Dear Friends. This year Mercy House for Refugees is celebrating its 25th birthday. It has been a roller-coaster ride of unbelievable and inconceivable blessings. The new South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda were born in the very same month and year – in April 1994. As a result, refugees began streaming into our country, many being young people who had either lost their families or did not know whether they were alive or not. I was teaching at Sacred Heart College at the time and chose to start a club called MERCY, to teach our students compassion.      

When my colleagues heard about my extra-mural plan they asked me what MERCY would be doing. I replied: “I really do not know!” They must have thought I was crazy, but I knew intuitively that I had to do it, although I was not sure exactly where I was heading or what we would do! The MERCY CLUB caught on like wildfire in the school, the outcome being infinitely greater than I could ever have asked for or imagined! Soon I introduced the young members to the plight of the young refugees and they got involved helping. Little did we know then that this would leap beyond the walls of the school to our present-day Mercy House.

As a response to the heart-rending atrocities committed in the genocide, my aunt, Thora Mitchell, and I decided to start a home to house some of the desperate young people. I could not find any organization to give financial support, so we pooled every bit of money we had to do just that: we bought the present-day Mercy House in Bez Valley, Johannesburg.   I remember standing in this empty shell, with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in it but emptiness, having no idea at all how we would even furnish it! We also did not have enough money for the transfer fees and it was only with the kindness of our Combonis that we were able to do so. A small group of refugees then moved in each with only one or two small plastic packets holding all they possessed.  

It has been a long journey since then, but just to mention a few of our achievements, with the help of benefactors of course:  we assisted two young men to go through medical school and both are already specialists, another went through Wits Medical School to become a Clinical Medical practitioner. 8 young refugees became qualified teachers, 5 obtained engineering degrees, 3 completed the 4 years Netcare Nursing training, and for the past few years we have assisted 21 young refugees with schooling and the list goes on. It has been a remarkable history, clearly inspired by and with the blessing of our God.  

With all our hearts we thank and pray God’s blessing on everyone who has helped us. “Glory to Him whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask for or imagine!” (Eph 3.20-21)

Diana Beamish

We are absolutely thrilled once again to pass on great news
It was  the end of May when  a young Angolan refugee came and asked if there was anyway we could help
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The picture shows Richard who has been AT Mercy House since 2004. Not only has he been a real gem
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Mercy House is proud to announce another kindness of God
The photos show two very happy reunions. A husband and wife, who were separated when fleeing from their home country
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Celebrating Easter
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Father John (Left) and Richard Right) holding the farewell gifts we had prepared for them at our farewell celebration on
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The Picture of all Pictures 2010
Our beloved Shadadi meeting his mother after a separation of 11 years, during which time he could not even remember
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Christmas 2009 video (Slide Show and Music)
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Christams 2009
We are very greatful to all those who made our Christmas a great day. Our day started with Lunch, followed
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Enjoy your holidays
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THE GREATEST MIRACLE that Mercy House has ever witnessed…
With God, nothing is impossible.” The Amazing Miracle of Finding Shadadi’s Mother! Diana, Shadadi and Tish Tuesday, 1 December 2009
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