Monday, February 28, 2011

Three More Incredible Transformations at Mercy Ministries!

“I now know what it looks like to be a victorious and mighty woman of God,” said recent Mercy Ministries graduate Rachael. Rachael celebrated her new identity in Christ with two other amazing young women, Rachelle and Andrea, as they all graduated from the California home last week. These three beautiful young women have truly been transformed by the unconditional love of Christ, and we wanted to share their stories with you:


Rachael

Before coming to Mercy, I was angry with God. I struggled with self-harm, depression and alcohol addiction. I manipulated everyone and sought attention from men to see what I could get out of them. I hated everything about my life and felt I had become a monster. A friend of mine read Nancy’s book, “Mercy Moves Mountains,” and gave me the application. I already had my death planned, but I figured I would give God one last chance.

While at Mercy, I was shown grace, hope and unconditional love. God has completely transformed my mind, body and soul! I’ve learned He truly loves me and never leaves me. Joy and peace beyond understanding are mine, and I’m equipped through Christ to handle any situation or circumstance I face. I now know what it looks like to be a victorious and mighty woman of God. Thank you!

After graduation, I’m going into discipleship training with Master’s Commission for a year. Someday, I’d like to come back and work for Mercy as a counselor.



Rachelle

A family member began sexually abusing me when I was five years old. Though I was very young, I began restricting my food. I was very performance based growing up and strove to be the perfect girl. After being rejected at a modeling and acting event as a teenager, the eating disorder behaviors got worse. I then began to struggle with depression and isolation. The only things that existed to me were food, calories, weight and excessive exercise. I read about Mercy on the internet, and I knew I needed help, so I decided to apply.

Not only has God restored my health, He has restored my joy and transformed my mind. I learned that who I am is not based on what others think or say, but what God says about me. I learned that my acceptance comes from Christ, not from man. God’s love fills every void in my heart. I really am a new creation!

After graduation, I plan to attend college while working part time. I want to pursue degrees in youth ministry, music ministry and psychology. I have a passion to counsel teen girls, and I hope one day to write a book to raise awareness about eating disorders and have it made into a film.


Andrea

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with self-harm. I was very depressed and saw no hope for my future. I was angry and mad at the world and God. I would lie and steal regularly with no remorse. I got very good at putting on a mask and pretending I didn’t care about anything, but I was afraid that if I didn’t change, my family would give up on me. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that I am loved and valued by God. I now have reason to live!

After graduation, I plan to move to Georgia and look for a new job.


Congratulations Rachael, Rachelle, and Andrea! You are an amazing group of young women and we look forward to seeing all that God has in store for you!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mercy Multiplied Talks To Students About Sex Trafficking

Students are some of the most passionate, effective activists in our country, and Mercy Ministries wants them to get involved in helping victims of domestic sex trafficking. Lots of groups are raising awareness about sex trafficking in the U.S., but Mercy Ministries is actually DOING something about it. We need some fearless, cutting-edge leaders to take their college campuses by storm and start a revolution to help our sisters, daughters, and friends who have been brutalized by this horrific crime.

Dave and Kristy Spring
We’re honored to have student ministry experts, Dave and Kristy Spring, joining us again on the airwaves at Mercy Multiplied THIS Sunday. The Springs will once again keep the conversation real and raw and answer all your questions about the opportunities for students to be an agent for change on their campuses. But no topic is off limits. Dave and Kristy have over 18 years of experience working with teens around the globe including the U.S., Mexico, Jamaica, Ireland, England, New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia. The Springs are also generously lending Mercy Ministries their worldwide campus ministry expertise as we launch our student campaign called Freedom4One. You can find out more about how to be a voice on your campus by going to www.freedom4one.com.

