Archives For Mission of Mercy

Top Posts of 2010

Erik Cooper —  December 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

According to Google, these were my most read posts of 2010 (and seriously, who argues with Google and lives?). Since this is the week of top 10’s and best of’s, I thought I’d join the end of year festivities. Hope you enjoy a little stroll down BeyondTheRisk memory lane.

10.  Memorabilia: What Do You Hold Onto?

Our lives are full of memorabilia. Some trigger beautiful memories.  Some conjure up nightmares. [Read more]

9. Should Churches Ever Go Out of Business?

A question I still question if I should have even asked. [Read more]

8.  Should the Church Really Be Promoting Social Justice?

Glenn Beck made some strong statements against churches who talk about social justice. I tried to engage the conversation [Read More]

7.  Saying Goodbye

After 32 years, my parents finally moved from my childhood home. These were my nostalgic thoughts as we closed those doors for one last time. [Read More]

6.  The Problem with the Church

With all the condescending finger pointing and pithy diagnosis, I thought it was time to talk about the real problem with the church. [Read More]

5.  You Can Keep Your Hymnal

How often am I guilty of trying to relive the past? What are the “hymnals” in your life? [Read More]

4.  Embracing Biblical Values and Completely Missing the Point

Is it possible to love Jesus without truly following Him?  [Read More]

3.  Goodbye Maddie

Directly or indirectly, relationships will hurt you (confession: cried again re-reading this one). [Read More]

2.  I Hate When People Tell Me About Their Missions Trips

A trip to Honduras once again messed with our normal. What you hear from these two guys sums it up perfectly. [Read More]

1.  Fifteen Years Ago

My wife and I crossed a major milestone this year. This is my tribute to her (to us). [Read More]

Fifteen to Finish

Erik Cooper —  December 20, 2010 — Leave a comment

In light of all the stellar economic indicators and the financial pressures of Christmas, I know many of you have bags full of extra money laying around you’re just dying to get rid of, right? (Bags of small, unmarked bills with warrants attached to them don’t count).

In all seriousness, this video highlights a project we’ve adopted in a little slum off the coast of La Ceiba, Honduras.  A place that has become very special to us at City Community Church.

If you’re looking to do year end charitable giving, this would be a worthwhile investment.  This project is making a tangible difference in the lives of some amazing kids. Kids who wouldn’t have much hope without you and our partners at Mission of Mercy.

Thanks to a generous $10,000 donation, we only need $15K more to complete the final phase of this center (that also acts as a local church for the community).  If you’d like to help, you can click here to donate online, or make your checks payable to City Community Church (133 W. Market St. #102, Indianapolis 46204).

Just make sure to include “Fifteen to Finish” in the memo line for both online and physical contributions. All donations are tax deductible and can be claimed on your 2010 taxes if postmarked by December 31.

Give a gift of hope this Christmas, and then write it off on your taxes!  “It’s the gift that keeps on giving Clark…”

I hate when people tell me about their missions trips. Like I’m supposed to share their passion. Feel what they felt. Really. Come on.

So I’m not going to tell you anymore (at least for now). I’m going to let a couple of other guys do it.

This is raw video footage from our team’s download session early this morning. One of our guys, Andy Wiseman, wrote a song from the overflow of his experiences in Honduras this week. This is just the last chorus. Oh, by the way, Andy is almost completely deaf. Yeah.

And then our resident Puerto Rican, Mike Perez, slayed us all with another of his spoken word pieces you have to hear (I have his permission). So not right Mike!

You want to listen.

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Heading for the airport at 4am, and taking more home with us then we ever could have brought.

Adios Honduras. Hasta el proximo vez. Te quieres.

Today was our last at the projects. We packed up the tents, the crafts, the dulce (candy) for the last time on this Honduran adventure.

The kids cried.

We cried.

Time to head home.  But the damage has already been done. None who have walked these streets, sat in these homes, interacted with this beautiful people, will ever be able to scrape the images and encounters from our minds.  Nor do we want to.  But will this week really change us?

I guess that remains to be seen.

Love can’t be an event. Not something we block out for a week on our busy calendars.  Not something that stays here in Honduras as we head back to our real lives in the United States.

But that will be the temptation.  The direction the current will naturally try to take us as the intensity and focus of this controlled, planned experience abruptly morphs back into the comfort and familiarity of home.

That’s why trips like this can’t simply be something we do. Time moves on.  The trip comes and goes.

These experiences have to be about what we become.

Tomorrow we have a day to relax and process together before heading for home.  A day to drive these encounters into our DNA.  To make sure this act of worship called Honduras 2010 wasn’t just a self-righteous photo-op.


As we loaded the bus this evening, almost too surreal to believe, a rainbow appeared in the rain clouds engulfing the mountains that look down on Las Delicious.  Coincidence? Maybe.  Cliché?  Could be.

Or was God actually trying to remind us that there is hope?

Hope for all of us.

Fix You: Honduras Day 5

Erik Cooper —  June 16, 2010 — 6 Comments

Fix You isn’t only an epic song by the band Coldplay.  When you come to a developing country like Honduras, it becomes a constant battle you fight.  And lose.

Today we visited another impoverished neighborhood in La Ceiba, home to 13 children sponsored by people from City Community Church.  The kids were energetic.  Grateful.  Full of joy.

But the conditions were what you’d expect in a neighborhood slum.

Enter the dilemma.

I can’t fix what I see here in La Ceiba, Honduras. I want to.  I want to bulldoze these wooden shacks and their pitiful dirt floors.  I want to build suitable structures to house human beings.  I want to make sure every child has two parents, and every parent has a respectable paying job.  I want to stop people from living this way.

I want to.  I really want to.

But I can’t.

So many layers to any mess that creates this kind of poverty. Corrupt politicians.  Socio-economic injustice.  Drug cartels and gangs.  And no ability to imagine a different future.

Poverty cycles.  And then recycles.  You can’t unwind it in 7 days.  You can’t just make a few phone calls, call a town hall meeting, give them the Eliminating Poverty for Dummies book, and fix the system.

But you can help one.

Mandy and I can help Jorge.  The LaGranges can help Anna.  Bill can help Caroline, and the Browns can help Jose.  Andy can help Angel.  Lindsey can help Kenneth.  Mike can help Isis.  And CityCom can walk alongside a little block-wall church called Lilly of the Valley in the outskirts of an impoverished Honduran neighborhood.

But maybe more importantly they can help us, too. Help us lose our self absorption.  Help us separate our understanding of God’s Kingdom from our American way of life.  Help us find Jesus living here among the least of these.

Some days I wonder if those aren’t actually the things that need the most fixing.