Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HCA Volunteers at Mercy Ministries

3HCA (Hospital Corporation of America), one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, is committed to reaching out to the communities they serve. Every year, Nashville-based HCA employees participate in volunteer efforts of all kinds for their annual “Community Day.” Volunteers roll up their sleeves to read to children, paint, landscape, build wheelchair ramps or whatever is needed at the agency they choose to serve.

Last Thursday, HCA made their 2nd annual trip to volunteer at Mercy Ministries. This year, a group of 15 men and women came to volunteer their time at the Nashville-based international corporate offices. They offered a helping hand with any task from preparing mailings, entering data and administering thank-you calls to building a shelf and organizing a storage closet. Our staff was so thankful for practical help that makes such a huge difference!

We are so grateful to HCA for choosing to help Mercy Ministries and the young women we serve. We are looking forward to their next visit!

Here is what some of the volunteers had to say about their time at the Nashville office.

Sherrie said, “I came away from my volunteer experience with a great sense that the girls who enter the Mercy program will leave as positive ambassadors for Mercy Ministries and will be a great asset to the communities in which they settle.”

Anna said, “I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Mercy’s cause and have been distantly observant of the ministry. I knew to expect good things, but I didn’t realize how inspiring it would be. As I left the administrative building at the end of the day, I couldn’t help but look back at the Mercy Ministries residential home for young women and question how I can do more.”

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Covenant Family Church’s Senior Pastor Mark Drake Encourages St. Louis Residents

1Pastor Mark Drake of Covenant Family Church in St. Louis has been a faithful supporter of the Mercy Ministries St. Louis home. Pastor Mark is passionate about radical life transformation and leading people toward an understanding of the power of God rather than constant re-commitment. He and his wife Linda spent nine years traveling every day of the year, living out of motels, in order to help new ministries. Today, Mark’s ministry helps to empower leaders around the world.

This month, Pastor Mark visited the St. Louis residents with a message about what it means for Christ to “live” inside of us. He challenged the residents to look to Christ as their life source instead of trying to live by their own good intentions. Pastor Mark also brought the girls copies of his book, God’s Brilliant Plan, that teaches how to break free from fear and start living with great joy!

Here is what a few of the residents had to say about Pastor Mark’s encouraging teaching and time at the St. Louis home.

Michaela said, “Mark Drake has so much knowledge and insight to share. His book, God’s Brilliant Plan, is one of a kind, and I’m thankful he blessed us all with a copy!”

Brye said, “I learned that hindsight is 20/20 or else we would always make the same mistakes twice.”

Katie said, “He spoke directly to my heart with his message about God being the vine, the source of the fruit, and us being His branches. There were several questions that I have been struggling with, and He spoke truth into my life.”

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Mercy Ministries would like to give a special thanks to Pastor Mark Drake for making time to encourage our St. Louis residents. Staff and residents always look forward to when he comes to visit.

To learn more about Pastor Mark Drake and Covenant Family Church, visit their website at

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nancy Alcorn Joins Monroe and St. Louis Residents for Joyce Meyer Annual Women’s Conference

1This past weekend, Mercy Ministries Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn joined residents from Monroe and St. Louis at the Joyce Meyer Women’s Conference at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The theme of the conference was all about starting a Love Revolution, and best-selling author and leading Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, gave practical wisdom about purposely and intentionally walking in love for others. She demonstrated this kind of love by funding the charter bus that brought the Monroe residents to St. Louis. She also provided a special green room and catered amazing lunches for the residents from both the St. Louis and Monroe homes between sessions in order to make them feel extra special and loved!

Throughout the conference, Joyce was joined by guest speakers Pastor Tommy Barnett of Phoenix First in Arizona, Christine Caine of Equip and Empower Ministries in Australia and Pastor Paul Scanlon of Abundant Life Church in England. In addition to the awesome teaching, the Mercy girls were also uplifted through worship throughout the weekend with Christian rock band, Delirious, and worship leader, Israel Houghton.

On Saturday, Christine Caine joined Nancy Alcorn by taking time to hang out with the girls during lunch and offer some words of wisdom. Christine explained to residents that she is a living example of what God can do with brokenness and that she is only steps down the road from where the Mercy residents are now. Nancy also used this opportunity to introduce the graduates who are now on staff so that they could share their testimonies and encourage the residents as well.

