Mercy Ministries Peru, $309K and no cherry

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”[1] 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.An Angel of Mercy - Charisma Mag article 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[2], however the Mercy Ministries UK counterpart which echoes almost all other milestones is conspicuously silent on Peru[3].

 

Mercy Ministries Peru received a further mention in an article by The Examiner in October 2009[4], 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[5], 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[6].

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.

Written By Mercy Survivors

Support for survivors of Mercy Ministries

6 Comments on “Mercy Ministries Peru, $309K and no cherry

  1. heyelg

    May 15, 2014 at 11:07

    Just a note. Mercy opened in 1983 as Covenant Ministries. Sometime around 1986, they opened a home in Shreveport, LA. I don’t think it stayed opened long.

    Also, is the home in New Zealand called something different than Mercy Ministries?

    • Mercy Survivors

      March 30, 2015 at 9:15

      Hi G.

      The home in New Zealand is called A Girl Called Hope.

      http://www.agirlcalledhope.org.nz/

      We believe this was to avoid the controversies surrounding the Australian homes. Mercy Ministries Australia was known among the New Zealand recovery community at that time and there were a number of former residents from New Zealand in the Aussie homes.

      MS Team

  2. Elisabeth

    October 22, 2014 at 8:41

    Does Mercy ministries release financial statements at the end of each reporting period? I would be interested to examine them.

  3. sharom

    February 27, 2015 at 12:20

    Well Im reading this and let me tell you that you are wrong, Im from Peru and I want you to please search more before you writte things that are not true. Camino has already opened since twor year ago a house and its call casa gracia and I know that here in peru its being a blessing. SO please before you say somenthing that u are not sure, search ande be sure!

    • Mercy Survivors

      March 30, 2015 at 10:18

      Hi Sharom.

      At the time this piece was written, no further information other than this was available to us, despite having sought a comment from Hillsong about where this donation went, or if it was ever released. And certainly no assertion was made as to the whereabouts of this donation, only that it was a mystery and that Hillsong Church who took the donation had not responded to our query.

      In the first instance, I would think this piece highlights the mystery of $309,000 Aussie dollars that has not been accounted for by Mercy Ministries in the form of a home in Peru. The onus, in the first instance, is on Hillsong Church who received the donation to account for its whereabouts, which is why we sought them for comment rather than Mercy Ministries.

      After the article above was published, a woman in our network tipped us off about a home that was in fact opened, called Camino de Vida Grace House, no doubt associated with the pastor parents of Jenna, graduate of Mercy Ministries Australia.

      http://caminodevida.com/gracehouse

      Their website currently states they are a joint venture between Hillsong Church and Camino de Vida church, and nothing I have come across on the Mercy Ministries websites (save for the screenshots contained in this article) indicates that this is in fact a “Mercy Ministries Peru” home. Furthermore, I understand Nancy Alcorn and Hillsong “broke up” some time after the Australian controversies were exposed, so it could be that Hillsong took the donation at a time where things between them were perhaps strained but not completely severed, and then after the donation was taken, they severed ties officially, and wished to disassociate themselves and not donate to Mercy Ministries.

      But of course, this is all theory and guess work without a response from Hillsong who were the ones responsible for the taking and the appropriate dissemination of these monies.

      I’m not sure how it works in Peru, but here in Australia, there are very strict government guidelines around the handling of donations and it’s strange that Hillsong has remained silent.

      If you have further information on this Mercy Ministries Peru, or if you have some way of proving that this Camino de Vida Grace House is in fact Mercy Ministries Peru, please get back in touch. It would be good to do a follow up piece clarifying the matter if substantial information and further evidence comes to light.

      Peace

      MS Team

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