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WELCOME to our new Samuel!

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Samuel has been a "Mercy Home Kiddo" for 3 days now, but he has yet to come to Mercy Home because he is sick and in the hospital. On Wednesday we received a call from a doctor at a local government hospital. She told us that she had a boy who was 7 years old, HIV+ and in great need. So with that information we sent our social worker to the hospital to check out his situation. Once she arrived at the hospital and got a bit of information we learned that this boy needed help quickly. Help his grandparents couldn't give him. His grandfather said he couldn't afford the medications needed, couldn't keep up with the HIV medications he was on (he hadn't taken them in at least 2 months), couldn't get the blood transfusion the hospital said he needed (this hospital wasn't even equipped to do it either) so he was going to take Sweet Samuel back home and drop him off with his sick grandmother.

Our Sweet Samuel was going to be left at home to die. So what do you do when faced with getting him the care he desperately needs, which will cost us (Mercy Home) a great deal of money or allowing him to return home and die? I know that sounds harsh, but that was literally our reality on Wednesday. Everyone I know would choose life, just like we did on Wednesday. Samuel has had all the odds stacked against him...he's a double orphan, HIV+, severely malnourished (he weighs 14 kgs or 30 lbs) and he lived with elderly grandparents who don't understand and can't keep up with the medications and nutrition that an HIV patient requires.

Since being at the hospital it has been confirmed that he has malaria, his blood count is in fact extremely low causing him to need 2 bags of blood, he has thrush in his mouth causing painful open sores and he has about 6 new medications in addition to his 3 HIV medications. If Samuel didn't get the care he needed he would have died. He was too sick with a weakened immune system and severely malnourished. His body couldn't just bounce back from this without medical intervention.

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So thank you! Thank you for putting us in a position where we could consider stepping in and changing the direction Samuel's life was headed. Thank you for listening to the Lord and helping us meet the needs of these children time and time again. If you would like to help us cover Sweet Samuel's hospital bill (we do not have a total yet, but we assume it will be $300-$500+) you can go to afm.ngo/donate and mark it for Samuel or Mercy medical.

We have been quiet the last couple of days because Jeff and I both have had malaria, but we've been so busy we haven't been able to just rest. The moment we can we fall asleep and we (and by we I mean me ;) have a 2 month-old who still wakes up in the middle of the night. Praise God that malaria isn't near as harsh on us as it used to be. We are bouncing back much faster and able to keep working at some level during our sickness! Thank you a million times more for your prayers, support and love for Mercy Children's Home!

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #orphans #james127 #theleastofthese #hivpositive #thankyouforgivingtotheLord #kenya #bungoma #nonprofit

(Samuel is feeling much better today and will be released tomorrow morning to come home! we also still need to retire our $2400 debt for Jeff's medical bills that we had to borrow from our construction land fund. Pray about about anything you can do to help us meet these two important needs) 

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Mercy Home PRAISES and prayer request!

Minnie loves to smile at us! Our pretty girl is chunking up.

Minnie loves to smile at us! Our pretty girl is chunking up.

๐ŸŽถPRAISES!๐ŸŽถ
*Minnie is doing great! She eats well and has out grown her diapers that were too big on her when we got her. She is responding to us with smiles and she starting to "talk" to us.

*The twins are doing phenomenal! Today for breakfast they each ate 3 eggs, a banana and they drank some chai. They are eating so good! Gracious is trying to crawl and Joy wears the biggest smile most of the time.

*Wesley is gaining his strength back and laughing and interacting with our other children. Before coming here he had basically given up on life so he had a hard transition, then was hospitalized for 10 days, then more hard transition. But he is coming around and I see Joy in his face on a regular basis now.

*Praise God for all of the help and advice we received when asking about Jeff's leg. It was very helpful and instrumental in getting him the care he needed.

*Jeff is home! He was in the hospital Wednesday through Saturday, but it felt like a month to me ๐Ÿ˜‚. I'm so glad he's feeling better and back home. His wound is very clean now and for the most part the infection is gone and the pain has lessened.

*Jeff has been battling this infection for months, it turned out to be MRSA and in all honesty it could have caused his lower leg to be amputated or it could have killed him. Thank God for his protection.

*We have added 2 new staff members this week. Both are young men who are new believers from our local village. Jeff has been discipling them and this will allow him to spend more time with them.

*We have visitors coming again this year!!!๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ


๐Ÿ’œPrayer Requests๐Ÿ’œ

*Jeff's leg would continue to respond to treatment and he would have complete healing.