Here is what a few of the girls had to say about this special women’s weekend:

Liz said, “The Joyce Meyer Conference changed my life. The music was amazing and I’m inspired to start a Love Revolution!”

Lauren said, “We had the opportunity to meet Nancy and Chris Caine, which was very exciting. They are two women that spread inspiration and the love of Christ to hurting people. It’s uplifting to truly know Nancy genuinely loves, supports and believes in all the Mercy girls.”

Lydia said, “This conference really impacted my life. It opened my eyes to see the love of God for me, but also the love I need to show others.”

Rachael said, “I believe God changed my heart this weekend. Joyce Meyer is an inspiration and is truly helping to change the world!”

Mercy Ministries hosts Pastor’s Luncheon in Charlotte, NC

On Tuesday, Mercy Ministries hosted a luncheon for area pastors and community leaders at Noble’s Restaurant, one of Charlotte’s most acclaimed dining establishments. After receiving the incredible gift of 8 acres of beautiful countryside property in August 2007 from The Branch Family Church, Mercy Ministries has been reaching out to the community to spread awareness and local rally support. Over 150 pastors, ministry leaders and friends attended the luncheon and over $4,500 was raised in support for the young women we serve and the future Mercy home in Charlotte.

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, shared the heart of the ministry and gave a special thanks to Pastors Derek and Sarah Turner from The Branch Family Church for their awesome support that is making a home in Charlotte a reality. Pastor Turner followed with a message about his church’s committed decision to partner with a ministry that is enthusiastic about helping young women discover true freedom. Guests also had the opportunity to hear life-transforming testimonies from 2006 graduates, Bekah Carricker and Nicole Paquette. Nicole’s grandfather, who attended the luncheon, had tears in his eyes as he listened to Nicole share her story of healing and reflected on how much her life had changed since coming to Mercy.

Also in attendance at the luncheon was Billy Graham’s sister, Jean Ford and Voice of the Panthers and former Panthers football player, Eugene Robinson and his wife, Gia Robinson. We would like to thank Richard Israel of Art of Vision Photography for donating his photography services for the luncheon and we are so grateful to the Mercy Ministries Charlotte Community Board who helped with every detail of this event.

We are excited that churches, ministries, and businesses in the Charlotte community are embracing the vision of Mercy Ministries and committing their support. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and donations as we continue to expand the vision to see more lives transformed. If you would like more information or would like to offer support, please email Whitney Cantrell at

Check out these pictures for this special event.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pastor and Author, Dino Rizzo, Encourages Nashville Residents

1Mercy Ministries Nashville residents and staff were honored to host Pastor Dino Rizzo, the founding pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as their special guest last Wednesday morning. Healing Place Church has been named one of America’s Top 25 Most Innovative Churches and Pastor Rizzo’s book, Servolution, exposes his passion to see believers join together in a revolution of sharing the love of Christ by practically serving others.

Pastor Rizzo has taught leaders and pastors all over the world to serve the way Jesus served by reaching out to the poor and hurting right where they are. Examples of this type of outreach are demonstrated by hundreds of Healing Place Church members who volunteer to cook hot breakfasts for the homeless, help ex-prisoners re-enter society, administer free medical and dental clinics, and care for AIDS orphans. The list goes on and on. Pastor Rizzo and Healing Place Church were also leading forces in the efforts to help thousands of suffering people during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Teaching on perseverance, the storms of life and what is on the other side of our obedience, Pastor Rizzo shared with the girls and staff that Jesus has a much bigger plan for our lives than we can see and encouraged the group to never quit in the middle. He illustrated this point by explaining how, in the beginnings of his service ministry, he received a call that his house had burned to the ground. He asked residents to consider what they are walking through and understand that life’s circumstances and our responses to these circumstances have value for us and for others. There is always another side to the storms and trials in life.


Pastor Rizzo has a sincerity and sense of humor that really impacted the Mercy residents and staff. Here is what a few of the girls had to say about his visit:

Lindsay said, “I am only in the middle and I need to be patient for God to guide my ‘boat’ to the other side. I’m going to be patient and fight through the storms in my life.”

Shaina said, “There is always another side to our story. There is always someone else on the other side of what we are going through for us to help after we go through it. We can’t stop halfway.”

