Thursday, October 30, 2008

Benefit Concert – BarlowGirl Partners with Mercy Ministries









On Friday Oct. 24, 2008 BarlowGirl had a concert at Faith Church in St. Louis to benefit Mercy Ministries. Some of you may not know that the three talented young ladies that make up this group are actually sisters.


Mercy residents from the St. Louis home attended the concert, and also got to have a special meet and greet with the band. This was a special time for our girls because of their love for BarlowGirl as a group, but also their appreciation for their support of Mercy Ministries. Mercy resident Kimmy had this to say, “They are so real and on fire for God. I am so excited they came to St. Louis and we had the chance to hear them and also to meet them!”


One of BarlowGirl’s fans shared the following, “I just learned about Mercy Ministries at the concert and I so believe in the need for this ministry. I have had friends that have dealt with some of the problems that the girls at Mercy are faced with--suicidal thoughts, depression, eating disorders, and addictions. When I heard the testimonies of the Mercy graduates whose lives were changed by God through Mercy Ministries, it gave me great hope for the many people who struggle in our world.”


We would like to thank BarlowGirl for their continued love and support for Mercy Ministries. Since they have partnered with us, they have shared their heart for Mercy Ministries at their live concert events and encouraged their fans to get involved and help support the ministry.

Mercy Ministries would also like to thank Pastors David and Nicole Crank of Faith Church in St. Louis for donating the use of their new church facilities. Not only did they provide the venue, but they also supplied the needed concert volunteers from their church congregation. To learn more about Faith Church St. Louis please visit http://www.faithchurchstlouis.com/.


We would also like to thank our corporate sponsors for this event - Live the Dream, S & J Collectibles, and Chick-fil-A.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

California Home Updates and Upcoming Events!


California HomeWe wanted to bring you the latest news on our first West Coast home in Lincoln, CA – the Sacramento area. We are on track to open in early 2009! Construction is nearly complete and we are working to finalize the interior – this includes furnishing 40 bedrooms as well as the other living and common areas. We look forward to opening this home so that we can take in 40 more girls and continue to see more lives restored! For more information, or to make a contribution to help us open this home as soon as possible, please contact Brittany Bell: california@mercyministries.com

California Home
As part of this effort, on Saturday, November 1st, Sunset Christian Church will host the Friends of Mercy Ministries Brunch from 9:30am – 11:00am. Nancy Alcorn will be in attendance to share the heart of Mercy Ministries and several graduates will share their testimonies of transformation through Mercy Ministries. We’d love to see you there!




Tickets are available for $30 or $240 per table of 8

To reserve a spot at the brunch, please contact Brittany Bell:

california@mercyministries.com
636.326.2015

Then on Saturday, November 15th, we will host our 2nd Annual, Run for Mercy 5K and Family Walk. The entire community is welcome to participate. It’s always a fun time coming together for these events – please join us! For more information or to register, visit: www.runformercy.org.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Highlights from New Orleans Women’s Conference…


This past weekend, Nancy had the wonderful privilege and opportunity to speak to 1,500 women in New Orleans at a women’s conference called Glorious, hosted by Cathy Duplantis, wife and ministry partner of Jesse Duplantis.

Cathy and Nancy were joined by musical guest, Karen Wheaton. Many lives were impacted during this two-day conference, and there were a large number of women of all ages that made first time commitments to Christ. That in itself is always very exciting!!

When we asked Nancy Alcorn to describe what the highlight of the conference was for her personally, this is what she had to say.

Nancy and Mary, 1991 graduate of Mercy Ministries
“I was so touched when after the service, two of the young girls who were graduates of Mercy Ministries came to spend time with me. Both girls had driven from quite a distance to attend the conference, as they had seen it advertised on television. One girl, whose name is Mary (pictured right), graduated from the Louisiana program in 1991, and today she is in full-time ministry and uses our books to help girls who have issues with cutting, eating disorders, sexual abuse, and addictions. I am so proud of Mary, who has now gone on to help so many young women. This is the first time I had seen Mary since 1991, but I recognized her immediately. That was very special to me.

Nancy with Heather and her mother

Nancy with Heather (pictured left) and her mother, Judy (pictured right)

In addition, another young girl who graduated from our Nashville home in 2000 also came with her mom to be a part of the conference. I remember when Heather (pictured left) first came to Mercy, and she and her family were both so emotional over the fact that she was facing an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager. Through much prayer, Heather made the decision to place her child for adoption. Today, she is working as a dental assistant and is a leader in her church that the youth can look up to. Her mom said that she loves her job, and she prays with all of her patients. I was so moved by being able to be reunited with these two young women.”


Nancy with Glorious conference attendees
Nancy with some conference attendees

Jesse and Cathy Duplantis had a very special and unexpected surprise for Nancy. On the first night of the conference, they presented Nancy with a beautiful piece of crystal art that had been engraved with specific details congratulating Nancy and Mercy Ministries on 25 years of ministry. It was truly a weekend to remember!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Day at the Farm!


Residents sitting on hay This past weekend, Nashville residents had a blast during a day-long trip to Tommy and Philis Pardue’s property for Farm Day. Nashville residents have been participating in Farm Day annually, for the past 8 years. Farm Day is always a special opportunity for the girls to get out and enjoy a refreshing time of recreation. Some of the activities they get to participate in include fishing, target-practice, and pumpkin-carving. One of the most popular activities is when Mercy staff member, Robert, takes the girls for rides through the woods on a four-wheeler. This year, the day ended with a huge bonfire where everyone joined together to make smores and sing songs. Here’s what some of the girls had to say about Farm Day:

two girls with fish

“I had never fished in my life. I’m a Jersey girl and I don’t catch my own fish – it was awesome doing something like this for the first time!” – Joyia

“This was the first time I had ever ridden on a four-wheeler –with Robert driving, it was so much fun and we laughed until we cried. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.” – Andrea

Robert with two residents on four-wheeler“I really enjoyed shooting the discs – it was so much fun, and I was excited and shocked when I actually hit one! The guys teaching us were so amazing and patient.” – Amy

“The bonfire was awesome! The sky was so clear and another resident and I sat by the fire and gazed up at the stars. Then all the other girls started singing and it felt awesome to be in God’s presence outdoors.” – Tamara

Four residents in front of bonfire

We would like to thank Tommy and Philis Pardue for their generosity in sharing their beautiful property with us over the years. We would also like to thank the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency for furnishing the equipment and volunteering their time. This is always a memorable experience for the girls!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Six Graduates Celebrate New Life!


This week we are celebrating the freedom of six young women who just graduated from Mercy Ministries in Nashville and Monroe! These girls have experienced the true freedom and joy that comes from having a relationship with Christ. Here are their incredible stories of transformation:

Nashville Home

Samantha’s Story:

When I was growing up, my house was filled with rage and anger—and a lot of physical abuse. I started engaging in an eating-disorder and self-harm when I was just 11 years old. This continued to get worse throughout the years. Then, when I was 15 years old, my mother left after my parents divorced, and I felt completely abandoned and rejected—I believed that I was unworthy of anyone’s love. At one point, I tried to kill myself by overdosing on pills. While I was in the hospital, I met a girl that introduced me to the party lifestyle. From that point on, I became very promiscuous and heavily involved with drugs and alcohol. I really needed help and had nowhere to turn. Nancy Alcorn came to my church to speak. She told me about Mercy Ministries and encouraged me to apply so I did.

Because I was able to come to Mercy, my life has been completely transformed. I have finally learned what it means to have a true and intimate relationship with Christ. I am now able to rely on Him instead of running to self-harm, drugs and alcohol, or guys. I no longer need those things because I put my complete trust in God—my value lies in Christ alone. I am so excited about my future and what God has for me!

After Mercy, I am going home where I will be very involved with my church. Then, in January 2009, I will be attending the University of Central Oklahoma. I plan on majoring in speech/language pathology so that I can pursue my dream of working with deaf children.

I want other girls to know that Mercy Ministries is an amazing place. Lives are completely transformed here and the staff demonstrates unconditional love. I couldn’t have picked a better place to get help.

Cindy’s Story:

Before I came to Mercy, my life was filled with resentment and hatred. During my childhood, I dealt with a lot of physical abuse. I felt that my family withheld love from me, and when love was offered, it was always conditional. All of these things played into the development of a negative self-image, self-harm, perfectionism, and unhealthy eating habits. I was harboring a lot of unforgiveness in my life and did not know my worth so I tried to kill myself. I knew that I needed to experience the mercy of God. I learned about Mercy Ministries on the internet. I felt that this might be the place for me, so I applied.

Since I have been at Mercy, God has helped me break through the strongholds in my life. He has shown me that my true identity can only be found in Him. I understand that I do not have to let my past affect my future. He has made me new, and I can overcome. God has completely pulled me out of my pit and put me in the arms of His grace.

After Mercy, I am going to finish my education and get very involved with youth groups in my area. I want other people to know that Mercy Ministries is an amazing place. You may arrive broken, but if you allow God to work, you can become a whole person. The staff at Mercy truly exemplifies the love and patience of Jesus Christ.

Monroe Home

Ruby’s Story:

For years, I struggled with an eating-disorder, self-harm, and depression. I always looked to alcohol and drugs to mask the hurt that I carried around inside of me. There was a lot of shame and guilt that caused me to hate myself, so I eventually became suicidal—I was ready to give up on life. Although I desperately wanted a way out, my actions reflected that I desired to live in bondage. I had a hard time believing that I was worth anything or that I could truly experience life. I found Mercy Ministries online. This was my last hope.

Coming to Mercy has shown me how incredibly deceived I have been. I have learned so much about myself and God’s true character. There has been so much that I have received from God since he has revealed Himself to me. He has given me hope and a desire for life! I know that I can be honest and real with Him without being condemned. I am learning to accept and receive the blessings and love that He has to offer. I do not have to live in the bondage of my issues—God has so much more for my life. I no longer look to anyone to define me except Him.

