Recently, I was reading about a couple of Mercy Ministries homes that were anticipated to open, but never eventuated. In that process, I ended up uncovering quite a few.
The one that stood out to me the most was the anticipated Mercy Ministries Peru home, and you’re about to find out why.
Peru tipped to open in 2009 article
On 1 September 2009, Charisma magazine published an article called “An Angel of Mercy” noting a number of Mercy Ministries’ anticipated future homes to be opened, both domestic (to the United States) and abroad. One of the homes noted in Mercy Ministries’ plans to expand was Peru. Mercy Ministries notes “Peru office” opened in 2006
The “History” page of Mercy Ministries Canada as at the date of this piece notes “Peru office opens” in year 2006, however the Mercy Ministries UK counterpart which echoes almost all other milestones is conspicuously silent on Peru.
Mercy Ministries Peru received a further mention in an article by The Examiner in October 2009, although it mistakenly notes Peru as having already opened.
Could the presumption that Mercy Ministries Peru being an existing affiliate have been a clumsy oversight on the part of the journalist? Or could they have cleaned this idea from Mercy Ministries’ own material?
Mercy Ministries International
Before Mercy Ministries of America began disowning the international homes as “affiliates”, they promoted themselves as an international ministry and drew upon testimonies of graduates from these homes.
As early as March 2008, the Mercy Ministries International website noted Peru as a Mercy Ministries location.
In one case, a “graduate from Peru” (who turned out to be a Peruvian woman who graduated from one of the Australian homes) featured on Mercy’s promotional videos. (Just for trivia, the “graduate from New Zealand” was a New Zealander who graduated from the Sydney home in Australia).
The graduate from Peru
From what I understand on Mercy Ministries News blog and other websites, the parents of this graduate (Jenna) were pastors in Lima, Peru of a large church, and they were working with Mercy Ministries to start up the home in Peru.
As it turns out, this Mercy Ministries Peru graduate’s parents happened to be the head pastors of “the largest church in Lima, Peru“. In an article on the Mercy Ministries News website in late 2009, they are said to be founding the first Mercy Ministries Spanish-speaking home in Peru.
This same article also notes Jenna as a graduate of Mercy Ministries Australia.
Fundraising for Mercy Ministries Peru
In 2009, (after the Australian scandals came to light, but before Hillsong officially broke off the relationship), Hillsong Men’s Conference raised $309,000 to go towards the new Mercy Ministries home in Peru. Hillsong Pastor Darren Kitto urged men to consider “helping mothers, daughters, sisters in this practical way“.
Rather than include the screenshot which is entirely in Spanish, I have had the text translated via Google, which reads:
The Hillsong Men’s Conference last year, over $ 309,000 were raised in a single service to start “Mercy Ministries Peru ” ( Mercy Ministries Peru ) . The amount will buy the house not only necessary but also will put the program in place .
The coordinator of ” Hillsong Aid and development ,” Darren Kitto sent a challenge to the men who attended the conference , ” We have the opportunity to affect sisters, daughters and mothers across the world , and I encourage them to be extremely generous . ‘s be a response to real need in a practical way , he said.
The home will be built in conjunction with Camino de Vida, a vibrant church in the heart of Lima, Peru , which is making a difference in countless lives . The senior pastors of the church, Robert and Karyn Barriger have had a dream of many years to build ” Mercy Ministries ” ( Mercy ministries ) established in Peru.
Some years the pastor’s daughter Barriger , Jenna ago, attended “Mercy Ministries ” , a program to help women to overcome the problems of life in Australia . “Mercy ministries” gave me back my daughter and I want to do the same with other parents in Peru , ” said Pastor Robert .
This is the third consecutive year that an offering is lifted in the ” Hillsong Men’s Conference ” to address the issue of social assistance. More than $ 240,000 was raised last year for “Hope Rwanda” . This was for the construction of homes for widows and orphans in Rwanda.
For more information regarding men ‘s conference please visit the conference website at http://www.mensconference.com/ The ” mercy ministries ” began in the U.S. and now have homes in Australia , UK, Canada and New Zealand.
Given this home never eventuated, yet hundreds of thousands were raised in donations, it begs the question, where did the money go?
Perhaps Pastor Robert Barriger was not aware? But a witness at the conference indicated that Hillsong pastor Darren Kitto, who took the offering intended for Mercy Ministries Peru, allegedly called Pastor Barriger before the entire crowd (in the tens of thousands) to inform him of the offering, which he in turn confirmed that not only was this going to cover the cost of the property, but also go a long way to adapt and furnish the property as needed.
Where to from here?
- $309,000 Australian dollars was raised at Hillsong Men’s Conference in 2007
- According to the blog of a witness, Pastor Robert Barriger of the largest megachurch in Peru was made aware of this donation in front of a stadium of people
- In October 2009, The Mercy Ministries News confirms Pastor Barriger is “spearheading” the Mercy Ministries home in Peru, and notes Peru officially on the Mercy Ministries International website
- It’s now 2014 and I have not found any further mention from Mercy’s websites since
So how do these things work? Does the money sit in trust or an interest bearing account until such time as progress is made on the Peru home? If enough funds were raised to cover the cost of the home and furnishings, why would they be sitting on the money when they had the funds needed to open the home? If Mercy Ministries Peru gets shelves permanently, what happens to the funds that were specifically raised for that home as opposed to Mercy Ministries generally or Mercy Ministries in any other country?
Hillsong Church was contacted for comment, but none has been received to date.