Wednesday, May 12, 2010

St. Louis Residents Spend National Day of Prayer at the Illinois State Capitol

On Thursday, May 6, the National Day of Prayer, the St. Louis residents were invited to spend the day at the Illinois State Capitol as guests of Mercy supporters, Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter and his wife, Victoria. The McCarters are very involved in the work of Mercy as they both serve on the St. Louis Community Board and can often be found volunteering in the St. Louis home. They are beloved by the residents and staff alike!

Mercy girls and staff spent the morning seeing the sights of Springfield, IL, including the Capitol Building, President Abraham Lincoln’s home, the Governor’s Mansion as well as a tour of the Senate floor. The Mercy girls especially loved getting a surprise personal tour of the Governor’s office in the Senate – this private space is usually closed to tour groups! They were also able to sit in on a Senate session, which was a very special experience that everyone enjoyed.

The highlight of the day was the time the girls spent at the National Day of Prayer Rally in front of the Capitol building. They were led in worship by a local band and were able to pray as a group for our country and its leaders. It was a powerful time of corporate prayer. The resident’s host for the day, Victoria McCarter was one of the featured speakers who offered a compelling prayer for the nation.

Victoria was so generous with her time, spending the entire day with the girls, leading them on sightseeing tours and introducing them to several local politicians, such as Senator Bill Brady and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno. Senator Radogno took the time to speak a personal word of encouragement to the girls, telling them that as women, they should aspire to achieve great success in their lives, careers and family. Also guests of the McCarter’s that day were longtime friends of Mercy, Rick and Marjie Hufton, pastors of Faith Family Church in Shiloh, IL.

Afterward, Senator McCarter also took time to address the group, reminding them that God can do anything and telling them, “Don’t limit God”! It was a very special time of fellowship and the girls were so thankful that these respected politicians took the time to speak to and encourage them.

Here is what a few of the residents had to say about the day:

“The McCarters made me feel so special by planning this event for all of us. Seeing a godly man in office and being able to have corporate prayer outside the capitol gives me hope for the future of our nation. It was a powerful experience and made me realize I do have a voice and my vote does make a difference. Thank you, Senator & Mrs. McCarter!” – Melissa C.

“It was selfless of the McCarters to include us in their state’s public display of honoring God on the National Day of Prayer. The time they took out of their busy schedule to show us their capitol, the Governor’s Mansion and Abraham Lincoln’s home created lasting memories for us all. Worshiping outside the capitol building with many other believers was very powerful and a time I will never forget!” - Sherri

“It was a very surreal and solemn moment for me as I walked through Lincoln’s home and neighborhood. I stood in the same rooms that our beloved president once stood, prayed, wrote his speeches and loved his family. I enjoyed every moment of it!” – Kody