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Nothing Ventured, Nothing GainedApril 02, 2017— We hope that you are all doing well in 2017. There are many changes and ventures that we are pursuing… Read more

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Goodwill Ambassadors

Passionate About Raising Awareness

A Mercy Touch Goodwill Ambassador is someone that promotes goodwill and raises financial support for Mercy Touch Mission. Over time, the mission has benefited immensely by the efforts of its Goodwill Ambassadors in raising awareness for Mercy Touch and its programs. Ambassadors have been carefully chosen based upon their potential to advance the mission's vision and goals within their sphere of influence.

A few of our Goodwill Ambassadors at Sherwood Park United Church in Alberta after a Mercy Touch presentation.

Our Mercy Touch Goodwill Ambassadors would like to send out a special thanks to Sherwood Park United Church in Alberta for their warm welcome and invitation to speak on behalf of Mercy Touch. They would also like to thank the church and their youth group for their generous donation to the cause and their pledge to support the children in Zambia. 

We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership. 

Thank you so much & God Bless.

Sandra Butters

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

My name is Sandra Butters and I am an Ambassador for Mercy Touch Mission International. I first became involved with Mercy Touch Mission seven years ago when I saw a picture of a little girl in a client’s office. I asked about her and she said she was her foster daughter in Zambia. She explained that she fostered a child with a small grassroots organization called Mercy Touch Mission International. At the time, I hardly even heard of Zambia and I certainly couldn’t find it on a map. I did my research and found that Mercy Touch Mission International was started by Dr. Bernard and Anne Mukwavi.

When I first started going to Zambia it was a real eye opener for me. I had travelled all over the world and off the beaten track, but  had never encountered poverty such as I had seen in Zambia. You all have seen the World Vision Commercials on Television. They are hard to watch, right? ...Well I was one of the people that would change the channels. 

When I visited the villages from where our kids had come from it looked just like a world vision commercial...But there was one difference that I had not expected. These people were happy. It was not a problem, these people were not waiting around for someone to “save” them or make this world better. These people had nothing and yet what little they did have they shared with others. They were very thankful for the little that they had. The people had a truly amazing spirit. I have met so many people who were barely surviving and yet they took in other family members in need. Mercy Touch is something I am very passionate about and I look forward to what the future holds for Mercy Touch. 

Contact:

(780) 964-5355
(780) 483-0141
info@mercytouch.net

John Clarke

Meriden, Connecticut , USA

I met the Rev. Dr. Mukwavi in 2000 while we were attending Providence College and Theological Seminary. Bernard spoke eloquently about the needs of children in Zambia and his absolute determination to do something about their plight. The following year I was able to raise $2500 in seed money from my congregation at the First Congregational Church of Stratford Connecticut, USA. That began a continual connection between that church and the church I later came to pastor, the First Congregational Church of Meriden, Connecticut, USA. Since my retirement in 2012 that mission connection has continued and remains strong. The work that Bernard, Anne, and all the other dedicated people who minister with Mercy Touch do, remains a constant reminder of the power of Jesus Christ to do all things well!

Contact:

info@mercytouch.net

Mark Fodor

Beverwijk, The Netherlands

As a member of the church here in the Netherlands that Bernard planted with his friends in the 90s, I’ve seen Mercy Touch Mission being established and grow to be a life changing place for precious lives. This year Bernard asked my friend and I Hans to take care of Mercy Touch here in the Netherlands. I was glad to say yes. I know the impact we make in those children’s lives. These lives are not only changed into meaningful, hopeful, and restored lives; but these children also get to know Jesus Christ - the greatest hope of all. He is the true comforter, their true friend, and Saviour.

When we know deep in our hearts that  Jesus loves us intensely and wants to take care of us, it sets us free from being selfish and too focused on our own problems in life. His love for us makes us realize that we have everything and that we are called to help and bless others; to give and not to hold back - To be generous like Jesus.

As a daily job I work as an Electrical & Instrumental Engineer at an oil & gas company. I love my job, but I would rather work fulltime for God; which I trust He will make possible.

