Last year we kicked off our Bibles for Rwanda campaign. I’m excited and inspired to report back to everyone that not only did we meet our goal of funding 10,000 bibles for the children of Rwanda, we exceeded that goal by $10,000. Amazing and 100% because of the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone at Mary & Martha, including our phenomenal customers. WOW! I think we can all agree that God played an important and special role in guiding us toward that project and helping us reach our goal. In blessing us with abundance, I believe He’s also helping seed our next opportunity with the remaining $10,000.
So what next? Our wonderful partners at Compassion International are doing incredible work all around the globe, especially in reaching the most vulnerable – the children of our world living in extreme poverty without hope, without love, without safety. To me, the question is not just WHAT next but WHERE next.
Heading into a new decade and inspired by the incredible experience of the Bibles for Rwanda campaign, I feel called to consider our partnership with Compassion in an even bigger way. I think it’s time to take our relationship to the next level. I want Mary & Martha to be invested in something transformational, something that will serve these children and their children for generations to come.
After a great deal of prayer and many conversations with Jeanne and her team at Compassion, I’m excited to reveal our next partnership project with Compassion—this year, in 2020, Mary & Martha will partner with Compassion in launching a Child Development Center in Arusha, Tanzania!
This center, through Compassion’s local church partner, will serve more than 200 children year each year, providing them spiritual support, access to medical care, nutrition, tutoring and other programs—a safe place to be children, to grow healthy & strong, and to know the love of Jesus.
This center will be a hub in the community for hope, for safety and for children and their families to know the love of Jesus. And not just for a year or two, but for lifetimes. The local church partner will walk side by side with Compassion as the Center opens, but over time it is intended that it will become a self-sustaining community resource, equipped to be all that God intended for the church to be as His light for His people.
Our entire team at Mary & Martha, and our customers, will have an opportunity to watch this center grow and flourish over the years. Our vision is to have products within our line where proceeds of those sales directly benefit the Arusha center. We also will have the opportunity to sponsor the children who attend the center, and to support vital projects in the community. There are so many exciting paths for us to follow, and I can’t wait to see what Compassion, the Arusha community and God have in store for us as this project unfolds.
One early sign that this project was meant to be was the name: Arusha which means “Rising Sun”—a new beginning to a new day—so appropriate for our company as part of the DaySpring family. I also thought of Rising Sun when I think about our consultants – many of you found your way to Mary & Martha as part of your own personal new beginnings.
We have much to learn about the people and community of Arusha. In March, we will have a small team visit the Center and meet the pastor, the project workers and some of the children who will be attending the program. I look forward to sharing my learnings when I return - I know it will be inspiring.
Before the start of Summer Conference, we will start filling in the details and how everyone at Mary & Martha, including our customers, can get involved in transforming the lives of these children, their families and the Arusha community.
I just want to thank each and every one of you in advance for leading us to this place of changing lives. We simply would not be here had it not been for the amazing support you provided to us during the Bibles for Rwanda Campaign. Your passion for these children is enabling Mary & Martha to say yes to launching this Center in Tanzania and establishing what I believe will be seeds of transformational change for that community in the years and decades that follow. I can’t think of a more meaningful way to start 2020, so thank you for making it possible!
– Stephen Barnett, Business Director
with the Mary & Martha Home Office Staff
receive holistic care through the center as they go through the Compassion program, which will come alongside the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done." - Proverbs 19:17