Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Can you believe it? It seems like we were just celebrating Valentine’s Day! But it’s time to start making plans to celebrate dear old mom.
Each year on Mother’s Day churches across the US take time to honor the women in their church. They pass out bookmarks, flowers, or candy. Or maybe they have a contest for the women with the most children, the oldest mother, or the newest mother. Perhaps your church has a baby dedication service that Sunday. Every church does it differently, but it is a time to honor the gift of motherhood.
Here at Mercy for Mamas, Mother’s Day is a big time of year for us. The vast majority of our funding for the year comes during the month’s of April and May. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the important women in our lives, while also helping to support women in Uganda.
|Young Mother’s receiving their mama kits at a local crisis pregnancy center|
Mercy for Mamas works to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Uganda by providing women with sterile birthing kits and prenatal education. Each day at least 15 women die in Uganda giving birth, which is 40x’s the maternal death rate in the US. Many of these deaths can be attributed to a lack of prenatal care and also to not having the proper supplies for a delivery. In order to be cared for by a local hospital or clinic a woman must bring all of her own supplies. If she cannot afford the supplies, she most likely will not receive care. This leads to many women delivering at home, without clean supplies, and without any trained medical professional (nurse, midwife, or doctor).
|Expectant Ugandan mother with her birthing supplies|
Since 2010 we’ve been providing birthing kits called “mama kits” to women all over Uganda. To date, more than 7,000 women have received a $7 mama kit. We also hold prenatal education seminars and outreach clinics throughout Uganda. We work hard to partner with trusted clinics, crisis pregnancy centers, churches, and missionaries. We provide them with mama kits and we also assist them with outreach efforts. These partners use the mama kits year-round as a way to help pregnant women, but also as a tool to build relationships with the women. Many women have come to know Christ because of the gift of a mama kit. Others have found churches and bible studies to join because of our outreach events.
Each mama kit costs just $7. The kits include very basic supplies including: cotton wool, razor blades, sterile gloves, umbilical cord ties, soap, large plastic sheeting, directions for delivery, and a health care card.
|Mama kit. “Maama” is the Luganda word for mother|
This year our ministry is focusing on getting mama kits to more under-served areas. We’re focusing on IDP camps for Sudanese refugees, remote islands on Lake Victoria, and more rural areas with very limited medical care. We would be honored if you would help us in our campaign to buy 3000 mama kits before June (read more about that in the link).
|Village midwife assisting a young woman in labor|
What if your church this Mother’s Day decided to take this time to honor the women of your church, but also to offer support to mothers in Uganda? There are several ways you could incorporate Mercy for Mamas into your church.
- Instead of spending money on a gift for the mothers in your church, you could make a donation to Mercy for Mamas and give each woman a card explaining your gift.
- You could show the Mercy for Mamas video during your service and help us get the word out about the great needs of pregnant women in Uganda. (*We have the main video that is posted on this site, but we will have a new updated video done before Mother’s Day!)
- You could collect a love offering for Mercy for Mamas on Mother’s Day. We would provide you with donation cards church people could then give to their mothers or special someone explaining that they gave in their honor.
- We can provide you with a bulletin insert for you explaining our cause.
I can tell you this, every pastor that has done this at their church has told me repeatedly how well it was received. I met just last week with a pastor and he told me that the ladies in his church were so appreciative of the donation made in their honor. He said they loved that they got a gift with purpose that would help someone else. Here are some other testimonials in last year’s Challenge to Churches.
I love the idea of the church honoring our mothers, helping other mothers live to parent their children, and sharing the gospel all at the same time. This is the church in action.
If you’d like more information on how you can incorporate Mercy for Mamas into your church please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, make sure to check out the whole website, so you can get a better understanding of the work we do.