I am looking forward to my life after Mercy! I pan to go home to California and be involved with multimedia at my church. I would also like to do a short-term mission trip to another country. I am going to remain open to God’s leading.

Deanna’s Story:

I struggled with an eating-disorder and self-harm for nearly ten years. After some traumatic experiences with the authority figures in my life, I began to believe that all authority, including God, could not be trusted. I became very legalistic and believed that by doing certain things, God would accept me—or that I would be good enough for Him. When that failed, I began looking for love and acceptance through food, self-harm, alcohol, sexual-sin, and partying. I was trying to fill the void in my heart and take the pain away. I learned about Mercy Ministries online and decided to apply.

When I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries I felt dead inside. Through the love, grace, and acceptance exhibited through the staff, I started seeing that I actually had a reason to live. God has shown me so much about His character and who I am in Christ. I now realize that I am more than just a number to Him—that He calls me by name. He will never reject me, and there is nothing in this world that can take the place of who He is to me. Because of Him, I have a future and purpose!

After Mercy, I will be going back to Pennsylvania to be with my family. In the spring of 2009, I hope to go back to school so that I can pursue the passion God has given me for music.

Bri’s Story:

I came to a point in my life where I had basically given up on myself. For me, anything that seemed to offer hope was too good to be true. I was very angry and did not want to accept the help of anyone. I learned about Mercy Ministries through a pastor—his daughter graduated from the Nashville home. I realized that this was my last hope, so I went through the application process and was accepted.

When I came through the doors at Mercy, I was very angry. However, after a few months, my life began to completely turn around. God has given me life again! I know that I have a future and that I was not a mistake. I know that there is a purpose for my life, and I no longer need to hide or be ashamed. I understand that forgiveness is a choice, and I have learned how to give everything to God. I can now submit all of my emotions and anger to God. I know that He can help me channel it in a positive way.

I am so excited to return home, where I will continue to explore that joy that I have found in Christ. I will also be attending college and getting involved with modeling again. I am not quite sure where I will be going to school, but I know that the Lord will direct my steps. Someday, I hope to do some traveling.

Heidi’s Story:

Before coming to Mercy, I was bound by an eating-disorder and cutting. This all stemmed from my inability to deal with abuse that occurred in my past. I was very angry and felt completely hopeless. My counselor recommended Mercy Ministries to me, so I applied.

I never thought that I would be where I am today. At Mercy, I have learned to trust God—because I know that He is the only One that can bring healing to my life. He is all that I need and I have learned to find my worth in Him. I know that God loves and accepts me for who I am—His opinion is all that matters. I see God as my Father and for the first time in my life, I have real joy which is not dependent on circumstances.

After leaving Mercy, I am going to get a job and pursue my degree in nursing. Eventually, I would love to go to Africa so that I can be involved with medical missions.

Congratulations - we are so proud of all of you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mercy Ministries Golf Challenge Raises $47,000


The 2008 Mercy Ministries Nashville Golf Challenge was played under perfect conditions on Monday Oct. 13, at the Governor’s Club in Brentwood, TN. All of the sixteen teams started at noon and played 18 holes of golf. The teams purchased mulligan packages before the tournament and used them to help lower their scores. Each player was encouraged to get sponsorships for their round of golf and all of the money was donated to Mercy Ministries. The tournament raised $47,000. The top fundraisers were Matthew Rettick, Buster Wolfe Jr., Kevin Vozar, and Clay Eschrich. Prizes were awarded to the top fundraisers and the best scores.


There were 64 players in the tournament. Mercy Ministries had their own all female team. Mercy employee, Sarah Blair, participated in the tournament and said, “The Mercy golf tournament was a wonderful event to be a part of. The Governor’s Club was a great host, the weather was perfect and best of all, it was incredible to see all of the people who took a day to support the work of Mercy with their time and money.”

We would like to thank Tennessee Titan Kevin Mawae and his wife Tracy, Covenant Reliance Producers, HCA, Mercy Ministries’ volunteers, and Nelson Mazda for their help with this event! We would also like to thank the golf committee who helped organize the tournament. The members of the golf committee included Matthew Rettick, Kevin Vozar, Kelly Harris, David Houston, and Todd Sangster.

Special thanks to our corporate sponsors Allianz, Amalie Point Apartments, American Equity, American Pipe & Supply, American Traditions, Arbonne, Beyond Benefits, Big Events, Capitol Bolt & Screw, Colliers, Turner, Martin, Covenant Healthcare for Women, Covenant Reliance Producers, Dell, DSI, Eisys, Forklift Systems, Horne LLC CPA's, Kemp Dental, Kent Incentive Mktg. Group, Konica, Law office of G. Scott Fiddler, Midland National Life, M.J. Harris, ModerNash Furniture, Nashville Airsoft, Nashville Locksmith Service, Nashville Rubber & Gasket, National Office Machine, Old Mutual Financial Network, O’Neal Steel, Inc., Pacific Coast Properties, PACSHealth, PAETEC, Regions Bank, Reliance Standard Life, Senior Guardians, Sunbelt Rentals, TL Cumbee, Tom's Supply, Inc., True 32 Cabinetry, Tuscan Homes, Waller, Landsden & Dortch, Walnut Grove Press, and Wolfe Industrial.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recent Graduate Celebrates Birth of Baby Girl!


We are so excited to celebrate the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Esther. Baby Esther was born on October 9th, 2008 weighing 6.4 lbs and measuring 20 inches long. Recent graduate Ashley, made the brave decision to come to Mercy Ministries and choose life for her baby. We are so thankful to all of our supporters—they make it possible for young women like Ashley to come to Mercy when facing unplanned pregnancy.

Ashley and Esther will be returning home where they will begin their incredible journey together as mother and daughter. Thank you again, for helping us save lives!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mercy Highlighted in New York City and Los Angeles Conferences


Mercy Ministries Founder, Nancy Alcorn, was the keynote speaker at a three-day conference in the heart of Manhattan, NY. She was joined by Mercy graduate, Holly, who shared her story of how she was completely set free from cutting. Click here to read Holly’s entire story.


Holly’s mother was also in attendance to share about how difficult this was as a parent to feel so helpless. She prayed and prayed for her daughter, and Mercy ended up being the answer to her prayers. Holly has been out of the program now for two years and is very involved in reaching out to help other hurting girls who struggle with the same issues.






The timing of this conference in New York City was interesting because the weekend before, Nancy had the opportunity to share her message at another conference in Los Angeles to several thousand attendees. Nancy was also able to reunite with several former Mercy residents from the area who attended the conference as well.

In addition to reuniting with several former residents, we also wanted to share an amazing praise report with you from L.A. About six years ago, Nancy spoke for the first time at the same church where this conference was held. That night, Nancy gave an altar call for people who were broken and needed prayer and the altar was flooded. There were two girls there that night who were pregnant and getting ready to go to the abortion clinic. As a result of that time at the altar, both girls made the choice of life. One of the girls had an appointment with the abortion clinic the very next morning, but God intervened that night.

That was six years ago, and when Nancy was there a couple of weeks ago, she was told there was someone there who wanted to say thank you to her. It turns out that this was one of the girls who answered that altar call approximately six years ago, and made the choice of life. She told Nancy that she wanted her to see her daughter (pictured on the right) and tell her how well she is doing and how much she loves attending church regularly. This is such a great joy and we wanted to share with you what your support is helping make possible.

During the conference in Los Angeles, an official announcement was also made about the first West Coast home that will be opening in Sacramento the first part of 2009. Click here to see the progress.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beauty from Ashes

“A needle and a spoon consumed my life, followed by the torment of how my next fix would come. When I arrived at Mercy Ministries, I knew it was my last hope,” said Amy, a Mercy Ministries graduate. Amy is just one of the countless girls all over the world to experience a transformation from Mercy Ministries. “I was scared and broken, but when I walked through the doors, I could actually feel the tangible love and peace of God. Little did I know that my life would be changed forever."

Meeting founder of Mercy Ministries Nancy Alcorn, a petite, blonde dynamo, is an experience to remember. She is engaging, warm and energetic, and she has a great fashion sense. Her obsession with sports is rivaled only by her love of helping girls in need. A can-do spirit and sheer determination, along with an unwavering faith, guide her daily. Watching her work and seeing what she accomplishes in the course of a day will astound you—she seems to defy gravity. It’s easy to see how she became a role model for so many young-women.

In 1988, Nancy was returning from a hectic conference in Las Vegas. Exhausted, she was eyeing the one remaining empty seat on her plane, which happened to be right next to her. Just before the boarding door closed, a man stepped onto the plane and took the seat.

READ FULL STORY from the Fall/Winter 2008 pages 29-35
issue of VIE - People and Places Magazine by Crystal Hamon

Former Mercy Residents Speak Out

We have recently received an abundance of letters from many of our former residents. We are excited to share these updates with you. As our friends and supporters, you have helped transform these women’s lives. Thank you!



Mercy Ministries Graduate

Mercy Ministries GraduateDear Mercy Staff,

I graduated Mercy in St. Louis on April 1st, 2008 and life is more amazing than I could have ever imagined. I would have never thought that almost a year later I would be getting married to an amazing, caring and Godly man. I am living a life free of shame from my past. God has done a HUGE work in me! I look back and laugh at the person I use to be. I am a new creation in Him, and nothing can take that truth away from me now. If it weren't for Mercy, I really don't want to think of where I would be today. My life is forever changed and blessed because of Mercy and all the hard working staff, whom I miss so much. Thank you so much for helping in giving me the life I always dreamed of!

Katie


Hey Nancy!Mercy Ministries Graduate

I wanted to send you a note and let you know how amazing the Lord truly is! I went to Mercy Ministries a little over a year ago. When I started the program I felt so dead and hopeless and I did not think anything or anyone could change that. I walked through the doors of Mercy with an eating disorder, self-harm, and very depressed. I had no great hope for the future.