Join us for this very important discussion on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM CST, or listen live from around the country at www.mercymultiplied.com. We want to hear what you have to say so call us at 615-737-9986 with your stories, questions and concerns. This is our final show for this 13 week series but we will be back in a new time slot soon. Stay tuned for information about upcoming radio shows. Podcasts of all the shows are available here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mercy Ministries “Likes” Anderson Hill Consulting

Did you know you can help raise money for Mercy Ministries just by liking someone on Facebook? Anderson Hill Consulting is a Nashville business that specializes in remodeling homes. Owner Eric Poulin, saw a connection between what he does with homes and what God does in the lives of young women through Mercy Ministries. Both take something empty and broken and make it clean, new and beautiful again. Eric came to the Nashville home for a tour recently and decided to do something special to help raise awareness and funds for Mercy.

Eric set a goal to raise $1,000 for Mercy Ministries in the month of February. Anderson Hill Consulting will donate one dollar for every new fan they get on their Facebook page in February, up to 1,000 fans! There are only a few days left, so tell your friends, tweet about it and definitely go to their Facebook page HERE and click on the “like” button. It couldn’t be any easier to raise money for Mercy. One click equals one dollar!
Eric Poulin of Anderson Hill Consulting
Special thanks to Eric Poulin, Anderson Hill Consulting, and all their fans! The program is always free for every girl who comes to Mercy, and it is because of supporters like you! To find out more about how to help the hurting young women at Mercy Ministries have their lives transformed and hope restored, CLICK HERE. And by the way, you can “like” Mercy Ministries too. Check out our facebook page and give us a thumbs up!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Self-Injury Videos On YouTube, Mercy Ministries Speaks Out!

Researchers are concerned about the impact of the thousands of videos on YouTube depicting self-injury. Young viewers can easily get online and see people cutting, burning, hitting themselves or even embedding sharp objects in their skin. There is growing concern that these videos may be triggering young people to harm themselves or at the very least, make the issue seem normal. These videos are being compared to the pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia forums that have been condemned in recent years.

Self-injury is up an average of 19% amongst teens and young adults! Since 1983, Mercy Ministries has been helping young women who struggle with self-harm and other life-controlling issues. It is estimated that one in every 200 girls between 13 – 19 years old is cutting themselves regularly, and over the past ten years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of residents struggling with self-harm. Between 2001 and 2006 alone, the percentage of residents who reported dealing with self-harm went from 6% to 67%!

With over 27 years of experience and a 93% success rate, Mercy Ministries and our Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, want to share our expertise, help, and resources. We have two books, “Cut: Mercy for Self-Harm” and “Beyond Cut.” Both books are about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of self-harm, understanding how and why these behaviors develop, and how to break free and stay free from self-harm. They include many stories of young girls, who once had no hope but now live with joy and freedom. There’s also a special section for parents and others who care about someone who is self-harming.

For more information about these resources and the work being done at Mercy Ministries, go to http://mercyministriesbooks.com/.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another Creative Supporter Raises Money for Mercy!

One of Mercy Ministries’ amazing church partners came up with a truly unique and creative way to raise money. Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN hosted the Grace and Mercy Gala for Valentine’s Day with dinner, dancing and delicious food! A silent auction included jewelry, spa packages, and other romantic gift baskets for couples to purchase. More than 180 people filled the Clarksville Country Club ballroom to celebrate this special Valentine’s Day and hear more about the wonderful work of Mercy Ministries.

Mercy graduate, Rachel Hardcastle, was there with her husband, Jeffrey, to share their amazing story of love lost and regained. Rachel came to Mercy a drug addict who had divorced her husband and lost her children, but through the unconditional love of Christ, she was set free from addiction, and her husband fell in love with her all over again.
Rachel and Jeffrey Hardcastle
Special thanks to everyone who attended the Grace and Mercy Gala and especially David and Lori Graham for serving as the Event Chairs. We would also like to thank Table Sponsors: Jenkins & Wynne, James and Piper Bell, Dan and Kathy DePriest, Ross Insurance, Bill Roberts Thunder Road Automotive, Mary’s Music, Covenant Care Family Medicine, Ron & Cheryl Edmondson and The Family Gold Store. Thanks also to Christian music artist, Daniel Doss, for providing incredible entertainment for the event.

