How to Get the Greatest Gift [*Updated AGAIN]

Just over 3 years ago? My friend Kristen Welch went to Africa with Compassion. We were invited to go together. But I couldn’t. Later, I went to Guatemala (more on that soon)… but part of my heart went with Kristen to Kenya and stayed with her there as she founded Mercy House Kenya, a maternity house in Kenya that saves babies from abortion and gives moms in the slums hope.

Our family has been on this wildly amazing ride of prayerfully working with Kristen’s family and Mercy House Kenya and this year are joining the board of directors for Mercy House Kenya…. So this post and what God is doing here? This. is. our. heart. Brings tears of crazy joy…

Yesterday I shared these words over at DaySpring’s (in)courage… and by the end of the first day? The (in)courage community had funded over $25,000 (?!?!!!) … and with an anonymous donor offering to match the first $20,000 … there is only $5000 left to fully fund this house in Kenya. But… I didn’t want our community right here to miss out on the joy, to get to Be the G.I.F.T. I wanted you all to get to be a part of it too? I’d love nothing more than all of us here, our community here, to have an opportunity to BE the G.I.F.T. together this Christmas, to not miss Him, to make room in the Inn for the Babe, for the babies in Kenya — for all of us together here — just $5 here, $10 there, every single one of us here, to get the joy of getting the greatest gift — the joy of getting to be the gift back to Jesus. 

Once upon a time — which was now, actually — there’s this story —  that isn’t a fairytale —

that’s about making dreams come true.

It’s about the Truth being true.

It’s about really wild things: Cyber Monday could discount what isn’t eternal —

and virtually make giving a gift to your Jesus a reality.


So once upon a time that is now — there’s the beginning of December and Christmas carols are playing down every street.

Calendar pages have turned in every home. It’s the beginning of a season called Advent, which is about waiting, about this wait for the coming of this Baby.

Anticipation is the scent December.

So a woman in San Diego hangs a wreath outside on the front door, the sun beating warm on her neck and and a grandma in Minneapolis watches the snow fall and ices another batch of shortbread and all the women in God’s beach house know the waiting of December isn’t passive, it isn’t a twiddling of the thumbs and flipping glossy pages of the latest catalogue and counting down the minutes, but this is the active waiting for a Baby to come.

Like expectant mothers preparing and praying and exercising and nesting – and working – because labour and delivery is coming — we’re the women waiting actively, praying and reaching out and grabbing hands and we’re women pregnant with hope, we’re women expecting – expecting Jesus’ kingdom to come into the world and come through us.

In Lubbock, Texas and Scapoose, Oregon and Calgary, Alberta and Sheffield, UK and Sydney, Australia – Christmas makes us midwives of another kingdom coming.

And once upon a time — today — in a slum in Kenya, a young girl rounds large with a baby.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.20.20 AM

Where does she go in the running sewage and the rusting shanties to birth a baby no one wants her to have?

How does she feed a baby when her stomach gnaws with hunger and her soul is bony and starved?

And this is the part in the story where not one woman turns away or grows cold – because all God’s daughters are waiting for Jesus to come and she knows the One Whom her heart loves, that He comes as the least of these.

How can her heart not warm? How would she ignore Him now?

A girl in Kenya knocks on the door of Mercy House Kenya.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.17.18 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.02.12 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.34.13 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.19.20 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.30.19 AM

A girl in Kenya looks for someone who loves mercy enough to make room for a Baby.

And Mercy House looks at a young girl heavy with child and they look around Mercy House — and there is not one empty bed.

There is not one desk for Maureen, the Mercy Sharer, or their social worker or program director. There is a room the size of a bathroom for the two housemothers to share – yes, share it. And a room the size of two twin mattresses is the play room for 12 babies and their mamas.

It’s Christmas — but there is literally no room for one more Baby.

It’s Christmas and there is literally no room in the inn.

It’s Christmas and Jesus literally comes to us right now in the face of a Babyand He asks if there is room for Him?

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.15.03 AM

Is there room for our Christmas to be more than about saving money on gifts but about saving lives by being the gift?

Is there room on a Cyber Monday to be the Uber gift back to our Savior?

It’s Christmas — and there are women who literally love Jesusso they live Mercy.

There are women who set out nativity scenes beause it’s more than nice Christmas decor to them — they set out to literally welcome Jesus in the faces of the least of these.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.11.32 AM

There are women who sing — Let every heart prepare Him room

and it’s more than a Christmas chorus to them — it’s the refrain of how they live their lives.

There are women in Fayetville, Arkansas and Arcadia, Florida and Timbuktu,  and right where you live, and there is literally room in our hearts for a Baby – so together we link arms to birth a dream in Africa for room for a baby — link arms to love mercy and live mercy and do huge things, the Esther Generation of world-changing women who build another home for Mercy House Kenya.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.26.10 AM

One girl holding a baby is knocking on a door in Kenya looking for room for her baby and Christmases all over North America are ready to answer that door.

