Friday, December 30, 2011

Don’t Miss Mercy Multiplied Show At New Time This Thursday & Friday 5:15 PM (CST)!

Nancy on Mercy Multiplied
Starting this Thursday and Friday, January 5 and 6, 2012, we will begin airing our Mercy Multiplied radio show in our NEW TIME SLOT during drive-time from 5:15 – 5:45 PM (CST) on KXEN 1010 AM Christian Talk in St. Louis! As you head home from work or school, or start getting ready for dinner, tune in and be encouraged by testimonies of healing and transformation shared by Mercy Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, and many of our Mercy graduates!

You can tune in THIS THURSDAY and THIS FRIDAY at 5:15 PM (CST) on KXEN 1010 AM in St. Louis, or listen to the show LIVE right from your computer by heading to our website at www.mercymultiplied.com. You can also download a free app for your iPhone or Droid by searching for KXEN 1010 in the app store, and hear the show wherever you are!

Listeners can call 1-855-MercyLive (1-855-637-2954) during the Thursday show to talk to Nancy, share stories and ask questions about numerous relevant topics making headlines today in the U.S. You won’t want to miss Nancy speaking about pertinent issues and sharing practical applications on how to find freedom from life-controlling issues such as addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, etc. The show will also be packed with encouraging words, life lessons and principles of freedom!

To find out more about how you can be a sponsor for the show, contact Eve Annunziato at 615-831-6987 or eannunziato@mercyministries.com. To find out more about Mercy Multiplied, go to www.mercymultiplied.com. Note - if you missed some of our earlier broadcasts, you can check them out for free on iTunes by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meet Our Nutrition Managers

An important part of Mercy Ministries’ program is teaching the girls the importance of honoring God by taking care of their bodies through healthy nutrition and exercise. Each young woman at Mercy Ministries has her own specific food plan that is developed by an on-site Nutrition Manager at the home. They also receive monthly educational classes and life-skills classes on nutrition and fitness. Our Nutrition Managers have a huge impact on the life transformation of each girl that comes through the Mercy Ministries program, and we wanted to give you a personal, inside look at who they are as individuals…


ChristenNashville, TN Home

Christen and her husband Ryan
I was raised in Southern California. I have always had a heart for hurting people and began volunteering at clinics for unplanned pregnancies and working with women down on Skid Row in Los Angeles while I was in college. Around that same time, I developed some health problems, and that is when I began to really study nutrition and natural health. I learned how God designed our bodies and that a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for everyone. I developed a passion for helping others learn how to take care of their bodies. I even began to dream of opening a clinic for young women where they could receive these services for free.

In 2007, I moved to Nashville with my husband and heard about Mercy Ministries. It was just what I had hoped for but didn't know existed! I heard about the Nutrition Manager's position and thought it was tailor-made for me and in 2010, the position became available and I was hired.

Since coming to Mercy, I often feel that I have received more than I have given. It is such a joy to serve. Exercising my gifts in counseling and teaching about nutrition is extremely rewarding. It is incredible to see the Gospel of Christ transform a life that no one in the world could help. Working with such amazing staff members who teach me how to grow in my relationship with God has been an experience that I know few get to enjoy. God is fulfilling my dreams, while teaching me to help others dream again!


CrystalMonroe, LA Home

Crystal, Jeremy and Macie Grace
My birth mother left when I was three, and I was raised by my grandma who then died when I was 12. I did not know how to cope with the pain, deception and rejection that life had brought me and did not have much value or self-worth. I came to Mercy Ministries battling an 8-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia. The hopelessness I felt to stop the eating disorder led to struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and prescription drug abuse.

When I went through the Mercy Ministries program, God did an amazing work in my life! I learned to apply God’s Word to my life in a real and tangible way. I was able to deal with tough life issues that were at the root of my behaviors and receive total freedom. At Mercy, the Lord revealed to me that my true identity and value is in Him.

After graduating from Mercy, I finished college with a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. The Lord took what was once my obsession and made it a passion to help others, and He is using what He has done in my life to help set other girls free. God opened the doors in February of 2009 for me to come back and work at Mercy as the Nutrition and Fitness Director. It has been amazing to be on staff here and serve the residents. I love sharing all that the Lord has taught me and helping other girls find the hope and freedom that I have found in Christ.


