Once upon a time — which was now, actually — there’s this story —  that isn’t a fairytale —

that’s about making dreams come true.

It’s about the Truth being true.

It’s about really wild things: Cyber Monday could discount what isn’t eternal —

and virtually make giving a gift to your Jesus a reality.


Once upon a time that is now — there’s the beginning of December and Christmas carols are playing down every street.

And the calendar pages have turned in every home and it’s the beginning of a season called Advent, which is about waiting, about this wait for the coming of this Baby.

Anticipation is the scent December.

So a woman in San Diego hangs a wreath outside on the front door, the sun beating warm on her neck and and a grandma in Minneapolis watches the snow fall and ices another batch of shortbread and all the women in God’s beach house know the waiting of December isn’t passive, it isn’t a twiddling of the thumbs and flipping glossy pages of the latest catalogue and counting down the minutes, but this is the active waiting for a Baby to come.

Like expectant mothers preparing and praying and exercising and nesting – and working – because labour and delivery is coming — we’re the women waiting actively, praying and reaching out and grabbing hands and we’re women pregnant with hope, we’re women expecting – expecting Jesus’ kingdom to come into the world and come through us.

In Lubbock, Texas and Scapoose, Oregon and Calgary, Alberta and Sheffield, UK and Sydney, Australia – Christmas makes us midwives of another kingdom coming.

And once upon a time — today — in a slum in Kenya, a young girl rounds large with a baby.

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Where does she go in the running sewage and the rusting shanties to birth a baby no one wants her to have?

How does she feed a baby when her stomach gnaws with hunger and her soul is bony and starved?

And this is the part in the story where not one woman turns away or grows cold – because all God’s daughters are waiting for Jesus to come and she knows the One Whom her heart loves, that He comes as the least of these.

How can her heart not warm? How would she ignore Him now?

A girl in Kenya knocks on the door of Mercy House Kenya.

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A girl in Kenya looks for someone who loves mercy enough to make room for a Baby.

And Mercy House looks at a young girl heavy with child and they look around Mercy House — and there is not one empty bed.

There is not one desk for Maureen, the Mercy Sharer, or their social worker or program director. There is a room the size of a bathroom for the two housemothers to share – yes, share it. And a room the size of two twin mattresses is the play room for 12 babies and their mamas.

It’s Christmas — but there is literally no room for one more Baby.

It’s Christmas and there is literally no room in the inn.

It’s Christmas and Jesus literally comes to us right now in the face of a Babyand He asks if there is room for Him?

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Is there room for our Christmas to be more than about saving money on gifts but about saving lives by being the gift?

Is there room on a Cyber Monday to be the Uber gift back to our Savior?

It’s Christmas — and there are women who literally love Jesusso they live Mercy.

There are women who set out nativity scenes beause it’s more than nice Christmas decor to them — they set out to literally welcome Jesus in the faces of the least of these.

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There are women who sing — Let every heart prepare Him room — and it’s more than a Christmas chorus to them — it’s the refrain of how they live their lives.

There are women in Fayetville, Arkansas and Arcadia, Florida and Timbuktu,  and right where you live, and there is literally room in our hearts for a Baby – so together we link arms to birth a dream in Africa for room for a baby — link arms to love mercy and live mercy and do huge things, the Esther Generation of world-changing women who build another home for Mercy House Kenya.

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One girl holding a baby is knocking on a door in Kenya looking for room for her baby and Christmases all over North America are ready to answer that door.

There are Christmases all over North America that are saying there is no more room in the inn and no more room in their lives —

no more room for indifference, no more room for apathy, and no more room for excuses

because we are desperate to make room for Christ this Christmas.

That’s the Christmas we’re all buying this Christmas.

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There’s a whole movement of us excited to be saving on more than sales this Christmas — we’re saving lives.

There’s a whole movement of us excited to have More this Christmas – more Christ — we are done with no-real saving, no-real sacrifice, no-real giving Christmases.

There’s a whole movement of us excited to be done with small Christmases — and are daring to live global Christmases.

There’s a whole movement excited about a Christmas that isn’t so much about getting the greatest gift, but giving the greatest gift, giving more like Jesus — giving more to Jesus.

