Friday, February 27, 2009

Exciting Weekend at Mercy Ministries


This past weekend, Mercy residents at the St. Louis and Nashville homes had a blast attending life-changing conferences.

Karen Wheaton invited our Nashville girls and staff to make a road trip to The Ramp in Alabama this past weekend. The Ramp is a ministry that is reaching the nations through its websites, monthly gatherings, and weekly television show that airs on seven Christian networks. The local community is being reached through the weekly meetings, student outreaches, and the Storehouse of Hamilton, a food distribution center for the needy. Expansion is coming soon to the ministry to include a camp, Bible school, and house of prayer. The Ramp’s mission is “to awaken a generation out of spiritual death and religious complacency, calling them to their individual purpose and corporate responsibility as an offensive army imposing the Kingdom of God.” The Mercy girls attended one of their monthly youth gatherings and experienced a fun weekend of awesome worship and teaching.

The Mercy girls were inspired to make a difference and influence change within their generation. Many of the girl’s lives were deeply impacted as a result of the conference – here is what a few of them had to say…

“My favorite part of the weekend was getting the opportunity to spend time worshiping God and seeking His face. It was amazing to spend time in His presence and hear Him speak to me! After the weekend, I feel like I have more of an intimate relationship with God and I learned the importance of sharing God’s Word and love with others.”
-Susie

“I really enjoyed my time at The Ramp! It was amazing to see so many youth on fire for God. I really enjoyed seeing the desire for this generation to infect others with God’s presence and love. Karen Wheaton is an inspiration to me and I am so thankful for my time at The Ramp.”
-Diana

“My time at The Ramp allowed me to realize that God is always with us, and my personal relationship with God greatly benefited from this experience. I would like to thank Karen Wheaton for providing us with this amazing opportunity. She is one of my biggest heroes and I would love to come back at work at The Ramp in the future. I can honestly say that it was one of the best weekends of my life!”
-Jenn

“My favorite part of the weekend was our time of worship. I loved the music and the lyrics really inspired me. During the weekend I chose to surrender a few areas in my life in order to break down the walls that have held me back from going deeper with God and pressing forward to fulfill my destiny. I left The Ramp pumped and motivated to fulfill my destiny in changing the world and empowering the youth. I would like to thank Karen for her amazing ministry. The Ramp has truly changed my life and motivated me to step out and impact my generation.”
-Grace


To learn more about The Ramp and Karen Wheaton Ministries, visit her websites at www.karenwheaton.com and www.theramp.org


The Life Church in Memphis, TN, sponsored the residents at the St. Louis home to attend Chick Nite at their church. Life Church provided the girls with a charter bus and paid their registration fees for the event. In addition, some of the church members met the girls at a local restaurant before the event and bought them all dinner. The girls were treated like royalty when they arrived as they were greeted by the pastors and male members of the church with a pink carpet and roses. Then they had the opportunity to hear Vera Kasevich deliver a relevant message about building bridges instead of walls. Vera and her husband Zhenya are the pastors of Hillsong Kiev in the Ukraine.

The girls had a wonderful time at Chick Nite - here is what some of them had to say about their experience:

My favorite part of the night was when we the gentlemen from Life Church greeted us at the door. Pastors, volunteers, and members of the church rolled out a pink carpet for us and handed each of us a rose. It was the first time that I had ever experienced true chivalry and it reminded me that there are nice Christian guys out there who treat women with respect. These men only wanted to serve us. The teaching at also really spoke to me. After this weekend I have chosen to open up again and build bridges instead of walls.” -Andrea

“It was amazing to see all the generations of women worshiping together. The message was exactly what I needed to hear. It is amazing that God would bring someone from the other side of the world to speak a message that would change my life. Life Church made me feel so special and I am so glad that I was able to attend this event.” - Lexi