If you live in the Netherlands and want  to be involved in helping, or have any questions - you are welcome to contact me through e-mail or telephone.

Contact:

(064) 716-3548
info@mercytouch.net

Artrell Williams

Buffalo, New York, USA

I had no idea what to expect when I first met the children of Mercy Touch. I heard about the organization through the Mukwavi Family and got involved because I recognized the passion and purpose that was always communicated when they spoke of the organization. Over the years, I had seen images of Africa in pictures and videos, and those images were my only point of reference about Africa. As I prepared for the experience, I wanted to keep an open mind and not really set prejudgments or expectations about the experience. I am so glad that I did.

My brothers and sisters in Zambia were welcoming from the time we arrived at the farm. I realized at that moment that the images I had seen before were only 2-dimensional images, but arriving there immediately provided me with a multi-dimensional, full-sensory experience. One of the feelings that I couldn’t have anticipated was the joy that I received from being around the people.

Though the people on the farm and in the villages did not have access to the same luxuries that we use every day, they were still much happier than most people that I meet in the States. At first, it was a challenge for me to not have access to my mobile phone, or the internet or even cable TV, but by the third day, I barely missed them.

Another pleasant surprise to me was the level of talent within the group of children at the farm. Firstly, all of them were at least bilingual and many were multilingual. There were also singers, dancers, musicians, football players (soccer to my American friends) and even an amazing architect. I learned as much from them as they learned from me, if not more and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to go there. I left a piece of myself there and a piece of each person I met will always be with me.

I am so proud of my Mukwavi family and the things that they have done with Mercy Touch and I hope to be able to give back to them some portion of what they have given to me. Mercy Touch serves as a beacon of faith and hope for so many others and I pray that they continue to be blessed as they have been a blessing to others.

Contact:

info@mercytouch.net

Mwaka Williams

Buffalo, New York, USA

Contact:

info@mercytouch.net

Shelley Kozachenko

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

With growing up in South Africa, Africa has always been a part of me, but I was forever changed because of my first trip to Zambia and meeting the children at Mercy Touch homes.  Each of these kids have so much potential and what a waste it would be if they weren’t given the opportunity to become the best they could be.

Despite coming from such sad circumstances and not having much of their own, I love that they all dream big.  I can’t think of a more important cause than to give a child hope, a possibility, and love.  That’s what I see Mercy Touch Mission doing.  It’s making a difference in each of these wonderful kids lives and the surrounding communities.

When as a human you choose to close your eyes to the suffering and hardship of others, you choose to let a little part of you die.  Sometimes, literally, someone dies because we don’t take the time to look.  I believe we all have moral obligations to help when we can.  I want the kids I know in Zambia to know that they matter, and because they do, I will do whatever I can to help.  My life is richer because of them.

Contact:

(780) 454-5290
info@mercytouch.net

Jason Finkbeiner

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

My name is Jason Finkbeiner and I am an Ambassador for Mercy Touch Mission International. I am a project manager for a commercial construction company in Edmonton and I am also a member of the Canadian Forces.

I first became involved with Mercy Touch in the  fall of 2011 when I joined the mission trip to Ndola.  Earlier that year I had spent a holiday with Sandra Butters where she had described the work that she was involved in overseas in Zambia.  I had no idea where Zambia was, but I could sense by her love and passion for Mercy Touch that this was something I wanted to be a part of.

It was extremely overwhelming the first time I went to Zambia – the evident need for help, poverty, the sad stories heard from almost everyone. But it did not take long to see the signs of hope, love, and smiles from the children of Mercy Touch. It instantly warmed the heart to see that Mercy Touch was in fact making a difference.

I have now been over to Ndola several times and have been involved in many activities including renovating an old school house and washroom facility on the farm, building bunk beds from scratch for the new houses, community visits to local villages, assisting with the feeding program, and most of all spending time with the Mercy Touch children. Each time I go over, I look forward to the never ending hugs, sports, swimming, reading & homework with the kids, and listening to their stories about life. 