Event Chairs, David and Lori Graham
Daniel Doss

Silent Auction Items

Every detail of this event was inspired, planned and executed by volunteers at Grace Community Church as a gift to Mercy. If you would like to use your gifts, interests and imagination to host your own event or fundraiser, send an email to info@mercyministries.com. Your donations make it possible for these girls to get the help they need completely free of charge and make the difference between life and death.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Honoring 20 Years of Service and Dedication to Mercy

Judy Jones
The Nashville staff and residents recently gathered together to honor an amazing and godly woman. Twenty years ago today, Judy Jones joined Mercy Ministries’ Founder and President Nancy Alcorn as the first full-time staff member in Nashville, Tennessee. Judy is the Director of Administration and has been one of Mercy’s greatest blessings throughout the years. Today we have over 60 staff members who look to Judy as a senior leader.

It was so much fun to see the look on Judy’s face when she saw her husband, children, and grandchildren in attendance for a special surprise gathering in her honor! We wanted to share some of the pictures from that special time together.

Nancy sharing stories about working with Judy


Judy's family looks on

Judy with her husband, children, and grandchildren
Judy, we are so thankful for your many years of service and dedication to Mercy Ministries!! We love you!

St. Louis Celebrates Two More Lives Transformed!

After years of struggling with severe depression and self-hatred, two more beautiful young women have had their lives transformed by God’s unconditional love. Aspyn and Monique both struggled with hating themselves and figured God must hate them too. But while at Mercy, their hearts were healed, and they learned they are beloved daughters of the King! Family and friends gathered together at the St. Louis home this week to celebrate their graduation from the Mercy program. We wanted to share their stories of hope and freedom with you:

Aspyn

I was sexually abused several times during my childhood. Each time I told a trusted adult; unfortunately, no one ever talked to me about the shame and sexual struggles that would come. By the time I was a young adult, I became severely depressed. I hated myself and engaged in unhealthy friendships and relationships. I went through counseling but concluded that God simply did not love me. I heard about Mercy from a staff member at a local church and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I have learned that God does love me. He cares very deeply for me. I learned to let my walls down and allow others into my life to love me as well. I also learned that I do not have to carry my past shame and that God has an amazing future planned just for me.

After graduation, I plan to work as a nanny while pursuing my desire to sing and play guitar for the worship team at my church. I also aspire to speak publicly about Christ and His unfailing love.

Monique

I was physically and sexually abused when I was young. I had a very low self-esteem, and when my parents divorced, I felt like it was my fault. I began using self-harm and misusing medication to try and suppress my feelings. I was afraid of relationships with people and struggled with depression. I heard about Mercy from the wife of my youth pastor and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has taught me to trust Him and other people. He has taught me about His forgiveness, and now I am able to be open with Him about everything. I can be the woman He created me to be and don’t have to hide. I am free from all my addictions!

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get a degree in social work. One day I hope to talk to other young women about God’s love for them. I want them to know they are beautiful and that God has a purpose for them.

Congratulations Aspyn and Monique! We are so glad you made the decision to trust God for your healing. We look forward to all that He has in store for you as you spread the truth of His love to others!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mercy Ministries Canada Celebrates First Graduation!!!

Sonja, Nancy, and Jorgia
It was a dream come true. Last summer, the Mercy Ministries Canada home opened its doors, and 20 hurting young girls started their journey to freedom and transformation. This week, the house was packed with family and friends as they celebrated the first Mercy Ministries Canada graduation! Two amazing young ladies, Sonja and Jorgia, have had their lives and dreams restored! Both girls are very excited about the future and plan to dedicate their lives to helping other young women overcome the same issues that they themselves have overcome.

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, was there to surprise them and celebrate with staff, family and friends. She wrote about the special day on her blog HERE. Check out these photos from this landmark day:





Over the years, so many have come alongside Mercy Ministries Canada to give of their prayers, time, energy and resources. Now that the home is open and fully operational, your continued faithfulness has made graduations like these possible.

