The Story Behind the Picture
(as written to Tammy by Steve Hoyt on August 4, 2009)
It has been sometime since I have drawn; over a year. Over a year ago, I finished this drawing. Without even knowing it, until just recently, there was a story to follow.
Melinda had asked me several times, “Why don’t you scan that drawing and send it to Tammy?” I never really had an answer. It just didn’t feel finished. But now…
This lady’s name is Mercy. A few years ago she was Moslem. Shortly before we met her, prior to our move to a trading center called Namalanda, she had accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Located outside our compound in Namalanda is a very small, very poor local Christian nursery school. Though it has no name posted, we believe it is “Namalanda Evangelical Nursery School,” although we aren’t sure. Interestingly, some of the attending children are Moslem. Mercy works there but receives no pay.
Melinda, Sophia, Janet and Madeline donated two days a week to this school. It is there that they would sing, teach, and put on Christian plays to help this impoverished nursery school. Additionally, Melinda led a Bible study in a small round grass hut banda with some local ladies near the school. Mercy attended that Bible study.
As you know, we later moved to our current location here in Entebbe. Among a few others, Mercy has stayed in touch with Melinda and the girls. This drawing is of Mercy holding another teacher’s newborn baby. Mercy is not married, but I could see a lot of passion within her for these little ones. Again, the drawing was “completed” about a year ago, but not the story. And I suppose the story still has not ended. However, as you can see, I felt it time to send the drawing.
Several months ago, Mercy called Melinda and said, “I am in trouble and I need your help.” Of course, Melinda told her to come to our home for a visit. She arrived visibly shaken. She told Melinda she needed 45,000 shillings ($22.50 USD), and naturally Melinda asked why… Mercy had gotten pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Our first reaction was that we were appalled she would even ask us to pay for such a thing. Then we thought of the arrogance of our reaction. What a “Holier Than Thou” way to think. No, we do not believe abortion is ever acceptable to the Creator of life; but speaking for me, how hypocritical of me to have reacted the way I did. 11+ years ago, when I was a very young Christian, I had a lady come to me thinking I had made her pregnant. I certainly could have. In complete panic, I thought, “What would my newfound Christian friends think if I conceived a child out of wedlock?” In denial, out of fear, and not yet grasping the Truth that God is the Author of all life, I took her to a family planning clinic in Kansas to abort. It turns out she was not pregnant. But I am embarrassed and sad to say I would have…Now here, 11+ years later, sitting on our sofa in panic mode was Mercy.
Melinda counseled her that even though having sex out of wedlock certainly was not in God’s plans (both Melinda and I being unjustifiably guilty in our pasts), that is now hindsight. Now that it happened, Melinda discussed what Scripture holds for her and her newly conceived child’s future. She shared with her that God had a wonderful plan for both her and her child.
Melinda asked why she wanted to abort. Here are the reasons:
- She had no money to raise the child (true).
- Because her sister had married a white man before she passed away, she always believed that God wanted her to marry a white man.
- She did not believe a white man would marry her if she had a child out of wedlock.
Melinda counseled Truth to her concerning her reasoning…but to no avail?
She contacted Melinda on several occasions asking for the money for the abortion, but we refused to help her with that. Over time, various events led us to believe that she indeed had the abortion.
A few weeks ago, Mercy arrived at the door nearly full term. She was looking for help with the birthing costs. Melinda obliged. This past weekend, Mercy gave birth to a premature, but seemingly healthy, little girl (as is tradition, still not named); 1.5 kgs (3 pounds 5 ounces).
Tammy - God has used you and other members of this ministry to bring a little girl from a trading center town called Namalanda, Uganda into this world. Jesus indeed has a purpose both for Mercy and her newborn baby girl. No matter how it looks, something tells me He will continue to help this little girl and her mother, Mercy.
Steve and Melinda thank all those who have supported them in their ministry. Such support has helped to save the life of a little girl in Uganda. Ongoing support will help Steve and Melinda continue to be able to reach out to Mercy and her baby and others in Uganda who need an outpouring of Christ's grace and mercy and love. Won't you help Mercy and her baby and others who are being ministered to by Steve and Melinda? Please consider donating to Steve and Melinda's eMi account by going to https://emisecure.org/donate.html. Designate Steve and Melinda Hoyt in the "Donation Designation" box to ensure your donation goes to the Hoyts' eMi account. (Engineering Ministries International is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.)