I had no idea that being a part of Mercy Touch would affect me the way it has. It has been and continues to be a life changing experience, and truly reflects in the way I am now on a day-to-day basis. Not a day goes by that I don’t spread the word and speak about the work we are doing overseas and the difference we are making with the children of Zambia; not to mention showing pictures of my sponsor child. Each time I come home I can’t wait to return and work on the next project, knowing that every bit we do is really making a difference.

Contact:

(780) 991-2435
info@mercytouch.net

Kathryn Seib

Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

I am a born and raised Canadian who loves kids, traveling, new cultures, and seeing God at work. I was first introduced to Mercy Touch Mission International through its founder Bernard Mukwavi in 2003. An initial visit early in 2004 became the foundation for various levels of involvement over the last 10 years. I am now thrilled to say that Mercy Touch and the people it comprises of are not only my friends but also a part of my family.

Why I am passionate about and involved with Mercy Touch has to do with several core beliefs that I have. I believe that God has promised to be a father to the fatherless. I believe that we can and need to be the hands and feet of that promise. This becomes my joy and mission to be a part of the reality of that in the world. I believe that what Mercy Touch is doing not only reflects of the heart of God but is also a part of His solution. Mercy Touch has afforded me the privilege to be a small part in this greater picture. I count it one of my greatest honours to be involved and have had the opportunity to walk alongside a child and be a mother, sister, or a friend.

I also believe in relationships. Relationships with God and with others. This is a value that Mercy Touch holds very dear. It was through relationship that I was introduced and came to be more deeply involved. This is also one of the greatest assets and experiences that we can offer in Mercy Touch. It does not matter in what way one finds themselves involved; as a child needing to be loved and cared for, or as an ambassador, sponsor, caregiver, or friend with extra love to give. Relationships become the vehicles to great things. Through involvement with Mercy Touch I appreciate the openness, practicality, and commitment to relationship. 

It is with great excitement that I look to the future as we join hands to journey together. I hope that if you have not already, you will consider joining with us.

A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  – James 1:27

Contact:

(403) 945-6112
info@mercytouch.net

Fra Sands

Newry, Northern Ireland

Hi, my name is Fra Sands. I am Irish and have just recently come back from spending 5 months in Africa.

I first heard of Mercy Touch while studying in Canada. Bernard Mukwavi (founder) was one of my lecturers at the school that I was attending. A few years later I became a part of Bernard's church in Vancouver for a year, and had the chance to see how Mercy Touch was growing and developing into a self sustaining blessing to the land of Zambia. It was during this time that I sought to see how I could some way be a part of this great work. 

Bernard is one who is a father to many. He has personally been a huge encouragement to me over the years and I know that through Mercy Touch he is portraying the father heart of God to many who would otherwise never have known it. I am excited to see what God does in the lives of the kids who pass though this ministry. As I read some of the letters I have received, its so great to see that the kids are dreaming big for their lives and many desire to go out and be the blessing of God to others though their gifting. 

Contact:

info@mercytouch.net

Tom & Mel Milaney

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

My name is Tom, and my wife Mel and I have been involved with Mercy Touch since 2007. My wife and my daughter, Carissa were truly blessed when they had the opportunity to go as short term missionaries to Zambia back in 2007. Although I have not been there myself I have been touched by what Mercy Touch International has been doing faithfully, since 2001: caring for children whose parents died, who might otherwise have been forsaken and left to provide for themselves. Many of these children were homeless and as young as 5 years old. 

I truly have been blessed by how I have seen the children that Mercy Touch has rescued from a very uncertain and impoverished life, to a life of hope and a feeling of belonging to a family who cares for and loves them; and helps them to grow up knowing firstly that there is a God whom they can trust. Knowing that He loves and cares for them deeply and He will never forsake them. In God we entrust our hope to see that Mercy Touch will be there for all who need a place to call home and that they will find love and the spirit of God that binds us all to a life worthy of the greatest sacrifices of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died for all of us to save us all. 