A special shout out to Pastors John and Helen Burns for having the heart and vision to start a Mercy home in Canada, and to Nicola Bartel for being the great leader she is as the Executive Director and overseer of all Canada staff. Congratulations everyone!

Pastors John and Helen Burns

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unconditional Love on Mercy Multiplied This Sunday!

There is a lot of confusion out there about love, but the love of God is perfect and shows us how to live it out here on earth. The unconditional love of Christ will be the topic once again on our live radio show, Mercy Multiplied, this Sunday on SuperTalk 99.7.

Last week, Mercy Ministries graduate Rachel Hardcastle and her husband, Jeffrey, joined Nancy in the studio and shared their story. Rachel came to Mercy a drug addict who had divorced her husband and lost her children, but through the unconditional love of Christ she was set free and her husband fell in love with her all over again. In a sweet moment of surprise, Rachel’s father called the show to talk about how miraculous her transformation was. Jeffrey’s mother also called in and spoke of how much she learned about true forgiveness and the unconditional love of Christ from her son in the way he forgave and loved Rachel. If you missed it, you can listen to the podcast HERE.

This week, Nancy will be joined by another amazing graduate, Kathryne Coonce. Kathryne came to Mercy with an unplanned pregnancy. She chose life for her baby and in a selfless act of love, decided to place him for adoption. Kathryn now works for Mercy Ministries in the Intake Department, talking to young women who need the same help she herself once needed.

You won’t want to miss hearing Kathryne and her husband, Jonathan, as they share their love story and make a special surprise announcement! Tune in this Sunday from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM CST or listen from anywhere in the country on www.mercymultiplied.com. Call us at 615-737-9986 to share your thoughts, questions and stories.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Join Mercy Ministries For In-N-Out Lunch At Catalyst West!

Mercy Ministries at Catalyst Atlanta
Ministry leaders from around the world will converge at Catalyst West this March, and Mercy Ministries is offering a unique opportunity to learn about our efforts to help victims of sex trafficking. Catalyst West is a renowned conference for young leaders in ministry and thousands are expected at Mariner’s Church in Irvine, California. Mercy Ministries will sponsor a FREE In-N-Out Luncheon on March 3rd, to share the vision of Mercy and how to partner with us to help victims of sex trafficking. The luncheon will be hosted by top young leaders Sarah Markley, Bianca Juarez, Lindsey Nobles, Jenni Catron, Ashley Williams and Mercy Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato.

This will be an amazing opportunity to hear from a Mercy graduate about how her life was transformed and learn specific things you can do to partner with Mercy to help sex trafficking victims. For several years now, Mercy Ministries has helped victims of sex trafficking in our residential homes, and we continue to receive more and more calls for help. The last couple of years, we have felt a tug in our hearts to get more involved with fighting this horrific issue. Mercy wants to be a voice that brings light to the disturbing fact that sex trafficking is happening in the U.S. – right in our own backyard. Read Amy’s story of freedom:

Amy’s father began trafficking her when she was only 8 years old. Her father would dress her up in outfits and take her to parties where she was the entertainment and the "play toy". Amy's father would even handcuff her in the back of a van and drive her around, selling her to various people. She was eventually forced into prostitution and making pornographic videos.


At age 21, in complete desperation, Amy decided to make a break for it. In the middle of the night, she escaped and hitchhiked to her grandparents’ home several hours away. She suffered from a severe eating disorder, struggled with cutting and tried to commit suicide many times.


Amy’s pastor's wife connected her with Mercy Ministries, and the trauma she had experienced was evident from the first day she walked through the doors. It wasn't easy, but little by little God's love began to reach her heart and heal her brokenness. While at Mercy Ministries, Amy’s life was completely transformed by the love of Christ.


Today, after graduating from nursing school, Amy can hardly believe where she was before. She has been completely restored! In fact, just earlier this year, Amy got married to a wonderful godly man - something she thought would never be possible!