Alex said, “I came to Mercy completely committed, and commitment opens doors to a fight. I will not get stuck in the middle or give up. This is the fight for my life and I am going to meet God, family, and friends on the other side!

To learn more about Pastor Dino Rizzo or Healing Place Church, visit or

Friday, September 18, 2009

Run for Mercy Marathon in St Charles MO

1Mercy Ministries St. Louis residents cheered for their Run for Mercy marathon team at the starting line on Sunday morning at the Lewis and Clark Marathon and Half Marathon in St. Charles, MO. Participants for Team Mercy joined thousands of runners to enjoy the historic Missouri River Valley on foot and to help raise support and awareness for Mercy Ministries!

Volunteers, runners, staff and residents gathered the night before the race at the St. Louis home for a pre-race pasta party. Everyone enjoyed hearing personal testimonies from two current St. Louis residents who will be graduating soon. Victoria McCarter, Co-chair of the Mercy community board in St. Louis and Chair of the Run for Mercy Marathon Committee, also shared words of encouragement for our runners.

St. Louis Program Director, Melanie Harbert and Household Manager, Chetta Peniston also ran the half-marathon on Team Mercy! This was an exciting time for the residents to support staff from their very own home. One of the St. Louis residents, Lindsay, said, “Getting up at 4:00 am was well worth being able to cheer on the Mercy team! Witnessing this kind of selflessness by so many different people brought tears to my eyes as they crossed the finish line!

Now is a great opportunity for you to support Mercy Ministries by joining an existing Run for Mercy team, forming a new team or registering as an individual participant in a Run for Mercy race near you. Look for a race near you at

St Louis Residents Receive a Special Gift from Sseko Designs

Last weekend, Liz Bohannon, owner of Sseko Designs, a not-just-for-profit business out of Uganda that offers customers fashionable sandals, joined Mercy Ministries’ Community Relations Manager, Julianne Fogt, for a Sseko party to benefit both Ugandan’ women and our Mercy girls in St. Louis. Terri Stipanovich, wife of former NBA player, Steve Stipanovich also joined the effort by hosting the event. Julianne shared the Mercy vision and party-goers were given the chance to purchase the Sseko sandals for themselves and also for a Mercy resident! Liz and Terri were involved in a Bible study together over the summer that examined the book of James, and they both felt that God was calling them to find ways to show their faith in action.

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Hostess Terri Stipanovich cut out shoe shapes from scrapbook paper, put a resident’s name and shoe size on it, and then hung these from a string on the mantel. The guests could choose a girl, buy her a pair of shoes, write a personal note of encouragement on the back and then clip a check to the paper to show that girl was accounted for. Out of concern that every girl received a pair of shoes, Liz had already offered to donate sandals for each young lady, but halfway through the evening, ALL the girls had checks clipped to their shoe cut-outs!

The next morning, Liz, Terri and co-host, Nicole Nowotny, joined the St. Louis residents for breakfast and distributed their beautiful gifts and encouraging notes. Here is what a few of the residents had to say in response to this special gift:

Katie said, “I loved Liz. She has such a dear heart. The shoes are amazing, and I can’t wait to show them to my family and friends! What a great cause!”

Brye said, “I was blown away that people would buy these shoes for me and that someone in Africa would take the time to make them for me!”

To learn more about Sseko Designs check out their website at

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Graduates Share More Than Beauty Tips at the Nashville Home

Ashley Hunt, former Mercy Ministries resident and owner of Louie Belle Enterprises, a wholesale cosmetic company, and former resident Carolee Lerma, took time to visit the Nashville residents and share with them their love for some of the small things in life – including eye shadow, foundation and blush! Residents had fun learning about their specific facial features and finding ways to enhance their natural beauty. Two of the residents were so thankful to get an overall makeover and discovered which colors work best with their skin tones and what tools should be used to apply these cosmetics.

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We would like to thank Ashley and Carolee for their generosity and willingness to come back and encourage our residents about life after Mercy while teaching them some practical beauty tips. Here is what a few of the residents had to say about this special time of pampering:

Andi said, “ My mini makeover was so much fun. I appreciated Ashley for taking her time to work with me and show me more about make-up! What a blessing!”

Bethany said, “I haven’t felt that pampered and beautiful in a LONG time!”

