(The following Unselfish Story was written and submitted by Jenee Horne):
Amanda Cummings is a Pastor’s wife and Stay-at-Home-Mom in Phenix City, Alabama. After being involved in missions to Africa, she found herself particularly affected by the children there, many of them orphans. She and her husband, Ray, made the decision to adopt two children from the war-torn area of DR Congo.
It was a long and tedious process, but they persevered. While waiting for her two children to finally join their family, Amanda did not rest on her laurels. Instead, she decided to launch a non-profit organization called Mercy’s Mission. Named for one of the children they adopted, Mercy’s Mission’s goal is to support the many children in need through sponsorships and donations. Since its inception, Mercy’s Mission has helped to provide them with food, clean clothing, and education. Amanda was kind enough to share a bit of her inspiring story with me.
How did you first become aware of the orphans in Africa? What led you to start Mercy’s Mission?
We began the journey of adoption in 2011 after many trips to Africa and seeing the desperate need of the people living there, in particular the children. Mercy’s Mission was started after I visited my adopted kids the first time. I was shocked at the poverty that I saw, and God broke my heart at the environment of how 125 kids were living day to day. It was afternoon when I pulled into the orphanage gate and the kids had nothing to eat that day. They only ate one meal a day when there was food available, which wasn’t promised every day. When it was available, it was a mix of maize flour and with cassava roots. Ten to twelve children would gather around a huge pan and eat it up with their hands. They only had dirty lake water to drink. Our animals eat better than this! It’s so sad! Bucket baths were taken once a week unless it was rainy season. It wasn’t fair! Why was I born in America; The land of plenty, and they were born here, in one of the poorest countries in Africa.
My family and I couldn’t afford to take care of 125 kids on a monthly basis, but I knew we had to do something to help. I could start a sponsorship program and let others help with this desperate need. And so it began. Thirty-three dollars per month pays for one child’s food and school fees. This includes two meals a day and pays their way to school.
God has blessed us as Americans with many different resources to help the most destitute people in the world. God’s Word makes it clear that we are not to live for ourselves in this world, but live and share and show His love in all kinds of different ways.
I believe the answer to my previous question as to why wasn’t I born in Africa is that being here gives me the funds and resources to help those children. Just think, you could give up one meal out as a family a month and provide food for a child for an entire month! We can’t change the whole world on our own, but we can change one life at a time, a precious soul created by the same God who made us.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about (or having doubts about) following God into unknown territory?
I would say pray hard and take a leap of faith if you feel His leading. He will never lead you wrong. We will have all eternity to celebrate in Heaven but only a short time here on earth to live for Christ and do His will which could impact many for the Kingdom of God. I won’t say it’s always easy, but it will definitely be worth it! That’s one thing God has taught through this adoption process and blending a family…. It’s hard but I know it’s His will!
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How can readers get involved with Mercy’s Mission?
Our biggest hurdle is keeping sponsors paying on a consistent basis, and we are constantly in need of more sponsors. To those of you reading this: I challenge you to pray about how you can live outside of yourself! It’s so rewarding. Please feel free to email me (Amanda) at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the website at http://www.mercysmission.org to see a list of children that needs sponsorship. If you cannot afford a monthly scholarship, please consider making a small donation.