Thursday, August 28, 2008

Former Resident Excels in School


We just received a letter from a Mercy graduate that we wanted to share with you. Justice graduated from the Nashville home in February 2008, and we were thrilled to hear of her recent academic success. She came to Mercy Ministries during her junior year of high school and diligently continued her studies during the program.

Here is an excerpt from her letter:

I was writing to say thank you for an inspiring program that helps girls like me. Being at Mercy not only allowed me to gain spiritual and mental knowledge, but I am also getting my high school diploma a whole year ahead of time! I was supposed to be graduating in May of 2009—but because of the self-study courses at Mercy, and the grace of God, the Christian school I came back to attend not only took my credits, but told me that I was ahead! I only had to take 3 classes to finish my senior year. I recently graduated on July 27, 2008. I am looking forward to my future. I even dream of one day working at Mercy Ministries – the very place that saved my life!

Congratulations Justice! We are thrilled that you are accomplishing all that God has for you. Thanks to all of our supporters for contributing to an awesome future for girls like Justice. Your support makes it possible for Justice and many other Mercy residents to continue their education while getting the help they so desperately need.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Former Mercy Resident in Indonesia for Missions

We just received such an encouraging and inspiring email from Krista, a 2007 graduate, writing to us at the close of her mission’s trip to Indonesia, and we wanted to share it with you. Your support makes it possible for girls to graduate the Mercy program and go on to make a lasting impact on their families, communities, and even the nations.


Here is what Krista had to say:


Greetings from Indonesia!

I can't believe it has been a year since I graduated Mercy...I remember sitting at my graduation wondering, with excitement, where God would bring my in a year. I can't think of a better place to celebrate my one year anniversary, and today I am reflecting on the ways God has moved in me, through me, and all around me in the last 2 weeks in Indonesia. This trip was truly amazing and has to rank as the best two weeks of my life! Thank you so much for financially supporting me on this trip.


During my time in Indonesia, we partnered with Compassion International. In the morning and early afternoon we helped the local church build a classroom and playground. We painted, poured concrete, and moved lots of rocks! It was so rewarding to know that I was helping to equip the local church so they could better reach their community for Christ.

After we did our construction work we hung out and built relationships with the locals. I learned so much from them. They physically had nothing, but in Christ had everything. They lived a life free from materialism, comparison, and selfishness. It was evident by their actions that they did not place value on what they had, how they looked, how they compared to others, or their accomplishments. Their focus was on relationships and what they could share together. They had a love for me because I was their sister in Christ, not because of anything I had or did. This attitude was contagious and it renewed me, putting back into perspective what is important in life and allowing me to lose all sense of selfishness. Though them, I felt in a real and tangible way, the love God has for me. It ministered to my heart how God works and the way He used my team to bless the community and the community to bless me and the team.


On this trip, I truly came to life. God restored me during my time at Mercy and through the last year, continued to grow me, bless me, and build a life for me. But on this trip, God brought new levels of healing and freedom. One area that I was struggling with after leaving Mercy was believing the lie that I had nothing to bring to relationships and consequently had a difficult time opening up to others and letting my God–given personality shine though. On this trip, God tour down those walls. Through the attitude of the locals, I was able to see how God created each of us differently and that we are called to celebrate that diversity. In playing games with the teenagers, doing the little girls hair, or leading the kids in songs I was able to let down all my guards and truly be myself. This carried over to my relationships with my team members and as a result I connected with two girls I ways I had only dreamed of. I now have two best friends!

Another highlight of the trip was I had the opportunity to meet the Compassion child I sponsor. I got to spend the whole day with him, taking him on his first ever trip to the mall, arcade, ride on an escalator and lunch at McDonalds. It was one of the most rewarding moments for me to watch a very shy 6 year old come to life and enjoy a day of new experiences. I was given the opportunity to build a relationship with him that I can continue for years to come.


