Dear Friends, Christmas has passed. The New Year has come. We look ahead to the future, hopefully positively. Around us we see, not only good things and prospects, but a lot of evil.  However, the quote above reassures us that we are  on a journey, always being led, and that God is alive and active in our world and personal lives. Do we really believe that? Let us remain open, alert to seeing the open doors, believing in the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all events.
At Mercy House things are always happening. Life is always on the move, hence always fresh and refreshing! This update gives evidence of that! We thank God and all our benefactors, supporters and co-workers, for their care, which enables us always to move forward with positive faith. May 2015 be a good year and don’t forget:

“All time belongs to Him, and all the ages” (Easter Vigil liturgy).


On 27 November 2014 Fido Innocent was born to Mari-Bernard and Festus. His little brother, Yuri, was very excited, and it has been a great joy and blessing to have a baby in the house! He was baptised on 8 February at the Bez Valley Catholic Church by Comboni Father Jeremias. 


By way of preparation for Christmas, our residents, Ricardo, Richard, Desire and Ephrahim, set about making our house much more beautiful. We extended and repainted our front gate and repainted external  walls.  It looks pristinely beautiful now, much to our great joy. The photos below show our boys at work, which they did with great joy and dedication. Our thanks to them.


Christmas is always celebrated on 25 December and is the biggest celebration of our year, since we invite all our past residents and those we assist who live outside, to join us.  The Rosebank Union Church, Investec and a few other friends provide us with beautiful gifts, while restaurant owner, Anna, provides us with a delicious lunch for 60 people every year. To these kind people: thank you for enabling our Christmas to be such a joyful occasion. The pictures show our young Father Christmas – BK, our 7 year old orphan from Congo – with his assistant, Zeng, giving out the gifts.  We were happy to have Comboni Father John Masneschg join us for the occasion.


It is through the amazing generosity of our benefactors, that we are able, this year, in one way or another, to assist 13 children with schooling, as well as 6 tertiary students – Kenny who is studying journalism at Wits University, Robert who will start studying Chemical Engineering at Unisa, Zeng who will do a diploma in Graphic Design at Vega, and Felix who will do his Masters degree in Biomedical Technology, Riccardo who will soon start to study nursing and Festus who is already on his way in that course.  Quite a tall order. We hold our breath in wonder that all this possible at all.  May our students do well and reach their goals.


Michael Jacobus and Innocentia were sent to us by Father Jeremias, Comboni Provincial. And what a blessing. Michael started helping us in December 2014 and we have kept him very busy. He is going to be a very great blessing and asset to our Mercy work. Michael is seen in the photo below with Emmanuel, the designer of our website, to whom we also owe a big debt of gratitude.  

Michael (left) Emmanuel (right)
Innocentia will be helping our scholars with Zulu and Afrikaans this year.  Welcome, Innocentia and Michael and thank you for all that you have done already.


In mid-January we restarted our English for Refugees Project, which is run in conjunction with the Catholic Diocese of Johannesburg on their premises.  The photo below shows some of our students with the assistant.


First our thanks goes to Father Jeremias, Comboni Provincial, for his on-going encouragement and support, to Mrs Rosemary Benjamin who supports our young people in many ways, also takes our residents to her home and elsewhere at weekends. We thank Diana Gordon Grant for organising weekly sandwiches for our students to take to their school or college and also her husband, Tim, for their wonderful support of  our work. We thank Sister Clementine for bringing us weekly bread, SvdeP Victory Park, for their weekly delivery of fruit and vegetables, David for his weekly Bible Study session, lawyer Neels Coertse, who works with huge dedication to help some of our residents with their documentation. We thank Judy Dumbutshena, Luigi and Lucy Slaviero, Ingrid Ogders, for sponsoring  our scholars, John Faller who pays our accounts, Peter Holding who does our monthly shopping etc.,  and so the tale goes on.  Then there are our loyal supporters in the UK and USA! There so many to thank, pardon us if your name is not on this list, it is impossible to mention everyone, but you know and God knows what you are doing for Mercy House.   May God reward you all in the ways that you need it most.

We wish all our benefactors and viewers a great new year…  and don’t forget: “All time belongs to Him and all the ages!”