I grew up what I thought was a Christian home, although Jesus was rarely mentioned. I went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays but I was still so empty inside. When I was 12 years old I began restricting because I needed to feel some sort of control over what was happening within my family. At that point, I thought it would be better to just die and give up on life. I was consumed with the enemy. When I was 16 years old I struggled with self-harm. This act was a way to release of all the pain that I kept hidden away within me. I would always wonder, “Why would God love me?” because I didn’t think I was special or worthy of His love.

At Mercy, I learned to surrender all of who I am to God. Now I understand that God values me and has an amazing plan for my life! I graduated from Mercy 8 months ago with all of the freedom and joy that God intends for us to walk in. I want to let every girl that is struggling with similar life-controlling issues to know that God is never and has never been far away. He knows your name and loves you! There is hope and healing in Jesus Christ!

Love,
Melissa

Dear Nancy,

Mercy Ministries GraduateIt was great seeing you tonight at Church on the Move. I am excited to give you an update on the wonderful things God has done since I have graduated from Mercy.

When I arrived at Mercy on June 19, 2007 I was angry, hurting and wanting to die. For the last six years I had been battling anorexia, addiction to exercise, self harm, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I had been in the hospital twice being re-fed through a tube in my nose. I went to Laureate and Columbia Psychiatric hospital, and was told that I would never recover. They said once an anorexic always an anorexic. I was consumed by the eating disorder.

The spring of 2007 I hit rock bottom. I was supposed to be going on a spring break mission's trip to Mercy Nashville; instead I was told that I was too sick to go. Not only was I kicked off the mission team, the Dean of Women told me I had to move out of the dorms. No doctors would touch me because I was severely malnourished and I was a liability. I was hurting so badly on the inside and anorexia was my way of showing my pain to others. I wanted God to let me die. I remember one night I was running, and I cried to God, "Let me have a heart attack and die, God why won't you let me die?!" I couldn't seem to live, but I couldn't seem to die. My parents could not afford to get me any help. No one offered any help. I was in a downward spiral, and I was going to die. I had no hope.

I arrived at Mercy Monroe angry, scared and discouraged. The eating disorder had a strong hold on my life, and it would not let go without a fight. The second day I was there I went up to a counselor, and told her that I did not need help, and that I was ready to go home. In my heart I knew that if I went home I was going to die. The first three months at Mercy I played games. I knew what to say. I had said it all before. I was manipulative and driven by comparison. After my three month evaluation Margaret told me if I did not change my ways I would be put on probation. Still the eating disorder had a strong hold on me. The next day I was "walking" around the pool and God hit me. I went into the laundry room, and lay flat out on the floor. I surrendered, and this time there was a heart change. I had a vision of Jesus taking out my old broken, bruised, hardened heart, and he put in a fresh clean heart. The new heart He gave
me was soft, moldable, and it flowed with His blood. I realized that I was His, and He loved me! From that point on God transformed my life. It was hard, but this time it was different because it was a heart change. I never thought freedom was possible. I thought I would always count calories, always have to exercise, and always be defined by an eating disorder.

I graduated on December 19, 2007, completely changed from the INSIDE OUT. I arrived home on December 21, and spent Christmas with my family. January 5, 2009 I moved back into the dorms at Oral Roberts University.

Mercy Ministries GraduateIn February of 2008, only a few weeks after graduating from Mercy, I became a Resident Advisor in the dorms! I was the leader on a floor of thirty girls! When spring break rolled around God had brought me full circle! The year before (2007) I was asked to move out of the dorms, and this year (2008) I was in leadership! WOW! God is amazing. At the end of the year during the Resident Advisors banquet, I received the award for most valuable Resident Advisor. Then over the summer I worked as a nanny and now I am back at ORU. I am the RA of a floor called Zoe ß Zoe, which means life! During spring break I am leading a team of five women to the Mercy home in Nashville! The same trip I was kicked off of in the spring of 2007, I am leading in 2009! God restores!!!!!

I am not going to lie, and say it has been easy. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. God NEVER said that it was going to be easy; He just said that it would be worth it!! God has transformed my life. The "old" Erin is gone and behold all things are new! I am no longer bound by depression, anorexia and self-hatred. I am a beautiful daughter of God, and He is enthralled with my beauty.

Life is all about choices. I choose life!!!!!! I am walking in freedom! When I step back and look at where I am today there are no words. I stand in awe of my Creator.

Thank you God, thank you Nancy, and thank you Mercy Ministries! I realize that Mercy is not the healer, but in my case Mercy was the vessel God used so I could receive my freedom!

To the staff: Thank you for your hard work and dedication. The seeds that you sow are producing a harvest. Do not become discourage in well doing because in the end you will reap a reward!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Chris Tomlin's song says it best:
My chains are gone,
I have been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns.
Unending love; Amazing Grace!

In Christ,
Erin

I have attached a picture of my floor Zoe, and a picture of me (FREE!!!!!)


I graduated from the Mercy Ministries program in 1995. It totally changed and transformed my life. Before Mercy, I didn’t care about life and wanted to die. Now I love God and I love life.

While in the program I received counseling, I grew in my relationship with God, I learned how to have a functional relationship with others, I learned how to really love, I learned how to forgive, and I received inner healing from all the hurts and pains that were in my life. I walked in the doors one person and out the doors a totally different person. When I came home everyone could see how I changed and they were amazed. People, eMercy Ministries Graduateven those who thought I was a lost cause, said I was radiant and transformed.

One of coolest things God did for me once I was home is that He replaced my unhealthy relationships with godly ones. I’ve made lots of godly relationships over the years that I now cherish. God has blessed my life so much and I’m so thankful! God has opened doors for me to do summer youth work at a Christian camp. I’ve been on a mission trip, I have done street ministry, and I have worked with the youth at our church. Now, God has blessed me with a husband, who is an awesome man of God, and a son.

I am so thankful to Nancy and Mercy Ministries because the life I’m living today is all because of the help I received there. Mercy Ministries is an awesome program and I urge any young woman who needs help to check them out. Their lives will never be the same again if they choose Mercy Ministries. I praise God for all the work that is going on at Mercy Ministries. Lives are being changed, transformed, and saved at Mercy Ministries. Thank you Nancy and the Mercy Ministries staff for all you do!

I love you,

Lisa

Nancy, staff and girls at Mercy,

Mercy Ministries GraduateNext month will mark my 11 year graduation from Mercy Ministries. I can't believe it has been 11 years!! God has been so good to me in that time. Since I graduated from the program, I have met and married the man of my dreams. Now we have had 6 wonderful boys. I am a stay at home mom, and home school my guys.

My husband is 8 months into a 12 month deployment right now. So unfortunately I have been busy taking care of the kids and I was not able to make it to the Mercy 25th Anniversary celebration. Let’s just start praying now that he is stateside for the next anniversary celebration because I would love to be there!! Mercy equipped me with the tools I need to be an Army wife and mom to 6 kids. It does get rough being a single mom but God has always given us the grace to make it through the tough times. I wouldn't have it any other way!!

I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to live this life. The road I was going down would have surely killed me. Thank you Nancy for listening to and obeying God's call on your life. It has saved so many lives, and touched many, many more.

With love always,

Elodie


Dear Nancy,

Thank you for everything that you have done. While I was in the program, I was given the tools that I need to succeed in life. There was a point in time where nothing seemed to be going right. While at Mercy, I learned that no matter what happens in my life and no matter what circumstances some my way, I know that I will always be loved and accepted by Father God.

After graduating from Mercy Ministries I moved back home. Since I have been home I have really wanted to share the message of Mercy Ministries to all of the people in my community. I have also had it on my heart to try to get a Mercy home here built here in Minnesota. The program offered me hope and I want other hurting girls to get the same opportunity. Other programs in my area focus on the girl’s struggles rather then their root problem. I wish they all had the chance to go to Mercy.

I was so excited when I heard that BarlowGirl was partnering with Mercy Ministries on their Million Voices Tour. When they came to my hometown I was able to volunteer at the Mercy booth. It was an honor to be able to represent Mercy and to tell people about the program. I thought it was really cool when people would look back at me in shock when I told them that Mercy does not take any state or federal funding, gives ten percent to other ministries, and takes in girls free of charge.

The video with BarlowGirl talking about their relationship to Mercy was awesome. I loved when Becca Barlow shared her testimony with the crowd. It was an awesome reminder of what I learned at Mercy. My favorite part of Becca's testimony was when she talked about Joel 2:25; it states that God will restore the years the locusts have eaten. This was special to me because that verse was one of the verses that I hung on to in the dark times when I was at Mercy and it really helped. The BarlowGirl fans bought books from the “Mercy For” series and loved the Mercy humanities shirts. Now that they have been informed about this amazing ministry, I feel like they will help spread the word about this place of healing. I think the partnership will give girls struggling with these life-controlling issues the encouragement to apply to Mercy and others will hopefully become Mercy supporters.

Thank you for everything that you do.

Jill


Nancy,

I wanted to let you know what I have been doing since I graduated from Mercy Ministries. I graduated from the Monroe home in March and now I am helping lead worship in prison ministry throughout the country. I am so grateful for the healing I received while at Mercy. My life has completely transformed and I am forever changed. I love serving the Lord and reaching out to the lost and broken. I can't say thank you enough. God bless you!

Love,
Michelle M.






BritneyNancy,

I graduated from the Nashville home on October 8, 2007. When I entered Mercy Ministries, I struggled with an eating disorder, very strong drug addiction, and low self-esteem. Since I graduated from the program, I went to a junior college and received a 3.5 GPA. I was on the Vice President’s honor roll. After junior college, I applied to Oklahoma Baptist University. Now I am currently enrolled at OBU. I just wanted to tell you that Mercy Ministries saved my life. I could not overcome my struggles without the program. It was not easy but it truly healed me from the inside out. I had gone to several treatment centers before Mercy and I can honestly say that Mercy Ministries is a gift from God. I hope all is well at the home.

God Bless, Brittany S.

Romans 12:2

Kim standing by treeMercy helped me in so many ways. Before I entered the Mercy Ministries program, I had been dealing with self-harm, depression and low self-esteem. I was the type of person that wanted to help everyone else with their problems but I wouldn't allow people to help me with my own. I felt like I was a burden to others so I tried to deal with all of my issues by myself. I really struggled and then I ended up having a major break down. I decided that I really needed to get help because I didn't want to continue to live a double life. On the outside everything looked good but I was dying on the inside.

