Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mercy Sponsors a Special Night with 140 Pastors’ Wives from Leading And Loving It!

Mercy Ministries Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato, had the incredible opportunity to be a part of Leading and Loving Its “Armed and Dangerous” retreat in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this month. Leading and Loving It (LALI) is a community that connects, encourages and supports pastors’ wives and women in ministry. More than 100 churches around the country were represented by the 140 pastors’ wives gathered at the beautiful Union Station Hotel for this special get-away.

A startling survey shows that 85 percent of pastors’ wives feel discouraged and unhappy in ministry. LALI provides a community for this special group of incredible women to support and encourage one another as they walk out their calling to serve their churches alongside their husbands. It was an honor and privilege to be a part of pampering these amazing and faithful women of God.

Having a  time of praise and worship
Mercy Ministries sponsored a special event during which Brandi Wilson, one of LALI’s co-founders, talked about Mercy Ministries’ new End Sex Trafficking initiative. Brandi is married to Pete Wilson, the Senior Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, a monthly supporter of Mercy. Brandi spoke from her heart about why she supports Mercy and how God is restoring the hope and transforming the lives of young women struggling with life-controlling issues, including those who are victims of sex trafficking.

Brandi Wilson from Cross Point Church sharing about Mercy
Everyone who attended the retreat received a free copy of Echoes of Mercy by Nancy Alcorn, and several door prizes were given away, each containing an EndSexTrafficking.com T-shirt, Mercy journal, and delicious chocolates. It was an awesome time of fellowship, fun and sharing community with one another.

Co-Founders Lori Wilhite (left) and Brandi Wilson giving out Mercy door prizes

Special thanks to LALI team leader, Lori Wilhite, for inviting us to be a part of the” Armed and Dangerous” retreat. Lori serves alongside her husband Jud Wilhite who is the Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. Thanks also to Brandi Wilson for sharing her heart for Mercy and for encouraging other churches to show their support. We are so grateful for everyone on the LALI Leadership Team and the amazing women who took the time to attend the retreat and connect with the work being done at Mercy Ministries.

Churches investing their time, expertise and financial resources in a partnership with Mercy Ministries can directly save the lives of the young women we serve! Thank you to everyone at LALI for an incredible opportunity and an unforgettable event!

If you are woman in ministry or a pastor’s wife, we highly encourage you to head over to www.leadingandlovingit.com and check out this amazing group of supportive women.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mercy Ministries Honors Those Who Fought For Our Freedom

On this Memorial Day, all of us at Mercy Ministries would like to honor the brave Americans who have given their lives fighting for freedom. We are also reminded of the family members who grieve the loss of their loved ones today. We are so grateful for those who have paid such a high price for our freedom and for those who currently serve in the military so that we may remain free!


Founding Board Member, Jessie McCormick, sponsored the classroom in the 
Nashville Mercy home. This plaque is on the wall in memory of her son, Wayne, 
who gave his life in the Vietnam War.

We encourage everyone to observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM today by pausing to think about the great sacrifice of so many courageous Americans and their families. We pray you have a blessed holiday weekend.

God, lift the hearts of those for whom this holiday is a painful memory. We remember with compassion those who have died serving their countries. We believe that you will provide on this day of remembrance with the fulfillment of "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mercy Ministries Graduate from 1988 Pays a Surprise Visit!!!

Today was a special day at the Nashville home. 1988 graduate, Jessica, came by today to introduce her family to Mercy Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn. It was an incredible surprise, and Nancy was thrilled to hang out with her and catch up. To read Nancy’s blog post about Jessica’s visit, click here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Breaking News for EndSexTrafficking.com

Mercy Ministries EndSexTrafficking.com is excited to be a part of the “Trafficking In America Conference” at the Holiday Inn Opryland in Nashville, TN on June 10-12, 2011. Mercy Ministries Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato, has been invited as a guest speaker at the conference.

Tickets are $59.00 per person between now and May 31, 2011. From June 1 until the day of the event, tickets will be $79.00. You can register for the event by clicking here.

For more information about this amazing conference, go to http://traffickinginamericaconference.info/


Conference Call

Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming July conference call. We will be launching a new EndSexTrafficking.com initiative that includes our Freedom Teams. If you would like to be a part of a Freedom Team, go to www.endsextrafficking.com.


