Monday, November 8, 2010

Former Australian Teen Icon Shares His Story of Transformation!

Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens grew up in Tasmania, Australia and was a teen icon on the Australian hit television show, Young Talent Time, before falling into the deadly trap of drug and alcohol abuse. Last Friday, the Nashville Mercy Ministries residents had the incredible opportunity to hear his amazing story of transformation. Mark shared with the girls how at age 14, he started using drugs and alcohol, and by age 26, he was estranged from his family, had lost his entertainment career, and was a heroin addict. Mark eventually moved to London and it was through a Christian friend there that he came to know Christ and experienced instant and radical transformation in his life. Mark is now married and has been the Worship Pastor at Abundant Life Church in Bradford, England for the past 10 years.

Matt Hooper
Worship Pastor, Matt Hooper, also spoke to the Nashville staff and residents. He told his story of growing up in church and loving God, but believing most Christians were fake. He spent years wearing masks and trying to please people to fit in. Matt often struggled with panic attacks and even became agoraphobic, unable to leave his home. He did not experience the overnight healing that Mark received but was healed over time through God’s Word and unconditional love. Mark and Matt urged the girls to arm themselves with the Word of God and both shared many of their favorite scriptures.

Abundant Life Church and Senior Pastors, Paul and Glenda Scanlon, have partnered with Mercy Ministries Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, since 1999 to see the lives of hurting young women in the UK restored and transformed. It was truly encouraging for our Nashville residents to have a time of praise and worship and powerful teaching with Mark, Matt, and the rest of the worship team from this awesome church.

Special thanks to the Abundant Life Worship Team and to Mark and Matt for sharing their powerful stories of healing and restoration! Here’s what some of our residents had to say about hearing from the Abundant Life Worship Team:

“Mark and Matthew were really amazing! Both spoke so much life and hope and put more of a hunger in me to really know God’s Word to fight the enemy’s schemes aggressively. We can teach and train ourselves to line up with the Word but we need to be aggressive in fighting!” 
-- Kayla

“Both testimonies were so amazing! I’ve learned that God never fails and He is so powerful. God fixes broken people!” -- Madison

“These two messages were awesome! I learned that I need to be aggressive and passionate about my destiny and my future! God loves me so much that He can and will meet me wherever I am in life.” -- Ashley 
Praise and Worship

Mark and Matt spent some time afterward talking with the residents