In the summer of 2011, all five members of the Ward Family boarded a plane to Zambia for the very first time. The stories of the children they met had gripped their hearts and moved them to action. Together on the long plane ride home they set a goal to build a house at the Tree of Life Children’s Village. A home that would provide 12 orphans with a place to live, complete with loving caregivers, nutritious meals, access to school and a childhood filled with joy.
As soon as they returned home fundraising began. The Wards welcomed donations but rather than just ask people to donate, they felt led to find ways to “work” for this cause. This is one creative family who used their “gifts” to inspire others to give. Kim, who loves to cook, began to sell home-cooked meals, breads and desserts. The whole family shared their desire to build Mercy House with others through presentations held in their home in Ruston, LA. It was exciting for them to watch those who listened be moved to find ways that they could also be part of building Mercy House. A community wide effort unfolded as many people jumped on board to help. Bake sales, garage sales and estates sales were held. Christmas Camps for children started. Personalized day-planners were made. Guided fishing trips were taken and ALL proceeds went to the construction of Mercy House. Many people were generous with their talents, time and resources and soon all the funds were raised and construction began. Happily on July 21, 2012 Mercy House opened at the Tree of Life. Twelve children have a new place to live where they are welcomed, cared for and loved.
The Ward’s know that their work in Zambia is far from over. Many more orphans still need homes. Children living at the Tree of Life need additional classrooms and a medical clinic. Through Mercy House and More their goal is to raise money through donations and fundraisers. Visit their website to find out how “have mercy” t-shirts and car decals are beginning to raise awareness across the United States.
We are grateful for ambassador families like Kim, John, Anna, Maggie and Evan Ward who continue to bring HOPE and LOVE to the children of Zambia.