“I thought it was great that Life Church invited us to Chick Nite to hear Vera speak. Dinner was wonderful and the message was amazing. The message opened my heart to build bridges not only to God, but to others as well. This conference changed my life, and I won’t forget it. I would like to thank Life Church for answering God’s call and reaching out to us Mercy girls.” -Lici

“I was shocked when I heard we were going to Memphis to visit Life Church. I can’t believe a church would pay for our bus and our dinner! As soon as I entered the church, I felt loved and accepted. The message was one that instantly touched my heart. Thank you for showing the love of Jesus to someone you don’t even know!” -Lisa


Mercy Ministries would like to thank The Ramp and Life Church for reaching out and blessing our girls this past weekend! Their lives were obviously impacted!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St. Louis Graduate Celebrates Freedom from Destruction


Mercy Ministries celebrated another graduation at the St. Louis home this week! We are so excited to celebrate another life transformed. Here’s Cami’s story…

“For nine years, I struggled with bulimia. I spent my days obsessing over food, and trying to cut calories. My life was miserable, and I was severely depressed. I also struggled with a methamphetamine addiction for years, and my life was nothing short of a nightmare. During this period, I was also dealing with several difficult circumstances including the aftermath of domestic and sexual abuse. Even after I stopped using drugs, I was still consumed with the strife and hurt from the trauma I had experienced. I had no desire to live.

I found out about Mercy Ministries from another Mercy graduate named Lyndsey. After hearing her testimony, I decided to apply to Mercy because I was completely desperate for help, and I knew it was my last chance to restore my life. I had been to several treatment centers before Mercy but they were not able to heal me from my eating disorder, depression, drug and alcohol addiction and abuse. Mercy was my last means of hope for overcoming my issues and getting my life back on track.

Since I have been in the Mercy Ministries program, God has done so much for me! Through God’s perfect love, I have come to find an inner peace that I have been searching for my entire life. I always felt a void in my life which I unsuccessfully tried to fill by attempting perfectionism through my eating disorder, and using drugs and alcohol. While I was in the program, I leaned that God is capable of filling the voids in my life and He brings true peace. He has revealed His grace to me, and I have learned how to take responsibility for my choices and how to make wise Godly decisions.

After Mercy, I will return home to Nebraska and go back to college in the summer to continue studying social work. I know God has great plans for my life. I have found a life of freedom and I am excited to walk it out.”

Congratulations, Cami! We are so proud of you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Adie Camp Visits Mercy Ministries


Yesterday, Adie Camp, wife of well-known Christian music artist, Jeremy Camp, took the time to come by and visit the Mercy Ministries home in Nashville, TN. Adie has a special tie with the ministry because her good friend and nanny, Maegen, graduated from the program in 2007. She toured the home and corporate office building before leading the residents and staff in a special time of worship. Afterwards, Adie candidly shared from her heart about her relationship with the Lord, using practical examples from her own life as a musician, wife, and mother of two daughters - Bella and Ari. Adie discussed the importance of being honest before the Lord, spending time with Him each day, and taking life one day at a time.

Her words of encouragement were very timely for the residents – here is what some of them had to say about Adie’s visit:

“I enjoyed Adie Camp’s visit to the home. Her teaching reminded me of the amazing legacy that God has in store for my life. It was very encouraging! I also loved hearing her sing. I was able to have intimate time with God as we all worshipped together. I would like to thank Adie for being such a genuine, down-to-earth, woman of God.” -Caroline

“I really enjoyed Adie’s visit and her message. She shared a little song with us, “1-2-3 eyes on me, 1-2 eyes on you!” and I have used this tune to get my focus back on God instead of being distracted by the things around me. Thank you Adie so much for taking the time to not only bless me, but to also bless every girl here at Mercy!” -Rachel

“When Adie Camp shared her message with us, I enjoyed her authenticity. She was so real and shared with raw honesty. I respect the fact that she is able to magnify the love of God in her life without having to share all the details of the darkness and hard times she has experienced in her past. Her time at Mercy reminded me that God’s love is unconditional and greater than I could ever imagine.” -Emily

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It’s A Boy!! - Mercy Resident Gives Birth




Mercy Ministries is celebrating the birth of a happy and healthy baby boy to Nashville resident, Nakea. Baby Peyton was born at 11:58 pm on Feb. 13, and he weighed 7 lbs, 1 ounce and was 19 1/2 inches long. After much prayer, Nakea made the brave choice to place her baby boy for adoption with a loving Christian family. She said, “I am really thankful that the Lord put a great adoptive family in my life to raise my son.”