One day I was watching TBN and I saw Nancy speaking about the ministry. The program seemed very hopeful and I knew that I needed to go. I am so glad that God provided me with this amazing opportunity.

Through my experience at Mercy, I have learned so much about myself. I have a personal relationship with God and have been set free from the struggles that would have potentially taken my life. At Mercy I learned what unconditional love is.

Mercy Ministries is a place where young women can learn to overcome depression, low self-esteem, and other life-controlling issues. I found freedom while at Mercy Ministries and because of that I am able to walk out my true purpose through God’s plans for me. It is not always going to be easy but it will be well worth it!

Mercy Ministries saved my life because the staff taught me what it means to have a personal relationship with God. I have been blessed by my time and experience at the home and I will not take it lightly. I went back to school and I am majoring in Sociology. I am also over the dance ministry at my church and enjoy walking in the freedom that God has given me.

God bless,

Kim


Dear Nancy,

I wanted you to know how grateful I have been for Mercy Ministries. Almost four years ago, I came to Mercy pregnant and completely unsure of what kind of life I could expect to have. I had no where to turn, but Mercy took me in and loved on me throughout my entire pregnancy. I can’t begin to tell you how much fear I had when I first arrived—it was as though I had to come to terms with not only the finality of having a child, but all of the garbage that I had been carrying around with me in my life. Mercy helped me through that, and led me to a relationship with God I never believed was possible. Over time, my relationship with Him has given me the peace I have needed to walk through the challenges of being a single mother. Many times I have been unsure of where the next provision would come from—but God has continued to provide and gently remind me, that He will never leave me.

Thank you for dedicating your life to helping girls like myself realize we have great purpose and value in God.

Love,

Monica



Dear Nancy,

“I’ll never forget the day I knew I would never be the same…

My life was consumed with depression and I would cut myself every night to make the pain go away. I got involved with the wrong crowd at a young age, and was sexually assaulted when I was 16 years old. I became obsessed with suicide and believed God saw me as just a big disappointment to Him. I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries broken, scared, and confused, but knowing it was the only glimpse of hope I had left. I was immediately embraced by the unconditional love I felt in the home and through the staff, but there was one day in particular that changed everything.

We had a special speaker come in one morning who prayed for me. In the middle of her prayer she told me that she felt like the Lord wanted me to know that I was not forgotten. She said over and over, “you are not forgotten, you are not forgotten, you are NOT forgotten.” I broke down and wept knowing that the Lord was speaking to my heart. After she was done praying I walked up to her, rolled up my long sleeved shirt, and showed her where I had carved the word “FORGOTTEN” in my forearm.

That is when I know I would never be the same. I made a choice that day to never hurt myself again and God began to completely transform my life. By His grace, God has even healed my scars and that word is no longer even visible on my arm. Today I am here to celebrate what God has done through Mercy Ministries, and to share my story of how my life was changed forever.”

Love,
Holly

Dear Nancy and my Mercy Family,

I can’t thank all of you enough for your support and prayers on my recent mission trip to Uganda. I have returned with many stories to tell. The trip was life-changing and will hold a special place in my heart forever…

The people of Uganda were all so welcoming and giving and despite the language barrier, we were all able to share stories and laughs. Many of them have amazing testimonies. The have been through the unthinkable, yet their faith remains unshaken.

As we drove through the town, passing the market on the way to our first village, I was overwhelmed with all that I saw. Jinga is now considered to be a fourth world area and the poverty is worse than I could have fathomed, but the people welcomed us with open arms…despite my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, God worked through me and gave me the words to speak. I saw many people come to Christ and their eyes lit up with joy because of the love of Christ.

I reflected on how physically rich Americans are yet so spiritually poor while Ugandans are so spiritually rich and yet have nothing in the physical world. They are hungry for the gospel. They pray with passion and without ceasing like I’ve never seen before. They love serving others and give the best that they have. I was pushed and stretched beyond what I thought my limits were. I had to learn to fully rely on God because many times I opened up my bible not quite sure where it would lead me, but God never let me down with showing me the answers…

I could have never gone on this trip without your aid and encouragement, so waybalay, “thank you”.

God is good,

Natalie


Ms. Nancy,

…I was writing to say thank you for an inspiring program that helps girls like me out…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 my senior year. I recently graduated on July 27, 2008. I am looking forward to my future. I even dream of working at Mercy one day.

Love,
Justice



Nancy and all of the Staff,

I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done! Before I came to Mercy, when I was 16 or so, I made the decision that I did not deserve to see life after my teenage years. I made a plan that if my eating disorder had failed to show me to my grave that I would end my own life. I graduated from St. Louis in May of 2008 and my life is forever changed. Then in July, on my 20th birthday, the day that I swore I would never see, I celebrated by taking a leap of faith right out of the back of an airplane. God is so amazing and I thank you, Nancy and Mercy Ministries for the best birthday ever!!!

I love you!

Lauren

Dear Nancy,

I had to let you guys know of all that God has done in my life. It has been 10 years since I graduated from Mercy. At first, I was not willing to fully submit my life to the Lord. Although I struggled to repent, a seed had been firmly planted in me while I was at Mercy. It did not take long for that seed to produce fruit—I tried to embrace my sin but no longer enjoyed it. My heart and spirit belonged to Christ.

Since I left Mercy, I have overcome my addiction to drugs and alcohol. I have worked as a prayer counselor for three years, done missionary work in South America, and lost 200 pounds. I married a wonderful man of God who is currently deployed in Bagdad, Iraq, and I have a beautiful one year-old son named Conner. I am also a worship leader at a church in Nashville, and I travel as a Christian artist. I will start an accredited Bible college later this month.

I came to Mercy believing Christianity was giving up your life for a set of rules. I left with empowerment and the knowledge that giving up your old life sets you free to gain a new life. I am truly in love with the Lord and thankful for the ever-growing restoration He has brought to my life through His healing Holy Spirit and His word.

God Bless the Mercy Bunch,

Katie

Hey Nancy!

This is Jordan Sanders—I graduated from the Monroe home 2 months ago! I wanted to update you on how things are going. Before Mercy, my life was filled with self-hatred and condemnation, which stemmed from abuse of every kind in my past. I never felt wanted—I was always the outcast. At 9 years old, I started throwing up to make myself feel better. When that wasn't enough, I turned to restriction, prescription drugs, alcohol, and eventually, cutting. I would do anything to numb the pain I was feeling. Pain was the only thing I could feel. You would never be able to tell from the (fake) smile I always wore on face. While at Mercy, I struggled to surrender to God—I wanted to remain in control. When I finally stopped people pleasing, let go and let God, the heaviness came off my heart and I started being molded into the person I was created to be. The fake happiness soon started turned into real joy, and the hatred into love. One evening in my prayer time, I was on my face crying out to God to save me, I kept saying, "no more games" over and over again and fully surrendered myself. Even after making the choice to live for God, it hasn't been easy. But with the tools Mercy has provided me with and God on my side, I am conquering this world. I no longer go to bed or wake up wishing to die. Instead, I thank my heavenly Father for the life He has given me. I just want to get out there to share my story and let other girls know there is hope. If I can allow God to work in my life, I know anyone can. Mercy has a huge chunk of my heart and with out your ministry, I wouldn't be alive. Thank you for the love you have for us girls.

In Him,

Jordan


Nancy,

Mercy Ministries Graduate

I just wanted to thank you for the life-changing ministry of Mercy. I graduated the program six years ago, and since then God has blessed me with a wonderful Christian husband of four years. I am also a kindergarten teacher. God has allowed me to share my testimony with several groups and churches, as well as the 8th grade class in the school I currently teach in. Though I wasn’t able to talk a lot about God, I was able to talk about eating disorders and how God was the one who healed me and gave me hope and a future.

Thank you again for your work and you heart to see girls healed and changed.

Love,

Casey




Nancy,

Since I graduated from Mercy in 2004 it’s been an incredible journey! I ended up going to the St. Louis DreamCenter as an intern for 2 years. There, I actually got to experience what the book of Acts talks about. Healings, deliverances, and the strong manifested power of the Holy Spirit. In one experience, I was able to lead a group to minister to the local drug dealers and prostitutes. In that area, the local cops were even afraid to come down the street. I came to realize that "greater is He who is in me than who is in the world." This skinny, white girl from Louisiana was able to win the trust of major drug dealers and present the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. To see them enter the door of the church was amazing. I know seed was sown and God will bring the harvest. My time at the DreamCenter was amazing! It was a great experience! Everyone is looking for someone to love them from the inside out, sometimes you just have to sift through the veils of hardness, anger, and sadness.

Close to the end of my second year at the DreamCenter, I was hired on as weekend staff at Mercy. This has been a great experience and it’s totally different being on the other side. I admit that sometimes I have to sit and think about why I even came to Mercy—I am so far from who I was.

Something the Lord has taught me over the past few years in times when I have fallen, is actually found in Philippians 3:9, "I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law, rather I become righteous through faith in Christ." It is important to walk in the ways of God and agree with the grace of God to walk in obedience to His word, but this is not the source of our righteousness. This is a tricky balancing act as we desire to stand before the Lord in righteousness. We need to remind ourselves that righteousness is as much as a free gift as salvation is. The Father goes out to meet his prodigal son and he GIVES him a robe of righteousness. It’s a gift.

I am very involved with my church and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO—just on a search to know this man we call Jesus. I find my heart hungry for something authentic. Something is awakening in the depths of my soul. My heart can barely stand the thought of another unique teaching or keen insight from another anointed vessel. I am aching only for Jesus, wanting Him alone, undone by the piercing depths of His heart, His life, and His love. God wants us to rightly interpret His heart. God will fight for a response from my heart. He is enthralled with the process of winning me over with His love—Over and over and over and over again.

