Mercy House is updating its website just when church readings present us with the beautiful parable of the “Good Samaritan” who was on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. It is a winding path going down to the oldest city in the world, located on the west bank of the River Jordan. Being surrounded by abundant springs of water, the city became a haven for many people over generations.
Our lives are also a “journey from Jerusalem to Jericho.” Jericho is the symbol of our cities today. Many people flock there in search of a new life: running away from the scourge of war, poverty and insecurity. They arrive after crossing through many countries and treading dangerous and winding roads, hoping to find acceptance, welcome and recognition of their dignity. However, very often they find themselves alone, despised, rejected, persecuted. They find themselves as the traveller of the parable, in the hands of robbers, evil and abandonment. They are left half dead along the road. Others travelling the same path are often in a hurry or, feeling superior, look away and get on with their lives.
Throughout the years, Mercy House has, like the Good Samaritan, been a haven for many who are left “half dead” at the side of the road. Here they are welcomed, listened to, cared for. Here they find hope and start believing that the future can be bright in spite of all hardships. Mercy House is the Inn where people can be left to be taken care of. There are many people, far and near, who give “two denarii,” so that the house can continue: volunteers and people of good will who, feeling that God has been generous with them, are ready to share the goods they have. Out of their poverty or their abundance they unveil to others the face of the only True and Good Samaritan: Jesus.
Some examples of this miracle are here below.
Written by Fr. Jeremias
Comboni Missionary Provincial
4 MORE PRECIOUS GEMS FALL OUT OF HEAVEN
Our great God of Surprises has done it again. This time honouring us with the gift of 4 lovely young children from the Congo. They can be seen in the photo below : Eldovert, Manasse (“Call me BK”), Grace and Princess. They are orphans. It was on a Sunday last year in their home town of Brazzaville in the Congo, that they were attending Holy Mass, when their entire extended family was celebrating their uncle’s birthday at their home. While they were at Mass, an huge explosion occurred right beside their home, injuring 2 300 people and killing 250, including their parents and their entire extended family. The children saw their dead parents and relatives lying there. Imagine what it must have been like for children so young to witness such a tragic event.
Having no one to help them, the parish priest took care of the children. The only relative they knew of was their granny in Johannesburg and he made arrangements for them to come down, by land, to her. She is on her own and struggles to pay rent, making and selling bead work, recently police confiscated her entire stock. Suddenly she has a large family to care for. The children are not at school, because of lack of finances, but God solved the problem for now! At exactly the same time as we met the children, God sent a lovely new young Nigerian lady, Stella, to Mercy House! She asked what she could do to help and the answer was very clear: It could not have been better timed: Stella started immediately with schooling the children at Mercy House in the mornings and her life has taken on new meaning. She is loving it! This will be a huge help to them, preparing them for entry into main line schooling as soon as it may be possible.
STELLA: OUR LOVELY NEW CO-WORKER WITH THE CHILDREN
By now Stella calls these children, “my children”. With great love she dedicates her time voluntarily in the mornings, schooling them. Stella comes from Nigeria and is certainly a very special blessing that God in His kindness has recently bestowed on Mercy House.
ROLL ON ACHIEVEMENT…
Since our last update, several of our Mercy House family have achieved wonderful things.
Meshack graduated, after 4 years of study, with a Bachelor of Education Degree. He is currently doing Honours at Wits University. Alex and Sandrine graduated with Bachelor of Business Administration Degrees, and Felix, our Sudanese orphan (seen in the photo below), for the second year in succession, received Top Student award at the University of Johannesburg, for his excellent results.
Pretty remarkable, considering the fact that all our students are studying in a “foreign” language!
ROLL ON SUPPORT
Some months back, in England, Father Andrew Moss was transferred to St Richards Parish in the UK, that gives great support to Mercy House. He met Mrs Judy McGregor, the leader of our Mercy Support Team in the UK, who told him all about our work. He became very interested and decided to help by holding a musical evening to raise money for us. This took place on Wednesday, 10 July at St Richards and was apparently a huge success. Father Moss is himself a very talented musician and was part of the show! We thank him and his performers very sincerely for this wonderful support and hope that there will be many happy returns of his concerts! Father Moss now wants to come to Mercy House in person and for this purpose will visit us from the 10th to the 18th of March 2014. We look forward to that.
And Mrs Judy McGregor visited South Africa in May this year, seen here in the photo with Diana during her visit. We thank her too for her tremendous commitment to our Mercy work. She is currently planning another fund-raising luncheon, with Mick and Penny Finn. We will pray for the success of this event.
A very big thank you also to Mr George Potgieter of Air Products SA, who has just providentially got to know about work. He even enthused his colleagues, who, on Mandela Day, collected food and clothing for the refugees. In the picture below they are seen when bringing these to Mercy House. Mr Potgieter is also doing his very best to help with other needs, particularly with education, and especially for the children whose story is above. We thank him and our Father in Heaven for this great blessing.
ROLL ON VISITORS
On 29 June a group of Dominican Sisters from many different countries in Africa and elsewhere, visited Mercy House. They were attending the Dominican Sisters Africa Conference at Koinonia and took a break to get to know some refugees. Apparently for them it was a real eye-opener. They are seen in the photo with some of our young people.
It is with sadness that we announce the death of the mother of Michelle, Jean Paul and Bertraud, who, over the years, have all lived at Mercy House.
We feel very close to the family and offer them our compassionate support. May she intercede for them in this difficult time and may she rest in peace.
On Friday 9 August we will have an outing to the park for the children and anyone who wants to join us, from 11 a.m. till 1.00.
On Tuesday 24 September, a public holiday, we will have a thanks and information morning for our benefactors and other interested persons, starting with Holy Mass at 9.30 a.m. and ending at 1.00. Invitations will be sent out. Any readers of our website who would like to attend please contact Emmanuel at: firstname.lastname@example.org.