Two years ago, if someone would have told me I would be on a mission trip in Indonesia I would have laughed. My heart would have wanted to go, but I was too enslaved to anorexia and cutting to think of anything but myself and how I was going to feed my addictions. Mercy gave me a second chance at life and because of my time there, I am getting to live out my dreams today, one of which was participating in a mission trip. Thank you for Mercy and all the ways you continue to pour into my life.

--Krista

Krista, we are so proud of you for continuing to let God work in and through you. Nothing speaks louder than a changed life. A special thanks to all our supporters who make it possible for girls to come to Mercy and get the help they need, and in turn go on to help others. Your support is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Amazing Testimonies Pouring in from the Mercy For Series!!

A couple of years ago, Nancy Alcorn felt prompted by God to put the life-changing principles of freedom found in God’s Word that are used at Mercy Ministries in book form, so that the people who are struggling with life-controlling issues could experience freedom without having to come to a Mercy Ministries program. Since that time, the first four books of the Mercy For Series have been released. These books deal with the issues of sexual abuse, eating disorders, cutting, and addictions.


Since the release of these books, we have consistently prayed that God would use these books to help the masses of people out there who are still struggling with these and other issues. Recently, testimonies have been pouring in to show the fruit of our prayers. We wanted to share some of these personal comments with you so that you would be encouraged to get these books into the hands of people who are struggling with these issues.


I have only read the first 10 pages of Violated, and the book is already heavily marked up with thoughts I relate to. I’ve read a lot of books on healing from sexual trauma. This is the most straight forward approach I have seen—and again, I’m only 10 pages in! Thank you for leaving out the “fluff” and getting to the core of the issue from the very start.

---Carrie


About a year ago I received your incredible book entitled Cut, from my sister. Although I still struggle, I am very proud to inform you that my one year anniversary FREE FROM SELF HARM quickly approaches, September 19, 2007…for me it is nothing short of a miracle. I wish to express my deepest thanks to you, Nancy and of course to the Lord, my Father.

---John


When I started reading this book, I thought that it would be just another book about self-harm, telling me things I already knew and giving me advice that would change nothing, leaving me with the same pain and hopelessness. But I was so wrong; from the first page I knew that this one was different....this book made me feel like maybe I matter, not just to anyone, but to God! It talked about a change of heart instead of just trying to fill the gap self-harm leaves with something pointless but less destructive. Reading about God’s love, compassion and mercy for me has helped me see that I do have some hope, even if it's small.

---Julie


WOW, Starved: Mercy for Eating Disorders is an awesome book that addresses one of the biggest issues of our society! This book brings insight into what behaviors that I can watch for in my developing girls. I have recommended this book to several of my friends.


The stories of changed lives are so inspiring and the book is so practical in laying out the steps to freedom. Thank you for offering hope and healing through this book!

---Amy


I struggled and battled with an eating disorder for many years, and actually was a resident at Mercy Ministries for quite a while. I can tell you that I am LIVING PROOF that the principles in Nancy's book are LIFE CHANGING and HEALING! God's power WORKS to conquer the strongholds in our lives and eating disorders are no exception! This book is not only beneficial for people struggling with eating disorders, but for anyone with any kind of stronghold or addiction! GOD HEALS! I am now walking in freedom... PRAISE THE LORD and THANK YOU Mercy Ministries!!!!

---Heather


A friend of mine who, had been struggling with the aftermath of sexual abuse, gave me a copy of your book, Violated. She wanted me to understand better what she was going through and how it had affected her. I found it very helpful and really came to understand the long-term affects of sexual abuse. However, healing can be achieved through God’s love and this book outlines that perfectly. Thank you for creating a resource for those who are trying to support someone through their healing process.

---Krystal


I ordered some books of Nancy Alcorn’s and they changed my life. . .After reading Cut, Trapped, and Violated my view on life was changed. . .I know I am changing for the good, that God has always been here for me. I’ve been told time and time again that he has but did not believe it. In Alcorn’s books she puts it all into perspective, makes it understandable to people like me who were never shown who God really is.