Tennessee Survey Finds Laws Needed To Fight Sex Trafficking
By Regina Raccuglia - WSMV

Majority Of Respondents Say They Aren't Adequately Trained To Handle Cases

Law enforcement officials want better state laws and training to find and stop human sex trafficking in Tennessee, according to a study released Wednesday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Survey results from agencies across the state found that 85 percent of Tennessee counties have investigated at least one human sex trafficking case over the last 24 months. Seventy-two percent of Tennessee counties reported at least one case of human trafficking involving minors. Vanderbilt University's Center for Community Studies also participated in the study.

The survey of police, social service agencies, state and federal prosecutors and court representatives also found that a majority of respondents said they are not adequately trained to handle these cases. Focus group meetings held across the state suggested the state should impose heavier sentences and allow victims to sue their captors under civil law.

The General Assembly last year directed TBI to analyze the problem and develop recommendations. Tennessee has seen a number of high-profile sex trafficking cases in recent years.

READ MORE…

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Amazing Mercy Grad Shares Her Story of Hope

Friends and family gathered with the staff and residents at the Monroe home yesterday to celebrate the graduation of an amazing young woman who is already paying it forward. While at Mercy, Hannah was completely healed and restored from the pain of past sexual abuse. She has become passionate about sharing her story to encourage others, and recently spoke at a special fundraiser in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Hannah speaking at a recent event in Shreveport, LA

Here is Hannah’s amazing testimony of freedom:

When I was five years old, I was molested by a trusted family friend from our church. I began to believe lies about myself. “You are worthless. No one is going to love you now. You’re damaged goods, broken.” And I believed that it was all God’s fault. From that point on, I cut myself off from God.


For as long as I can remember, I have had a void in my life. I became determined to fill this void; it became my biggest motivation in life. I would give myself to guys sexually, expecting them to give me love in return; a love that would make me whole and take all my pain away. Little did I know, I was only making my pain worse. I had no respect for my body. On the inside, I was screaming for help and for someone to take care of me. I hated myself and would punish myself for my actions. I told myself it was what I deserved.


I started drinking in high school. Eventually, I felt like the alcohol became necessary for me to be happy and have joy. I would blame my actions on being drunk and would pretend to move on, suppressing how I really felt about my behavior. I would go through times where I would try to get my act together, but every time I would relapse, and it would be worse than before. Finally, in August 2010 I hit my all time low and felt completely helpless. I heard about Mercy from my sister-in-law and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, Jesus answered many of my questions. For years, I felt like I was dirty, ugly and damaged. I was mad at Jesus because I knew He had the ability to cleanse me, but He wouldn’t for some reason. God showed me that all these years, I had been deceived, spiritually blinded. God showed me that I’m not dirty; I’m pure because of Him. I’m not junk, but loved! I can turn to Him and have Him bear the pain. Jesus took the abuse, the shame, the guilt and the filth in my place. Now that is true love. I fully surrendered myself to Christ. I am no longer my own. Thank you so much to everyone at Mercy for giving me the opportunity to meet God face to face and for letting me share that with others.


I want to encourage other young women who struggle with life-controlling issues. Mercy isn’t about learning how to cope with life so you don’t have to deal with pain anymore. It is an opportunity for you to take some real time to get to know the God who truly loves you and is the answer to all of your problems.


After graduation, this incredible young woman will be enjoying her summer before returning to school in the fall to finish her degree in fashion design. We are so excited to see her passion for Christ as she reaches out to others who are in need of His healing! We are excited to see where the Lord will take her in this next season of her life! Congratulations on your graduation Hannah! You have already started a ripple effect that will change the lives of countless others. We are so proud of you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Group Supports Mercy Ministries in a Creative Way!

Angela Curtis, a Fifth Third Bank employee, recently came to the Nashville home for a Friends of Mercy Luncheon and got inspired to spread the vision of Mercy Ministries to her co-workers. She didn’t just want to tell them about Mercy, she wanted to give them an opportunity to support Mercy in a unique way.

Last Thursday, The Fifth Third Bank Women’s Network and their guests gathered for a great time of fun and fellowship at Sips n’ Strokes. Sips n’ Strokes is a popular step-by-step art class franchise where anyone can learn to paint a masterpiece. A portion of the participation fee was donated to Mercy Ministries, and more than 60 women came to the event!

Amazing Mercy volunteer, Anne Wallace, was there to share about the life-changing work being done at Mercy Ministries. Everyone was inspired by what they heard and had a great time of fun and fellowship while painting a beautiful angel (pictured above).

