other ladies who enjoy it as much as I do. I feel blessed to be apart of something that the FATHER is in the mist of all of us.

  • helen

    Kenya has been on my personal prayer list for a few years now. I wasn’t sure why God put that burden on my heart but, now I’m thinking this is why!!
    Oh ya and I just met a women in my bible study who is from Kenya. How crazy cool is that. Helen

  • Lina

    I love the idea of Mercy house. This one sits heavy on my heart as my own daughter gave birth at the age of 16 and it ended up being the best blessing for our family! I am happy to join you in the cause….

  • Wendy J @ rockinwhatyagot

    Happy Birthday! This placed has changed my life. So thankful for how God is using it and very thankful for the very special people who make it what it is!!!!

  • Wendy J @ rockinwhatyagot

    Happy Birthday (in)courage! This placed has changed my life. So thankful for how God is using it and very thankful for the very special people who make it what it is!!!!

  • Deb Whitewood

    I am actually headed back to Kenya in June 2014. I will be following up on projects that I started in June 2004 with my dear friend Martina, who is a Kenyan. I will try to plan a visit to the Mercy House.

  • Heidi @ Decor & More

    This project is blessing me, just as (in)courage has blessed me since I first stumbled up it 4 years ago! I’m honored to be a blogger participating and can’t wait to share, spread the good news, and watch love bloom for this facility and all its sweet occupants!
    xo Heidi

  • Logan

    You know I love this! So so excited to partner all together! It has to be such a proud moment for the Lord when he sees the body moving together in this way to honor and glorify him! Just love it!

  • Caryn Christensen

    HaPpY AnNiVeRsArY!! What a wonderful way to celebrate!
    Thank you so much for bringing this ministry and its needs to light. I would never have heard about it otherwise. I am honored to give and share/partner with such an amazing ministry.

  • Melissa Lopez

    My Mom left for heaven 3/15/13. On Sunday it would haven been her 71st Birthday. So this marks six months she has been gone and her first and my first without her. My birthday is next week the 18th. I have been trying to think of a way to honor my Mom and her kindness and legacy of love she left me, this is it!!!

    • Jennifer

      Hi Melissa. I was just reading through some of the comments for fun, and saw yours. What a beautiful way to honor your mother! I’m so sorry for your grief. You are giving a wonderful birthday gift in her name. God bless you! I just said a prayer for you and your family.

  • Anita

    Wishing you a Happy anniversary :)

  • Majlinda

    Happy anniversary! Is wonderful to know what is happening in Love of our God. Be blessed dear sisters.:)

  • http://CreationCelebrationvsCounterfeitCulture Lynette Gardner

    W.O.W! What a testimony of ” Women of Wisdom & Women of Worship”! Let’s invite our girlfriends to a Mercy Morning Tea or Girlie Day Spa at our homes. Each one donates whatwe would have paid for these out in the world ~ what a beautiful gift for the daughters if the King in Kenya! Bundles of love, joy, peace & hope, LYNG.

  • Jolene

    We just adopted from Kenya, and spent 8 months there in process. Love Kenya, love this! Thank you.