Come join us for this FREE lunch (Yes we will be serving In-N-Out’s world famous burgers!) during the break on March 3rd from 12:15 PM – 1:45 PM in Room 208 of the Life Development Building at Mariner’s Church. Hear more about how you can partner with us to help these hurting young women. Together, we can bring change to our communities, churches and cultures and help bring an end to sex trafficking, one victim at a time.

For more information about Catalyst West, go to www.catalystwestcoast.com. To RSVP for the In-N-Out Luncheon, click the button below. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mercy Ministries Residents and Staff Learn About The Power Of Thinking!!!

Dr. Caroline Leaf
“You cannot control the events or circumstances of your life, but you can control your reaction to them.” Learning to say “I can” was the focus of a fascinating talk given by Dr. Caroline Leaf to the staff and residents of the Nashville Mercy Ministries home today. Since 1981, Dr. Leaf has researched the human brain with an emphasis on unlocking its vast, untapped potential. Her unique method of marrying science with the Christian faith was amazing and a huge encouragement to everyone.

Dr. Leaf taught the girls that every thought is an actual physical structure in the brain. These thoughts affect us physically and emotionally. Negative thinking is toxic to our brains, and as a result, our entire bodies. Dr. Leaf said that 87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. She explained the link between the spiritual, intellectual and medical reasons to choose right thinking and applying God’s Word to every thought. Dr. Leaf encouraged everyone that by consciously controlling your thought life you can literally detox your brain.

Dr. Leaf has several books and courses and generously donated her resources to the Mercy Ministries library, including her “Switch On Your Brain™ 5-Step Learning Process.” Dr. Leaf has traveled around the world speaking to both Christian and secular audiences about the God-given ability to change your brain by changing your thoughts, and it was such an honor to have her come and speak to our staff and residents. For more information about Dr. Leaf and her research, go to www.drleaf.com.



Dr. Leaf and her husband, Mac

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mercy Graduates Excited to Pursue Their Dreams!

Seven more Mercy Ministries graduates have had their lives and dreams restored! Many of them felt unloved and rejected by the world, but while at Mercy, God showed them they are beloved daughters of the King! These graduates from our Monroe, St. Louis and Nashville homes were so excited to celebrate with friends and family this week. They have truly been transformed and can’t wait to share the good news of God’s love and faithfulness. Here are their incredible stories of restoration and hope:

Monroe

Malorie

My life before Mercy was a masquerade. I was a pastor’s daughter and felt I was being watched under a magnifying glass by everyone. I used self-harm to cope. Out of curiosity, I got involved with pornography at age 11 and it damaged my view of everyone and everything. In high school, I was sexually abused and became very confused. I still pretended like everything was okay on the outside, but on the inside I was dying. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me true love and grace. I have been brought back to life by a Savior who said I am worth it and my heart that was once stone has now been turned to flesh. Before Mercy, I was a walking corpse, but now every moment has meaning and purpose. I have a choice and I choose life!

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in sports medicine and in the future I will pursue a career in music and ministry. I want to take this opportunity to thank all Mercy board members, staff and supporters. You all have made an investment in me that is multiplying. I have truly been blessed by God to walk this Mercy journey. Praise God I am FREE!


Lisa

Growing up, I often felt like I wasn’t important. While I could act the part of being a Christian, deep down I didn’t trust God or feel loved by Him. I often let my emotions affect my diet, so I restricted my food or overate. I had a very low self-esteem and was going from one unhealthy relationship to the next. I also struggled with an anxiety disorder and held onto a lot of unforgiveness and bitterness. My family found out about the issues I was struggling with, and my cousin told me about Mercy. I knew I was getting worse, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has given me peace. I know I have His grace when I mess up. I’ve learned how important thoughts and words are and how to replace the negative with positive. God has revealed who He really is to me and I now know that I have value and worth.

After graduation, I’d like to go to culinary school, or study music or dance. My dream is to move back to Canada and open up a dinner theater. I would also like to do some kind of ministry with the homeless.