Thank you,

Kacy

Dear Nancy,

Ten years ago, I walked through the doors of Mercy in Monroe (November 12, 1998). My life was forever changed and blessed. If Mercy had not existed, I would not be alive today and I am just so grateful to God for you and the staff and your impact on my life and I know countless other girls. You have made a difference in this world one girl at a time. Thank you for being there for me. I was so broken and God used Mercy to show me my value and worth in Him. Being at Mercy was the hardest thing I have ever done, but now I know it was the best time of my life. Thank you so much for everything. You are my hero.

Love in Him,

Sandra


Nancy

,

I wanted you to know that you and this ministry are very close to my heart. I stayed at Mercy on two separate occasions and you all showed me love and mercy throughout my struggles. I have been on staff at Mercy for almost 3 years and it is a testament alone to how much you and the leadership do not look at past circumstances but operate in grace. The allegations against you and the ministry have made me angry, as one who knows the ministry as a resident and staff, but at the same time my heart breaks for those who choose not to get their healing and live life as God purposed for them – what a deception and rip off from the enemy. What God does through you and this ministry doesn’t just affect the individual girl…..but the generations they raise under them (by physical birth or spiritual mentoring). My husband, daughter, and future children are all beneficiaries to what I received here. I attached a photo of my little girl, Katherine Grace. When I look at her, I thank God that I can be the mother to her that she deserves! My prayer is that you are constantly encouraged even in the midst of discouraging situations. You are a blessing and I appreciate all you do!

Shelly

Dear Mercy Staff,

This letter is to thank you for all you have done and for all you continue doing for so many young women as they enter the doors of Mercy, not just Mercy Ministries, but as they enter into the amazing mercy of God. I know that when I walked into the doors of Mercy in St. Louis, I could not deny feeling something so sweet, something so pure and comforting: God’s love! Personally, I am so grateful for how God used Mercy in my life, how He continued working in my life after graduation and how He continues working in my life each day. While I was at Mercy, God removed all the old labels that had been placed on me and revealed to me my identity in Him as a precious, chosen, beautifully redeemed daughter of the King with limitless potential and value and worth beyond the most precious jewels! He took away the expectations and molds to which I tried to conform. He took the dreams that had been quenched and brought them back to life, re-birthing them and igniting passions, confirming the calling He has bestowed upon me fro a hope and a future. He took away all the shame and guilt from my past and He gave me an abundance of life and joy. While at Mercy, God revealed His unconditional love for me and for the first time I actually understood that God truly loved me, even though I had been saying it for years; I finally had a revelation of His unfailing love! The love of the Lord was so evident in all of the staff at Mercy and I didn’t understand how they could love me after they really knew me, all of me, without the masks and facades I spent so many years perfecting. That was truly amazing and it spoke volumes to me. There was no doubt in my mind that the staff at Mercy was full of the abundant life for which Christ died. It was evident that they were vessels used by God! I will forever be grateful for how God used them in my life.

I am so thankful for every person involved with Mercy Ministries, all the staff as well as all of the supporters. Each of them is unified in the goal to see people set free from the ties that bind, to see them healed from the inside out, to see them brought into the right relationship with God, to not only treat them, but to allow God’s mighty love to transform them. Each of them is valuable in carrying out the mission of Mercy.

Since graduating from Mercy in November of 2006, I have been able to live each day knowing that I have been made new; the old is gone, and the new has come. He has been faithful to remind me of this truth time and time gain! I worked full time for a season and now I am back in school continuing my education. I am majoring in Psychology and with a minor in Christian studies. I am excited to see how God uses me in the future to help deliver others from some of the same things from which He has delivered me.

Once again, I thank you for your willing hearts and spirits and for your faithfulness to live lives that bring glory to God, our Father. May God wrap you in His everlasting arms strengthening and reviving you daily.

Love,
Kim

Hello Nancy and Mercy Staff!

I visited the Mercy home in St. Louis yesterday. It was so incredible. I tour and then had dinner with the girls. Being there and seeing the girls just really confirmed that my passion is to work at Mercy one day. I can't wait.

I know that college is going to prepare me for my future. This fall, I will attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lately I have truly felt the freedom that God has given me. I have felt more stable than I have in all of my life. I feel the joy of God in me and continue to stay happy. I even wrote some new Godly Beliefs because I looked at my old ones and was like I believe those now, so God led to me scripture after scripture to confess in my life. God has been speaking to me about Peter a lot lately because Claire spoke at my graduation that she saw some of his qualities in me. I listened to the graduation CD again and read through the gospels and Acts. Peter is so awesome and I love that the boldness from Christ is rising up in me. I am a changed person. Praise God, He is so good. He is doing SO much in my life that I can't even give Him enough thanks!

Joyce came to the Dream Center Friday to speak to the Interns and staff and then spoke at both services on Sunday. It was awesome having her here. I am in the kitchen department every afternoon and that has been a challenge, but has strengthened and stretched me! I love the Dream Center and am a bit fearful of leaving my familiar surroundings but I know God is moving me on to O.R.U and He has so much planned for me. I hope you all are doing awesome and I am praying for you and Mercy.

Love in Christ,

Melissa

Nancy,

Just wanted to let you know how thankful I am for you. Today I am celebrating three years from the day I came to Mercy and God began this incredible journey I am on. Nancy, your heart for girls like me gave me a chance, and I am forever grateful!!!

Much love,

Sarah


Nancy,

Everyday I think about and miss my Mercy family. You welcomed me into your hearts and home in April of 2006. I praise God for everything He is doing through you and all of the hearts and lives you have been able to touch. I have never had a family like my Mercy family. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you. I fight harder knowing that God is behind me, around me, and in me. You all taught me that! It was such a blessing to watch the video blog from St. Louis, the home I graduated from. May your blessings overflow beyond all belief…

Love and Grace,
Kari


Dear Nancy, Ms. Manuel, and Mercy Staff,

First let me say that I miss and love you all. It has been a long time since we have visited, almost 5 years actually and much has changed in our family.We have a new addition! Michael Ethan Thompson, born May 4th, 2007; was weighing at 9.4 lbs and 20.3/4 inches long. I wanted to send this to you because I wanted you know from me what a huge miracle both my children are.

I know that you guys had been praying for us for the last 7 years while Kevin and I were trying to get pregnant. When I heard that it may take longer to get pregnant then expected I really started professing over my body the word. It really took some convincing on my part because after my miscarriage, I was still in healing mode from loosing the baby. I started proclaiming that my body was created to work and that God knew the desires of my heart. Then my body started working normally and we got pregnant right away…no fertility needed!

The pregnancy was so awesome…even though I was sick almost everyday up till the end. I was so happy and grateful! When we found out we were having boy, what a joy. We named him Ethan, meaning strength. Ethan is healthy and growing. He is a blessing everyday and I am so thankful to have him.

I just wanted you to know the miracles I have in my life. I am sending pictures of my amazing family with this and hope you enjoy them. Much love and prayers to you all!

Love,

Pamela

Dear Nancy,

Howdy from Texas! It is hard to believe that 10 months have passed since my graduation from Mercy Ministries. I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you and the staff.

I just recently finished up my first year of veterinary school. Despite my extreme anxieties and fears over the course load, moving, living alone, and finding a new church, friends, and accountability partner, the Lord has covered me with His peace.

Isaiah 26:3 has been a verse that I have held onto, "He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him.”

The Lord has provided several opportunities to share how He changed my life during my 14 months at Mercy. I am humbled that He continues to work through me. My prayer is that God will use me to extend hope and encouragement to others who are struggling and hurting.

Over the time while I was at Mercy, God ignited in me a desire to reach the nations. In March I was blessed to go on my first mission trip. I traveled to Haiti to serve and minister to the people of the La Criox community. We conducted clinics, taught classes and worshiped with the Haitian people.

God has planted a vision in my heart to organize mission teams of Mercy graduates. He brought me to the story of the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50. Because she understood the depth of His forgiveness, she could lavishly pour out her love to him. Just like her, we have experienced first hand the redeeming mercy and grace of our God, and our hearts have been freed to openly extend this to others. This world desperately needs to hear about and experience this same agape love.

I want to thank you Nancy, for your continued obedience. You are an incredible example of a woman sold out to God. I will be forever grateful to you, the staff of Mercy, the Treasurer Builders, and most of all to our Lord and Savior for giving me my life back.

Blessings,

Bethany

Dear Mercy Staff,

I graduated from Mercy Ministries in November of 2001. Since then I’ve continued to walk and grow with the Lord and He continues to reveal Himself to me every day! Has it been hard at times? Yes. Has it been worth it? YES!

In December of 2001, I graduated from college. By God’s grace, I’ve gone on to become a missionary with Worldwide Evangelization for Christ International. I was able to serve in crisis ministry with their international children, Rainbows of Hope.

I am based in the States and enjoy serving as the international prayer coordinator in our international office in South Carolina. I also really enjoy being a Summer Team leader. Each Summer I have the privilege of leading a team overseas for 2 months, where we serve at one of our children’s ministries. I’ve spent the last 3 summers in Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea (West Africa) and Egypt helping precious children. Needless to say it has been awesome! What a joy it is to see God change children in crisis to children in Christ!

When I placed Toni Michelle for adoption in November of 2001, the adoptive family and I agreed upon a semi-open adoption. Within in a year of placing her, God changed our relationship to an open adoption. This is not what either of us (the adoptive family or I) were planning for, but God had more in mind. Now we are the closest of friends, and talk often and try to see each other at least once a year.

While pregnant at Mercy I made out my list of “things I wanted in an adoptive family.” There were a couple things that were really important to me. First of all, I wanted Toni to know she was adopted and that adoption wouldn’t be an ugly or bad word, but a beautiful one of God’s love. Secondly, I hoped Toni would have an older brother. I loved having big brothers and I wanted her to have that chance too. I really wanted her to have a good father. I’d been blessed with an amazing father, that greatly impacted my life and I wanted this for her. I knew through adoption, she would have the chance to have a great dad. Most importantly, I wanted to be certain that she would grow up in a family that loved the Lord and whose hearts were set on chasing after Him.