So, If in some small way my family and I can give back our fruitful blessings and abundance to those at Mercy Touch then my family are the ones who are truly privileged and blessed to be a part of making a difference in this world, and to bring the Good News that there is a God and He Loves all of us!  May God Bless Mercy Touch International and all who strive to make difference in this world for the Glory of God. To God be the Glory! 

Contact:

(604) 496-1309
info@mercytouch.net

Georgina Finkbeiner

Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

My name is Georgina Finkbeiner and I am an Ambassador for Mercy Touch Mission International.

first heard about Mercy Touch in 2011. My husband Brian and I were travelling with our dear family friend Sandra Butters; who told us about her involvement with Mercy Touch. We had previously supported other organizations to sponsor children in developing countries but were unsure of their commitment.   We decided to find out more about this  grass roots organization, Mercy Touch, and see what we could do.

In November of 2011, my husband Brian and son Jason travelled with Sandra and her mission team to Zambia. Upon their return they were quite impressed with the work being done and the values of the organization. In April of 2012, Brian and I joined the mission team in Zambia. It was a trip I will never forget!

I have travelled to numerous countries where poverty is quite evident, but to meet first hand and spend time with these Zambian children, community families, and house moms was overwhelming; and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. They were so loving, happy and appreciative of even the smallest gesture made to them. Even though they have nothing they have the biggest smiles and all the love to give. Their hugs just melt my heart.  It was so hard to leave. 

returned home and could not stop talking to friends, family, and whoever I met about Mercy Touch and the wonderful work they do. I have since approached our church who has become very involved with Mercy Touch.

returned to Ndola, Zambia in April 2014. I came home with a real sense of understanding of how people can go to another county and become missionaries. The work that Mercy Touch has done and will continue to do for the orphaned children and the community around Ndola is so heartwarming. I find it harder to leave each time I go. Many of the Zambian people are so happy and yet have no material goods compared to Western society. They have the love and support of each other and their faith to keep them going. What a powerful message.

am so proud to be part of this wonderful organization, Mercy Touch International.

Contact:

(780) 498-6164 or 464-6753
info@mercytouch.net

Marilyn Moseley

Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Contact:

(604) 617-4485
info@mercytouch.net

Michele Ross

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Contact:

(403) 813-3561
info@mercytouch.net

Katelyn Duncan

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

I was first introduced to the Mercy Touch organization by Dr. Mukwavi while he was living in Regina in the early 2000’s. Dr. Mukwavi had told my sister and I that the ministry had purchased a farm along with the children's home in Zambia, and suggested we visit the farm one day. Although excited and fascinated by the idea, I was unsure if I would ever get the opportunity to visit. However, 5-6 years later, I realized that the time had come for me to visit the farm, and learn about food production in Zambia.

I spent three weeks working on the Mercy Touch farm, with the Mercy Touch children, the feeding program, and the Girl Project program in February 2016. I was so inspired by all of the children, the house mothers, and the community that surrounds the Mercy Touch farm. Mercy Touch is a sustainable organization that is improving the quality of life for children in Zambia, and providing opportunities for future success.

I am excited to be an Ambassador for Mercy Touch in Regina. I hope to improve the awareness of this organization in the Regina community, and ensure that support for Mercy Touch continues to be able to provide a supportive and loving environment for the children in the homes. I also hope to ensure that the Mercy Touch farm has the resources it needs to continue to provide nutritious food for the Mercy Touch kids and the surrounding community.

Contact:

info@mercytouch.net

News

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

April 2017

Community children.

We hope that you are all doing well in 2017. There are many changes and ventures that we are pursuing this year in Mercy Touch.

Change is Good 

significant change in Mercy Touch is the function of the longest serving housemother, Mama Regina. She has recently transitioned into the area of serving the surrounding community, but still works under Mercy Touch. Her role will consist of community outreach and community visits, as well as mentoring and supporting the girls from the Girl Project.

Mama Regina is also the head of the tailoring project at Mercy Touch, which is training individuals to pick up the skill of tailoring in order to sustain themselves. Those enrolled in the program have started making creative crafts, such as: doormats, school jerseys, and handbags. Additionally, they make necklaces with beads. The skills will be extended to the girls from the Girl Project as well as the women from the neighbouring community.