LaShonSacramento, CA Home

LaShon with Mercy dog, Nellie
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, was adopted as a baby, and grew up in Sacramento, California. As an adolescent, I ran from God and was involved in very self-destructive behaviors. Being the daughter of a preacher, I have always known that God had a purpose and plan for my life. I played basketball for Sacramento City College and am currently earning a culinary degree at American River College. My favorite scripture is: Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me. But God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” God has truly transformed me and has used my personal journey to help me work with these courageous young women at Mercy.

I have worked as the Nutrition Manager at the Sacramento home for almost two years and feel honored to be a part of such a remarkable ministry. It has been very rewarding to see God rescue girls from brokenness and restore them spiritually and physically towards complete wholeness.


TraceySt. Louis, MO home

Tracey
I grew up in an alcoholic home and also suffered some abuse by neighborhood boys. With the help of many wonderful Christians that God brought into my life, I began facing my past in my mid-20s. God restored my broken heart and set me free! The best part about my job is having the opportunity to be used in someone else’s life to do the same.

I met Nancy Alcorn several years ago while I was working for a sports ministry, and I fell in love with Mercy Ministries. I could have been a Mercy girl myself. When I got married and relocated to St. Louis, God immediately brought Mercy to my mind, and I was so excited to be hired as the Food and Fitness Manager. I love having the opportunity to see God do at Mercy what could not be done at so many hospitals and rehabs. The world may have all the experts, but God uses Mercy Ministries and someone like me to point the girls to the True Physician and Healer - Jesus!



We are so grateful for the amazing job these ladies do to promote physical and spiritual healing for the hurting young women who come to Mercy. Thanks Christen, Crystal, LaShon and Tracey for all you do!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Transformed and Restored – Seven More Amazing Mercy Graduates!

Residents, staff, family and friends recently gathered at the Sacramento, CA home to celebrate the graduation of seven more amazing young women. After struggling for years with abuse, addiction, self-harm, eating disorders and other life-controlling issues, they have had their lives transformed and hope restored by the love of Christ! Here are their incredible stories of healing and freedom:

Heather

Heather
Before coming to Mercy, an eating disorder completely controlled my life. I had no sense of self-worth, and I was convinced that my value was determined by my relationships and appearance. I sought comfort in controlling what my body looked like, and I felt bound by the pressure to maintain a perfect image. I used alcohol as a way to numb my pain, and I slowly began shutting people out of my life. I was spiraling out of control when I heard about Mercy from a graduate of the program. I was willing to do anything to change my life and be happy again, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned the truth about my worth to God and the value I have in Him. The Lord showed me that my body is beautifully and carefully designed by Him and that nothing can change my value to Him. I met Jesus at Mercy, and I see myself as beautiful through His eyes. I am no longer concerned with my reflection in the mirror; it’s my reflection in Him that I seek. God has used Mercy Ministries to help restore every area of my life - spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have left no stone unturned and have experienced complete healing.

After graduation, I plan to return to teaching, and someday I would like to pursue teaching and working with women on the mission field.


Kristen

Kristen
Before Mercy, I was insecure, rebellious and out of control. Due to the divorce of my parents, I had a distorted view of how a relationship was supposed to be. I let guys treat me however they wanted, and I was willing to do anything to avoid rejection and betrayal. Through high school and into college, I tried to fill the void in my life with drugs, partying and unhealthy relationships with men. This only led me down a deeper path of destruction. I lost all respect for myself. I even began stripping to gain approval from men and to feel wanted. I used drugs and alcohol to numb my pain. I heard about Mercy through my mom and Word of Life Church in Shreveport, LA. I needed healing and restoration, and God prompted my heart to go to Mercy and get to know Him again, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I rediscovered my identity and security in Christ. I have fallen deeply in love with Jesus. I have overcome feelings of rejection and betrayal and have replaced them with God’s approval and acceptance. God has filled up every area of my life with His unfailing love and peace. He has given me a sound mind, and I no longer live in fear.

After graduation, I am going back to school to major in criminal justice to become a crime scene investigator. I am also excited about being actively involved in my church!