St. Louis

Ashley

Before Mercy, I was caught in a never-ending cycle of drugs and alcohol and some very unhealthy and unsafe relationships. My life was out of control and it really scared me. I was in so deep and I didn’t know how to get out. My joy and zeal for life was gone. I knew I was missing an intimate relationship with the Lord, so I searched online for help and found Mercy Ministries. I thought they could help me turn my life around, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has restored my zest for life. My dreams and passions and desires are back. I feel like I have a purpose on this earth now, and I know that God truly loves me and calls me His own. He has shown me His true character, and I know that He will never leave me and that His grace covers everything that I’ve done.

My future plans are to go to Bible College because I have such a passion to know God more, and I am hungry to help people. I am planning to make a new start in a new place. To any young girls out there, there is hope, there is an answer, and God does have an abundant future in store for you!


Nashville

Amanda

Before I came to Mercy, my life was in complete shambles. I was abandoned by my biological mother when I was five years old and from that point on, felt that no one could love me. I struggled for years with self-harm and eating disorders. I was also addicted to drugs and alcohol. I attempted suicide once and failed, leaving me with even more self-hatred. I was emotionally, verbally and sexually abused by my peers, and I verbally and emotionally abused other people as a result. I thought all of this was a normal way to live, and I hated it. My parents found Mercy’s website and told me about it, so I decided to apply because I was ready for a real change.

While at Mercy, God has shown me so much. He’s shown me that I am beautiful, I am His, and I am valuable. He has completely restored my purity and my relationship with my parents. I no longer feel guilty or ashamed of my past, and I know that my past does not dictate my future. God is my defender and my protector, and He has given me new hope and set me free.

After graduation, I plan to go back to high school and graduate in May. I would like to go to cosmetology school in the fall. I also want to continue to deepen my relationship with God. I have a desire for missions and volunteering with women and children who’ve been rescued out of human trafficking. I would like to start a Christian center for teens. I really just want to show the world Jesus as much as I can! Thank you so much, Mercy, for all you’ve done for me!

Annie

Before coming to Mercy, I lived in fear and struggled with pride and unforgiveness. I felt inadequate and didn’t believe God loved and accepted me. I hated myself. I struggled with anger and was easily offended which led me to be verbally and emotionally abusive to others. I heard about Mercy from a friend who works at the St. Louis home and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, the Lord helped me see that I believed lies about myself and others. He showed me His truth. God has helped me to forgive others and most importantly, forgive myself. He has shown me how vital it is to stay in the Word, to stay in prayer, and to be around other believers. This program has changed my life and God continues to heal my heart.

After graduation, I plan to get involved in church and hope to find work in a non-profit organization, education, or social work.


Rachel

Before Mercy, I was hopeless and didn’t even want to live. The pain of my past led me down a dark path of eating disorders, self-harm, depression and anxiety. Every day was filled with fear and pain. I felt like nobody cared about me and that even God had left me and was mad at me for the choices I made. I was mad at Him for allowing things to happen the way they did. I didn’t have much desire to live, but a small part of me thought there might be a better way of life. One of my parents’ friends told us about Mercy. I looked on the website, thought it looked like a nice place, and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has totally transformed every aspect of my life. I know that He loves me for who I am and I do not have to hide from Him. He has forgiven me for what I did to myself and I don’t have to be ashamed. My value comes from God alone, and not from my looks, weight or what others say. I am free from the depression, anxiety, eating disorders and cutting that once tried to rob me of my life. God is SO good. He has restored my joy and my life has definitely been transformed!

While at Mercy I have been able to dream more about my future, which is so exciting to me! After I finish high school, I am going to college. I definitely feel like God is leading me to the mission field. I really want to help others and show them God’s love. Thank you Mercy SO much for helping me fall back in love with Jesus! I am so glad to have my life back!

