The Mercy Ministry
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Matthew 10:40
Project Mercy Center
How CAN you make a difference in the lives of families affected by disability?
Imagine this. It was a Thursday night in May of 2015. A Cascabel Collective volunteer team was visiting a family with a child who had disabilities. Traveling down a dirt road, team members climbed a rock wall. Inside a small adobe one-room house, sitting on a stringed frame structure serving as a bed, sat an elderly grandmother. She had no teeth, no smile and no drive. Hardship covered her face.
Emotionless, the woman sat on the makeshift bed, while next to the bed, on the ground, crouched a five-year-old child who had numerous disabilities. The visit included a warm greeting, prayer and a gift bag with food to last a week. Shortly after our friendly exchanges, the team left - impacted. For the next three days, this scene was repeated over and over.
Because most of you won’t be meeting these families, face to face, we are wanting to paint a clear and accurate picture of the intensity and persistence the mercy families agonize with daily. They have no physical or occupational therapy. They have no speech therapy. Most families in the region who have a child with a disability have never even received a diagnosis regarding their child’s issues or potential treatment.
These families have no insurance policies, no special education classrooms . . . in fact they have very little relief of any sort. Most bare their burdens alone. They are dealing with disabilities that don’t quit. They can’t beat or escape their situation. They are financially burdened and emotionally unprepared.
Scores of lay people and professionals have traveled to this rural area of Nicaragua to observe and analyze. After many hours of brainstorming with the volunteers there and here, a plan unfolded. Cascabel Collective organized to be the stateside force.
Responding to the need, Cascabel Collective purchased land and we are building The Mercy Center. The center will provide therapies – of every kind.
Ellen, an RN, will be moving there in March of 2018. She will bring her experience from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with her. Immediately, a local physical therapist will join the team. Of course, we are open and hoping for a continual flow of volunteers from both inside and outside the country.
We have a great list of needs. Financing the building, buying a vehicle to transport the kids and providing salaries for the staff are a few of our heavy-handed needs.
Completion of Mercy Center $15,000.
Purchase vehicle $20,000.
Physical therapist salary $5,000.
Administrator salary $3,000.
Lunches for kids during therapy $3,000.
Equipment needed for therapy $5,000.
We want to seek out and accommodate children with disabilities. Cascabel Collective is being intentional about our faith. It is going to be hard work and require much determination. We NEED you! You can contribute in multiple different ways.
→DONATE →COME WITH US → PRAY →RECRUIT THERAPISTS TO COME
Mercy ministry narrative
Caring for many of the Mercy children is a full-time job for their parents, creating a profound lack of resources. Hunger is a daily reality. Unfortunately, work in this rural area is limited and parents who have children with a disability have few resources for child care.
Pastor Carlos and the team in Nicaragua provides beans, corn, powdered milk, cereal, cooking oil, salt, sugar, soap, and toilet paper for 243 children with mental and physical disabilities. Currently, due to funding restrictions, the Nicaraguan team can only provide relief bags for the families four times a year.
The statistics for families affected by disability are staggering:
90% of the Mercy Ministry kids live in extreme poverty
80% have been abandoned by their fathers
Many don’t have beds
Most have no latrines
35 families carry in water daily
This is where we come in. Our hope is that families can be supported as they care for their disabled children. Each bag of food costs only $24 and a goal is to increase the frequency of food deliveries from four times a year to once a month.
Connecting with the families experiencing disability has helped to build a solid bridge between the USA and Nicaragua.