Leanne

Leanne
Before Mercy, I was a wreck. I had severe anxiety and frequent panic attacks. I lived in complete bondage to perfectionism and fear of failure which drove me to self-hate, violent mutilations, and eventually a serious suicide attempt. I gave my life to Christ at an early age, so I knew what I was doing was wrong. I lived in condemnation, guilt and shame, but I couldn’t break away from my addiction. I was completely hopeless, broken and desperate for help. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God taught me that I am loved, accepted and greatly valued. I am free from shame and condemnation. Knowing that I am forgiven and loved has released me from anxiety and fear of failure. God also completely healed me from self-harm. He miraculously restored my hope for life, and I am so excited to go pursue my dreams and live the abundant life God promises me!

After graduation, I plan to return to school to pursue a degree in English. I also want to travel the world and see God’s beautiful creation. I will continue to serve God no matter where I go or what I do.


Candice

Candice
Before Mercy, my life was spiraling out of control. I had so much pain, anger and shame inside of me as a result of verbal, emotional and sexual abuse I had experienced. I struggled with self-harm, binging and alcohol abuse. I also had a 9-year addiction to pornography. I hated myself, and I knew I needed help. I heard about Mercy from a graduate and after a lot of prayer and encouragement, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God opened my eyes to see who I really am and how much He loves me. He has given me dreams that have helped me change the way I want to live. He has shown me I am no longer a victim and that I can live a victorious and abundant life because of His ultimate sacrifice.

After graduation, I plan to pursue a degree in youth ministry. I would also like to volunteer with middle school students at my church.


Heather

Heather
I grew up in a large dysfunctional family where anger and manipulation were a way of life. I became very angry and violent to help keep myself protected. At age eight I started cutting, experimenting with drugs, and stealing in an effort to cope with my pain. Then, in high school, I hung out with a rough crowd and ended up in a physically abusive relationship. Things continued to get worse, and I struggled with drug addiction for seven years. I heard about Mercy from my aunt and decided to apply.

When I walked through the doors of Mercy, I was ready for a fight, but God met me right where I was. He told me that I didn’t have to be perfect, and He wanted me to be the woman He created me to be. God has set me free from addiction and made me a new woman. My past no longer dictates my future. I have found freedom in Jesus Christ!!

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in theatre arts and business communications. Then I want to attend the University of the Nations for film and theatre acting and continue my pursuit of both stage and film acting. I would also like to do some missionary work. Mercy was the instrument that God used to save my life. “Thank you” cannot begin to express my gratitude.


Natalie

Natalie
Before Mercy, I spent my life with severe depression and anxiety while growing up in a dysfunctional home. I suffered physical, mental and emotional abuse. Doctors and psychiatrists placed labels on me throughout the years and prescribed me with many medications that led to addiction. I moved from relationship to relationship, drug to drug, and addiction to addiction. I had extreme panic attacks and went through many treatment centers. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God saved my life and brought peace into my heart. I am completely free from addiction and have been physically healed in so many ways! I now have so much more confidence, joy and hope for the future, and I have really started dreaming BIG dreams again. I am amazed at what I have learned!

After graduation, I plan to pursue dance and the performing arts and be an example and encouragement to other young women. Someday, I would also like to have a family. I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry. There are no words to express how thankful and grateful I am to be able to call Mercy my home and my family.


Nessa

Nessa
Before Mercy, I dedicated my life to legalism. I thought that I needed to work for God’s love and grace. I turned to self-harm whenever I felt I had not met expectations. I hid behind good works and a big smile, but inside I was angry at myself for my mistakes. I heard about Mercy when I was in another program and decided it might be the best place for me to find healing and freedom.

While at Mercy, Jesus pursued my heart. I learned the depth of God’s grace, and I now know how loved and valued I am in Christ. God loves me simply because I am His. I could never do anything to make God love me more or less than He already does.

After graduation, I plan to study music and intern as a worship leader at a local church. I am so thankful for the Mercy staff and all who invested in me and showed me God’s love throughout my time at Mercy.


Congratulations ladies! We thank God for what He is doing in each of your lives and look forward to the future He has for you as you take hope out into the world and let others know that freedom is possible.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Florida State Basketball Team Visits Mercy!

It is not every day that Mercy has the opportunity to host a Division 1 college basketball team, but such was the case on Wednesday. Head Coach, Sue Semrau, a long time Mercy supporter, brought her team to Nashville, Tennessee for a game against Vanderbilt scheduled on Thursday night. The team arrived at Mercy at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, the day before the game with Vandy, to tour the facilities of Mercy, have dinner with the residents, and enjoy a special time of fellowship.

