Keizerite Doug Hoffman works a water pump during a past trip abroad.
Long-time Keizer resident Doug Hoffman is getting ready to leave for Bangladesh and Vietnam in January. As the executive director of Mercy Inc., a Christian, non-profit organization that focuses on gospel presentation and humanitarian acts, Hoffman is going on what he calls a vision trip – a trip to talk about and scout out future opportunities within the countries.
Mercy focuses not only on meeting the current needs of the communities they connect with, but making a lasting change.
“We’re scouting out different businesses we can invest in,” Hoffman said. This trip is focusing on Business As Missions, or BAM, which trains local people on how to run a business and how to present the gospel.
Gospel presentation and compassion are two of the core values Mercy operates on.
“We generally try to do the two together,” Hoffman said. “Every so often we go in and do just humanitarian, generally to build relationship,” he said.
He cited an example of a tsunami in Indonesia where Mercy provided humanitarian aid and left the gospel presentation to the local missionaries who were trying to connect with a certain village.
The compassion arm of the company also provides relief and aid to the families of pastors who are killed for their work.
Four other people will accompany Hoffman on his trip to Bangladesh and Vietnam, two more from the Keizer area and two from Indiana.
Doug Hoffman assists at a Rohingya refugee camp on a mission with Mercy, Inc.
Prior to taking his position at Mercy, Hoffman was the president of Wilco; in his career he’s managed four different co-ops. He holds a degree in accounting and business.
“In 2006, I went on a missions trip and very clearly it was God’s call for me to be boots on the ground,” he said.
He continued to go on shorter term missions trips, mostly compassion-focused, and found himself working in communities near or at where Mercy was working. In 2018, he retired from Wilco and took the position at Mercy.
Bangladesh is one of the countries that Mercy heavily focuses on, along with the Philippines, Columbia and Kenya. Vietnam, on the other hand, is new territory; the team will travel the length of the country while they are there.
According to Hoffman they have a connection with an individual in Vietnam who will introduce the team to their network on the ground.
“It’s rare to go [into a country] unsolicited,” he said. “This is considered a vision trip, we don’t know what’s going to happen. [That] is the fun part, by the way,” he added with a laugh.
As they go into the trip the team asks for prayerful support.
“When we come out of there with some sort of plan we’ll be looking for investors,” he said.
They will need financial backing, but they will also be looking for people to invest their time and prayers. Farther down the road they will be looking for national businessmen to mentor the locals they train in all the countries they work in.
For more information about Mercy Inc. visit www.mercycompassion.org.