Highlights

We have launched a Saturday Market to sell items from our skill development programs and our farm produce. We hope this will help increase income generating activities. We intend to embark on various projects this year as a way of generating local funds in Zambia to raise funds and contribute to self-sufficiency.

Mrs. Mary Sichula, who is a registered nurse, has been conducting meetings known as the: “Journey of Life,” twice a week with the Mercy Touch girls. During these talks she facilitates discussions on the challenges of life that Zambian girls face. She encourages and advises the girls in order to guide them on their unique individual journeys. Volunteers and staff involved with Mercy Touch also continue to tutor and support all the children with their schoolwork.

College Students

A number of children we began with in Mercy Touch have either graduated from college or are still enrolled in college. Those in college have continued to excel in their studies. One of them has advanced to his second year in studying law at Lusaka University. Another one has continued to excel in mechanic engineering, and will soon be completing his program.

We also have a graduate that has recently completed his course in Business Studies at his prior college, and is now looking for employment. Of course, we do sometimes face challenges in guiding the children in completing college. However, like every family, we seek to continue with positive parenting.

As for the remaining high school graduates, they are currently working at a local café in town called Kaylene. We are blessed to have been able to find temporary employment for our high school graduates as they figure out the way forward.

Internships

Mercy Touch gives opportunities for interns to serve in Zambia. Toward the end of 2016 we hosted an intern from Germany named Sara. She was serving primarily on the farm, but also volunteering in the homes as well. Her visit to Mercy Touch was very uplifting for everybody. She was a hard worker with vast experience and interest in farming. She was a cheerful and free-spirited person, willing to help where needed. We continue to appreciate all of the volunteers and interns that have chosen to serve with us on the ground and trust they have an enriching learning experience. 

Mission Trips

We continue sending mission teams to go and work on various projects in Zambia. Mission teams are a great resource to our support as they spread the word upon their return. Most of them sign up to become Mercy Touch Goodwill Ambassadors. There will be a team going from Edmonton this April 2017 under the leadership of Sandra Butters, one of Mercy Touch Mission International’s Goodwill Ambassadors. The team will work on the Mercy Touch Staff accommodations as well as with the children and the community. 

Challenges

Although there are many highlights of the work we do, we still face challenges. We hope to see all of our high school and college graduates succeed not only in their education, but also in finding professional employment opportunities in order to officially transition into adulthood. We hope to empower them with loans to start small businesses and enrich their work experience while they find stable employment. Additionally, we hope and pray for more human resources to help us empower and guide our children and youth. We do not want our current staff and volunteers to be overworked, and trust that God will provide the right people to serve with us.

Way Forward

We hope to utilize our missionaries, volunteers, and interns to encourage and contribute to helping Mercy Touch with the income generating projects. Currently, we are networking in order to connect with an experienced individual to speak to the staff at Mercy Touch about business entrepreneurship within the Zambian context. We hope to design a workshop that includes topics such as team building and business administration, that will be educational and enriching for all those interested in participating. We would involve the Mercy Touch older children, as well as invite those from the surrounding community to partake in the programs.

Upcoming Events

This year we hope to embark on several fundraising ventures to raise awareness and funds for the ministry. On May 19th, Dr. Ron Kenoly, a renowned international Worship Leader, Singer, Songwriter, and Teacher, will be performing in the Greater Vancouver Area. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mercy Touch Mission International. Feel free to check out & share the event, and purchase your ticket on eventbrite.ca!

We appreciate all of your support and prayers for us and for the children. We are more than blessed by your continual partnership and hope that you will continue being involved with us as we serve disenfranchised individuals and vulnerable children in Zambia. Through all the help we give, we also make sure they learn God’s Word and grow to become responsible Christian men and women. This is not a small task, but we can do anything through Christ who strengthens us! 

Best,

Mercy Touch

Some girls from the Girl Project.

Making bracelets.