The food was great, and several of the Mercy residents chose to share their individual stories with the FSU players and coaches. This was definitely a night that we will all remember for a very long time! Thought you might enjoy getting an inside look at some of the special moments from our time together, as well as a group shot that was taken immediately after the game.








FSU assistant coach, Angie Johnson, posing with some of the Mercy residents!
 
Mercy showed up in full force to cheer on the Noles!!!

Merry Christmas From Mercy Ministries!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mercy Multiplied –New Drive-Time Slot In 2012!

Nancy Alcorn on Mercy Multiplied
We have been receiving amazing feedback about Mercy Multiplied, our live radio call-in talk show with host, Nancy Alcorn, the Founder and President of Mercy Ministries. We now have great news to share - starting Thursday, January 5, 2012 we will begin airing in our NEW TIME SLOT during drive-time every THURSDAY and FRIDAY from 5:15 – 5:45 PM (CST) on KXEN 1010am Christian Talk in St. Louis! As you head home from work or school, or start getting ready for dinner, tune in and be encouraged by testimonies of healing and transformation shared by Nancy and our Mercy graduates!

You don’t have to be in St. Louis to join the show! You can listen live to the show from our website at www.mercymultiplied.com or download a free app for your iPhone or Droid by searching for KXEN 1010 in the app store, and hear the show wherever you go! Just don’t forget the new day and time – Thursdays and Fridays from 5:15 – 5:45 PM (CST)!

Listeners can still call in to 1-855-MercyLive (1-855-637-2954) to talk to Nancy, share stories and ask questions about numerous relevant topics making headlines today in the U.S. Each week, the show will focus on one of many life-controlling issues such as physical and sexual abuse, sex trafficking, eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addiction, depression or unplanned pregnancy, and listeners will learn biblical ways to find freedom from these issues. You will not only hear raw and real stories, but you will also be encouraged that no matter who you are or what the problem is, Jesus is the answer!


To find out more about how you can be a sponsor for the show, contact Eve Annunziato at 615-831-6987 or eannunziato@mercyministries.com. To find out more about Mercy Multiplied or to listen to past free podcasts, and to see the week’s topic, go to www.mercymultiplied.com.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cornerstone Church Gives Mercy Girls the Christmas Surprise of a Lifetime!

Each year for Christmas, Cornerstone Church in Madison, TN celebrates the true meaning of the season by choosing several special people from the community who are in need, and generously lavish them with gifts to meet their specific needs. This year Cornerstone Church picked two current Mercy residents and three Mercy graduates to surprise! On Sunday morning, these five amazing Mercy girls attended Cornerstone Christmas and were absolutely blown away by the generosity of this incredible church family! All 40 of the current Nashville residents were also at the service to celebrate and witness the fun surprise!

In a truly memorable moment, two Mercy graduates, Jen and Giovy, who are now serving on our staff, received cars from Cornerstone! They have had to rely on the help of others and have sometimes even had to walk to and from work, with no available means of transportation during their off hours. Both of them were speechless as they were handed the keys to their very own new cars!

Jen and Giovy hold the keys to their new cars!
Jen and Giovy are truly transformed lives and now spend their time helping to transform other lives. Before coming to Mercy, Jen carried deep emotional wounds from sexual and physical abuse and struggled with self-harm and thoughts of suicide. While at Mercy, Jen learned that she was loved and valued by God, and she was completely restored to wholeness. Jen now serves on our Nashville staff as a Residential Assistant. Giovy, a 2006 graduate who is now doing an internship at Mercy’s corporate offices, struggled with a severe eating disorder and almost succeeded in ending her life before coming to Mercy from Peru. In fact, at one point her heart stopped and the paramedics told her parents she was gone. But God had another plan and her heart suddenly started to beat again. While at Mercy, God completely restored her life physically, spiritually and emotionally. Both Jen and Giovy drove in to work this morning in their new cars!

