Paying it Forward
Christmas season is here!
Every year during Christmas, we "pay it forward" by blessing those outside of our usual reach. We are called to pour out our blessings into areas beyond our normal reach. This year, we have decided to launch "Operation Touch of Mercy," where we will be giving 1, 000 children gifts worth $20 or more to help keep them in school. These gifts will include provisions for school supplies, uniforms, and contributions to school fees. We have been blessed with some funding already, and are hoping to raise more by January of 2017.
Additionally, every December we throw a Christmas party for the feeding program attendees. During this time they celebrate Christmas day. The caregivers and children receive a special meal, the children get treats, and take part in fun games. It is always a great turnout and a fun time! Mercy Touch volunteers will travel to Zambia from Canada and the USA to partner with the local volunteers and staff for the first two weeks of December.
Christmas season is a time of sharing God’s love with others, and we hope that we can continue doing this throughout the year. The team will carry gifts to hand out to the children in the homes, the volunteers, staff, and the children in the community. It will also be a time to encourage the sponsored children to help others as well.
One significant endeavor that we are planning on pursuing in early 2017 is the launching of Mercy Touch Enterprises. The purpose of Mercy Touch Enterprises is to launch projects that will equip older children with skills to help them enter the job market. The venture will provide a sustainable model that produces constructive and profitable outcomes. The profits realized will go into investments to help more disadvantaged individuals rise out of poverty - “We hope to give to the poor what the wealthy acquire with money.” This is called: leveling the playing field.
Mercy Touch Enterprises will be geared to high school graduates sponsored in the homes, individuals with special needs, and individuals without access to formal education or employment opportunities. The business ventures will be as follows:
·Salon & Barber Services
·Catering & Bakery Services
·Computer Repair Services
The feeding program has been fairing very well. The number of children in the register has increased from 125 at the end of 2015, to 175 at the end of September 2016. This does not include the children not listed in the register. We are grateful for all the support we receive to feed and support the attendees. Furthermore, the total number of beneficiaries for our microloans and income-generating program is now 147 individuals. These individuals are being followed up with regularly and encouraged to expand their businesses in order to pay it forward to other caregivers in need of microloans.
Mercy Touch provides internship opportunities to young people from Europe and North America. We currently have an intern from Germany – Sara, who is doing very well. She is having an enriching learning experience by studying alternative farming techniques with Mercy Touch that will serve to enhance her Thesis.
The Mercy Touch children are enrolled in school, but will get a break from learning during the Christmas season. We are still looking for sponsors to commit to sponsoring our newest additions to the family – Emmanuel, Manuel, and Twaambo. More information on sponsorship can be found on the website.
Thank you to all of our supporters in prayer, funding, and more. May you and your loved ones be blessed this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!