*Jeff and I need to return to Nairobi soon to check in with immigration. Please pray for safe travels and health and safety in our home while we are gone.

*Jeff's medical bill was double what we thought it would be๐Ÿ˜ฎ. $1,426.40 for surgery, meds and his care for 3 days. We are incredibly grateful for his care and realize this same situation in America would have cost $25,000 or more. We need prayers for funds to cover this bill so it doesn't pull from our weekly budget or finishing the unfinished dorm room.

Joy, her big beautiful smile and Aspen! Aspen has just fallen in love with Joy and Gracious. Today she decided that she could change their diapers and clothes. I must say she did an outstanding job!

Joy, her big beautiful smile and Aspen! Aspen has just fallen in love with Joy and Gracious. Today she decided that she could change their diapers and clothes. I must say she did an outstanding job!

*The 2 new staff members are new believers and previously struggled with drinking too much. Please pray that they would continue to grow in the Lord.

*We've been made aware of 3 children from 2 different families who have been orphaned that need to come here. 2 of those children are HIV+ one of them just 3 years old. Please pray for them and for wisdom for us and that funds would be provided if they are to be here with us.

*We have some important decisions to make about future ministry work here. Please pray that the Lord would make His will known to us and order our steps.

Thank you for sharing in our joys and supporting us through prayers, donations and sharing our posts. Thank you for blessing the lives of these children and our village. ๐Ÿ’œ
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #james127 #changingtheirstory#orphans #praisetheLord #kenya #bungoma #prayersplease #blessings

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Progress on Jeff's treatment!

Amenities๐Ÿ˜‚. Slippers, toilet paper, toothbrush, Colgate (any brand of tooth paste is Colgate here), body soap, mafuta (Vaseline) and a bath towel (it is the size of a hand towel). Oh and if you run out of any of these things during your stay you are required to purchase your own ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚.

Amenities๐Ÿ˜‚. Slippers, toilet paper, toothbrush, Colgate (any brand of tooth paste is Colgate here), body soap, mafuta (Vaseline) and a bath towel (it is the size of a hand towel). Oh and if you run out of any of these things during your stay you are required to purchase your own ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚.

We've had a busy day. We left the house at 8:15 so we could get to the hospital early. Not only were we getting Jeff's leg checked out, but we had 4 children needing dental work done ($260 worth) and Karson has something going on with one of his toes. At the hospital we go to we are well known. The head Dr and owner of the hospital has even donated food and money to us, he is a really nice man.

The first doctor we met with looked at Jeff's leg and ordered antibiotic injections (basically an IV, but he would be able to go home) once we got to the pharmacy (at the hospital) I realized he wrote the Rx for 1 per day for 10 days. That was not the advice that our friends told us so Jeff called the head doctor and we headed to his office.

Jeff's cozy room. There are 2 beds, but they won't put anyone in with him, usually I would stay with him, but babies need me this time!

Jeff's cozy room. There are 2 beds, but they won't put anyone in with him, usually I would stay with him, but babies need me this time!

Head doctor said Jeff need to be admitted so they could clean out the wound and do 3 days of IV antibiotics. He also called another doctor on staff to come and look at his leg and she agreed with him. So we left the hospital to come home and get his things and took him back.

His IV port is in, they took some blood and have him his first round of antibiotics. I'm sure he will sleep well tonight, Kenya hospitals are not like American hospitals. Jeff isn't hooked up to any machines and they are pretty much hands off unless you call them or they need to give you medication. Often times they will leave some of your medications with you and just tell you how often to take it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

So we are expecting this bill to be about $700, but it could always be higher. We've never had a wound cleaned out, but I do know they are going to use local anesthetic and it will happen in "theater" so I'm sure that will add some cost.

All in all Jeff is doing well and God is so good. He's had this spot under his ankle for a long time, he even stood in a dirty creek baptizing new believers with this open wound. Not smart I know, but he was on antibiotics so we figured it would be "okay". This infection could have easily caused a lot more damage than it has.

Toilet, shower and sink all in one small space. Notice there is no toilet seat/kid, that is the Kenyan way.

Toilet, shower and sink all in one small space. Notice there is no toilet seat/kid, that is the Kenyan way.

The shower side and for the most part they keep this hospital very clean!

The shower side and for the most part they keep this hospital very clean!