Ashley, Josh and Baby Joshua
As if that wasn’t enough, Cornerstone graciously blessed another Mercy graduate, Ashley. Ashley came to Mercy Ministries in 2006 battling for her life. She struggled with a severe eating disorder and was desperate for freedom. After so many years of damage to her body, doctors told her she would never be able to have the children she and her husband Josh dreamed of. But the so-called experts of the world were wrong and now Ashley and her husband have a beautiful baby boy, Joshua. However, Ashley’s family was hit hard by the recent Nashville flood and they have struggled to make ends meet since their home was severely damaged. Cornerstone surprised Ashley and her family with loads of diapers, clothes and toys for her little boy, Joshua, as well as Kroger gift cards to help meet all of their basic needs.

Ashley, Josh and Joshua surrounded by gifts!
Two current residents, Victoria and Shannon, came to Mercy facing unplanned pregnancy. Mercy Ministries is dedicated to helping each expectant birth mother reach the best decision for herself and her child. Both of these young women have chosen to parent, but needed a little help to get started on their journeys. Cornerstone blessed Victoria with everything she needs as a new mom, including a rocking chair, stroller, car seat and even a brand new, top-of-the-line clothes dryer. Current Mercy resident, Shannon, recently gave birth 10 weeks early, but God performed a miracle and baby girl Camdynn is doing great! Shannon was also immensely blessed Sunday morning and now looks forward to bringing home her baby to a brand new baby bed from Cornerstone. Shannon also received a new laptop for use in continuing her education.

Resident Victoria got a new clothes dryer

Resident Shannon and her new baby bed
The day was full of amazing and unexpected blessings! Our graduates were blessed by the spirit of giving and the tremendous effort and generosity demonstrated by the Cornerstone congregation. It was a beautiful reminder for everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.

We are so grateful to Cornerstone Church for choosing to reach out to our Mercy Ministries heroes during this Christmas season. To learn more about Cornerstone Church, visit their website at www.cornerstonenashville.org. Check out these pictures from this impactful Christmas service!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three More Amazing Young Women Choose Life!!!

The mission of Mercy Ministries is to provide a way for hurting young women to not only choose life for themselves, but to choose life for their children as well. Whether they are already moms, facing an unplanned pregnancy or have dreams of having a family in the future, the amazing young women at Mercy will have a positive impact on generations to come. Three more incredible young women recently graduated from the Nashville home and look forward to taking the hope they now have out into the world. Here are their powerful stories of healing and transformation:

Jiselle

Nancy with Jiselle
I grew up in a Christian family, but during my teenage years, several people that I cared about died and I became angry with God. I began self-harming at age 14 to cope with my pain. I was also sexually abused during that time and began to struggle with anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide. At the age of 17, I ended up in jail as a result of problems with addiction and rebellion. I then also learned that I was pregnant. My mom told me about Mercy, and I decided to apply because I realized how incapable I was of loving my son and caring for him if I wasn't even able to care for myself. When I arrived, I was extremely motivated and ready for a huge transformation in my life.

While at Mercy, God completely opened my eyes to His provision in my life. He has brought tremendous change in my heart and I now desire to live completely for Him. The work done at Mercy is incredible, and I could never fully express the depth of my gratitude.

After graduation, I plan to parent my son and graduate from high school. I then plan to go to college to become an RN.

Chelsey

Nancy with Chelsey
I grew up in a Christian home, but my dad wasn't a part of my life. As a result of his absence, I believed that performance could earn me the love I so desperately desired. I developed anorexia by the time I was 11, and by age 15, I weighed only 60-65 pounds and was deeply depressed. I began self-harming to cope with my pain. Severe malnutrition caused me to suffer from intense headaches that would last for the majority of the day and render me unable to concentrate on my schoolwork. Though I had always been at the top of my class, I fell very far behind and felt deep shame and embarrassment. By 17, I was so depressed that I began seriously considering suicide. I also began abusing prescription pills in an attempt to escape the emotional pain of daily life. While looking for help, I discovered Mercy online and decided to apply.

When I came to Mercy, I thought I “had the God part down,” and I would only need to work on the emotional problems I had. It didn’t take long for me to find out that those were merely symptoms of my real problem - I needed God. As I spent significant time with God and grew closer to Him, the things I once learned in Sunday school finally became real to me. God loves me!

After graduating from Mercy, I plan to finish high school and go to college. I want to major in psychology and become a child psychologist. I am so thankful for Nancy, Mercy Ministries and all the donors. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come to Mercy and let God restore my hope and completely transform my life!