Jorey


I was emotionally neglected growing up and my father was very angry. I was fearful and acted out in an effort to get attention and love, but all I got was rejection. No one knew how to handle me. I figured I was a lost cause and would never amount to anything. I began using self-harm to try and ease my pain. I felt abandoned, rejected and hopeless and became suicidal. My mom had a relationship with God, but I never knew who He really was. My mom saw the Mercy book “Cut” online and bought it. We looked into the program and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned who God was and how much he loves and cares for me. I learned who I am in Him and that I am not alone. I no longer have to use self-harm to deal with life. I know that God has a purpose for me.

After graduation, I plan to finish high school and I would like to go to school for evangelism. Coming to Mercy is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank you to Nancy and everyone. Mercy is the best!


Congratulations ladies! We are so excited to see you leave Mercy with a passion for life that is contagious as you reach out to others who are in need of His healing! We can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mercy Ministries Residents Attend Dave Ramsey LIVE!

Popular radio show host and New York Times Best Selling author, Dave Ramsey, invited the Nashville residents to attend his fun, interactive, high-energy presentation on financial principles last Saturday. Before graduating from the Mercy Ministries program, all residents complete Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and are equipped to make smart money decisions for their futures. It was a special treat for the Nashville residents to hear his entertaining and motivating presentation in person. Here’s what some of the girls had to say about the event:

Total Money Makeover was empowering and entertaining. I feel like I have the tools I need to gain financial independence and with Dave’s motivation, I feel going through the steps will be fun and liberating. - Sandy


I loved going to the event today! Dave was so funny and totally got me motivated. When I get a job I will definitely start saving for my emergency fund. – Heather


Because I’m so young, it’s hard to wrap my head around things like 401K plans and mutual funds, but I realized that in a couple of years I will need to take care of these things. Thanks to Dave’s classes, I know early on how to avoid debt. I won’t have to worry about mismanaging money because of what I’ve learned. - Allie

As long-time supporters of Mercy Ministries, Dave and his wife, Sharon, have generously donated their expertise and resources to all our residents. The girls learn how to balance a checkbook, make a budget, save, eliminate debt, find bargains, build wealth and experience the joy of giving.

Upon graduation, each resident is blessed with a Financial Peace University Lifetime Membership kit and receives all course materials. Graduates (along with their spouses if they are married) can also attend an FPU class in their area. Thanks to Dave and Sharon’s generosity, these young women continue to gain the practical knowledge they need to avoid financial hardship and experience abundance!

Mercy Ministries would like to thank the Ramsey’s for their overwhelming generosity and huge hearts! Their investment of time, expertise, materials, and financial resources in Mercy Ministries has literally been life-changing for our residents. To learn more about Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University, visit his website at www.daveramsey.com.


Dave Ramsey LIVE!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Six More Graduates Restored and Free!

The amazing young women who graduate from Mercy Ministries have been moved off a path of destruction onto a road that leads to a bright future. They are literally brought from death into life! Each of the recent graduates from our Monroe and California homes had their lives transformed and hope restored while at Mercy Ministries. These young women are now full of hope and new life because of the unfailing love of God. Here are their incredible stories:

Monroe

Camalyn

I grew up in a Christian home and was very involved in church. I was a good kid who always tried to keep everyone happy but I still felt like I was never enough for anyone. I wasn’t cool, popular and pretty like my sisters. My sophomore year in high school, a friend introduced me to alcohol. While in college, I developed an eating disorder and then began cutting with any sharp object I could get my hands on. I dreamed of death and had plans of suicide. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply. I was far away from God but I knew that He was the only one who could fix the mess I had made out of my life.

While at Mercy, God drew me in. As I grew in my walk with Him, I began to see that the lifestyle I had been living was not part of His design at all and I gave Him every area of my life. I learned that it is impossible to step out of God’s reach. Nothing is too big or too bad for Him. He will take our mistakes and use them as a testimony to His perfect love and grace.

