Mercy Orphanage Partnership
Mercy Orphanage was started 13 years ago when Connie Meyer-Schultz of Miltona, MN, lost her husband from cancer. Connie has always had a special love for kids and has had an in home daycare for many years. She decided she wanted to invest his life insurance money to help kids in need somewhere in the world. Someone gave her the name of a bishop in India that she could contact. Knowing nothing about him, Connie emailed him a short note, introducing herself and telling him she wanted to help orphans in his country.
Meanwhile, RK, a young man living in South India, was heading off to University on a bus. The bus stalled and he was left with nothing to do for two hours except gaze out the window. As he did, he saw a wedding going on and many small beggar children trying to catch the crumbs and leftover food that was falling on the ground. At one point, a very small boy found a piece of meat but it was soon snatched away by a dog and he was left empty handed and crying. RK was also crying as he watched the scene unfold before his eyes. RK was so affected by what he saw that day that it literally changed the entire course of his life! He decided to become an evangelist and take care of orphans, widows, and outcasts of India, rather than pursue a more traditional job.
RK eventually married and he and his wife were walking through a village one day and spotted 5 young children, dirty and naked on the riverbank. They approached them and soon learned that no one was caring for them, they were homeless orphans. RK looked at his wife and stated, “I think, today we start our orphanage.” There was only one problem, they had no home nearby to put the children and the law required them to stay in that district. So RK and his wife walked through the village and soon saw a half built house, some walls and windows missing. RK inquired about the house and found out it was available for them to use for very little cost. So, that day, RK and his wife went throughout that village and found a total of 17 orphans and brought them to live with them in the half built house. They had very little money as evangelists did not get paid and RK was doing part time jobs such as typing and cooking on the roadside. But they went ahead in obedience and faith.
RK went to his brother who was the Bishop in that area and told him the work he had just started. The Bishop would often pull up his junk mail and erase it with a click of the mouse but one day soon after, he happened to pull it up and notice that one message looked different than all the others. As he opened it and read the message from Connie, he realized he needed to contact RK immediately! He gave RK the message and told him to contact Connie right away, but RK did not have a computer and had never emailed before! So his brother instructed him to go to an Internet Cafe and ask for help setting up an account. RK did this and then sat for 8 hours with Telegu and English dicitonaries side by side and painstakingly typed a message to Connie-about 3 lines long. Connie has told the story that she waited a couple of months for a response from the Bishop and had decided one night that if she did not hear something by the next morning, she would buy a sports car instead! Well, the next morning, here was a message from RK, inviting her to come to India and help with the work among the orphans! Truly, this is a story of God's remarkable timing in connecting two people who were literally a world away from each other to do His work!
So TODAY children can be sponsored for $15 a month which covers food, clothing, shelter, education, vocational training, and of course, the chance to learn about Jesus and be discipled. 100% of the funds go to the child-there are no overhead costs taken out. When most other sponsorship agencies are regularly raising costs of sponsorship, RK takes pride in keeping his the same, stating that he does not want to limit anyone from sponsoring and wants to help as many kids as he can.
Today there are approximately 700 orphans spread out in several homes and RK hopes to take in 2,000 and maintain that number, even as some graduate from college. This is a personalized sponsorship program as I go every year and take letters and gifts from sponsors and hand deliver them to the kids. I also take photos and videos of the kids and bring them back to the sponsors. It has been such a joy to see the kids grow and change and go off into the world. I recently completed my 7th trip!!!