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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Six Nashville Residents Celebrate their Freedom

Nashville residents and staff came together to celebrate the graduation of six more young women!! We are excited to share their stories of transformation and hope with you:


Kendyl


My father was not a key figure in my life and I struggled with his absence. I became extremely depressed. Then I was raped and I fell into an even deeper pit of depression – I felt like my whole world was caving in. I finally reached the point that I knew I needed help - I truly desired change and a brighter future. I wanted to find purpose for my life. My mom told me about Mercy Ministries so I went online to research the program and was excited to find Mercy on MySpace. I decided to apply to Mercy hoping to find real freedom.

While at Mercy, I came to know God as my father. He has shown me how to love myself and how to love others. He has shown me what it means to forgive and who I am in Him. While in the program, I gained self-confidence and my desire to live has been restored.

After Mercy, I plan to move home with my mom and step dad. I am going to finish my sophomore year of high school. I would love to play basketball in college. I also plan to get involved in my youth group. I hope to also reconcile my relationship with my father.


Laura


Growing up, I was physically abused. I developed a 10 year drug addiction that stemmed from a life of abuse, rape, abandonment and manipulation. Eventually I started practicing self-harm, and I became bulimic and anorexic. I tried to numb the pain by living a life of destructive behavior. My drug use continued to increase, and I had several near-death experiences. I was tired of the harmful life I was living, and I was desperate to receive help and healing. I found out about Mercy from my friends at my church, Word of Life Center in Shreveport, LA, and I decided to fill out an application.

I came to Mercy with several life-controlling issues. These included anorexia, bulimia, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, self-harm, and physical and sexual abuse. When I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries, I experienced God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. Now I understand that regardless of my past, He will continue to love me and provide for me, and ultimately, I can trust and depend on Him to be my true father. While at Mercy Ministries, God changed my heart, and now my whole perspective on life has changed as well – I have hope for my future!

After I graduate from Mercy, I ultimately want to become a youth pastor. I have a desire to reach out to people who have drug addictions and let them know that God can completely restore their lives.


Sandra


I grew up in a loving Christian home in Central Africa. When I was10 years old, my family moved to America. I was often bullied and ridiculed by my peers because of my broken English and my weight. My loved ones also criticized my size. I became obsessed with dieting and developed an eating disorder. My depression worsened, and I lost my desire to live. After several attempts to take my own life and numerous stays at psychiatric wards, I desperately wanted help and true freedom from my struggles. My counselor introduced me to Mercy Ministries and I decided to apply.

When I arrived at the Nashville home, I was struggling with anorexia, bulimia, depression, and self-harm. Throughout my stay, God has healed me from the inside out. He has restored broken relationships in my life, and He has set me free from my struggles. I no longer look to society to define me and for the first time, I feel loved and accepted.

After I leave Mercy, I look forward to finishing high school. Then I would like to attend college. I have a desire to help children and I hope to become a pediatrician one day!


Ashley


When I was a young girl, my mother passed away and then my father was not there. I never had an opportunity to deal with the pain and grief I felt from those losses. I was angry and deeply saddened, but I tried to hide it from the people around me. I always felt a need to please others and I would go to great lengths to be accepted by my peers. I would do almost anything to get someone to like me. I became deeply depressed and really struggled with my past hurts. At this point in my life, I was very distant from God, but I desired to go to a Christian program where I could build a personal relationship with Him and receive healing from my life-controlling issues. My mother’s friend, Debra, told me about the program and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me who I am and who He has created me to be. I have learned to forgive the people who have hurt me, and that has been a big part of my transformation. I have continued to grow in my walk with the Lord. God has proven Himself faithful and shown me the freedom that is only available through a personal relationship with Him.