Nicole said, “Ashley was such a sweetheart! She didn’t just hurry through. She took time to talk to us and tell us her story. I was really encouraged. I loved her time with us and hope she comes back again!”

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To learn more about Louie Belle Enterprises wholesale cosmetics visit

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Questapalooza Weekend - Group 1 Crew Partners with Mercy Ministries

1This past weekend, Mercy Ministries had the exciting opportunity to represent hope and healing at a ministry expo in Lexington, Kentucky. Questapalooza is an annual, citywide party, sponsored by Quest Community Church. Several thousand people came out to enjoy the inspiring speakers, fun attractions, awesome live bands, generous giveaways and beautiful fireworks, all paired with a message of love and acceptance in Christ.

Among the music talents at this year’s event was a new Mercy Ministries partner, Group 1 Crew, an award winning trio who’s urban hip hop sensations offered an entertaining performance along with featured artists’ Third Day and Jars of Clay. Group 1 Crew, made up of Manwell Reyes, Blanca Reyes and Pablo Villatro, continues to follow God’s calling on their lives to rise above life’s circumstances and use their talents to spread hope and encouragement in a relevant way.

Lead singer, Blanca, shared openly about her broken childhood, the desperation of growing up with a father who was a drug dealer, and the miracle that involved her father later becoming a Christian and leading her to Christ. Proudly sporting her Mercy Ministries Humanity t-shirt, Blanca expressed to fans how she wishes she’d had the lifeline of a ministry like Mercy and encouraged fans to get involved by helping support the ministry.

We would like to thank Group 1 Crew for their love and support for Mercy Ministries.

Check out this video of Group 1 Crew at Questapalooza!

To learn more about Questapalooza visit

To learn more about Group 1 Crew or their new album, “Ordinary Dreamers” visit their website at

Six Graduates are Celebrated in Nashville and St. Louis

Nashville and St. Louis residents and staff came together with family and friends this month to celebrate the graduation of six more incredible young women! These ladies have chosen to reclaim their lives and we are excited to share their stories of transformation with you!



6Before Mercy, I found my identity in the world. I was begging for attention that I never could seem to attain, and every day was a constant battle to please the people around me. I became incredibly sick with an eating disorder, and I began falling into a pit of depression. Eventually, I got to the point where I did not care if I lived or died. A friend told me about Mercy Ministries, and I decided to apply to the program because I knew that I needed to find some hope for my life.

Since I have been at Mercy, God has completely transformed me. I no longer journey through life afraid and insecure. I know that I am completely loved, just as I am. My hope is in Jesus Christ, and this kind of love is something that I never thought was possible.

After Mercy, I plan to finish high school and college and then pursue a career in ministry, both overseas and inner-city. I want to share the hope of Jesus with everyone I meet!


4Before coming to Mercy, I was a mess. My day-to-day schedule revolved around my struggle with self-image and an eating disorder, and eventually I began struggling with cutting as a way to release my emotional pain. The enemy’s lies took root in my life, and I didn’t think anyone really loved me. A sexual relationship with a guy who was using me also left a huge emotional scar. A friend told me about Mercy, and soon after, I applied out of desperation, knowing I needed God.

During my time at Mercy, God has completely healed me from my heart break. I have forgiven the guy that hurt me so badly, and I know that when I enter into a marriage relationship someday, I will be able to love my husband with all of my heart. My health is still being restored but I have lost the desire to cut and purge. My identity is completely new because now I know I have great value!

After graduation, I plan to finish high school and then pursue a college degree. I also want to be involved in my church worship team so I can sing praises to God and honor Him with my talents.

St. Louis


1Before I came to Mercy, I had experienced childhood sexual abuse. Several years later, I found myself struggling as a single mom, barely surviving and deeply in debt. I tried many things to numb the pain. I would often drink to avoid cutting, and eventually I found myself addicted to laxatives and obsessed with performing my own abdominoplasty or cutting “fat” off my abdomen. Because I repeatedly put myself in compromising situations, I was raped and began prostituting my body in exchange for things that I could not afford, like having my car fixed. Eventually suicide seemed like my only escape. When I found myself hopeless, I learned about Mercy Ministries, and made the decision to apply.

God has completely transformed my self-perception since being at Mercy. I was not made for abuse or rejection, but Christ took all of my guilt and condemnation and made me brand new! He is enthralled with my beauty, and I’m learning to trust God and hear His voice.