After graduation, I plan to finish my music degree and minor in photography and psychology. I want to live my life for the glory of God. To the supporters of Mercy Ministries: Thank you! My life would not have changed without this place that you lovingly support. God bless you! To those who are hurting: there is a God who heals all wounds and He loves you immeasurably. Your past does not define you, and you are never beyond God’s love and Mercy.

Marlena

Before I came to Mercy, I was hiding away from the world and everyone in it because I felt freakish and unlovable. I was born with physical birth defects and got an artificial leg when I was just fourteen months old. As I got older, I became a perfect target for the cruel words of my classmates. I believed I was a freak and struggled for years with depression and thoughts of suicide. I was very lonely and while in college, the anger and bitterness I was carrying about my disability grew stronger. For two years I spent most of my time in my dorm and eventually my parents came and took me home. I refused to get a job and hid in my room. Eventually, I ended up homeless at the Downtown Rescue Mission. During the six months I was at the Mission, I heard about Mercy from a counselor and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God showed me that He loves me and that I am worthy of love. I know that even with my scars, God sees me as His beautiful Beloved and I am no longer angry. My relationship with my parents has also been restored.

After graduation, I’m looking forward to being independent. I plan to get a job and I would really like to be an event planner. I want to plan conferences that will inspire people to want to know God better and serve Him more.


Paulette

I was sexually molested at a very young age and as a teenager I became very promiscuous. I also started using drugs and alcohol and became depressed and suicidal. I was raped on two different occasions and got involved in the occult where I began to worship Satan. I hated God, but a few months later, I went to live with my pastor’s family and she told me about Mercy Ministries. I was tired of struggling with all of my issues and decided to apply. I wanted to be free and felt I had nothing to lose.

It took some time, but while at Mercy, I allowed myself to open up to God. I realized that I didn’t want my old life anymore, I wanted the life God wanted for me. I thought that I was a lost cause, but God has done such an incredible work in me. Seven months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to believe that it was possible, but now I can say that I LOVE God and I am proud to be His daughter. He has given me hope and set me free. I now understand that He is a God of second chances.

After graduation, I plan to get my GED and join the Air National Guard. I then plan to go to Delgado Community College to become a chef.


Lincoln

Nadine

Before Mercy my life was ruled by shame and depression. I had been sexually abused as a child and felt as though I carried the weight of that wherever I went. My life was a roller coaster of ups and downs as I tried to run from the reality and pain of the abuse and other disappointments in my life. I self-harmed to escape the pain and worked hard to keep up appearances. My whole life was built on secrets and lies. I had a lot of hatred towards myself and contemplated suicide on a daily basis. I was completely hopeless and broken when I heard about Mercy from friends and family and decided to apply.

God has done an amazing work in my life here at Mercy. He met me in my pain, and transformed the mess in my mind and the brokenness of my heart. He has freed me from the grip of addiction, shame and depression, and the pain from my past. He has restored my hope, given me purpose and the desire to live. I’ve learned the truth about who God is and truth of who I am in Him. I’ve been equipped to live a life of victory and freedom!

After graduation, I am planning to work for a year to get myself financially stable and settled and then pursue a degree in midwifery. In the long term, I want to work as a midwife, become a wife and mother and be involved in overseas mission work.


Chandra

I was sexually abused as a child and grew up with a lot of confusion. I struggled with depression, and fear was my close companion. I also struggled with self-harm and was on a path of destruction. I heard about Mercy on a Christian radio station and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has changed my life. I’ve felt the healing hand of God and He’s healed a lot of emotional wounds. He has set me free from the spirit of death and fear.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get degrees in business and social work.


Caitlin

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with bulimia, self- harm and depression. I had been verbally and sexually abused and eventually became suicidal. I heard about Mercy from a friend who had graduated from the program and she strongly recommended it, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God revealed Himself to me in a new way! I have learned that He is a personal, loving God.

After graduation, I plan to get a degree in cyber security/computer forensics. With that degree I plan on pursuing my dream of working with the F.B.I.



Congratulations ladies! Your positive choices, growing faith and ongoing transformation are so evident and we look forward to seeing your futures unfold.