After graduation, I am going to go back home and finish my junior year of high school. After high school I plan to attend Johns Hopkins University and study pediatrics.


Carrie


I grew up in a loving Christian family but when I was 13 years old, I started to act out and rebelled against my loved ones. By age 16, I was drinking, smoking marijuana, and taking other illegal drugs. Then I was raped and my struggles worsened. While attending a Christian college, I was involved in two controlling and abusive relationships, and I became severely depressed. I had no hope and turned to an eating disorder to help me cope with the difficult situations in my life and the overwhelming emotions that came from the abuse. Eventually I was kicked out of school and moved back home. I continued to struggle with an eating disorder, depression, substance abuse, and self-harm. Then I found out I was pregnant, and I knew I needed to seek help. I found out about Mercy Ministries in a book and decided to fill out an application.

During my time at Mercy, God has shown me that I am loved and I have value. I used to feel unloved and unaccepted, but now I understand that God’s love is unconditional, and I have a hope for my life that I never had before. I have a real relationship with God that I never thought was possible, and I have learned and grown from my past mistakes. I have joy and freedom through Him and God’s Word is becoming truth in my life.

After I graduate, I am going back home to live with my parents and baby girl. I plan to finish college and go on to get a Master’s degree in counseling.


Joy

Before Mercy, my life was on a downward spiral. I never smiled, I was disrespectful to my parents and loved ones, and I was very irresponsible. I covered up my feelings with alcohol, was depressed, and blamed my parents for all of the “hard times” in my life.

In May of 2008, I was arrested for driving under the influence. My driver’s license was revoked and I lost my car. One month later I found out I was pregnant. When my boyfriend found out about the pregnancy, he left me abandoned and helpless. I was evicted from my apartment, broke, and alone. I called my parents and begged for help and forgiveness. I wanted to straighten out my life and get help. A family at my grandmother’s church told me about Mercy Ministries, and I decided to fill out an application for the program.

During my time at Mercy, God has done amazing things! He has healed me from the pain of my past and set me free from my alcohol addiction. God has restored my smile and shown me the meaning of my name - now I know who I am in Christ. He has taught me how to forgive the people who hurt me in my past and most importantly, He has taught me how to forgive myself. My time in the Mercy program has been one of the best gifts I have ever received. Now my son can have a healthy, strong, and confident mother. I look forward to loving him, providing for him, and raising him to know and love the Lord. I can’t wait to be a mom!

After my son is born next month, I plan to move in with my grandmother for a while. I am going to attend her church and take life one day at a time. Eventually, I want to go back to college and take culinary arts classes. I would love to be a nutritionist one day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yesterday, the Nashville staff and residents were so excited when Dutch Sheets and his family made a surprise visit to the Nashville home. Dutch and his wife Ceci were in town for business and could not pass up the opportunity to come by the ministry. During their visit, Dutch took the time to share a few words of encouragement straight from his heart to our girls and staff.

Dutch, Senior Pastor of Freedom Church in Colorado Springs, is known for his passion for prayer and intercession, and is the President and Co-founder of Dutch Sheets Ministries, a non-profit organization devoted to passionate prayer and world-changing revival. He is the author of the best-selling book Intercessory Prayer and eleven other books including Authority in Prayer and Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.

The Mercy Ministries’ residents are currently going through one of his teaching series’ called “Becoming Who You Are,” which helps the girls discover their identity and purpose in Christ. They were so excited to hear from Dutch in person and have the opportunity to ask questions about what they are learning.

We would like to personally thank the Sheets family for taking the time out their busy schedule to come by and share with our girls and staff.