Thank you for all of your advice, love, prayers and support! If you are able to help us cover this medical bill just mark it for Jeff's medical and it will get applied to that. I will update more tomorrow once we have talked to the doctors.
(If you open each picture there is a description)

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #changingtheirstory #kenya#nonprofit #james127 #bungoma #theleastofthese #streetboycrisis #streetboys #orphans #prayersplease

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Gracious and Joy are growing, joyfully and graciously!

our little girl Joy! 

our little girl Joy! 

Look at these happy girls! They are finally "waking up" and showing us their sweet personalities! They were so expressionless and they are developmentally delayed (due to malnutrition) so I was starting to get concerned, but over the last couple of days they have flashing quick smiles for us. Today they have been all smiles! It is such a blessing to get to watch our children grow and change!

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Gracious loves to be held and she loves Brendan!

Gracious loves to be held and she loves Brendan!

 

A beautiful sight!  

The "little" boys are helping Daddy play a game before bed! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
#mercychildrenshome #aboutfacemissions #kenya #nonprofit #james127#bungoma #theleastofthese #orphans #orphansandwidows

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Singing God's praises for His wonderful blessings

(Posted on behalf of Stephanie Bys from Facebook)

๐ŸŽถPraise God from whom all blessings flow!๐ŸŽถ

Praise #1-Anna and Mercy (the 2 teens) started school today! I don't have a pic of them in uniform because they didn't get them until after we left, but I should be able to get one in a few days!

Praise #2-We had more than enough money donated to pay for all of their books and supplies and the school under estimated the cost of all the boarding supplies so we spent more than the $600 per girl.

Praise #3-The donated overage will cover a pretty big medical bill we unexpectedly had and some dental work that our children desperately need.

Praise #4-We have a new daughter named Bridgette! Bridgette is a sweet girl who has sickle cell anemia. She came to us during a sickle cell crisis and was required to spend 5 days in the hospital. Sickle cell can be managed, but her family couldn't afford the $2 a month to keep her on vitamins or the proper food. Medical care here is realitivly inexpensive, but if you are admitted to the hospital it can get expensive quickly.

Praise #5-God is good all the time! I will say that in the easy times and the hard times because it is true! On the hardest days we are so blessed to live in Kenya and serve Him!

Thank you for your prayers and support! You have had an impact here bigger than you know!

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(Posted on behalf of Stephanie from Facebook)

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this but I just couldn't! When I got home from getting the big girls into school Minnie had the cutest bow on! Our sweet, beautiful Caitie crocheted it for her today with the yarn one of our sweet supporters donated funds for! So much love in this one picture! ๐Ÿ˜
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome#changingtheirstory #kenya #nonprofit #james127#bungoma #theleastofthese #orphans #crochet#love

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One down. One to go!

(posted from FB on behalf of Stephanie Bys)

Mercy's (Mama of the twins) school fees have been paid 100%!  She will start school on Monday morning.

Mercy,  the teen mother of our twins Joy and Gracious. 

Mercy,  the teen mother of our twins Joy and Gracious. 

This is Anna, 16 yrs old and mother to the baby we now call Minnie. We are trying to get the needed funds for her to start Monday. 

This is Anna, 16 yrs old and mother to the baby we now call Minnie. We are trying to get the needed funds for her to start Monday. 

At this point Anna will not be able to attend because the $600 hasn't been donated for her. For these 2 girls this could be a life changing situation. Their family is poor, not American poor, literally no food in the house poor. Their families don't have power in the home which makes studying hard since they don't get out of school until 5pm or later. They are likely the most educated (freshman in high school) in that home, leaving no one to help tutor them when they stuck on school work. They often feel the burden of no money and no food and will skip on school and school work to try and earn some money for the family. Their babies almost died because they weren't being fed properly. The grandfather to the 1 year old twins said if it wasn't for us they would be burying those babies. I can't even imagine that being a reality.

All 3 babies were hospitalized for malnutrition. All 3 babies are are doing better and gaining weight now. Can you help change this 16 year old's story? Can you help her go back to school so she can do something in the future besides struggle? I realize $600 is a lot of money, but that is what she needs to go to school and get back on the right track. If we can get that amount donated TODAY we can shop for the items needed tomorrow and she can start school with Mercy on Monday!

Please pray and share! Thank you for all of your support. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #changingtheirstory #kenya #nonprofit #james127#thankyou #orphans #bungoma #theleastofthese #prayersplease


Update! $300 is being sent in right now! Can we get the other $300 before tomorrow so I can shop for both of them after church?


