Making Disciples and Feeding the Poor: How Does It All Work Together?
This newsletter is about what we do at Mercy Projects, who we serve, where we serve, and how we do it. We usually share stories that illustrate the needs of those in our programs and the impact supporters have through their partnership. In other words, we usually share pieces of the puzzle without showing the whole puzzle! This month is a little different.
In this current culture of constant information, social media, and fake and sponsored news stories, it is difficult to sort out what is real or even important. It seems that if you are not posting to social media, then people don’t think you are doing anything. Of course, this could not be further from the truth.
What: We Believe In Jesus and The Gospel
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16
Mercy Projects is committed to sharing the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ. The gospel is both our motivation and foundation for all we do.
Who: The Poor and Vulnerable
Our focus is on children at risk, the poor and needy, widows, the trafficked, and the prisoner. Our goal is to assist children at risk to keep them out of orphanages and in loving families. Children growing up in families, assisted by MP childcare coordinators, have a far greater chance to grow up healthy and to serve the Lord. Building homes in Kosovo for widows allows them to provide a forever home for their children. This is a blessing that lasts generations. The local church ministers to them.
Where: Is Anywhere Possible?
Our history is in Eastern Europe. Formerly known as EEO or Eastern European Outreach, I started as a missionary to communist countries 40 years ago. Today, God continues to open doors of ministry there and we focus on Ukraine, Kosovo, and Armenia—the three poorest countries in this region. We provide family sponsorships for children at risk. The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-19, however, causes me to regularly pray and think about ministry to restricted-access countries and people groups who have not heard the gospel yet.
How: Is There A Strategy?
I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is best communicated in person. Mercy Projects employs and partners with many people to actually touch other people’s lives for Christ. I like to think of it as “the personal touch.” In Ukraine, our office staff is actively and daily involved with the families and children that you sponsor.
Coordinators – We have 16 childcare coordinators who care for and connect with the sponsored families in their regions. They make sure that children and families do not live in isolation. They encourage them to be involved with a local church. They deliver your letters. They are an important resource to single mothers who might not have any other family.
Camp Ministry – Camp is where we invite children from the families in our program to come for nine days of fun, crafts, sports, Bible study, and Christian fellowship. Camp is where most of the young people give their lives to Christ. When they return home, if there is no local church in their village, they stay in touch with their camp
counselors. We train the camp counselors to do the vital follow up
work that is so important.
Sponsorship – Your support provides at least 50% of the camp expenses for sponsored children. The other 50% of sponsorship support is divided among groceries, medical expenses, education, and childcare ministry services.
National Workers – National Workers are local believers in Ukraine, Russia, and/or Kosovo, who serve the Lord via evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. We desire to encourage locals, who come from a poor economy, to believe God in faith for their support. We then do our best to find sponsorship support for them. These are courageous believers who serve in hardship. They will not be kicked out of the country because they are not foreigners. We are not a church planting organization, but we encourage it when possible.
Your Partnership and Finances
We have a small staff here in southern California and are dependent on the generous support of friends and sponsors. Your prayers and financial support make the MP ministry happen. Our goal is to be good and faithful stewards of the funds you entrust to us. A financial statement and Tax Form 990 are both available to the public on our website.
In closing, we are amazed at all God has done through your partnership over the last 40 years. He is a miracle worker, His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, and His Spirit still changes lives. Amen!