There are Christmases all over North America that are saying there is no more room in the inn and no more room in their lives —

no more room for indifference, no more room for apathy, and no more room for excuses

because we are desperate to make room for Christ this Christmas.

That’s the Christmas we’re all buying this Christmas.


Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 10.52.19 AM



Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.46.48 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.48.19 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.35.13 AM



There’s a whole movement of us excited to be saving on more than sales this Christmas — we’re saving lives.

There’s a whole movement of us excited to have More this Christmas – more Christ — we are done with no-real saving, no-real sacrifice, no-real giving Christmases.

There’s a whole movement of us excited to be done with small Christmases — and are daring to live global Christmases.

There’s a whole movement excited about a Christmas that isn’t so much about getting the greatest gift, but giving the greatest gift, giving more like Jesus — giving more to Jesus.

It is time: We are all done with the drug of comfortable and dare to live the dream of uncomfortable.

It is time: We’re all wanting uncomfortable because we’re wanting God – and He is outside of our comfort zones.

It’s time: We’re all wanting to go home for Christmas — go home to Jesus — so we’re making room for Jesus.

It’s time — we’re launching today — We’re building a HOME and making room for the Baby…

The women who love Mercy, live Mercy, we’re rising up, one dollar at a time, a woman in San Diego and a grandma in Minneapolis and you right where you are  and we’re not stopping until we raise $45,000 to fund a second home for Mercy House Kenya in the next 50 days (can we do it by Christmas?! Before Christmas?! You’ve ALREADY raised $8,000 for the second home for Mercy House before we even launched this phase — we’re all chasing after what God is miraculously doing here through all of you!)

We’re not stopping until we raise $45,000 because we are unstoppable world changers, a whole generation of Esthers and we’re making room in our hearts — and in this world —  for Jesus, the Baby, this Christmas.

ANNNNNDDDDdddddd….. when we reach $20,000? An anonymous donor have offered to MATCH US with a donation of $20,000! Let’s let Jesus Do. This. Thing. through us!

Cyber Monday could discount what isn’t eternal —

and virtually make giving a gift to our Jesus a reality.

A girl in Kenya with her baby knocks on the door of Mercy House — and a whole generation of Esther women answer the door with yes, come in… 

And they get the greatest gift of holding the Baby close…


Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 7.44.55 AM


Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 7.45.15 AM

Here is how every single one of us — with just a $1 here, $5dollar  — can Get the Greatest Gift Christmas… by being the gift — Let’s not miss Him right here:

Give – Click over here to be part of the wonder of fully funding a second house for Mercy House Kenya.


God is blowing us away through all of you! By the end of Launch Day, the first day, you all had raised $25,000 — by the end of the first day?! God is so moving and we are on holy ground, feeling like we are chasing God on what He is so powerfully doing here!

Then our anonymous donor matched with their promised $20,000, as you all raised the first $20,000 — so today? GOD TOOK OUR BREATH AWAY — and by noon EST today, you have FULLY FUNDED the second house for Mercy House Kenya  — in just over 24 hours from the initial launch post!


Now??!! Now we get the crazy joy of furnishing the house!  LET’S FURNISH THE INN THIS CHRISTMAS! Let’s let Jesus DO. THIS. THING. through us!

Kristen Welch, founder of Mercy House Kenya, is headed home right now from Kenya — and we’d love to surprise herthat by the time she opens her front door — we could have the next maternity house in Kenya FULLY FURNISHED!?!? Let’s let God do this thing through us — and lavishly love on those babies in Kenya — lavishly love on Jesus.Let’s FURNISH AN INN THIS CHRISTMAS and fully furnish that babies’ home in Kenya — and we all get to to link arms together in this community and we all get to be the G.I.F.T. back to Jesus together!  

We don’t want anyone to miss out on the joy of getting to BE the G.I.F.T —  we want every single one of us to get the joy of being part of this breathtaking God story We get to do this! Let’s BUILD AN INN THIS CHRISTMAS for the Babe — and the babies… (happiest tears!)  Click here to FURNISH THE INN this Christmas — your Christmas gift come early, getting to BE the Gift! 

P.S. UPDATE: If this isn’t God doing something UNSTOPPABLE:

“We just got a phone call from a woman who was upset that she didn’t get to donate to Phase 5, building the INN, the second house for Mercy House Kenya.

She told us that “she would not be denied the opportunity to give to this amazing story.

So…we told her Phase 6 was now live, that we could all GET to *FURNISH THE INN* and she said, “I get to be the first person to give to that!”

…these are the moments that I see the heart of God so alive in His Body– and the tears of joy just. won’t. stop. So grateful you get to be part of this amazing story too! 

#TheGreatestGift #UpsideDownChristmas


Why I believe in Mercy House Kenya

Hope and Shalom’s (in)Mercy  t-shirts and our ‘What Does God Require of  You posters on our chalkboard and postcards.