“Emerging countries in turmoil pose great opportunity for evangelism.”
In addition to providing access to over 4400 medical treatments from skull reconstruction to removal of parasites, MERCY PARTNERS assist in the mitigation of Cholera, Malaria, and Typhoid on a regular basis. First response and trauma care in conflict zones provide a visible presence of God's love during times of crisis. Nutritional supplements, supplies, and instruction to create Oral Rehydration Solution [ORS] frees a community to care for themselves long after the clinics move away. By empowering the church, sanitation and hygiene outreach is administered by local hands connected to loving hearts. Instead of far off strangers rendering aid, it is the empowered church that enters the camps of the displaced to remove each parasite that had already developed into the larvae stage. Trash homes are sanitized and hygiene classes are given alongside medical outreachs. Treatment of other ailments that can not be overlooked are immediately addressed and the local disciples pray over each soul as they speak about a loving heavenly Father and His Son who died and was resurrected.
"What I heard through a prayerful whisper had blown me away! 'Most people come here and treat us as an animal zoo, but Jesus has not forgotten us! 'I did not hear that the pastor, church or even 'Mercy Partners' receive praise but I heard 'Jesus has not forgotten us!'
Within the makeshift camp, people complained about the callouses on their feet and legs. The lesions were caused by fleas living parasitically in their body. They were feeding on their blood and would eventually result in gangrene and amputation or death. Children had them on their elbows, knees, and skull. Within five months, the church we empowered treated 3,000 people under the authority of local health officials, to completely eradicate the burrowing parasite from the camps. 905 were very severe cases. The church went from 184 in attendance to 258. Fifty-three were baptized into Christ.
What made our effort unique? We partnered with the native church to provide resources where they had an opportunity. The Kingdom's impact became greater when our collaborative partners undergird what we lacked. Washbasins, towels, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, and gloves were purchased. We provided training in treatment and hygiene for 52 church volunteers for them to care for others. The 52 became the student of Jesus who said:'It is not those healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'" - Tom Kilian
When Tom Kilian founded MERCY PARTNERS, he traveled just south of Abyei (near Darfur), he was confronted by many sick, diseased, and injured. Soon, even his clothing became fair game for cleaning wounds for immediate first aid. It became clear that as MERCY PARTNERS' mission continues, we must address the practical need of medicine, but how? A native medic was introduced to Tom when a mutual friend had recognized some similarities. They immediately partnered and started a series of medical clinics under the directive of local health officials which led to sharing the message of the “Great Doctor." The picture above depicts providing care for a sick child at one of our Mercy Mission Clinics.
“Partnering with natives to provide resources where they have opportunity.”
The soil of South Sudan is so fertile that agricultural experts estimate it can be tilled and planted for 50 years without having to add nutrition back to the land, yet, due to the insecurities that come with war, cattle raids, tribalism, genocide, monetary collapse, and land mine placement, very little agricultural activity exists. Vast numbers of Sudanese who are displaced, marginally exist. Inhabitants that suffer from a severed heritage funnel into the dependence of U.N. camps and areas of Protected Civilians (POCs) that have been labeled “death camps” due to the ongoing atrocities which occur in these closed compounds. For those that remain in the village and makeshift squatters camps, little to no help exists except for that of MERCY PARTNERS' famine relief which is organized and distributed through the local church, thus giving God the glory for the provision. Our annual famine relief cares for thousands during times of crisis for minimal survival.
Peter L.of the Village of Gudele writes, “Famine is a man-made catastrophe. Access to food is one of the basic human rights and famine is a crime like other crimes against humanity. A state that fails to protect its citizens from famine may be accountable for the loss of lives and livelihoods during times of famine.
The rural communities where food is produced are no longer going to the farm, but instead, are sheltering in the UN Protection of Civilians. We are grateful that MERCY PARTNERS has empowered the local churches to care for the people within their village to show the Mercy of Jesus in a real way. Because of God's Mercy, many are alive!”
Jim C. challenged his congregation to fast, then eat a meal that he prepared. The meal was a simple bowl of rice that was eaten while MERCY PARTNERS presented "Facts and Myths of World Hunger." Those that attended contributed what they would normally spend on a restaurant meal to aid MERCY PARTNERS' food program.
"Adopting The Unadoptable"
The people of God will Care for Orphans. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
During times of conflict, children are abandoned, separated, lost, and pushed to the brink of survival. MERCY PARTNERS seeks to reunite where possible, surrogate a parental relationship with those existing families of the tribe that the child comes from, and provide life-giving resources in measurable and accountable means. Medicine, clothing, food that later progresses to schooling and uniforms. Our local church partners seek to strengthen vulnerable families so children do not become orphaned. That’s a core part of our ministries. We work with our partners and their communities to help supplement this orphan prevention and family strengthening effort. Our orphan prevention focus centers on Christian Education and family sustainability and stabilization.
The little ones behind cold statistics can teach us how to love more radically and deeper in vulnerability than we ever imagined. In many ways, when we care for an orphan, God provides life-changing power in our own life.
Raymond T., age 11, shared about the woes of war. "Children have been sacrificed in my village of Gudele by men fighting for the chair of the president." Raymond, now with tears, states "If you want to be the president then you work and wait but know you have killed, what kind of president is that?" Later that evening, Raymond took cover after shots were fired in his village. One boy his age when losing his brother in the war and exclaiming to his attackers "Just kill me now, so I can be with my brother in heaven - It will be better than here." The candor of such a statement is sincere and sobering. MERCY PARTNERS has responded to the need of these boys by providing the safety of the school, church, and the provisions collected through the “Orphan Care" project which helps endangered children like many friends of Raymond.
Mary Zino is 14 years of age and in first grade. Since January of 2012, the church within Gudele, South Sudan has taken the task of providing a way to care for at-risk children like Mary. Many have lost faith in possibilities and are at risk of developing destructive habits. Each child represents a seed of hope for this new nation that had formerly trained rival extremist under Islamic domination. Young people must be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect. Native Evangelist, Peter would not be able to help the children of Gudele Church without MERCY PARTNERS. Even then, it is a struggle to provide care for 700 children that have been denied a childhood due to the brutal war.
HOW TO HELP
PHKs ("Personal Hygiene Kits") are one of the top needs for people struggling after displacement. While obtaining reliable sources of food, water, and shelter, PHKs are the first line of defense against the spread of illness.
THE HUNGER MEAL
Ministries have a difficult time connecting their people with the needs of others in foreign lands. Hosting a hunger meal not only feeds the starving but provides spiritual nutrition for those that are living in the land of prosperity.
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about child sponsorship is the face of a beautiful child on a refrigerator. The ugly truth is that not one but thousands need sponsorship and will never come in contact with a camera.
Charitable donations give mercy wings and allow transport of aid in conflict zones and mobilize our service programs and health clinics.
WHY IMMEDIATE CARE?
"There is much talk in our world about 'Creating Awareness' and 'Activism,' however, there are few opportunities to personally change the world around us. " - Tom Kilian
Big words such as "Famine," "Genocide," and "Epidemics" carry the weight that none of us can bear and many governments refuse to. We are left to wonder... "What can ONE person really do?" and "Can my life really make a Difference?" What if we harnessed all the energy we use on awareness and channel it to practical solutions? Could we change the course of someone's life and will it change the larger issue? These are questions that ran through my mind after spending time with state and federal officials pleading for justice reform and sanctions, begging newspapers to run stories, and pleading with corporations to divest. All the awareness I had raised only elevated the feeling of hopelessness until I had discovered that the immediate needs of humans happen to be the easiest to obtain, but require the most work...