What an exciting time in the life of our little (in)courage community! Did you see Mary’s introduction last week to #1000mercies? In case you haven’t yet had a chance to read it, we are partnering with Mercy House Global and asking 1,000 women from the (in)courage sisterhood to link arms and donate $15 or more. When you do, you’ll receive a beautiful, hand-stitched ornament made by a woman in Kenya. Because of Mercy House, she has the opportunity to learn new skills and provide for her family. If 1,000 women donate, that means there will be 1,000 ornaments hanging on 1,000 trees this Christmas — visible reminders of the unending mercies we have in Christ. The Mercy House Story.
When you join us, you’re helping to provide dignified jobs for women in poverty.
Giving is a magnificent superpower each of us can tap into when we say “yes” to God. We have been given much in Christ, and it is He who is our inspiration for giving. Isn’t the Lord our supreme example? He holds nothing back, and He blesses us with every spiritual blessing. He didn’t even withhold His only Son.
Generosity is one of the most beautiful ways we bear God’s image in this world.
It would be so fun to be in a room together right now, to see by a show of hands how long each of you have been reading (in)courage. Are you an original reader, a newcomer, or somewhere in between? Regardless of how long you’ve been a part of our beautiful community, will you join me for a quick stroll down memory lane? I love how it’s paved the path to where we are today.
Ten years ago, blogs were a different animal. Facebook and Twitter were toddlers, and Instagram hadn’t yet been born. Back then, since we didn’t actually know what in the world to do with social media, we read — and commented — on all of our favorite bloggers’ blogs. Do you remember?
As an active writer, reader, and commenter, my blog friendships were deep and wide. As such, even before (in)courage launched in 2009, I knew several of the bloggers who would become original (in) contributors. Kristen Welch was one of them. I think my introduction to her blog was through Works-For-Me-Wednesday, a weekly blog carnival where participants linked a post about something that made their life easier.
Maybe you knew Kristen back then, too. Her blog, We Are That Family, was overflowing with stories to which we could all relate. Authentic and warm, winsome and funny, Kristen had a way of welcoming us into her home and heart. She was a perfect writer to join the (in)courage team. She never shared her faith with a heavy hand but reflected Jesus in a way we’d want to know Him better.
When she traveled to Kenya with Compassion Bloggers to write about children in poverty, she took us with her in her writing, and those following her blog might’ve noticed how she changed after she visited a place she described as “hell on earth.” God was doing a holy and hard work in her heart to prepare the way for her to begin a life-saving, life-changing Kingdom work — not just for those who would be served but also for those who serve.
Mercy House Global is the result of a regular mom taking seriously what God has to say about loving and serving the least of these.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
I remember talking to Kristen at a Compassion Bloggers gathering, shortly after she and her husband had founded Mercy House. We laughed until we cried but more than anything I could sense this change in her, how she was wrecked for anything else but following Jesus. Her eyes, soft but serious, spoke volumes, and though she and her husband didn’t have everything figured out, they were trusting in the Lord for His guidance and provision.
After serving (in)courage as a contributor for almost seven years, Kristen stepped back a few years ago in order to devote more time to her work with Mercy House, which began as a maternity home in Kenya for pregnant teens and has expanded into an organization devoted to dignified job creation for women in poverty. Today, with the support of thousands from the online community, Mercy House has rescued forty-eight young girls who were then able to give birth to forty-eight healthy babies. Ninety-six lives have been forever changed because of this important work, and even more when you consider the lives those ninety-six will touch.
Bill Gates once said, “I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions, they will be moved to act.”
Learn more about the small beginnings of Mercy House and the big ways God is moving through their story:
Generosity is one of the most beautiful ways we bear God's image in this world. - @robindance on #1000mercies: Click To Tweet