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"We exist to provide life essential services that restore dignity and hope to people in need" Our vision is to establish self-perpetuating centers internationally that that provide food, clothing, shelter, a safe place to sleep, counseling, vocational training, and hope to enable people to re-enter society as individuals with dignity.
Currently we are working on two fronts: on one front, we are reaching into El Rio (an unincorporated district of Oxnard), California. Since January 2008 we have been operating a food pantry every Saturday where we feed 70+ families each week. We also tutor elementary age children two days a week after school. Also we are in the planning stages to open a transitional living home for women who are single parents. Our goal is to have the home open by year end 2008.
On another front, Mercy Ministries continues its ministry efforts in Russia , planting churches, starting non-profits and NGOs such as rescue missions and drug-rehab clinics.
WHAT WE DO
El Rio/Nyeland Acres
We believe that God has pointed us to serve the peoples El Rio/Nyeland Acres. El Rio/Nyeland Acreas is a culturally mixed low-income, unincorporated district of Oxnard, California. While our services are available to any qualified residents in these two communities, the majority consist of Hispanic and Latino families, many of whom speak little or no English. Additionally, within these communities we have encountered a number of Mixteco families from Mexico that live and work in and around the agriculture industries of Ventura County. The "Mixtec" or "Mixteco" people, as they are referred to in the area, are a distinct culture in Ventura County. Many of them speak only their native Mixtecan language and dialect and have little proficiency in either Spanish or English.
Our goal is NOT to change the cultures or the peoples El Rio and Nyeland Acres, but to serve and help in them. We have identified three areas of need where we think Mercy Ministries can begin to serve these communities. Those three areas are:
- Food and Nutrition
- Primary school Education assistance
- A Transitional Living Home for single mothers
In January 2008 we started two "foothold" programs designed to help us make contact with and get acquainted with the people of El Rio/Nyeland Acres by providing them food and education assistance. We opened a Food Pantry to provide food to low-income families so that these families can use their much-needed for other necessities. Each week we collect food from Food Share of Ventura County , Albertson's Fresh Rescue program, through Children's Hunger Fund and by private donations from individuals and churches. We are partnering on a weekly basis with Bethany Chapel in El Rio as a distribution site for qualified families. Learn more...
Secondly, we also see a great need for education assistance for children in these communities. Education is a cornerstone of building one's life up in a positive way in the midst of illiteracy and desperation. The public school system has some of the lowest test scores in the state. For many of the children living here, English is not their native language as many come from homes that speak primarily Spanish or their native Mixtecan. These children are very capable learners, but need assistance in the educational process. Mercy Ministries has many friends who have many years of experience in full-time education, individualized tutoring, and the development a lifelong learning mindset. Consequently, also in January 2008 we opened the Kid Power Tutoring Center which meets two days each week. Admission into this program is by appointment only. Learn More...
Thirdly, we also feel compelled to respond to the the plight of the single mothers by opening the Mercy Center Transitional Living Home. El Rio is not unique in having a population of young women who, through choices made early in life or by conditions not of their choosing, find themselves alone and responsible to care for one or more young children. Many of these women possess few job skills, little education and are locked into a cycle of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, and desperation. Mercy Ministries is currently developing a transitional living home program designed to break these negative cycles for these women and for their children. We are currently raising funds to open Mercy Center Transitional Livng Home by year-end 2008. Learn More...
- Kathy Tanner
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