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UA Little Rock Student Serves as Missionary in Africa

UA Little Rock Student and Missionary Mercy MacJones meets with school children during a mission trip in Mombasa, Kenya.
UA Little Rock Student and Missionary Mercy MacJones meets with school children during a mission trip in Mombasa, Kenya.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student is making a positive impact and helping those in need by serving as a missionary in Africa, Chile, France, and others.

Bishop Mercy MacJones, a psychology major and nonprofit leadership studies minor at UA Little Rock, founded the nonprofit organization, Daughters of Jesus Fellowship, to empower women to live in freedom and to spread the good word. She has ministered in the United States and overseas in the African countries of Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia.

“Mercy MacJones is a true depiction of someone who is determined, empowering, and who shows an unwavering amount of strength,” said Michita Merriweather, a development specialist with TRIO Student Support Services at UA Little Rock. “A non-traditional student with the ability to persevere no matter the obstacles faced, she has a serving spirit, as well as the gift of healing and transforming all of the lives she encounters. We are proud to have her as a participant of TRIO Student Support Services, and we are excited for her future.”

A native of Nigeria who is now an American citizen, MacJones was inspired to begin her missionary work more than 30 years ago to help the women and children of her home nation. MacJones said that the women and children in Nigeria face many hardships, including insecurity, hunger, as well as lack of medical care, education, and childcare.

“I hate to see people suffering,” MacJones said. “My mom was a widow who became the breadwinner of the family. It was tough for her, and it was tough for us. I saw how she struggled to help every one of us.”

Most of her missionary work involves setting up churches as well as helping women and children receive food, clothing, medical care, education, job training, and small loans to start businesses.

“In Malawi, for example, we have young girls from 10-12 years old who are becoming mothers,” MacJones said. “When you look at them, my heart is weeping. Sometimes we can get computers to start a school for these girls. We have also encountered a lot of widows who are looking for maybe $50 to start a business, just a small business to help their families. A lot of men died during Boka Haram, and we have thousands of widows who need help.”

As a mother of five with a husband who is doing missionary work in Africa and other nations, MacJones said that missionary work has been embraced by her whole family.

“In my family, we were trained to love everybody despite our differences,” she said. “It’s a legacy that I am passing to my children. All of my kids love traveling to learn about different cultures, and I have traveled with all my kids for mission work. We just want to be faithful to our Lord and what we love to do. We have a passion to make a difference in people’s destinies.”

She traveled to Nigeria during Christmas as her most recent mission trip. One of the highlights of the trip was a Christmas party in Abuja, where they gave out Christmas presents and food to women and children. MacJones was moved by a young boy who came to the Christmas party looking for help for his family. An orphan himself, the child lives with his aunt and cousins, who struggles to pay for food for the family. Since the family can’t afford to send him to school, MacJones is hoping to sponsor the child’s education.

“When a child is not educated, they become troubled in society,” MacJones said. “Education is so important to this mission. I see a lot of children who are stranded in life. These are the leaders of tomorrow, and we don’t want their lives to be wasted because they haven’t had access to education.”

At UA Little Rock, MacJones is especially interested in learning more about international communication, fundraising, and nonprofit management to assist with her nonprofit and missionary work. Fundraising is especially important, since she can only take mission trips when her nonprofit raises enough. She is planning another mission trip this summer where she will visit Kenya, Tanzania, and France, where she is helping to establish a branch of the Daughters of Jesus Fellowship International.