HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO OUR MANY FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS

On this list we recall great people who have helped us in the past and others who still  help us in so many ways: Father Henry now in Rome, Father John now in USA, (now Father) Simon Donnelly, Monica now in Cape Town, Ms Rose Penkler and Susan Turner of Johannesburg, Rosebank Union Church, St Vincent de Paul Societies in Bez Valley, Rosebank, Rivonia, Knights, Operation Snowball, Dave McCallum, Tish, Peter and Michael Holding, Sister Fidelis, Kevin Eales, Rosemary Benjamin, and past volunteers from overseas: Kasia now working for the UN in Guinea Bussau, Amy in America, Serena in Italy, Elaine in Ireland, Catherine in the UK, Alex and  Anja in Germany, not to mention our wonderful overseas Mercy Team: Judy and Gerald McGregor, John Frost, Mick and Penny Finn, Stefan Bartkowiac of British Airways and Art and Marylou in USA,   and so on. Then there are the refugees who have moved from South AFrica, and here we think very especially of Jimmy and our Richard who (to our great loss) left us this year and may well spend Christmas in hospital in Norway where he has just had a big hip operation… All this tells that we truly are an international Mercy Family, which is the realization of a dream…

To you all: Have a happy and grace-filled Christmas: we shall certainly remember you all we kneel in spirit beside the crib

FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT
THANKS TO THE ROSEBANK UNION CHURCH
It is with immense gratitude that we report the installation of the internet at Mercy House: after 16 years without it and producing many graduates down the line, we have finally got there and we are glad. We could never even have considered this expense if it had not been for the very generous donation of the Rosesbank Union Church for this specific purpose.  It is going to be a great benefit to our students and then of course, great holiday fun, to chat with distant friends on email and facebook! 

 Monday 13 December was the big day of the installation of our Internet. The study was soon full of eager and excited viewers as the photo shows. In the other picture we see Safari who will help to monitor usage together with Emmanuel our expert, so also designs our website…

A big thank you to Jennifer Adams at RUC who facilitated this financing and also to a dedicated team consisting of Michael Holding and his dad, Peter, Kevin Eales and Emmanuel Musa who brought this about on the practical level.   Truly you all deserve a medal! Many thanks for this invaluable contribution to our work. 

PEOPLE WE ARE SO PROUD OF

We are happy and proud to announce that on 7 December 2010, Marc Yorinda graduated from Wits University after 5 years of study  as an electrical engineer. Marc is the third member of our Mercy House Family to get through this degree.
In the picture we see our graduate together with Mrs Marlen Ritky who has assisted and cared for  Marc in so many ways, as if he were her own son, infact, she commented at the graduation that he should add “Ritky” to his surname!  “No, ” retorted Marc, “someone may just think that I am Irish!” 

As a young boy, Marc was orphaned in the genocide in Rwanda. He came to Mercy House  a long time back and we put him into school. He did exceptionally well there, getting quite a few distinctions in his matric.  One day he came and asked: “Please can you give me 25 stamps and 25 envelopes.”  His plan was to apply to 25 companies for a bursary to do tertiary studies: he did just that and  he succeeded. He managed to get a bursary with a large company that will employ him  from January 2011.  Well, it couldn’t be better could it!
But Marc is the one who deserves all the honours: it was his own determination and amazingly positive attitude, his unflinching faith and plain hard work that have got him to where he is.  Marc you are an example to us all: if only we could emulate your positive attitude to life. Thank you for showing us what can be achieved if one has the will to get there.  In spite of the most sad and difficult circumstances of his early life, there is absolutely no trace of bitterness in our Marc, only humble gratitude and openness for the positive hand of God working in our lives. Well done Marc and wishing you EVERYTHING  the best – as you truly deserve. God Himself will be rejoicing over you! 
Generous Friends
 On Friday 3 December the St Vincent de Paul of Bez Valley gave their annual Christmas treat to Mercy House: a braai. It was a simply delightful evening and we are most grateful to Gus Wilcox and Valentine (both in the picture with one of our residents), Tanya and  Heidi who worked so hard to make the evening the great success that it was.
  A good time was had by all!
Another resident whom we are very proud of is Bertraud who is the first refugee that we know of who has completed the 97.5km cycle marathon.  This cycle ride was held on a Sunday in November 2010. 
In the photo Bertraud happily shows off his medal of which  he is justifibly proud. Again, it is Bertraud’s admirable determination that has got him there and we are sure that he is also very grateful to BA pilot Stefan – who visits us whenever he flies to SA – who did him the kindness of getting him a racing bike.  So we pay tribute to Stefan too.
MEET SNOOPY
Jacinto, a young Angolan orphan  whom we have been helping since 2004, is very fond of dogs. He seems to attract the waifs.  
Recently he took in 2 unwanted Rottweiler puppies, one being Snoopy. Unfortunately a visiting dog attacked him and mauled him badly. He seemed close to death. Mercy House stepped in and took the puppy to the vet and saw to his healing.  He is seen here happily recovering after his attack.
Snoopy also has a voracious appetite. Any takers?