God answered my prayers! The adoptive family desired the same as me in being open with Toni about being adopted. They have shared with her the beauty of her being adopted. Toni has an older adopted brother Dean (who is also part Jamaican, Toni is half Jamaican) and they look so much alike it’s crazy! Toni and her daddy are close as close can be, and continually have “daddy-daughter dates”. And the adoptive family as a whole is on fire for the Lord! I couldn’t ask for anything more! God knows the desires of our hearts, and even when they seem silly or insignificant, they are important to Him because we are important to Him.

A little over a year ago, Toni Michelle called me one night to tell me something. She was so excited she could hardly talk. She told me about how she’d be learning about Jesus and at church the Sunday before and she asked Jesus into her heart. You can imagine the joy I felt!

On September 26th Toni Michelle was born will be 7 years old. Toni and her adoptive mom even share the same birthday! God has done some amazing things in these past 7 years.

Blessings,

Julia

Hello Mercy Ministries!

I graduated from Mercy in 2005. What a road that was to get there and what a road it has been since that time. My whole life before Mercy, I was told that success was not mine to have and that I should not try to achieve worldly education or hopes of fulfilling big dreams. I could not take it anymore and I developed an eating disorder as a way of escape…

However the Lord had a greater plan for me. During my stay at a local hospital, I found out about Mercy Ministries. I began to put all efforts into getting well and before I knew it, I was actually on the airplane heading to the Mercy Ministries home. I was scared and excited at the same time. I didn’t know how to trust, but at Mercy I was surrounded by love. There was love, acceptance, discipline and mercy all around the home. I learned to break off the mindset of failure and captivity and to trust those on staff.

Upon graduation, things were not all peaches and cream. But this time I had the tools to keep myself from drowning in the old life. God gave me the ability to stand strong against the all the things that had controlled me for so long. I was able to go back to college and graduated with honors as a music major. I am happy again and learning who God made me to be. I know that I truly do have do have a hope and a future. I am so thankful—I can’t say this enough. I am alive and I know that because of God I have a great future.

Love you all and God Bless,

Hannah

Dear Nancy,

I wanted to send you a note about my mission trip to Indonesia. We were mostly focused on helping 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 have nothing, but in Christ they have everything. They live a life free from materialism, comparison, and selfishness. It is evident by their actions that they do not place value on what they have, how they look, how they compare to others, or their accomplishments. Their focus is on relationships and what they can share together. They have a love for me because I am their sister in Christ, not because of anything I have or do. Through 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.

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. Through this trip and the example 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 on my team as real friends – something I had only dreamed of. There was no way I could have experienced any of this before coming to Mercy.

Two years ago, if you told me I would have been on a mission trip in Indonesia I would have laughed at you. 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.

Blessings,

Krista

Hello from South Carolina!

I just wanted to give you an update on what has been going on in my life. In May, I walked across the stage of the University of South Carolina Upstate to receive my diploma in special education. This was a very special day for me because before I went to Mercy Ministries, I had been told that I would never graduate from college or be able to obtain a job. During my sophomore year in college, I came to Mercy at the end of my rope. I was severely depressed and suicidal—actively pursuing an eating disorder and cutting on a daily basis. But mostly, I had no hope. Not even my doctors had hope for me. Then I entered Mercy and in five and a half months, I graduated with hope in Christ and the determination to pursue my dreams.

Not only did I graduate college and secure a teaching job, but God gave me the opportunity to serve Him with Campus Crusade on an overseas summer project. After graduation, I boarded a plane and flew to Central Asia where I was able to work with college students and tell them about the love and freedom that Christ offers. The country I was in was a predominantly Muslim and women are not held in high esteem. I was able to show these young ladies that in Christ they have freedom and confidence. My eyes were opened to a lost and dying world. God also made me even more appreciative of what He gave me through Mercy Ministries.

I want to thank Mercy for financially supporting me to go on this trip. I was able to help others, but also to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I am home now and in my sixth week of teaching. I have nine wonderful 7th and 8th graders with special needs that I get to work with daily. I love my job and I love my life. None of this would have been possible without the help of Mercy Ministries because I would not be alive. So thank you Nancy, for believing in me and for showing me that Jesus believes in me.

I Love You,

Candice

Nancy,

Please know that Mercy speaks into my life each and everyday and I will never forget or take for granted any time that I spent there. Thank you is never enough…God has thoroughly blessed my life over the years. I am a senior manager of the education department for a vacation company called Wyndham. I have the pleasure of traveling throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico conducting training classes for thousands of people.

God has placed me in a field of the World. His grace and mercy cover me completely as He builds my character and confidence in Him. It’s a rough deal sometimes but His wisdom cannot be denied even when I challenge it.

In addition, God has placed some wonderful people in my life. I belong to a great church and have cultivated some strong and encouraging friendships. I am excited, hopeful and wake up each morning with a grateful heart and a smile on my face…

Thank you again Nancy, for “keeping the post” all these years. My life and thousands of others have you to thank. I will always love, appreciate, and admire you…

Love always,

Amy

Dear Nancy,

I wish there was some way I could express to you how thankful I have been for the opportunity I was given to be a part of Mercy. It truly has been a dream come true for me. So many times I wrote in my journal how desperate I was for help. Nobody seemed available and everyone I opened up to was at a loss of how to combat my hopelessness, confusion and brokenness. I always thought there would be a place where I could go and find God and find freedom. I was amazed when I found out about Mercy. I was kind of intimidated by the testimonies of most of the girls and couldn’t believe you would accept someone like me. I am so glad that you have a heart for girls who haven’t found their identity and satisfaction in God. One night I was lying in bbes and “124” came to my mind. I went to that Psalm and one of the verses said that “the snare is broken and you have escaped!” I put my Bible down and thought, “I have!?” I believe that was God’s word to my saying I was free from my struggles and they will no longer control m life. Now when I look at the sky I see a picture of God and an assurance that He is real. I do not take the time, energy, and money that you have invested in me for granted and I plan on being a faithful supporter of Mercy for years to come!

Love,

Lindsay

Nancy Alcorn, Staff, & Mercy Girls,

I wanted to give you guys an update on me and how awesome and faithful God has been. Before Mercy, I was lost, broken, angry and hitting rock bottom. I thought the little precious baby growing inside me was a monster. I was so ashamed of what I was and I knew I could not change my life in the surroundings I was in.

Mercy Ministries adopted me for a season. I had the wonderful pleasure of having the mercy counselors, who I refer to as my life coaches; help me through my hard times. They showed me that I was really in a race for God's destiny and they were with me all the way...screaming "Run Lindsey...Run to Jesus...Run as fast as you can". They never gave up on me.

The training was tiresome but I am still running today. I had a beautiful baby boy on Feb. 2, 2005. As you see in the picture, he is a happy, peaceful, beautiful boy named Thomas. After a six month stay at the Mercy home, I graduated on Feb. 5, 2001. After graduation, I went home to Montgomery Alabama and started attending my home church. Then about six months later, God brought my husband into my life. Eric Andrews was the first sold out Christian I had ever dated and for the first time in my life, I had the tools with Mercy's help to have a holy relationship. We fell in love after only 3 weeks and married on July 20, 2002.

I moved to Cincinnati Ohio where he worked and on fathers day the following year we found out we were pregnant with our second child Hudson. Hudson and Thomas are our little pieces of heaven and we are enjoying the journey of parenthood.

I love you all and miss you dearly! Keep up the good fight and run girls.....run as fast as you can into the arms of Jesus. He will be there in the end.

Lindsey


Nancy,

I just wanted to give you an update on what I'm doing now. After I graduated from Mercy I went back to college, and graduated with my Bachelor Degree in History. In April of 2004, I clearly heard from God at my church’s Bible Conference. I told myself, "I'm never going to go back to Mercy Ministries again." God had other plans for me. He told me during that conference that He wanted me to help the hurting girls by working at Mercy, just as I was helped. Currently I am going back to college to get another Bachelor Degree in Social Work. It is my dream that someday I will work at Mercy Ministries.

Sincerely,

Krista


Hey Nancy,

Just got back from visiting the Mercy Canada home and wanted to send you a quick note. I am STOAKED! The yard and outside of the house are beautiful and I know that after renovations the inside will be perfect. I start volunteering every Monday at the Mercy Canada office tomorrow and am excited to say that the Mercy Christmas project has gained support from grads around the globe and is in the layout process right now. I am so incredibly FREE and thank God daily for Mercy.

Love you,

Natasha


To All Mercy Staff:

Here is a photo of our precious granddaughter Makayla Faith. Through your ministry and love she was born and not aborted and now can be added to your walls. No words can thank you enough for all you have done for our daughter, Kristin. We appreciate and are thankful for your continued prayers for our family.

Barry and Jennifer







Dear Nancy,

It is hard to believe that just last year I was still in Nashville at the Mercy Ministries home. I didn’t know my purpose in life and I had no idea where God was going to take me. I want to thank you! I have gotten my life back and found my identity in Christ. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for Mercy Ministries.

It hasn’t been easy but when I look at my Mercy ring and old photographs, I realize that God took me out of the garbage and made me new. Without the time I spent at Mercy, I am not sure that I would be sitting here and anticipating what the next year holds.

I never imagined that I would get a job working in a university or end up going back to school to pursue my dream of getting a Master’s degree. God has opened a lot of doors for me. Last October I received a job as a Personal Care Attendant working for mentally ill adolescents. Seeing life through their eyes has helped me appreciate what I have. God gave me a chance to share my testimony and He allowed me to witness to and care for those children. Now I am pursuing my dream and I attend graduate school at Arkansas Tech University.

Thank you for all that you do! I look forward to hearing more about the work that continues to free young women at Mercy!

In Christ,

Beth


I want to give to Mercy Ministries because it is through Mercy that God changed my life. I believe in the work that God does through this precious ministry and I want to support the ministry and help change lives. Girls in today’s society need hope and I have seen firsthand the hope that God brings through Mercy Ministries.