It is time: We are all done with the drug of comfortable and dare to live the dream of uncomfortable.

It is time: We’re all wanting uncomfortable because we’re wanting God – and He is outside of our comfort zones.

It’s time: We’re all wanting to go home for Christmas — go home to Jesus — so we’re making room for Jesus.

It’s time — we’re launching today — We’re building a HOME and making room for the Baby…

The women who love Mercy, live Mercy, we’re rising up, one dollar at a time, a woman in San Diego and a grandma in Minneapolis and you right where you are  and we’re not stopping until we raise $45,000 to fund a second home for Mercy House Kenya in the next 50 days (can we do it by Christmas?! Before Christmas?! You’ve ALREADY raised $8,000 for the second home for Mercy House before we even launched this phase — we’re all chasing after what God is miraculously doing here through all of you!)

We’re not stopping until we raise $45,000 because we are unstoppable world changers, a whole generation of Esthers and we’re making room in our hearts — and in this world —  for Jesus, the Baby, this Christmas.

ANNNNNDDDDdddddd….. when we reach $20,000? An anonymous donor have offered to MATCH US with a donation of $20,000! Let’s let Jesus Do. This. Thing. through us!

Cyber Monday could discount what isn’t eternal —

and virtually make giving a gift to our Jesus a reality.

A girl in Kenya with her baby knocks on the door of Mercy House — and a whole generation of Esther women answer the door with yes, come in… 

And they get the greatest gift of holding the Baby close…



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{Click here to share this image}

Three ways you can participate and Get the Greatest Gift Christmas:

GiveClick here to FURNISH THE INN — your Christmas gift come early, getting to BE the Gift! 


Now??!! Now we get the crazy joy of furnishing the house!  LET’S FURNISH THE INN THIS CHRISTMAS! Let’s let Jesus DO. THIS. THING. through us!
Kristen Welch, founder of Mercy House Kenya, is headed home right now from Kenya — and we’d love to surprise her — that by the time she opens her front door — we could have the next maternity house in Kenya FULLY FURNISHED!?!?
Let’s let God do this thing through us — and lavishly love on those babies in Kenya — lavishly love on Jesus. Let’s FURNISH AN INN THIS CHRISTMAS and fully furnish that babies’ home in Kenya — and we all get to to link arms together in this community and we all get to be the G.I.F.T. back to Jesus together!  
We don’t want anyone to miss out on the joy of getting to BE the G.I.F.T —  we want every single one of us to get the joy of being part of this breathtaking God story.  We get to do this! Let’s BUILD AN INN THIS CHRISTMAS for the Babe — and the babies… (happiest tears!)

Share Click to tweet this —> Now that we have fully funded a 2nd Mercy House home, we get to furnish the house! #ChristmasMiracle #inmercy

Rally – Join hundreds of others in our community with your Twitter or Facebook accounts with ours by clicking here, and a Thunderclap of a social media call to action will go out on Wednesday!

AND! Look at what you have already done! All fully funded by YOU…

Phase 1: Drive Mercy {Van} FULLY FUNDED! Thanks to you.

Phase 2: Learn Mercy {Classroom Additions} FULLY FUNDED in two days! You blew us away.

Phase 3: Generate Mercy {Generator} FULLY FUNDED. Thank you!

Phase 4: Advance Mercy {Computer Lab} FULLY FUNDED. Amazed.

Phase 5: Live Mercy {Second Home} FULLY FUNDED. Incredible Christmas miracle!!!


Why I believe in Mercy House Kenya
Mercy House Founder’s Kristen Welch shows us the miracles, Live in Africa
(in)Mercy  t-shirts and posters — for when you love mercy and want to live it

  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    Joining with you to Live Mercy…through Christ we can do ALL things!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      YES, BEV! I am unabashedly excited about this, Bev, wildly anticipating what Jesus is doing through us — all the way over in Africa and out into eternity, Bev!

      Can’t thank you enough for taking the leap with us, Bev! Grabbing your hand and trusting and jumping too!

      Love your heart after His, sister! Thrilled that you are *getting* the greatest gift this Christmas — as you get to be closer to Him in the giving.

