Our Mission, History, and Purpose
Kids need more than a hug; they need a loving parent and a caring sponsor. Together, we can change the world for at-risk children.
We Are About Child and Family Development
Our mission centers on child and family development. We focus on single mothers, large families, widows, and the handicapped. Our goal is to strengthen the existing family of an at-risk child through sponsorship assistance. We work to keep children in loving homes and out of orphanages and institutions.
Mercy Projects works in Ukraine, Kosovo, and Armenia, and in southern California with Safe Families for Children. Our Child and Family Sponsorship ministry funds are used to provide nutrition, education, healthcare, Christian Camps, and encouragement by our local caregivers to at-risk children. Our childcare workers monitor each family in their caseload. We are Christ-centered and family-focused.
We conduct 10-day summer and winter camps to build deeper relationships with at-risk children and challenge them spiritually. Camp counselors often become mentors and advisors to the teens attending camp.
Sponsors may connect with an individual child and family by writing letters to them or even visiting them. The relationship among family and sponsor often becomes a lifeline of contact for the sponsored child and his/her family.
Mercy Projects was founded in 1980 by its president Jeff Thompson. Our previous name was Eastern Europen Outreach (EEO). Jeff and his wife Paula lived in Berlin and regularly crossed “Checkpoint Charlie” to smuggle bibles behind the Iron Curtain. This exciting story is told in his book, Leaving The American Sector.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Jeff signed an agreement with the Russian military to teach a rehabilitation program for 25,000 teenage prisoners in 59 youth prisons. (The breakdown of the family due to alcoholism, unemployment, and poverty played a significant role creating the “social orphan” and “teen prisoner crisis” in the former Soviet Union.) Jeff traveled for eight years throughout Russia and Siberia to share the gospel with thousands of young prisoners.
In 1994, Jeff also opened a Charity Fund in Kyiv, Ukraine to address the problem of preventing kids from becoming orphaned, thus reaching them before they possibly end up in a youth prison. This was the beginning of the child and family sponsorship ministry.
20 years later, Mercy Projects provides assistance to thousands of children and their families all over Ukraine through Christian Camps, education, grocery support, and medical help using our network of childcare coordinators. Our focus remains on child and family development. Learn more here.
Our purpose is to transform the lives of vulnerable children. Jesus called it “making disciples”. It takes time and effort. Our purpose is to help young people have a future of hope and wholeness so they, too, can live a life of service to others.
1. To see the lives of at-risk children transformed wherever they may live.
2. To serve God and to serve others. Faith in God is at our core.
3. To work together with local leaders to find solutions to social problems.
4. To value people in other cultures and to learn from them.
5. To work to prevent sex trafficking, through education.