For more information about Dutch Sheets Ministries, visit his website at www.dutchsheets.org.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Four Graduates Celebrate Freedom and Transformation

Mercy Ministries recently celebrated graduation in St. Louis, MO and Monroe, LA. Four young women graduated the program with hope for their futures and incredible stories of freedom and transformation. We want to share their stories with you…

Ruth

When I was 11 years old, I became extremely depressed. I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents, but I struggled with the shame and effects of sexual abuse. I wanted to maintain the image of a good Christian daughter, but I was overwhelmed with fear, guilt, and anxiety. I did not know how to deal with the overwhelming emotions, so I began to practice self-harm and I developed an eating disorder. I tried numerous counseling facilities but nothing seemed to help.

By my second semester of college, my addictions were out of control and my health was deteriorating. I was admitted to a treatment facility and after four months of treatment, I ran away to Dallas, TX.

I spent the next five years living on and off the streets. My life was consumed with drugs, promiscuity, and depression. During this time I went through several psychiatric hospitals and I attempted suicide multiple times. After my most recent suicide attempt, I decided to apply to Mercy Ministries. I was desperate to find hope, to know God, and to experience freedom.

When I arrived at Mercy Ministries, I was lost, hopeless, and I did not have a purpose in life. I came to Mercy with bulimia, depression, drug addiction, self-harm, and the effects of sexual and physical abuse. Through my time at Mercy, God has done amazing things. He has healed me from the pain of my past and given me a purpose and destiny in Him. I learned how to walk in real freedom and I have discovered who God created me to be.

After Mercy, I plan to move to Seattle and join the Church of the Undignified. I am going to take part in their transitional care program and attend their ministry school. I also plan to get a part-time job. God has given me joy that I have never experienced before, and my desire to live has truly been restored!


Jackie

I was sexually abused for almost five years. I grew up involved in church and ministry, but after experiencing this abuse, I started to question God and my faith. I thought God had given up on me and I started to live a life of secrets and deception. I tried to hide my anger, confusion, and depression.

Eventually, I developed an eating disorder which controlled my life for 13 years. My life literally revolved around my eating disorder. Then, in high school, I experienced more devastation- I was raped and my dear friend unexpectedly passed away. I tried to suppress my feelings and numb my pain by harming myself and experimenting with drugs. I hated myself, detested my life, and I felt hopeless.

I went to college, but my depression continued to worsen. My father passed away my junior year, and I finally hit rock bottom. I could not suppress my feeling any longer and all of my issues came to the surface. My grades dropped, my partying increased, and I was in and out of the hospital. I knew I could not go on like this, so I decided to seek help and apply to Mercy Ministries.

I came to Mercy struggling with anorexia, bulimia, depression, self-harm and drug and alcohol addiction. Since being at Mercy, God has really lifted me out of my pit, restored my faith, and transformed my life. God is showing me that I am fully loved and accepted just as I am. For the first time, I experienced unconditional love and grace while I was at the Monroe home, and now I have a greater understanding of God’s mercy and love for me. I am finally excited about waking up ever day, and I look forward to the life God has for me. I am free from the issues that kept me bound and from the shame of my past mistakes.

After Mercy, I plan to go back to Ohio and start a new job. I am going to intern with the middle school ministry at my church. Eventually, I am going to attend the ministry school at my church because I want to share the hope and love of Christ with young people. My dream is to be a full-time missionary!


Kimmi

I am 22 years old and for 16 years of my life, I was physically abused by my father. He also sexually abused me for 12 of these years. During this time, I was not provided help or guidance. A close relative of mine was very negative, and I was left dealing with this abuse by myself without any support from friends or family. To cope with the pain, I started to self-harm and experiment with drugs and alcohol. I was severely depressed and developed post-traumatic stress disorder. I was regularly hospitalized for suicide attempts, and I was desperate to receive help. I learned about Mercy Ministries through the BarlowGirl MySpace page, and I decided to apply to the program.