  • Ro elliott

    It’s just been beautiful seeing the power of giving…Lisa Jo….Jennifer lee…and this…I can’t think of a better way to start this Advent season….looking yes…to giving the gift ….the gift of His love…here and as I walk these days of Christmas!!!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      It’s pretty astounding, isn’t it, Ro?
      God gives to us — and then Christ in us — gives back to God — and He gets all the glory all round. Lisa-Jo and Jennifer Lee and Kristen Welch have been breathtaking examples of unforgettable leaps of faith — that have changed the world.
      And we get to jump again today and feel the exhilaration of FAITH!
      Let’s let Him do this thing through us, Ro!

      Yes — PERFECT way to begin Advent!

      • http://www.lisajobaker.com Lisa-Jo Baker (@lisajobaker)

        This has been the most wonderful advent. The most amazing gift to all *be* the gift together. Thank you for linking arms across continents and unwrapping wonder with us as we all marvel at the Great Things He Has Done.

  • http://www.agirlonthedoorstep.com Jennifer Kostick

    It is a privilege to have an opportunity to spread love by giving! It gives us all an opportunity to be His hands. And, I will be ordering some extra copies of your book , since I’m giving it away on my blog this Friday! It’s beautiful and needs to be shared! I will also be sharing more about in mercy! God bless you!

    • http://www.aholyexperience.com Ann Voskamp

      Did you ever nail it, Jennifer. It is this CRAZY privilege to spread the love by giving. That God let’s us bless with Him, be the gift with Him — back TO Him… It doesn’t get much better than this, does it? God bless YOU as you make yourself a blessing over and over again, Jennifer! It’s pretty beautiful to watch, Jennifer!

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com Jacque Watkins

    Loving this community so much…how we receive His gift and become the gift…loving God with all our heart and tangibly loving our neighbor too. This is what He created us to do together and I’m so thankful to be a part of this place with all of you! Standing with you and believing. ..xo

  • http://kriscamealy.com Kris camealy

    This. THIS is what Christmas looks like. Love the way this community flings open the doors of their hearts to make room–I love this so much. So grateful to be a part of this community, to watch God work in such incredible ways through His women of valor.

  • http://www.annakoriginals.com Anna K.

    What a beautiful way to be the hands and feet of Christ! I’m both honored and humbled to be able to add my small part to such a ministry.

  • http://threebeesinabluebonnet.blogspot.com/ Rebekah

    It’s been such a privilege to be part of this amazing, beautiful project. Feeling just that more connected with a group that really matters – distance doesn’t matter here and, feeling just that more of what happens when we all come together to accomplish something in His name. This community has been and continues to be such a blessing to me, and for reasons just like this. It’s not just the bench where someone invites you to sit down and join, it’s the bench where they also teach you how to build your own bench and welcome more in. Praying that I can continue to learn, open, share, and give. Because of what Christ has done for me.

  • http://www.zingday.com Christine

    Thank you Ann. I did forget Christmas and I’ve let it all be about the calendar. Thank you for placing Christ back in His Rightful Place, at the Center of our Hearts. And, Thank you for reminding us that it’s about Giving as He did. Love your Heart in Him, Love your Work in Him. Love Jesus, period! Have a Blessed Day!

  • http://www.reinventingmother.blogspot Wanda

    Sharing in the joy this Advent! The inn should never be full!

  • Karen

    It IS incredible to see what the body can do together! We are better and more effective together! I’m in!

  • Suzi

    This touches me deeply. There was “no room in the Inn” when my daughter was born half a world away to an amazing and strong young girl, yet, miraculously she survived and has been our greatest gift! Donations will be made to Mercy House and word will be spread!! Thank you for giving so many the opportunity to be part of this! God is good and is moving!

  • Marjan

    I read Luke 1:45 this morning and was reminded that His blessing comes after our belief in His Word. His Word commands us to share. Believing that sharing His love is our calling and following through with obedient action will always lead to His blessings flowing. Waiting with an excited heart to see how big our Father God works through this opportunity.