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in psychology and pursue a Master’s degree in criminology. I can also see myself getting a Doctorate in forensic psychology. It is my desire to work for the FBI someday! My long-term goal is to speak, write books and build non-government funded housing for single mothers. I’m looking forward to my life after Mercy!!


Before Mercy, my life was a complete wreck. During my childhood, I was sexually and physically abused, and after my parents divorced, my world quickly began to change. I grew up thinking that the abuse was my fault. After I lost my sister in 2004, I began cutting and hurting my body in any way I could think of. My struggle with self-harm did not ease my pain, and it eventually led to an eating disorder. I told myself that if I changed my body, no man would ever touch me or hurt me again. After trying many secular treatment centers, I learned about Mercy and decided to give freedom one last shot. I told God that if He wanted relationship with me, He had to show me He was there and my life had to change. That is exactly what happened!

During my time at Mercy, I learned that I am loved and my life is valuable. I know that my past does not determine my future and it does not define who I am. God has shown me that His love for me is never ending, and His mercy is new everyday! The staff and residents at Mercy have proved to me that there are good people in this world. I do not just exist anymore. I will use my life to glorify my Creator.

After Mercy, I plan to move back to Missouri and attend Truman University. I hope to become a life coach and eventually open my own coffee shop to raise money and awareness to stop human trafficking.


2As a young girl, I often attempted to define my identity through the approval of others. Although I grew up in a Christian home and had a relationship with Christ, I longed for the acceptance of the world more than I longed for God. In high school, I began believing lies about my appearance, and I fell into the trap of starving myself for days, purging when I did eat, compulsive over-exercising, and laxative abuse. My eating disorder followed me to college. I felt like I was trapped in quick sand, and the more I attempted to escape, the deeper I would sink. My efforts to have control and to be perfect finally collapsed and so did I. I knew, deep down, that Jesus was my only hope to finding true freedom. My pastor told me about Mercy Ministries and I was excited to hear about a place that could offer me Christ-centered help.

While at Mercy, God has taught me how to receive His acceptance and love. He is not a passive or angry God. Instead, He is close to the broken-hearted, and He is passionately in love with me. I have learned to boldly speak truth over my daily life and to claim the abundant freedom that God has promised me.

After I graduate, I would like to work with Christian camps and women’s groups in order to help them find their true identity in Christ and let them know that they can live every day in freedom and victory! I am excited about the life that God has set out before me.


3My life before Mercy was a roller coaster. I had deep emotional wounds from sexual and physical abuse, and I eventually could not function in my daily life without chaos. I desperately needed to escape the pain and feelings of rejection that I was experiencing so I began to self-harm. I wanted to die, but I clung to a small measure of hope. I knew that I needed a time set apart for healing and growing in relationship with God. A friend’s counselor told her about Mercy, and I knew, without a doubt, that I was supposed to apply.

At Mercy, my defenses and walls were shattered when I discovered that I was lovable and valuable. God has revealed many areas of pride and rebellion in my life and has taken me on a journey to humility. I have learned that God is bigger than anything that I have experienced.

After graduation, I plan to attend the St. Louis Dream Center and pursue a degree in biblical studies. After that, I hope to open a coffee shop that will raise awareness about human trafficking. I also want to do missions work in and around brothels. Whatever I do, I know that Christ will be at the center of it.

Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of you and we can’t wait to see all the beautiful plans that God has for your lives unfold.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dr. Josh Axe Leads a Mercy Makeover!

Mercy Ministries Nashville residents and staff have been honored to host ministry partner, Dr. Josh Axe, chiropractor, health and wellness coach, and founder of Exodus Health Center, as a special guest speaker for a four week “Mercy Makeover” series. Exodus Health Center takes a holistic approach to wellness with chiropractic care, nutritional education, and customized health plans. Dr. Axe has a vision to see our young women empowered with practical advice about God’s biblical principles for healthy living, and has donated hours of service and expertise to our residents and staff in addition to being a financial partner with the ministry.

Using God’s principles rather than man’s, Dr. Axe walked residents through key choices that they can make when they are choosing healthy foods. By reading labels and eliminating dangerous ingredients such as food additives and preservatives, choosing healthy foods can be easier when we look for a shorter list of ingredients. After showing examples of every day grocery products and their labels, he challenged the girls and staff to ask this question, “Is this a food by god or a food by man?”