-Candice







Nancy,

It has been one year since I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministry and stumbled into God’s loving grace. During my time at the home I began to experience and understand unconditional love. God’s love shined through all of the Mercy staff.

When I came to Mercy, I was lost in darkness. I went from wanting and waiting to die, to loving life and living for God! I’ve learned that my past does not define me and I keep my eyes on God and let Him determine my identity.

God did an amazing healing in my heart, but it was through your obedience that this was possible. Before Mercy, I was barely surviving. During the first several months at the home the thoughts of my past continued to torment me. But you guys never gave up, and I did my best to push through, and look what the Lord has done!

When people ask me how I overcame my issues I tell them about the healing power of our mighty God. I never fathomed that I could experience the joy and peace that I have in my life. Thank you for your unconditional love, for your obedience, and for never giving up on me. Thank you for teaching me and sharing the goodness of the Lord with me! My life has been changed and I have been saved, pulled from the pit, because you chose to follow the vision that God put in your heart.

Love,

Lyndsey

Hello Nancy,

On October 23, 2008 it will be six months since graduating from Mercy. Everyday I think about where the Lord has brought me from and how my life has changed since graduating from Mercy Ministries. I have a smile plastered on my face and it just won't go away. I wanted to thank you and the other AMAZING staff at the St. Louis home. My days are now filled with joy and peace. Praise the Lord! God cares about all the little details of life as much as the big ones.

I recently received a promotion at work and I led a friend, who was a Jehovah's Witness, to the Lord! I can't stop sharing God's love with everyone. I have had many opportunities to speak and share my testimony with people.


I just want to say thank you once again for being obedient to the call of God on your life and for helping to save so many lives. I feel that same call on my life...to help save others and I hope to one day work for Mercy Ministries. Thank you for everything and be blessed!

Love,

Christine

Hi Nancy,

I just wanted to give you an update on me. I have been praying and asking God to show me how I could play an important role here on earth. I desired to know what career path he wanted me to take. Shortly after, I ran into a girl at Barnes and Noble bookstore and we discussed college. After our conversation, I went outside and sat down on the chairs and just asked God what he wanted me to do and what classes I should take in school.

As I sat outside the bookstore, I saw several people walk by and noticed they looked sickly and I felt like they were really struggling internally. Then I noticed an ambulance as it pulled up near me. At that moment, God said, “I want you to help those who are physically and spiritually sick.” Everything seemed to make sense, and I have decided to take classes in the medical field. I want to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I have a great deal of excitement and peace towards this career path. While I was at Mercy, I passed the GED test. I know God helped me through this and everything is falling into place. Thank you for allowing me to come to Mercy and learn how to hear from God!

God bless,

Alisha


Hey Nancy,

I just wanted to thank you so much for coming to the luncheon! I know I can speak on behalf of all of the graduates when I say that we were truly blessed beyond anything we had hoped, imagined, or expected. We were blown away that you and Margaret came to our luncheon because we knew that it took place during the conference weekend. You made our weekend very special and it is a time I will never forget.

As graduates of Mercy Ministries, we wonder how we could ever give back all that was given to us while we were in the program. We are so grateful for the lives we now live. After hearing each of your stories we have realized that the best way to give back is to live out what we have learned. It really moved us, so much so that it is hard to put in words.

Before the luncheon, a bunch of us St. Louis girls were praying about the weekend and were really praying that our focus would be on Him. We wanted God to be our focus even in the midst of all the social things and busyness. Above all, we want to encourage and bless others. During the weekend God met each one of us in a personal way. He allowed us to go to the St. Louis home and speak to the girls in the house and encourage them. We were also able to speak to supporters of Mercy and share what God was doing in our lives at in the program. God used Mercy Ministries to bless our live and now we have a huge treasure chest within us for the very purpose of giving to others! Again, thank you all so very much!

Love,

Britney


Dear Mercy Ministries:

I just wanted to write and thank you. I am just one more life who was saved by Mercy Ministries. I was in the St. Louis home a year ago right now and graduated back in February. I am now working at Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. I sometimes feel unqualified working with the boys in my home when I think about how hopeless, wounded and suicidal I was. And now, by God’s grace, I get to work with these troubled kids and invest in their future when everyone else in their life has given up on them. Thanks for pouring into my life so that I can now pass it on.

Calli


Hey Nancy,

God just opened up a really cool door today and I wanted to share the story with you. I moved back to California this summer and started church hunting. I started attending a church called Gateway City Church. It has been awesome! They have been in a season of investing in their youth. They started a program called, "So You Think You Can Preach," and asked anyone from ages 12-25, to pray and submit a short summary of a message to the pastor. The pastors prayed over them and selected 5 winners. The five winners were going to share their stories during the church services. I decided to pray and write a message about several things God had been speaking to me. Last week I found out that I was selected to speak!

This morning I got to preach on the main stage and it was amazing. Right before we spoke, the pastor mentioned being moved by the youth that were on The Call the day before. I got up and shared my story and briefly used my time at Mercy Ministries as an example in my message. I didn't get to really share my testimony at that moment but at the end of my story the pastor came up on stage and specifically asked me about Mercy. He said, "Why does that sound so familiar? Who started it?" So I told him about the program and said, "Nancy Alcorn founded the ministry." He knew who you were because he saw you on The Call! He asked me to share more about Mercy for everyone. Then after the service I was flocked by people that wanted to help the young women at Mercy. Some even wanted more information about Mercy for themselves. The youth pastor and his wife said that they had been interested in the book "Cut" because they had been searching for Christ-centered books. They want to use the information from the books to equip themselves to help some of their youth that struggle with similar issues. I am going to give them the “Mercy For” series. I believe they could become supporters of Mercy and send teams down to lead praise and worship, speak once in a while, help with blessings or anything else Mercy California would need!

It is great to know that prayers are being answered! God bless you this week!

Love,

Britney

Hi Nancy,

I wanted to send you an email to express my gratitude. I think you are an amazing woman of God. I admire your willingness to step out in faith and to obey what God has asked of you. Through your willingness, you have given girls who are hurting and broken a place to heal and become whole.

If it were not for Mercy, I would not be alive today. I would have taken my own life or continued to exist in the hell I was already consumed in.

Your heart for God, your willingness to serve Him, to be used by Him, your kind heart, your courage to stand up for the truth, provided me a place to start a relationship with our Father. I heard countless times over the weekend about the love you can feel as you walk through the doors at Mercy. I know when I walked through those doors, I felt God's love.

By my fourth day at the home, I was ready to leave. I was so confused about everything. I remember going to reception and talking to a counselor. She started to tell me the story of Jesus. I had questions, doubts, disbelief, and fear. She asked if I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart. I said, "Yes" but in all honesty I still wasn't sure about God. I longed to be loved and accepted. I said yes, because I started to have a tiny sliver of hope, that maybe, just maybe this was all true. I started to feel love and acceptance.

I had an opportunity to share my testimony at a friend's church. This was my closing:

"Before I had God in my life everything was in black and white. The world was dark and gloomy. After entering into a relationship with God, my world was in color. I wasn't color blind anymore. The world has color, and it is beautiful. There have been times, I slip and things are black and white again. But I remember that there is color, I can choose to see in color. We all have choices. I have to choose to make decisions that will help me see in color. I know what I need to do, I have experienced that it will work, it's not easy at times, but I know. I have to choose to do the work. Just like anybody else".

Thank you for everything Nancy!

I love you,

Sarah

To All of the Mercy America Crew,

I just wanted to let you all know that today is my one year graduation anniversary! Woo Hoo! Yesterday was my 23rd birthday, and to kick off the new year of my life, I was able to celebrate this milestone! Isn't God great!?

I am going awesome down here. I love life and my wonderful Jesus. I am trying to get everything sorted out so that I can start school again in July. I want to finish my Communications degree that I had started before I went through the program.

So all is well in the life of this Aussie gal! I am growing stronger every day and with every trial, working towards the goal of working at Mercy one day! Not to mention becoming a rock star! I'm just so excited about this next year in my life and I had to share it with you all!

Hope to hear from you soon,

Naomi


Dear Mercy Ministries –

Hello! I lived at the Nashville home in 2004. I came to Mercy because of a drug and alcohol addiction as well as self-harm. I took my time at Mercy seriously and because of that, I was able to establish a strong relationship with God which has continued to grow.

I have an amazing relationship with God and he has blessed me tremendously! I have a loving husband, a house, a car, a great job, and now a brand new baby boy—Gabriel. I have 3 ½ years sobriety and my husband and I volunteer in the community to help others achieve sobriety also. I haven’t cut in 3 ½ years either. I have been fortunate enough to tell my testimony in a couple of different churches and I have been asked to speak at a church in Phoenix, AZ. I have hopes of being a motivational speaker as a permanent full-time job someday.

Thank you!

Elizabeth

Dear Mercy Staff,

God saved my life through Mercy. I want to give back to this amazing ministry. I continue to pray that God would multiply the impact of my small donations to Mercy and use it to His glory. On October 8th it will be my five months since I graduated from the St. Louis home. I can't possibly express how different my life is now. I am free! I pray for the Mercy girls and staff so often and can't wait to see how God continues to build and grow Mercy. Thank you, each and every one of you, for being such willing vessels for the Spirit to use to bring beauty from ashes.

Blessings on all of you!

Love in Christ,

Annie

Nancy,

I am so excited about the dessert fund raiser next month in Raleigh. I am pumped to share my testimony again for Mercy. I know the brunch we had last year was awesome. It was amazing to see some of the financial faces behind my journey and get a chance to thank them personally. Every time I get the opportunity to tell people about Mercy and what God did for me through Mercy, I JUMP!!! I look forward to the home in Charlotte. North Carolina needs it Mercy Ministries home, as do so many other places across the country. I know ever since I graduated from St. Louis, God has blessed me so much! (I just celebrated 2 years in July!!!) I also married an AMAZING man of God June 28!!! Thanks for everything.