While in the program, God has done so much in my life! I hoped the program would heal me from my depression, but I never imagined it would provide me with the tools to be completely free from my bondage both now and in the future. God went way beyond dealing with the issues - He healed them! Now I have a strong will and desire to live, and I am happy for the first time in my life! God is the father that I have always desired and longed for. He loves me unconditionally and I have a personal relationship with Him.

After I graduate from Mercy, I am going to work at a Christian coffee shop and volunteer at my local church as well as a battered women’s shelter. I plan to go back to school and get my Certified Nursing Assistant license. I would like to work on an adolescent psychiatric unit as a mental health technician. My dream is to open a home for abused children.
I want other girls that are considering applying to Mercy to know that if it wasn’t for Mercy Ministries and God’s transforming power, I literally would not be alive to tell my testimony.


Lindsay

I grew up in a Christian family and was a pastor's daughter. To my family and community, I appeared to be a happy and healthy young lady. But in reality, I was a broken, abused, fearful little girl. When I was in grade school, I was sexually abused by a female neighbor for several years. I tried to cover up the pain and depression with self-harm, suicidal tendencies, alcohol and drug addiction, and sex. Eventually, drugs became my main addiction of choice and they consumed my life. I would do anything to get my next fix, and I ended up dating my dealer and selling drugs myself. In the midst of all this destruction, I learned I was pregnant. I refused to keep my baby so I abused my body until I had a miscarriage. I finally decided to seek help and I applied to Mercy Ministries.

I came to Mercy battling a seven-year eating disorder, depression, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, physical abuse, sexual abuse, self-harm, and an unplanned pregnancy. After arriving in the St. Louis home, I have learned how to trust God and how to love myself for who He has created me to be. God has completely transformed me from the inside out. Now I can say I'm walking in total freedom. I used to describe myself as broken, used, and worthless, but now I believe I am whole, pure, beautiful, worthy, and a daughter of the King. I am now free from the bitterness and resentment that consumed my life. I have learned to forgive my abuser, and most importantly I have learned to forgive myself.

I know God has never stopped working in my life, and I am excited to see what He has planned for me in the future. After graduation, I plan to take a course at my local college to get certified as a nursing assistant or I would like to go to South Eastern University in Lakeland, Florida to get a degree in Christian counseling and minor in family counseling and substance abuse. Either way, I am excited to live out whatever God has in store for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Residents Equipped for Success through Life Skills Classes


At Mercy Ministries, our goal is to have each young woman not only complete the program, but also discover her purpose in life and bring value to her community as a productive citizen. Before the girls graduate from the program, they are taught important skills that will help them succeed in the future. Many members of the local community donate their time and expertise to come in and teach the girls important life skills. Life skills topics include personal finance, car care, nutrition, fitness, skincare, etiquette, relationships, and transitional care.

Each lesson teaches the girls valuable information. During the personal finance life skills class, the girls learn about a wide range of topics such as setting up bank accounts, getting out of debt, and budgeting as well as the importance of tithing and giving. Sarah Blair, Mercy Ministries Accountant, explains, “This time is so important because many of the girls have a large amount of debt from medical bills and college loans. The class gives the girls an opportunity to find ways to successfully manage their finances and overcome their debt.”

During the car care class, the girls learn how to change a tire, check their oil, and learn everyday maintenance for their vehicles. During nutrition and fitness, they are educated about healthy eating and exercise. In etiquette class, they learn how to dress for work interviews, as well as dining and correspondence etiquette.

We would like to thank all of the individuals who volunteer to teach the girls these valuable life skills. These lessons help prepare each young woman for her future success in life as well as in society.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

CALIFORNIA HOME UPDATE

NEW VIDEO TOUR OF THE HOME NOW AVAILABLE! Click here...

Room Sponsorships Available!!

Click here to email us for more information.

