Built from tragedy, “Project Isaiah” is an after-school outreach project that provides a safe space for young people in the Merced community.
New shoes were donated to the children of the outreach program and to the youth of the Calvary Assembly of God with funds contributed by private donors.
“The Isaiah Project” just celebrated its 10th anniversary at Calvary’s Assembly of God, located at 1021 R St in Merced.
The after-school program organizes a back-to-school campaign for their children every year, and this year was no different as young people from the program and the church all received new shoes – just in time for their return. at school.
“It’s amazing how God has given so many favors to this program,” said Elenor Romero, youth outreach director for the program. “We’ve had a lot of people bless Project Isaiah, and you can tell God has his hand in that ministry.
The “Isaiah Project” was created in honor of Isaiah Romero, a youth from southern La Merced who tragically died at the age of 15 due to gun violence. In 2012, Isaiah was caught in the middle of a fight between two gangs when he left his grandmother’s house to go to a party a few blocks away. His memory lives on through the efforts of Calvary’s Assembly of God parishioners and under the leadership of Elenor Romero, Isaiah’s grandmother.
“In honor and in memory of Isaiah, the children who attend the evangelism come from all over the region,” she explained. “Our main objective is to save the lives of young people and lead them to Christ. The Isaiah Project is truly awesome and we are grateful for everyone who has contributed to this ministry. Warming up with these children what it’s all about and I tell them, it’s so simple and yet it’s so strong. I tell them to listen to their parents, stay in school, be good, and not be like Isaiah. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In 2012, The Isaiah Project began its back-to-school giveaway by distributing backpacks to community members.
“I had 250 people online,” Romero said. “They would come from this area or anywhere else in the community. Over time, it decreased. Covid really changed the schedule and I was so confused because I couldn’t have the kids here to study the Bible and give them something to eat.
Inspired by the drive-thru food distributions that many schools carried out during the height of the first pandemic, Romero decided to drop off food and materials to young people at Project Isaiah. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, the after-school program is in full swing, open to Merced youth ages 5-17 on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month from 4-5:30 p.m.
“It’s an excellent project and it allows children to get off the streets,” explained Pastor Juan du Calvaire. “It gives them a safe place to be in this neighborhood without worrying about damage or the influence of drugs, gangs or alcohol on them. We are here to try to impact these children in the best possible way.
For more information about the Isaiah Project, please contact Elenor at (209) 777-2889.