  • Vickie

    A couple of years ago we decided that our family of grown children and little grands were so blessed that we didn’t NEED anything. So we started a tradition of giving to causes that resonated in our own lives to honor these that we love so dearly. We have been blessed to be a blessing and will happily (giddily?) participate in Live Mercy this year! Be blessed!

  • Addison

    Give what you Have Even though you didn’t want to it makes me feel better when l Give. it is fun it is fun to Give. – Addi, age 6

  • Donna Burge

    YES YeS YES!

  • http://www.rhondaquaney.com/ Rhonda Quaney

    Such a gift to bring my family and friends around this. There is this deep feeling of gratitude that Jesus allows us to be part of what He is doing. My grandchildren love trying to wrap their little hearts around it. Thank you too for your book Ann Voskamp. It is rich with the wonder of His gift.

  • http://www.balsmom.blogspot.com Bridget

    My 8 year old son has to perform a service project to prepare for his first reconciliation may we reprint the Live Mercy logo to make letter for him to share with friends and family to collect donations and use Mercy House as his project, thank you for providing such a tangible lesson to make room for Him this Christmas.

  • http://www.encouragingworkingmoms.com Amanda

    Amen! My heart is so full… what a gift to spread the love of Jesus together, ever expanding His glorious Kingdom with the gift of his Hope. Father, bless this kingdom work to overflowing! Expand hearts to see your goodness and love this Christmas, to be satisfied in You alone. Thank you for sisters and brothers who cheer each other along in this journey. Amen.

  • http://digitalchurchplans.net/ DigiChurchPlans.net

    What a great ministry to love and support! We are happy to help in any way we can, and will start by praying right this minute and joining the online rally. Blessings to you!

  • http://bicyclestograpefruit.blogspot.com Grace

    Nice post! Also if you want some Christmas inspiration, I’m going to be blogging everyday throughout December so make sure to click on my name and join in the fun xx

  • Tami
  • Tami

    Can we mail a cheque?

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com Lisa-Jo Baker (@lisajobaker)

      Hey Tami – yes you can actually.

      you can send a check to Pure Charity 2003 Horsebarn Road, Suite 9 Rogers, AR 72756 Make check out to Pure Charity and note (in)mercy Phase 5 Fund in the reference line. THANK YOU

  • http://www.reneeswope.com Renee Swope

    Hi sweet Ann and Lisa Jo!! Im late to the party but so excited to celebrate Christmas and be part of the gift with all of you amazing-grace friends. JESUS is going to do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine according to HIS POWER {and provision} that is at work within us! Eph 3:20 {{{love & hugs}}} ~Renee

  • http://ayearwithmomanddad.com JulieK

    Is there a way to donate via PayPal?? Thank you for sharing this – I am honored to take part in whatever small way I can.

  • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

    I just received the email that it’s 75% funded. Wow. God! This is something wonderful! Oh, those precious babies and mamas. What a glorious celebration it will be!

  • http://www.mywarminghouse.com Lisa Button

    Such a beautiful post. This is what Christmas is all about. This is what daily life is about. Following the lead of our God who showed us mercy in the most extravagant way. Love the beautiful and precious faces in your photos!

  • Tammi

    Thank you for sharing and giving me the opportunity to do something that has eternal value. Love this!

  • Lacey

    Love this! I was refreshing the page every couple of hours yesterday to see the progress, and was jumping for joy today when I saw it was fully funded! It was a joy to be a part of something so much bigger than what we could each do individually.

    My family is currently using Pure Charity to fund our adoption. We’ve got a very amateur and simple video explaining the miraculous ways God has brought us down this road if you’re interested in seeing it. https://www.purecharity.com/lacey-tough-maloneys-adoption

  • http://www.amylearns.com Amy Tilson

    Can’t tell you how excited I was to see yet another opportunity to give to Mercy House Kenya with the new project this morning for Staff and Caretaker Training. I didn’t get a thing done yesterday for hitting refresh and watching projects get fully funded. It was a glorious and praise-filled use of my time. And to think back in July this all seemed like a crazy-big idea to go for the first 5 phases. When we think we are dreaming huge dreams God may have something even larger just over the horizon that we can’t even comprehend. A “Hallelujah” seems to be the only word for right now.