Mercy and Grace Ministries was founded by Ricardo Venegas and Mark Eskridge.  Ricardo had a dream and a vision to start a ministry in Honduras to reach the poor and spiritually lost people in his country.  It became a reality in 2005 when his friend Mark helped him buy a Toyota Tacoma. He named it “Mercy & Grace”. Ricardo then acquired a projector, a generator and a DVD player. That was the beginning of Mercy and Grace Ministries.  For 2 years he traveled to remote areas all over Honduras showing videos and sharing the Gospel any time he possibly could. Financing his passion was always a challenge but never more than his Heavenly Father could handle.

In 2007 Ricardo experienced a miracle from God and received permission to legally come to the US. This was a miracle because Ricardo was an illegal immigrant working in the US in 1996 when he was arrested, deported back to Honduras and told he would NEVER return again. During his first legal visit to the US in the summer of 2007, Ricardo and his friend Mark officially started Mercy and Grace Ministries (M&G). It was during this time that they began soliciting support from churches and friends. One of the churches who believed in them and their vision was The Rock Church in King, NC.  Because of their faithfulness to the Lord and their love for the people of Honduras, The Rock Church allowed M&G to begin operating as a mission ministry under their non-profit umbrella.  This act of love not only saved M&G from the financial expense of filing for non-profit status, it also allowed for tax deductible contributions to be made through them and designated for M&G. Upon Ricardo’s return to Honduras, he purchased a used school bus, hired a staff and began facilitating mission trips from the US to Honduras in July of 2007. This was a major leap of faith for all who were involved.

The ministry grew rapidly to the point that it could apply and was awarded 501(c)(3) non-profit status in July of 2011.  Operating solely on private contributions, M&G has averaged sending 24 teams per year since its first team in 2007.  We have a staff in Honduras and a Board of Directors in the US.  Currently M&G facilitates mission trips for teams from the United States desiring to provide the various needs for the third-world country of Honduras.  This program has missionaries in place in Honduras to assist in providing transportation, coordinating lodging and meals, translation services and planning mission projects.  Some of the projects we participate in are:  feeding the hungry, ministering in hospitals, medical clinics, youth/pastor/marriage conferences, Christian concerts, vacation Bible schools, tent revivals, construction projects, water purification systems, school assemblies and evangelism of all types.

M&G also provides an education sponsorship program in which the families of elementary and secondary school children in various communities of the Yoro Region of Honduras receive monthly financial aid to assist with nutrition, hygiene products, school books, school uniforms, school supplies, and related expenses.   Our first sponsorship program is in the village of Los Chorritos, a poor rural community located in Yoro, Honduras near Victoria. This village has no electricity or running water in their homes. Many of the houses are one-room huts constructed of stick and mud with tin roofs and dirt floors. There is one elementary school in the community with two teachers providing classes for approximately 100 students. One teacher teaches the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students while the other teacher teaches the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. This school has very limited resources.

Our plan as a ministry is to continue soliciting monthly donors who are committed to the mission of M&G.  The ministry has achieved its goal of purchasing a full-sized truck within the first year of independent operation.  As we seek to sustain the ministry on a monthly basis, we will begin our fund raising efforts to achieve our long-term goal.

Mercy House is a part of the long-term goal of M&G.  Phase one of Mercy House opened in the spring of 2017.  As funds allow, we will continue moving forward The more we sat and listened to people, the more we realized the need for Mercy House. We cannot change things in Honduras overnight.  It takes time.  Yes, we can meet their needs for a short time, but we need to educate them so that they can change their future. Mercy House located in the Victoria, Yoro area of Honduras and will serve many purposes.  While it is a mission house providing lodging and a base of operations for mission teams from the US, it will also be used as a Bible Institute, a Skills School, an Agricultural School, a Summer Camp, and a Soup Kitchen.  Our vision is to better equip the people in this area by providing them with the necessary resources to make a difference in their community.

We will continue to prayerfully seek guidance from our Lord in all that we do making certain that He gets all the honor and glory for the success of Mercy and Grace Ministries.