House of Mercy, a Christian based social services ministry was started in 2012 in the village of Imenin, which is in the Kobrin region in Belarus. The Lord placed a passion in the hearts of a number of people to build a place that would serve as a home for the elderly and disabled that could not take care of themselves. The reconstruction and building addition took place on the territory of a Christian children’s health center Zhemchuzhinka. Our friends in the United States and some families from Belarus helped with the building and startup process. Currently there are about thirty permanent residents and fourteen employees at House of Mercy. We are in need of your help and support in order to continue this ministry.
This ministry direction is fairly new for Belarus. Many locals don’t understand the reason that House of Mercy exists. Some wonder why these people are not taken care of by their own family. We would like to answer some of these questions. Currently there are over 70 state-owned boarding houses for the elderly and disabled in Belarus (ten of which are for disabled children.) These institutions house more than 17,000 people. In Belarus every fifth person is of retirement age. By Red Cross statistics over 90 percent of the elderly and desolate people in Belarus are in need of medical help. Many family members that are fulfilling the role of caretakers don’t have sufficient knowledge or experience to care for their specific needs, especially those that need round the clock care. Many suffer alone with no help available.
Hospice services, social and domestic help for the mentally ill, and professional caregiver services are only a few from the top of the list of social services that are currently in high demand in Belarus. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulties that a person faces when trying to take care of a loved one that is affected by chronic illness or disability, especially if they are in need of constant care. The paradox of modern life is that we have spent much effort on increasing life expectancy, but now we just don’t know what to do with the extra years that we’ve gained. Many people find themselves one on one with their old age. Some due to a lack of strong ties with family, others because they have lost all their loved ones, and also those that simply face rejection and misunderstanding due to the generation gap that is especially evident in modern society.
Who lives at House of Mercy? Different kinds of people – the elderly who can no longer take care of themselves, those with progressive dementia, and young disabled people. Each one has their own story, but all are in need of quality care, assistance with everyday tasks, love and attention.
House of Mercy is a nonprofit organization that does not receive any government assistance. The residents pay about 90 percent of their monthly pensions to cover care and accommodations. But even that is not enough to cover all the expenses. These include caretakers’ salaries, meals, gas and electric bills, fire and sanitation department assistance, and so on. If there are no family members that can offer financial assistance to cover the rest of the expenses, it is up to us to find the means. Currently there are only two Christian ministries of this type in Belarus (there is one other House of Mercy in the village of Logishin, Pinsk region, Brest area. It is curated by the Catholic church.)
With your help, many elderly and disabled people will be able to live in Christian fellowship and be exposed to the Gospel, both through words and love in action. Our ministry is in need of financial help. If the Lord leads you to participate in this ministry, our bank details can be found on our website. God bless you!