House of Mercy
The idea for The House of Mercy was born out of a very difficult time in Pastor Francisco’s life when his mother passed away. During the final stages of her life, Francisco spent several days and nights at the general hospital. Being there gave him an inside look at a very specific need that he was ashamed to say he had never noticed before. He saw families waiting outside of the hospital for news about their loved one, much like he was, except they were sitting outside on the street instead of inside a warm car. They were going without meals, while he ate the food that he had brought from home. They were sleeping on the sidewalk while he went home to sleep in his own bed. At the time, he didn’t know how he was going to help these people but God made it clear to him that he needed to do something.
Pastor Francisco started by getting his own congregation involved. They started a ministry outreach for the people sleeping outside the hospital. They took food and passed out blankets once a week for several months. But God started nudging Francisco to do more. While reading through Mathew 25:35, it became clear to him what God was calling him to do - they were to welcome the stranger and provide a place to stay. He immediately started looking for land to build a home where these people could come not only to eat and sleep but to be ministered to while they waited for their loved ones to get discharged from the hospital.
The closest development to the general hospital with available land for purchase had only three lots left. Thankfully, they were right next to each other. Francisco found the owner, explained why he needed to purchase the land, and also explained that he could not afford to pay full price for all three lots but that he absolutely had to have all three of them. The owner basically laughed at him and sent him away. The next morning, the owner called Francisco and said he couldn’t get his face out of his head. He sold him all three lots at a 30% discount.
Francisco continued his outreach to the hospital while his congregation started working on leveling out the land and preparing it for construction. They started praying for financial partners to get the project underway. Creekside Church from California and Cascade Church from Idaho partnered with Francisco. The two churches sent teams to Ensenada to help with construction. Nine teams came over the course of a year and built the first building that would serve as a home for the staff and temporary dorms for the families. House of Mercy opened its doors and received the first guests in April 2015.
It is the goal of the staff at House of Mercy to provide a home environment for all of their guests. Aside from providing meals and a comfortable place to rest, they pray for the families and bear their burdens with them. A devotional is held every evening for anyone who wishes to participate. Guests have the ability to shower, do laundry and eat whenever they are hungry. All of their meals are prepared for them by the staff. Transportation is also available back and forth to the hospital 24 hours a day.
Since opening, there have been many nights when the House of Mercy has exceeded capacity. Construction continues on additional dorms and recreation areas to accommodate more families and ensure they can encounter the peace of God in their time of trial.
Through the ministry provided by House of Mercy many lives have been transformed. Families often arrive very reserved at first. They fear an ideology is going to be forced on them. They quickly realize the only agenda is demonstrating God’s love for one another. Over time they often even end up serving in the ministry by helping clean, cook, or simply praying for other families that are guests as well. Pastor Francisco has shared with us countless stories of not just miraculous healings in the hospital, but marriages restored, transgressions forgiven, and lives transformed through ministry to the families at House of Mercy. He says everyone leaves as part of the House of Mercy family, and many keep in touch long after their stay.