How It All Began
The Early Years...
Mercy Tech Mission was founded by Rick Cogbill, a licensed automotive technician and former shop owner. Rick is also an author and humor columnist; his monthly column The Car Side has been running in major automotive trade magazines since 1998.
Rick and his wife Nan first went to Africa in 1985, where they spent two years working in Northwest Kenya among the Turkana tribe. Rick oversaw all vehicle maintenance and repair for an ongoing building and relief project operated in that area by the Africa Inland Mission (AIM).
During that time, Rick taught his local staff the basics of mechanical repair and maintenance. He experienced first-hand the impact of helping local workers learn a trade, and how such training increased their ability to provide for themselves and their families.
Upon returning to Canada, Rick opened his own automotive repair business, which he operated for many years before selling it in 2000 to focus on his writing career.
In the spring of 2010, Rick returned to Africa, this time to Mozambique where he spent a month volunteering at ASAM, a Canadian missionary organization based near Chimoio.
During his time in Mozambique, Rick repaired a number of vehicles, generators and motorcycles, all the while teaching his assigned helpers the basics of automotive mechanical repair. It was during this trip that the vision for Mercy Tech Mission was born. Over the next number of years, Rick and his teams made many trips back to Mozambique where they taught such skills as woodturning, mechanics, concrete finishing, electrical, welding and fabricating, and building construction.
In 2013, Mercy Tech Mission became a registered Canadian charity for the purpose of fighting poverty by taking small teams of trained professionals out to developing countries where they can train local workers, while at the same time assisting with building and maintenance projects.
In the fall of 2014, Mercy Tech began a mechanics training program at the mission base of One Life One Chance Ministries in San Quintin, Mexico. Located in the northern part of the California Baja, this program helps those who have little or no opportunity to earn a living, other than by working in the nearby commercial farming operations for as little as $9 per 12-hour day.
God continues to open new doors of opportunity for Mercy Tech Mission as we continue to “Change Lives, One Skill at a Time.” To learn more about what we are currently doing, please follow along on our blog or take a look at our upcoming trips.