Through the amazing support of a diocese in Germany, and loyal supporters in the USA and UK, we have been able to assist no less than 19 scholars with schooling and 11 young people with tertiary courses – a feat which we would never even have imagined possible in former years. Of course we may not have the good fortune of receiving such money again next year, but at least we could help for 2017. The photos below show Brielle in her uniform on the first day of school, Ivan helping his young brother to get uniform at Phoenix College where they are both enrolled and Uri who also started school this year at Observatory East Primary.



Ivan helping his young brother



Bishop Sandri

On the 16th of December 2016, we celebrated 20 years of the existence of Mercy House. Bishop Sandri kindly came and celebrated a Holy Mass of Thanksgiving with us. We especially invited Bishop Sandri, because it was he, as Father Jo, together with Fr Henry, who, in 1996 helped us to start Mercy House. The photos show Sr Clementine and Innocentia, both Mercy House co-workers attending, another of Bishop Sandri and Diana after the Mass, and another of Bishop during the Mass.

Sr Clementine and Innocentia

Bishop Sandri and Diana








We thank Bishop Sandri very much indeed for coming and giving us of his time. Needless to say, he was amazed to see all that has developed in the 20 years of our existence.



Father Rafael (right) leading our discussion

It has been a real sorrow for us, that, for various reasons, since Father Jeremias left in October 2015, we have not been able to have our regular recollection days. So it was really good news when we found that a new Comboni Father Rafael, from Spain, was willing to give us a whole weekend of recollection and sharing at the Comboni Mission in Maria Trost, Lydenburg, Mpumulanga. Due to the fact that our arrangements were fairly last-minute, several people who wanted to come had already committed themselves to other activities. But we went ahead on the last weekend of November, and our small group had a most enriching weekend, studying and sharing on our Holy Father’s publication entitled: The Joy of the Gospel. It took 4 to 5 hours travelling, but was well worth it. It was so refreshing to get away from the city in the heart of nature, and we all went home very happy. We thank Father Rafael for the huge amount of work he put into making our weekend such a success. Our next weekend will be during Lent, on the first weekend of April, again with Father Rafael. We invite all and anyone interested to join us – book it in your diary NOW. The one photo below shows the group, from left to right, Diana, lawyer Dr Etienne (Rwanda), Steven Wanyoike from Kenya, Eddie Dunia from DRC, Jane Wanyoike and Bertrand (Rwanda) and the other photo shows Father Rafael (right) leading our discussion.

(left to right) Diana, Dr Etienne, Steven Wanyoike, Eddie Dunia, Jane Wanyoike and Bertrand


As usual we spent weeks getting ready for Christmas making sure that everyone of our estimated 60 guests would receive a gift which suited them personally. Our new co-worker, Nozizwe, and Zeng, took on the gift wrapping and did a splendid job. We are immensely grateful to Rosebank Union Church, which every year acquires gifts for all our attendees under the age of 18. St Vincent De Paul of Victory Park provided us with 20 cooked chickens and a good lunch was served to all. Ivan had composed an excellent play getting the Christmas message across most powerfully and a group of Rwandese dancers entertained us well. So, Christmas was good this year, as usual. The photo shows Lawie Kalenga, our Father Christmas.


(from left to right) Moise, Anja, Anja’s husband Tommie,  and our house leader on the right

Anja came from Germany as a volunteer to Mercy House in 2009. She stayed for about 4 months, then went back home to Germany to complete her university degree. She returned in 2011 to do another few months of volunteering. Subsequent to that, she got married and wanted to bring her husband out to show him Mercy House and our work, and to revisit her MH friends whom she loves so much. Everyone welcomed her, as she is much-loved by all and her loyalty and dedication live on. She and her husband took her favourite, Moise, away for a weekend of fun. The photo shows her with her husband, Tommie, with Moise on the left and our house leader on the right. This certainly was a highlight of 2016. The second photo was taken on the day Anja and Tommie arrived: we had a special Mass to welcome them with Father Rafael celebrating.

Special Mass to welcome Anja and Tommie


St Vincent de Paul groups in several parishes are most faithful in their support of our work. We are indebted to them and wish to thank them publicly. The society in Victory Park brings food every Thursday and sometimes more often. St Vincents’ in Rosebank offers monthly financial support, so too does Bez Valley branch. They also provide our people with a braai in December each year. The photo below was taken at the braai this last December. St Vincents’ in Malvern brings their youth down regularly, several times a year, to provide a luncheon for our people and it is always on a Saturday, when outside kids have come for extra lessons, so they can benefit too – see photo below.

St Vincent de Paul

Our people


Mr Neels Coertse with Emmanuel

It was a privilege for Mr Neels Coertse, the lawyer who helps Mercy House, to have been invited to speak in parliament to comment on the proposed new refugee law. It was on the 24th January. Many high profile people were present. We are proud of him and thank him sincerely for his commitment to our refugee work. He is seen in the photo above with Emmanuel, our website designer.

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