Kayla

Nancy with Kayla
I grew up in a single parent home until the age of 10 when my mom got married and we moved to another state. Then starting in the fifth grade, I began getting attention from boys. I lost my virginity at 14 and began having sex with many guys on a regular basis. I got into some relationships that were unhealthy, controlling and manipulative. I struggled with deep depression and sometimes used self-harm to cope with my pain. I heard about Mercy from my mom and when I found out that it was free of charge, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned who I am in Christ and that God’s love for me is unconditional. I was completely set free from self-harm, depression and sexual addiction. I now see myself as beautiful and pure.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get a master’s degree in business and a minor in psychology. I would also like to mentor young girls going through the same things that I have gone through and overcome.

Congratulations Chelsey, Kayla and Jiselle. We are so proud of the wisdom you have shown as you have fought for your freedom, and we look forward to seeing all that God has in store for you!

First Ever Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit in St. Louis!

More than 100 people from the St. Louis community came to the 9th Street Abbey in Historic Soulard for the Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit on December 7th. Maria Spagnuolo, the wife of St. Louis Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, is a passionate advocate and good friend of Mercy Ministries and blessed us by serving as the Event Chair.

Nancy and Event Chair, Maria Spagnuolo
Event Sponsor, Michelle Luecal, welcomed everyone and blessed the meal before longtime Mercy supporter, Terri Stipanovich, introduced the Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn. Nancy cast the vision of Mercy and shared her heart for the countless young women who need to know there is a God who loves them unconditionally and freedom from life-controlling issues is absolutely possible!

Nancy Alcorn with Michelle Luecal
Everyone was deeply impacted by the two graduates who shared their powerful stories of healing and transformation. Before coming to Mercy, Holly, a 2009 graduate, struggled with a severe eating disorder, had no hope and wanted to die. While at Mercy, she learned about God’s unconditional love and her life was completely transformed. Holly will soon graduate college with a degree in psychology and is grateful for the opportunity to help transform other lives.

Nancy with graduates Amy (left) and Holly (center)

Holly sharing her testimony
Amy, a 2008 graduate, spoke about how she grew up in a Christian home but was teased at school because of her weight. She struggled for years with an eating disorder and even tried a treatment facility that cost thousands of dollars, only to be left completely unchanged and hopeless. Amy learned at Mercy that God has a specific plan for her life - plans for hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). She is going to college next year to major in music business, religion and the arts.

Mercy supporters, Senator Kyle McCarter and his wife Victoria, shared from personal experience about their daughter, Amber, who died of a drug overdose. They made the decision that her death would not be in vain, and became very involved with Mercy Ministries to be a voice for hurting young girls who need help. The McCarters challenged everyone to support Mercy Ministries in transforming lives.

The McCarters share their story
Guests could also bid on silent auction items to raise funds for Mercy Ministries. Travel packages, sports memorabilia, themed baskets, jewelry and artwork created by some of our residents were some of the most popular items of the night.

Silent auction items
Our special thanks to Event Sponsor, Michelle Luecal, Event Chair, Maria Spagnuolo, and our Patron Sponsors, Senator Kyle McCarter and his wife Victoria, Luecal Consulting and Faith That Works. Thanks also to Thomas Warwick Photography for photographing the event, Patty Long Catering, Inc. for catering the event and to violinist/vocalist Sarah Velasquez and guitarist Drew Michel for providing the entertainment.

We would also like to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who helped make this event possible. If you would like more information about how you can support Mercy Ministries or would like to attend an event in your area, go to www.mercyministries.com.

Here are some more photos from the St. Louis Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nashville Residents Get VIP Treatment With Free Professional Portraits!

Last weekend, the residents of our Nashville home were so blessed to have their hair and makeup done by experts in their fields and to pose for a professional photo shoot with Help-Portrait.

Celebrity photographer, Jeremy Cowart, is a Nashville-based artist and has photographed rock stars, presidents and fashion models. Jeremy founded Help-Portrait in 2008 to encourage photographers to come together across the world to use their skills to give back to their local communities. Each December, Help-Portrait unites thousands of volunteers, including photographers, hair and makeup artists and lighting specialists, for a worldwide photo shoot. This year, photographers participated in 50 different countries and more than 100,000 portraits were given away.