Special thanks to Community Board Member, Sue Veith, and Mercy supporters Angela Curtis and Filiz Bozkurt for putting together this amazing and creative event. We would also like to thank everyone who participated. Your support helps hurting young women to experience the unconditional love of Christ, so they can know that they are God’s masterpiece!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Three More Amazing Young Women Have Their Lives Transformed!

After years of condemnation and suffering from all kinds of abuse, three more brave young women put their hope in Christ and had their lives completely transformed! Family and friends joined the residents and staff of the Nashville home to celebrate their graduation from Mercy Ministries, and we wanted to share their incredible stories with you:

Nashville

Sarah

I was abused as a child and learned very early in life not to trust anyone. I felt everyone was out to get me, even God. I began using self-harm to cope with my pain and became very suicidal. Some of the people I looked up to always complained about their bodies, and I began to compare myself to them and developed an eating disorder. I also had unhealthy relationships with guys, because I felt they would give me some sense of self-worth. I was desperate for help and thought maybe the people at Mercy would understand me and not judge me, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God taught me what true love really is. He showed me that He is for me, not against me. I have learned to trust people again and that the abuse I suffered was not my fault. I learned that I am worthy of God’s love and acceptance.

After graduation, I plan to finish high school and go to college to pursue the culinary arts.


Katie

Before Mercy, my life was a mess. I made every wrong choice you could make. I struggled with everything from perfectionism, people pleasing, OCD and depression to eating disorders, self-harm, drug addictions, promiscuity and occult activity. I also had an unplanned pregnancy which ended in miscarriage as a result of all the ways I was harming my body. I had been to several expensive treatment centers, but nothing helped and I ran out of money. That’s when I heard about Mercy from a guidance counselor at my college and decided to apply.

When I first got to Mercy, I had a lot of trouble letting go and trusting God, because I had so many questions about who God was and about Christianity in general. Eventually, I was able to hand things over to God and allow Him to come into my life and transform me into the person He created me to be. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have a God so great and loving, and for the Mercy staff that was so patient and persistent in helping me surrender to God.

After graduation, I plan to go on a mission trip to Guatemala. I would then like to go to the L.A. Dream Center. Eventually, I plan to attend college and then serve full-time as a missionary overseas.


Jordan

Growing up, I was emotionally and verbally abused and felt like I could never be good enough. I lived under a lot of legalistic views and struggled with fear and depression. I was very manipulative and controlling of others, and I struggled with perfectionism and relationships with men. I was constantly lying to everyone around me and pretending like nothing was wrong, but I knew my life was out of control. I found Mercy on the internet and decided that Christian counseling might help me overcome my struggles.

While at Mercy, I found my identity in Christ. I have really learned to see myself through God’s eyes. My past isn’t going to determine my future. I no longer consider myself as “used goods,” I am worthy of love! Coming to Mercy was the best decision of my life!

After graduation, I am going to a Christian college to pursue a degree in Christian missions. My goal is to graduate completely debt-free so that I can enter the mission field immediately following graduation.


Congratulations Sarah, Katie and Jordan! We are so proud of your commitment to face your issues and fight for freedom!! Your positive choices, growing faith and ongoing transformation are so evident, and we look forward to seeing your futures unfold.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Four More Mercy Ministries Grads Celebrate Life in Christ!

Young women today often struggle with feelings of rejection and abandonment and believe that they can never be good enough to meet the world’s expectations. For the four young women who graduated from the Nashville home this week, these feelings left a void they tried to fill with drugs and alcohol, eating disorders, self-harm and relationships with men. While at Mercy, they discovered that they are loved, accepted and worthy daughters of the King of Kings! Here are their amazing stories of healing and transformation:

Bethany

Before coming to Mercy, I was consumed with an eating disorder. I struggled with fear, especially fear of rejection. My parents’ relationship wasn’t good, and I felt like everything was falling apart. In an effort to get control over my life, I restricted my food and over-exercised. I was also using self-harm to release the pain I was feeling, but after a while, that didn’t work anymore. I heard about Mercy at a Barlow Girl concert and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that I am forgiven, free and beautiful. I can now confidently say I am not defined by what other people think, I am defined by who I am in Christ! I am complete in Him. The Lord has also given me more joy then I have ever had before and my parents’ relationship has been totally restored! God is so good! I just want to thank all of the staff and everyone at Mercy who walked alongside me and taught me what unconditional love really is.

