“We see a lot of needs on a daily basis,
but this has been one of the most desperate situations in all of Mwapona.”

JEREMY EMERT • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM LEAD

In January of 2021, one of our staff members, Anita, noticed that one of her nearby neighbors didn’t have a roof over her house but was still living there. This was very unusual and Anita was determined to find out who was living in this house without a roof.


“We do have heavy rains in Zambia, & seeing someone sleeping in
that house with no roof was so confusing to me.”

ANITA MWITUMWA • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM

As Anita started to seek out the resident, she learned that it was occupied by a woman named Mercy. Almost immediately Anita found herself being drawn to Mercy and started to learn more about her story. She quickly discovered that Mercy was sick with tuberculosis (TB) and her living situation was even worse than Anita had imagined.


“She was very sick, yet was sleeping on the ground without any blankets.”

ANITA MWITUMWA • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM

Mercy was sick but surviving in unacceptable living conditions. It was clear that she was tough and as we learned more about her life we started to understand why.

Over her lifetime, Mercy has given birth to 14 children, but she has lost 9 of them to death by various illnesses. Experiencing this type of extreme and traumatic loss has driven her to become the type of person that would do whatever it takes to protect her own. Over the years, she had learned to endure one difficult situation after another. Her life had been hard and had been marked by hopelessness and despair.

One day Mercy learned that one of her sons had found himself at serious risk of going to prison for committing a petty crime. In response, Mercy knew that she needed to do whatever it took to keep her son out of jail. With little resources to spare, Mercy was forced with an incredibly difficult decision.

Her son’s freedom or her house.

Mercy didn’t hesitate.
She sold nearly her whole roof to exchange
as compensation for her son’s liberty.


This
was the reason she had been living in
a house
without a roof because that was
the cost of her son’s freedom.

Once Anita had heard Mercy’s story, she knew that she needed to share this desperate situation with the rest of the Poetice Adult Ministry team. Anita invited Mercy to come to a Sunday Gathering at Poetice and Mercy came. Aware of her situation, our team began to minister and encourage Mercy but we didn’t initially act on her physical needs.


“I was hearing to wait. I wasn’t sure what it meant,
but I just felt like the timing wasn’t right at this point.”

JEREMY EMERT • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM LEAD

A few weeks later our Intensive students went on outreach with our Adult Ministry team. During this outing, they also witnessed Mercy’s plight firsthand and her desperate need for a new roof. Some of these Intensive students started to make a plan and began discussing how they could make this happen for Mercy. Word started to get around about Mercy’s situation. A few students started to contribute financially and together, the students were able to raise enough money to purchase some new roofing sheets.

On the day the new roof sheets arrived and started getting put onto Mercy’s house,
the house literally started shaking and was on the verge of collapsing.
It had become increasingly clear that Mercy’s house wasn’t built properly
and it was a miracle that the walls hadn’t previously fallen on her.

Her house was incredibly unsafe for her to live in.

On the day the new roof sheets arrived and started getting put onto Mercy’s house, the house literally started shaking and was on the verge of collapsing. It had become increasingly clear that Mercy’s house wasn’t built properly and it was a miracle that the walls hadn’t previously fallen on her.


Her house was incredibly unsafe for her to live in.


“I thought ‘we have to build her a new house’.
I didn’t know what else to do, I told them to knock it down,
while simultaneously not knowing if we would
have enough money to do this.”

JEREMY EMERT • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM LEAD

Word started spreading quickly around the Poetice community about the scope of Mercy’s housing needs. Almost immediately, more and more students, staff, and others chose to contribute financially towards the house for Mercy. As more and more people heard her story, it didn’t take very long for remaining funds to come in. Together, because of this giving community, we were able to start construction on Mercy’s new house with new flooring, a window, and a door.

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“I thank the Lord
& the people at Poetice.
No one has ever helped me like this. I’ve never seen people do something like this.”
– MERCY –
Before Mercy met Jesus her life was hopeless.
But, as she experienced the love of God through His Church
she has discovered the person of Jesus is in a powerful and new way.


“If I could speak a banner over her, I would speak hope.
Whereas before she was hopeless.
Mercy is now seeing Jesus through the Church
& she’s discovering who He is on a deeper level.”

JEREMY EMERT • ADULT MINISTRY TEAM LEAD

Today, Mercy has completely surrendered her life to the Lord and we are continuing to minister to her on a regular basis. She has left her old life of hopelessness behind her and she is now actively pursuing a real relationship with God.


“I will always stick with that family who has rescued me.”

– MERCY- 

Mercy is now a part of a new family
at Poetice and in the Kingdom of God.
Every time we pass her place,
it’s an amazing reminder of what
it looks like for a community to rally together
and lift each other up in times of need.