Dr. Axe also shared valuable information from how to prevent cancer and the right way to exercise, to the importance of taking time to write down dreams and goals in life. Dr. Axe has an evident passion for helping people experience abundant life and health the way God intended. Here is what a few of the girls had to say about his visit:

Lindsay said, “I’ve learned that I need to read the labels of foods before choosing to eat them. Just because something says that it’s natural or healthy doesn’t mean it really is. It’s really important to stay healthy in all ways of life.”

Hannah said, “Dr. Axe’s message impacted me because we only have one chance to live so we must make the most of it! God created us to live abundantly. Have a vision!”

Jessica said, “I am really excited about the weeks to come and learning more. God calls us to change and I am learning to embrace change instead of being terrified of it. It is really refreshing!”

To learn more about Dr. Josh Axe and Exodus Health Center, visit

Worship Leader Shelby Singler Visits St. Louis Home

Worship leader Shelby Singler, of Faith Church St. Louis was invited to our St. Louis home last Wednesday to share with residents. Shelby first learned about Mercy Ministries in 1997 when she was working for Joyce Meyer Ministries. After touring the St. Louis home when it was first being built, Shelby became excited that she could get involved with the ministry in a practical way.

Driven by a passion for worship, Shelby loves to see our young women passionately worship God. Her teaching focused on allowing God to tear down our defensiveness or “walls.” She encouraged the girls to allow their defensive structures to fall off piece by piece so that they can have right relationships with God and with others.

Here is what a few of our girls had to say about Shelby’s visit and timely teaching:

Amanda said, “When Shelby spoke about breaking down walls and dealing with things appropriately, it ministered to me because I am currently in the process of doing this and I know I can move forward!”

Brye said, “My favorite thing Shelby said was, ‘Change is inevitable, progress is optional.’”

Rachael said, “Since coming to Mercy, I’ve been realizing that many of the walls I thought were gone have been showing up again. Shelby really encouraged me by teaching that God will help me take these barriers down one stone at a time.”

To learn more about Shelby Singler or Faith Church St. Louis visit

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Weekend at the Lake

This past weekend, friends of Mercy Ministries, Jim and Marla Husky invited our Nashville residents and staff to make a road trip to Cookeville, Tennessee to visit their lake house on Center Hill Lake. This annual lake house weekend is always a special opportunity for the girls to get out and enjoy some recreation. They have a blast swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub, riding in the boat, tubing, hiking, and enjoying nature. Other residents spend time journaling, watching movies or playing board games!

This year, some of the residents introduced themselves to the Husky’s and their friends by sharing their testimonies about what brought them to Mercy Ministries and what God has done in their lives since being at Mercy. After a day of fun and excitement on the water, they spent the evenings in a time of praise and worship followed by staff-led devotions. The girls absolutely love this opportunity to enjoy a weekend at the lake! Here is what some of the girls had to say about their weekend retreat:

Beth said, “My time at the lakehouse was awesome! As it got dark, I laid on my back staring at the sky and literally watched the stars come out. I could feel God’s presence.”

Katie said, “My tubing experience was wonderful! It was a blast and for the first time in a while, I felt fully alive.”

Jess said, “I do not even like the water but I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and try tubing. I had a blast! I really enjoyed my time alone with God in His creation.”

Bethany said, “I went on a long hike that was quite a challenge, but so much fun to get out and enjoy nature!”

We would like to thank Jim and Marla Husky for their generosity in sharing their beautiful lake house with us over the years and creating such memorable experiences for our residents!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Basketball Legend Meadowlark Lemon Visits St. Louis Home

Last Sunday, legendary hero in the basketball world and popular member of the Harlem Globetrotters, Meadowlark Lemon, overjoyed St. Louis residents and staff when he made a return visit to speak to the girls and connect with them personally over dinner. Meadowlark has a huge heart for Mercy Ministries. He first met Mercy Ministries' founder, Nancy Alcorn, when she was just getting started in the ministry. He told residents to make sure and thank Nancy for creating the opportunity for them to grow and learn.