Love,

Bekah


Nancy,

A week ago I had the opportunity to go see three of my Mercy Sisters. After spending a week together, we left feeling overwhelmingly grateful for God getting us through the doors of Mercy and for all the staff and supporters who poured out into our lives. It is incredible to see the destinies placed on Mercy girl’s lives. God just has this way of getting a hold of a girl’s heart and breathing life and purpose into them. It is wonderful to look back and reflect on God's faithfulness and remember where He has brought us from and who we are now. Already in our short periods of being out of Mercy (all less than a year), we have had incredible opportunities to serve, share, and impart out of the overflow of what God did in us through you all! God was the center of everything we did and His joy was in the midst of everything. Prior to Mercy, I never tasted that joy before We are so thankful for our freedom! So again thanks so much!!! God Bless you, all the staff, and amazing supporters for valuing our lives!

Love,

Britney

Dear Nancy,

I just wanted to send a little thank you note to let you know that I appreciate all your support. I am grateful for Mercy and all that the Lord did in my life during my time there. Thank you for making it possible for girls like me to be able to find the love of God in a safe place. It has helped me face the real world and have confidence that with Him in my life anything is possible.

School is going well. I only have one more year until I graduate. I am very excited about moving back to Asia in the near future. But I understand that this time of training is vital. I am trying to soak in all that I am learning and I pray that I will be able to turn around and give it all away.

I think a part of my vision for the future is to help women who have forced into the sex trade in Asia. I am looking into ways to prepare myself for doing that long-term. I am even considering more school in Malaysia I love you and want you to know that I pray for you and I am grateful for everything you have done.

Love,

Kiyomi

Dear Mercy Ministries,

I just wanted to send a note and tell you how grateful I am for my time at Mercy Ministries. I was in the program for 10 months and I graduated in July of 2006. I am making history with my life because of your faithfulness and yielding to the Spirit. I never thought I would be on the other side of this battle and now I am doing life with such great purpose and I am filled with amazing joy again. My life is a great testament to God’s tender mercies and grace because of you all. Thank you for showing me how to live again!!! God is growing me in ways I never thought possible. I see the prophecy of Joel 2:25 coming alive in my life! He is restoring in abundance the years the “locust” had stolen. It is amazing and humbling to be a light for the kingdom again. I could never thank you enough for giving me the tools to do life again. May God continue to bless you!

Love,

Donna

Dear Mercy Staff,

It was only one and a half years ago that I was a lost soul. I finally received a call and was informed that Mercy had an open bed for me. The timing was perfect. If I had gone even a week more, it is very possible that I would not be alive to write this letter. Four days before I was supposed to arrive at Mercy I called intake and told them I could not come. I was terrified and full of shame and self-doubt. I didn’t think Mercy could help me with all of my struggles. I had planned to kill myself. The people in the intake department prayed with me and I decided to give it a shot- thank God!

I want you to know that the work you do directly affects all of the Mercy girl’s lives. We appreciate all you do! Thank you for saving my life and turning it around.

Love,

Lyndsey

Merry Ministries Nashville,

My name is Donna and I am a Mercy graduate from July of 2006. Some of you may remember me however this is for all of the staff, regardless if I knew you are not. THANK YOU! Thank you for giving all of your time to help so many hurting girls. Your sacrifice is giving girls the chance to live again. When I came to Mercy I was a very broken girl and when I left Mercy I was full of hope and joy. My whole life has changed because you thought I was worth the fight! I can not imagine life to be this great without all of you gracious and loving women. Thank you oh so much! You are loved and prayed for often.

Love,

Donna

Mercy Staff,

Wow, I sent in my application to Mercy a year ago and God had all of you play a key role in my transformation. Than you for all you do everyday because you impact every girl that goes through the program.

I applied to Mercy at my last resort and could not imagine how God would have used the program to renew my life. I graduated from the St. Louis home on Feb. 26, 2008. Now I continue to walk in freedom. The day I graduated from Mercy I made the decision to never go back to my old life. I have not and I will not.

I went to Mercy very prideful, needy, attention-seeking, and deceived and all around messed up. Now that I have graduated, I am a completely different person and I use the tools I learned at Mercy everyday. I have never truly laughed or loved myself as much as I do now. Everyday I am overwhelmed by His faithfulness. I used to want to die and now I love life. Thank you! I do not have the words to explain my gratefulness and amazement. I am a really happy person. My life is so solid because I am resting on my Rock. Thanks for helping me get my life back! I love you all so much.

Love,

Natasha


Dear Mercy Staff,

This letter is to thank you for all you have done and for all you continue doing for so many young women as they enter the doors of Mercy, not just Mercy Ministries, but as they enter into the amazing mercy of God. I know that when I walked into the doors of Mercy in St. Louis, I could not deny feeling something so sweet, something so pure and comforting: God’s love! Personally, I am so grateful for how God used Mercy in my life, how He continued working in my life after graduation and how He continues working in my life each day. While I was at Mercy, God removed all the old labels that had been placed on me and revealed to me my identity in Him as a precious, chosen, beautifully redeemed daughter of the King with limitless potential and value and worth beyond the most precious jewels! He took away the expectations and molds to which I tried to conform. He took the dreams that had been quenched and brought them back to life, re-birthing them and igniting passions, confirming the calling He has bestowed upon me fro a hope and a future. He took away all the shame and guilt from my past and He gave me an abundance of life and joy. While at Mercy, God revealed His unconditional love for me and for the first time I actually understood that God truly loved me, even though I had been saying it for years; I finally had a revelation of His unfailing love! The love of the Lord was so evident in all of the staff at Mercy and I didn’t understand how they could love me after they really knew me, all of me, without the masks and facades I spent so many years perfecting. That was truly amazing and it spoke volumes to me. There was no doubt in my mind that the staff at Mercy was full of the abundant life for which Christ died. It was evident that they were vessels used by God! I will forever be grateful for how God used them in my life.

I am so thankful for every person involved with Mercy Ministries, all the staff as well as all of the supporters. Each of them is unified in the goal to see people set free from the ties that bind, to see them healed from the inside out, to see them brought into the right relationship with God, to not only treat them, but to allow God’s mighty love to transform them. Each of them is valuable in carrying out the mission of Mercy.

Since graduating from Mercy in November of 2006, I have been able to live each day knowing that I have been made new; the old is gone, and the new has come. He has been faithful to remind me of this truth time and time gain! I worked full time for a season and now I am back in school continuing my education. I am majoring in Psychology and with a minor in Christian studies. I am excited to see how God uses me in the future to help deliver others from some of the same things from which He has delivered me.

Once again, I thank you for your willing hearts and spirits and for your faithfulness to live lives that bring glory to God, our Father. May God wrap you in His everlasting arms strengthening and reviving you daily.

Love,

Kim

Dear Nancy,

It has been 12 years since I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries and as I look back, I am amazed at God’s goodness and mercy on my life. I came to Mercy Ministries as a last ditch attempt to get help. I decided if Mercy could not help me, I would take my life.

I had suffered years of sexual abuse and as a result became self-destructive in an attempt to regain control of my life. I was a cutter and had an eating disorder that was taking over my life. I came to the conclusion that I would never overcome my past and attempted suicide.

I am so grateful that God had another plan. I heard about Mercy Ministries while in college and applied for the program. I was in the program for a year, and during that year, I experienced the love and grace of God. I forgave the person who abused me and I was healed in many areas. I began to respect myself. I stopped cutting and I started working through the behaviors that precipitated the eating disorder. Mercy gave me the tools I needed to walk in freedom.

I had a hard time after I left Mercy because I had to walk out what I had learned. I no longer hurt from the sexual abuse and can honestly say I hope the person who abused me comes to the Lord. God has been so good to me. He used Mercy Ministries to set me free. I now have a Master’s degree in Social Work and I work in an industry filled with hurting people. My prayer is that God will use to me be his hands and feet to a hurting world.

Love,
Lori

Dear Nancy and Mercy Staff,

How can we begin to thank you for all you have given our daughter, Jama, these past 6 months? We sent you a young lady confused, hopeless, prideful, stubborn, and without passion. You are giving us back a young woman who is full of passion for our Lord who has healed her brokenness and given her hope and a future. We stand amazed how our Lord has grabbed a hold of her and renewed her. Thank you for your prayers, endurance, ears, teaching, structure, and love. We are unable to give a lot to continue the growth of Mercy, but our prayers will be constant and gifts will be what we can.

Continue to serve Him and He will continue to move in HUGE ways in Mercy Homes!

Love,

Amy

Hello Mercy Staff,
I just wanted to say hi to all the MERCY girls out there. Mercy was so awesome! The members of the staff and the Mercy residents were loving, kind, and caring towards each other. They shared with me, what God can do and what he will do in ones life! Mercy has really changed my life and I thank God for Nancy, the staff, and the girls for helping throughout my transformation. I came to Mercy in 2002, with an unplanned pregnancy and decided to parent my son, Brayden. This decision was the best choice I could have ever made. May God continue to bless everyone who is involved with Mercy Ministries. THANK YOU!

Love in Christ,

Rikki



Nancy,

Mercy Ministries GraduateMercy Ministries Graduate
Thank you Nancy, for all that you have poured into the vision the Lord gave you. I am alive today in large part because of the help and hope you offered through your homes. As Christmas rolls around this year, I cannot help but remember the holiday celebration I had as a Mercy resident last December. I sat there, tears streaming down my face, knowing that I deserved none of this. When my Mercy roommate was asked what we girls did to receive such great seats at a packed concert, she jokingly replied “some really bad things.” We all laughed, but there was truth in her statement. I did not deserve to go to this Christian concert let alone have my picture taken with Barlow Girl and sit in seating that people waited hours for ahead of time. I deserved none of the gifts, thoughts, encouragements, or kind words that were offered to me throughout my stay in Fenton. And yet you were there, believing in me, speaking to me, and investing in me. You ministered to me in a great way and I pray that the Lord blesses you greatly for your obedience to his call.

Please know that hundreds of women are alive and free today because the Lord has used you to minister life, hope, and love. Thank you, Nancy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love,
Renee