Construction on our beautiful California home is nearly complete. We look forward to opening our doors in 2009 to 40 more young women as we come to the West Coast! We are continuing to work hard, and we are believing God for the remaining funds needed to fully furnish the rooms of our new 22,000 square foot home. We are blessed to have the ongoing prayers and support from the community as this project continues. If you would like more information, or to make a donation please email Brittany Wallace at California@mercyministries.com


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Volunteer Orientation is a Huge Success

On Monday night, Mercy Ministries Nashville hosted over 60 volunteers from the Middle Tennessee community at our first ever Volunteer Orientation. The orientation provided the interested people with information about ways they can give their time, gifts and talents to support Mercy Ministries.

At the orientation, volunteers discussed upcoming events for 2009 and volunteer opportunities on an ongoing basis. The highlight of the night was when two Mercy graduates shared their testimonies with all of the guests. They explained how God’s unconditional love and life-transforming power helped them overcome their life-controlling issues while they were in the program and encouraged volunteers that their involvement makes a difference.

We would like to thank our neighborhood Papa John’s Pizza for donating the pizzas to our Volunteer Orientation. We would also like to thank all of the Nashville supporters that came to the Volunteer Orientation. We look forward to working with you in the future - your time and support is greatly appreciated! And we have room for others who want to help!

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in your area, please e-mail volunteer@mercyministries.com.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Graduate Impacts Lives through Teen Challenge


Rebecca came to Mercy Ministries in 2003 with an unplanned pregnancy. She has walked a long, hard road, but now she is experiencing true freedom and giving back to other young adults that are struggling with life-controlling issues. Last week, Rebecca came by Mercy Ministries in Nashville to visit Nancy Alcorn and some of the staff. We wanted to share Rebecca's testimony and update with you:

Rebecca with Nancy Alcorn on her recent visit to Mercy in Nashville
Rebecca with Nancy Alcorn on her
recent visit to Mercy in Nashville
Before Mercy, my life was consumed with drugs and destruction. I always felt insecure around my peers, so I starting using drugs in an effort to fit in. When I was fifteen, I stated experimenting with marijuana, and by the time I was seventeen, I was hooked on crack cocaine. I started selling my body and stealing to support my habit, and I quickly lost everything in my life. I was in and out of jail for years. After years of this destructive behavior, I became pregnant. Mercy was my last option and my last hope that I could save myself and my baby.

While I was at Mercy, I was able to see God's grace on my life. He helped me learn healthy ways to cope with everyday problems and I learned to put Him first. He freed me from my addictions, and I learned what it means to have a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I stayed at Mercy for 8 months and then I graduated from the program. One month later, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Nathan Alexander.

Now Nathan is six years old, and I am working at Teen Challenge in Birmingham, AL. Teen Challenge is a one-year Christian discipleship program for men and women who are struggling with life-controlling issues. There are over 170 Teen Challenge centers in the United States. The program is designed to help men and women learn how to live drug-free lives. At Teen Challenge, we challenge the residents to embrace the Christian faith and when they do, their lives are transformed and they find true meaning and purpose in their lives.

Rebecca with Nancy Alcorn on her recent visit to Mercy in Nashville
Rebecca next to a picture of her son in the Nashville home.
We have a baby “wall of fame” in our Nashville home to honor all of the babies born to Mercy girls and to
celebrate all the lives saved.
At Teen Challenge, I am a live-in intern and staff member. I have always had a heart for young women who are struggling with life-controlling issues because I know what it is like to be in their situation. I was pulled from the depths of despair by the loving hands of the staff at Mercy Ministries, and now I feel like God is using me to touch the lives of others through Teen Challenge. I am in charge of helping the women at night and on weekends, and God uses me to provide counseling and wisdom to these ladies. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to give back.

- Psalm 118:17 NLT “I will not die, but live to tell what the Lord has done.”

Rebecca, we are so proud of you for giving your life to helping others find the same freedom you have experienced through Christ. Keep up the great work!!

For more information about Teen Challenge nationwide, visit their website at www.teenchallengeusa.com.