The Mercy Ministries photo shoot was hosted by one of our Mercy church partners, Cross Point Community Church, where dozens of volunteers assisted professional photographers, Joe Gomez, Landon Morgan and Brittany Steiger. Many of the girls had never had a makeover or had their hair professionally done and some of them expressed feeling beautiful for the first time. Receiving the print to take home also helped them to have a special gift to give their families for Christmas.







Here’s what some of them had to say about this special day:

Doing the photo shoot was really cool! I haven’t had my picture taken in years, and it was really nice for them to do our hair and makeup for us. I am really glad that we had the chance to get our pictures taken! – Andrea

The photo shoot was so much fun! I was blown away by the generosity of the volunteers and Cross Point Church. Getting my makeup and hair done by professionals made me feel like a princess! What an awesome blessing! – Danielle

Cross Point and the volunteers with Help-Portraits were really great. The people that did our hair and makeup were so nice, and the photographers were amazing. I really felt special and beautiful! – Patricia

Our special thanks go to all the volunteers, our friends at Cross Point Church and photographers Joe, Landon and Brittany for helping to give the Mercy girls a special day they will never forget.

To learn more about Help-Portrait visit www.help-portrait.com. To learn more about Jeremy Cowart visit his website at www.jeremycowart.com. To learn more about Cross Point Church, go to www.crosspoint.tv.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Follow Producer Deborah Giarratana on Twitter and Help Raise Thousands For Mercy!

Finances might be tight for many during these economic times, especially around the holidays, but now you can help raise thousands of dollars for Mercy Ministries and all it will cost you is one click! Amazing Mercy supporter, Deborah Giarratana (@DeborahGGFilmz), decided to do something extraordinary to help raise awareness and funds for Mercy. She will donate $10 to Mercy for every one new follower she gets on Twitter between now and the end of the year!!!

Deborah Giarratana
Deborah is a producer and film business manager for Sony Pictures Imageworks and recently produced THE MACHINE GUN PREACHER, starring Gerard Butler, with Marc Forster directing. Please follow @DeborahGGFilmz, then tell your friends, tweet about it, Facebook it and help us raise thousands of dollars to help more hurting young women have healing, freedom and hope for the future! It couldn’t be any easier to show your support. One simple click equals ten dollars! - JUST THINK – IF YOU SIGNED UP, THEN GOT TEN OTHERS TO SIGN UP AND THEY GOT TEN MORE TO SIGN UP, THAT’S $1,000 FOR MERCY!

We cannot thank Deborah and all of her soon-to-be followers enough for taking this simple but powerful step to help hurting young girls have their lives transformed. The program is always free for every girl who comes to Mercy, and it is because of supporters like you and @DeborahGGFilmz!

For more information about Deborah Giarratana and GG Filmz, go to www.ggfilmz.com.

Community Shows Support at the California Merry Mercy Christmas Luncheon

In 2009, Mercy Ministries opened the first West Coast home in Sacramento, California. Last week, more than 100 area supporters came to celebrate the second anniversary of the home opening and enjoy the holidays while hearing the vision of Mercy!


The luncheon was held at the beautiful Catta Verdera Country Club and Community Board Member, Beth Craig, welcomed everyone to the event.

Beth Craig
Guests heard the powerful testimonies of two amazing Mercy graduates, Christina and Sydnie. Christina shared that after suffering years of abuse, she turned to an eating disorder to try and get control of her life and alcohol to numb her pain. At Mercy, she learned who she is in Christ, and that God completely heals and restores. Christina now plans to get a degree in counseling and youth ministry and looks forward to helping others find freedom.

2010 Graduate, Christina
Sydnie shared the devastation of being sexually abused by a family member and how she turned to alcohol to numb her pain. While at Mercy, she was completely healed and restored and is now pursuing her passion for photography.

2009 Graduate, Sydnie
As a part of the decorations for the event, we had several “Treasure Trees” that were filled with ornaments for our guests. As each person made a donation to Mercy, they were then invited to choose an ornament to take home as a reminder of the amazing young women whose lives they have impacted.


Our special thanks to our Event Sponsors, Beth and Bruce Craig, Patti Gillespie, Joe and Diane Wenson and Bayside Church of Granite Bay. Thanks also to The Ridge Church for their support and to Christian country music artist, Mary James, for providing the entertainment.

Christian country music artist, Mary James
We would also like to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who helped make this event possible. If you would like more information about how you can support Mercy Ministries or would like to attend an event in your area, go to www.mercyministries.com.