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Mercy Ministeries Defines Poverty
Tuesday, 15 July 2014

July 15--  Back in 2009, Vidalia physician Dr. Geoff Conner and the Presbyterian Church were looking for a way to get medical care for those who couldn't afford it.  After meeting with Dr. Nancy Stanley at Meadows Regional Medical Center, the non-profit Mercy Clinic was born.

Today the clinic and its volunteers are serving patients from 17 counties with medical and dental care and, equally important, a "Mercy Help Ministry" that is reaching out to enrich the lives of patients.

A volunteer minister, Clint Hutcheson, says, "Poverty is not just about the lack of stuff.  Poverty is about broken relationships, the relationship with God, the relationship with self, the relationship with the rest of society and the relationship with the rest of creation.

"We found out that individuals, to reach full wholeness, need more than just their medical and dental care.  Now we've expanded it even further to helping people reach wholeness in life.  Ultimately, we want the whole person to be whole, not just their medical care, but the whole person as well."

Hutcheson says Mercy volunteers take time to listen and often learn how they can improve other areas of a patient's life.  However, it's not a free ride.  He says Mercy Ministeries offers a hand up, not a handout.

"We believe in evaluating an individual's assets.  We don't believe anyone is so poor that can't bring something to the table.  When people are involved, it helps build their self-esteem and we can work to a sustainable end," he said.

Volunteers are always welcome and you can learn more at www.themercyministeries.org or by calling 912-538-0523.



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