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Meadowlark shared about God’s timing and how important it is for each of us to set high standards for ourselves. He encouraged residents to write down the dreams and visions God puts on their hearts and believe that God will bring them to pass in His time. Having traveled more than five million miles and played in more than 16,000 lifetime basketball games, Meadowlark explained how the dreams he had for his own life focused on bringing joy and laughter to people as a professional athlete. He hopes that he has helped people forget their troubles and focus on their joys.


He definitely brought joy to the St. Louis home as residents and staff erupted in laughter throughout his visit, and nearly everyone lined up to have photos taken with him. Here is what a few of our residents had to say:

Marian said, “Meadowlark blessed us with a wonderful talk about joy. The whole evening with him was inspirational.”

Kim said, “I loved hearing about how things were for him before his fame. I will always remember his words of wisdom. He said, ‘This is your season and it starts now!’”

Lindsay said, “Meadowlark Lemon is awesome! I laughed hysterically at his stories and cried during his testimony! He’s such a great man of God and brings countless joy to those around him. I can honestly say that having him at our Mercy home was truly inspiring!”

Dr. John Townsend Visits Mercy Ministries!!

3Last Thursday, Nashville residents and staff were excited and honored at the chance to host Dr. John Townsend at our Nashville home. We have been using his books and resources in our Mercy homes for years, and we were thrilled to find out that he was in town for a meeting, but was making time to come by and tour our Nashville home and international headquarters and also taking time to share with our girls and staff.

Dr. Townsend, one of the world’s leading clinical psychologists and marriage and family therapists, is also co-author of “Boundaries,” “Safe People,” “Changes that Heal,” and many other books that have helped countless people in many areas of life – particularly with all aspects of relationships. Dr. Townsend connected with our girls and staff in a very personal and heartfelt way and offered incredible insights.

Each girl was challenged to think about her relationships and make plans to begin asking to have her relational needs met rather than trying to always make provision for others. Dr. Townsend laid out three important relationship needs that everyone should ask for from their friends and family: acceptance, empathy and reality or “the truth.”

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We were absolutely thrilled to have Dr. Townsend stop by our Nashville home and we can’t wait for him to come back for a longer visit!

Here is what some of the Mercy girls had to say in response to this incredible time of teaching and connecting with Dr. Townsend:

Jessica said, “I am reading the book “Boundaries,” so this couldn’t have come at a better time. What he said really hit home with me because acceptance is the reason behind a lot of mu struggles. It was refreshing to hear that I could be set free from the need for acceptance.”

Shaina said, “It is okay to ask for things that I need from people. Even Jesus did this. He asked for his disciples to sit and stay with Him in the garden because He was feeling lonely.”

To learn more about Dr. Townsend or his books visit his websites at and

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Highlights from the Joyce Meyer Conference

This past weekend, Nashville residents were excited to receive powerful and life-changing, yet practical teaching at Joyce Meyer’s Conference right here in Nashville. New York Times best-selling author and leading Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, has helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ through her practical and matter-of-fact personality. She is a firm believer and teaches that regardless of a person’s mistakes, God has a plan and a purpose for everyone and He can help them enjoy their everyday life.

Having suffered sexual abuse in her childhood and the pain of an emotionally abusive first marriage, Joyce relates to the transformation offered to our young ladies through the Mercy Ministries program. Residents listened intently as Joyce opened her conference with a message about living a life of generosity. She shared that we need to think of others before ourselves and that generosity gives without expecting to receive. It strips us of our selfish nature and helps us to forgive others. Throughout the weekend, she challenged conference attendees with powerful messages about pride, knowing who you are in Christ, and closed the weekend with an awesome message about overcoming.

Joyce was joined by sought-after worship leader and songwriter, Matt Redman who led the crowd in strong worship during each session. On Saturday morning, Joyce invited Mercy Ministries’ founder, Nancy Alcorn up to the stage to share about the ministry. With an overwhelming heart of gratitude, Nancy honored Joyce and Dave Meyer and their ministry and thanked them for all they have done for Mercy Ministries as well as other ministries that are helping hurting people around the world.

Here is what a few of the residents had to say about this life-changing conference:

Gina said, “I thought the Joyce Meyer Conference was very inspirational and uplifting. The things she taught about were exactly what I needed. It was a great experience!”

Lauren said, “I now have a better understanding of what pride is and I was reminded that it is important how we treat others. I had a great time!”

Rachael said, “I really enjoyed the praise and worship and her messages are always so powerful. I always learn something valuable.”