---Linda


I wanted to take a moment to tell you that I have been receiving healing through your Mercy for Addictions book. I have struggled with addictions for some time, and Mercy for Addictions really hit the mark. I truly enjoyed the way the book was written. It really showcased the fact that there is pain behind the symptoms. It helped me to get down to the root issue. I loved how it was separated into practical steps. Thank you so much for the work that you do.

---Sam


Get your copies of Cut: Mercy for Self-Harm, Starved: Mercy for Eating Disorders, Trapped: Mercy for Addictions, and Violated: Mercy for Sexual Abuse at www.mercyministries.com today. They are $9.99 each or get all four for $35. Stay tuned for the next books in the Mercy For Series, Beyond Cut and Beyond Starved. These books include real stories of real freedom along with a practical application section at the end of each chapter that teaches readers how to overcome the issue or to help someone else who is struggling. These books are set to be released this fall – stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mercy Resident Gives Birth – Wishes to Thank All Our Supporters!


Kara and Baby Elijah with Mercy Ministries Founder Nancy AlcornOn Friday August 15th at 1:38 am, baby Elijah was born to Mercy Ministries resident, Kara. After much prayer, Kara made the choice to parent her baby. Just four days after she gave birth, Kara graduated from the Mercy Ministries program. Kara will be going home to care for her son, and she plans to go back to school to become a medical assistant. Kara also plans to get involved in the unwed mothers ministry through her church to help other girls who are going through what she has been through. According to Kara, “Elijah is the most precious gift that I’ve ever been given and I thank God every day for this beautiful life He’s entrusted into my care.” Kara wanted you to know that she is doing fine and that baby Elijah is healthy and beautiful.

Mercy Ministries would like to thank our supporters for your continued prayers and support. Because of your help, lives are being saved and restored every day.

Congratulations Kara! We are so proud of you for choosing life for baby Elijah!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chris Caine from Australia Speaks to Nashville Residents and Staff

Our Nashville team was honored to have international speaker, author, and dear friend of Mercy Ministries, Christine Caine as our guest on Monday afternoon. Together with her husband Nick, Christine is on the leadership team at Hillsong Church in Sydney Australia and is the director of Equip and Empower Ministries. Christine travels all over the world, but always finds time when she is near a Mercy home, to stop by and spend time encouraging the girls and staff.

Christine started off by telling the girls of her own background as a child of abuse and brokenness. The girls were amazed to find out that Christine had been left at the hospital by her birthmother, unnamed and unwanted. Christine was placed in an adoptive home as a young child, but she did not find out until she was 33 years old that she had been adopted. At this point, Chris was already traveling all over the world speaking in large conferences, and telling thousands about the love of Christ. Obviously, this news tried to rock Christine’s world, but she immediately made the decision to look to God’s Word in Psalm 139 and said, “Oh well, God knew me even before I was in my mother’s womb, whosever womb that was…” It was not easy news to hear, but as Christine always manages to do, she chose to trust God and look at her life from His perspective.

This news did not change God’s plan and purpose for Christine’s life. She continued to share with the residents and staff how all of the secular leaders in her life from her grade school teachers to her college professors told her that she was not qualified to be a leader or an author, or running a youth ministry. The world always wants to throw out whom they deem as not smart enough or strong enough, or those who seem to be damaged from a difficult upbringing. However, it says in that God deliberately chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Christine encouraged the girls that if God can take someone with a broken past like herself, that He could use any of them to be world changers, history-makers, and leaders of their generation.

Because Christine has overcome so much in her own life, she was quick to tell the girls that we need to get rid of all of our excuses and know that there is not anything we can’t overcome if we trust God to help us get through it. She also addressed the staff about how God is calling us up to a higher level so we can do more for the Kingdom and touch more people with His unconditional love.

If you would like to know more about Chris and Nick and their ministry around the world, visit their website at www.equipandempower.org.

We would like to thank the Caines for their ongoing support and love for Mercy Ministries!