Mary's Missionaries began with a fight over bread in 2017.
After attempting to hand out bread to hungry migrants and needing rescue from the local shopkeepers from the crowd that gathered, our first missionary realized that she needed to change her strategy.
She reflected on her experience in the poor seaside village in Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa bordering Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
Upon arriving, she had set out to meet the people in this community bordering the Red Sea. While walking around, meeting people, and surveying the stark landscape, she encountered extreme poverty. The village was and still is a transport hub between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Migrants from across eastern Africa, including children as young as ten, leave their impoverished countries to seek work in wealthy Arab countries. By the time they reach the Red Sea, many have spent all their money and cannot afford food. Some die of hunger and preventable illnesses along the journey.
Our missionary went around, attempting to discreetly purchase food for the hungry and medication for the sick, and encouraged children to attend school. The villagers watched and began to ask for help.
Mary's Missionaries' first volunteer learned that as she sought to serve the community, locals wanted to join her in helping their neighbors, despite their own poverty.
Some helped her carry food to those who were hungry; others sought out the neediest of their neighbors, and other locals assisted her as a translator.
By working as partners with community members, they could serve more individuals and families in this village on Djibouti's coast.
With a heart for bringing God's unconditional love to the poor by providing for people's basic needs, Mary's Missionaries has since expanded to support communities in Ethiopia, Yemen, Uganda, and Belize.