UPDATE #2! We've had another $100 donated so we now just need $200 for Anna to start school on Monday. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ


UPDATE #3! A third donor has donated another $100! We are just $100 away from Anna starting school on Monday! It is 10:30pm here and I'm sick so I'm about to go to sleep, but I will update y'all tomorrow, hopefully from town while I'm shopping for both girls' supplies! 

โ™ซโ™ช Praise God from whom all blessing flow! โ™ซโ™ชโ™ช

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Helping the "mama" girls...

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Helping the "mama" girls...

(posted from Facebook on behalf of Stephanie)

Anna (blue shirt) is the Mama to Minnie and Mercy (purple shirt) is the Mama to Joy and Gracious.

Anna & Joy  Hoping for a better life for themselves and their babies. 

Anna & Joy  Hoping for a better life for themselves and their babies. 

To be honest I'm not sure how we ended up bringing them to Mercy Home. Both times we went to the hospital to pick up malnourished babies and we also brought their Mama's home too. The only reason I can come up with is that we couldn't also leave them in the same situation that had their children malnourished. Their village is riddled with extreme poverty. Kenyan poverty is way different than American poverty. Let me share some of the things I saw while in their village. At Anna's home there was no food, when her sister came home for lunch she learned there was no lunch for her there. As we were leaving, our social worker asked me to give the girl 20 shillings (20 cents) so she could get some lunch on her way back to school. At Mercy's home there was no real toilet...there was a hole in the ground, but no walls so basically there is no privacy. When looking for Mercy's school documents it was discovered that they were ruined when their home flooded during a heavy rain. Also we could tell there was little food in the home because the small children that were home for lunch only had a small amount of beans. Also the family dog (not a pet like we have in America, just a dog for security) was literally starving to death, it was so sad, but when there is little food for the family, there is no food for the animals.

So here we are with 2 teen Mamas who really want to return to school and now with their girls being cared for it is possible. Anna wants to be a doctor and Mercy wants to be a nurse. The only thing keeping them from going to school is money. Each girl needs about $600 per year ($405 to the school, the rest for required items pictures below) to attend and board at Bungoma Baptist Girls' High School. Both of these girls are committed to working hard and we are committed to helping them as much as we can. Why boarding and why an all girls school? Because they are behind and they need to focus only on school. Both girls have been pressured into situations that have lead to them being young Mamas and boarding at an all girls school helps control the environment a lot. During breaks the girls will return here so they can visit their babies.

Can you help us to help them get back to school? If they are able to finish high school and then attend college they will be able to have a good future and break the poverty cycle they come from. Thank you for all of your prayers and support in bringing their little girls home. Those girls (and we too) have been so blessed by the love you have been pouring out on them. They don't understand it yet, but I promise they will know that y'all love and care for them!

#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #changingtheirstory #kenya#nonprofit #james127 #thankyou #orphans #bungoma #theleastofthese#prayersplease 

100 Kenyan Shillings as priced above is approximately equal to 1 US dollar.

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Lives changed; changing lives...

(posted on behalf of Kepha Papa from Facebook) 

Diz people actually have changed my life. Thank u God for giving me such friendly friends.

Jeff and Stephanie Bys at at local hospital with Kepha and Nickson their faithful assistants and boda boda (Motorcycle) drivers. 

Jeff and Stephanie Bys at at local hospital with Kepha and Nickson their faithful assistants and boda boda (Motorcycle) drivers. 

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Introducing to you Gracious and Joy!

Our newest rescue at AFM Mercy Children's Home in Kenya! 

Little Gracious and her sister Joy. 

Little Gracious and her sister Joy. 

(posted from Facebook on behalf of Stephanie Bys)

We successfully picked up the twins today. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜€ We now have 4 sets of twins. These girls are tiny realistically they are the size of a small 6 month old. Please keep them in your prayers as they transition to our home. Thank you for all of the help bringing them home!!
#aboutfacemissions #mercychildrenshome #changingtheirstory #kenya#nonprofit #james127 #bungoma #theleastofthese #orphans#orphansandwidows #thankyou #prayersplease

Gracious and Joy are 1 year and 1 month old and Zeke is 10 months old. He is much bigger and sturdier than the girls for now.

Gracious and Joy are 1 year and 1 month old and Zeke is 10 months old. He is much bigger and sturdier than the girls for now.

Sweet little girls ๐Ÿ’œ

Sweet little girls ๐Ÿ’œ

In some places their skin is peeling because the edema was so bad.

In some places their skin is peeling because the edema was so bad.

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