After graduation, I am looking forward to getting involved in my youth group. In the fall, I will finish my senior year and then I plan to attend college and get my counseling degree. I also plan to do mission work overseas one day. I never thought I would even have a future, and now I am so excited about my future!


Brittany

Before coming to Mercy, I felt unloved, abandoned and rejected. I was neglected and moved from home to home, being abused in every possible way. I struggled with eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction and self-harm, in an effort to numb the pain I felt. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God opened my eyes to see myself the way He sees me: beautiful, loved, accepted and worthy. I have learned that God isn’t just about rules, He is about relationship.

After graduation I will be moving into an apartment, working and getting involved at my church. Next year, I plan to go to school for the culinary arts. I also plan to give back to Mercy and other people in need. If it had not been for Mercy, I don’t know where I would be right now.


Jessica

I did not have a relationship with my father growing up, and I felt rejected. I tried to fill that void with men and had several affairs. I struggled with depression and felt completely hopeless. I was having trouble in my marriage when I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I discovered my identity in Christ. I am a daughter of the Most High King, and He is my daddy. I now let Him fill that void in my life. He has totally restored my marriage, and I have become the wife and mother that God wants me to be.

I look forward to an amazing marriage and great life with my family! In the future, I plan to go to college to become a nurse or a teacher.


Shawna

Before coming to Mercy, I felt really alone, abandoned and forgotten. I felt really hopeless about the situations in my life, like nothing would ever change. I doubted that God really cared for me and felt like He was punishing me. My dad told me about Mercy, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that I am not alone. I’m not abandoned, and I am not forgotten. I learned that God has my life in His hands, and He is there for me. I learned about His character and found out who I am in Him. I have been healed from things I thought I would deal with forever.

After graduation, I want to go to college and major in digital film making & audio production. I just want to say thank you to everyone at Mercy. I am a new creation in Christ!


Congratulations ladies! It is awesome to see you understanding who you are in Christ and experiencing healing and wholeness. You are loved and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pastor Rob Ketterling Speaks About Breaking Generational Patterns

Pastor Rob Ketterling
Life-controlling issues like abuse and addiction are often passed down from generation to generation. Pastor Rob Ketterling delivered a powerful message to the Mercy Ministries residents and staff in Nashville yesterday, encouraging them to stand up and say, “It stops here.”

Pastor Rob shared his family history of abuse and neglect, dating back to his great-great-grandfather. When his mother came to know Christ as a young woman, she made the choice to end the generational curses in her family line. As a result of his mother’s faith, Rob was raised in a strong Christian home and now leads River Valley Church, a fast-growing body of believers with four campuses in Minnesota.

Pastor Rob also spoke from Joshua 2, sharing the example of Rahab the prostitute who chose to follow God and is now considered a hero of the faith. Rahab not only made a choice to end destructive cycles in her family, she became a part of the lineage of Christ!

The girls were so empowered by Pastor Rob’s message and many of them expressed their desire to end the cycle of dysfunction in their own family lines. Here’s what some of them had to say in response to Pastor Rob’s message:

WOW, what a great message! I don’t have to keep the cycle going and God is so much bigger than my issues. I can put a stop to it. I can be the change because it only talks one person to make a difference. - Becca


It is so encouraging to see how powerful God is, and how He can change anyone’s life. My mom and dad were the first generation of Christians in our family. I never really thought about how privileged and blessed I am that my mom and dad decided to break former patterns, and I get to live in the blessing of it. - Gina


This message was incredible. Life altering. To know that I can say, “It stops here,” is amazing! I plan to give my children a new lineage. - Samita


For a while, I have wanted change in my family. Now I know that I can be the change that I want to see. - Ashley

Special thanks to Pastors Rob and Becca Ketterling for making the trip to Nashville to tour the home and speak to the girls. Your message had such an impact on our staff and residents. Lives were changed!
Pastor Rob and his wife, Becca


Nancy with Pastors Rob and Becca Ketterling

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, will be speaking at River Valley Church on June 25th and 26th. This will be Nancy’s first visit there and she is looking forward to connecting with this amazing church body. If you would like more information about Pastors Rob and Becca Ketterling and River Valley Church, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Four More Graduates Completely Transformed!!!

“I’ve learned that God completely heals and restores. He doesn’t just put a band-aid on our wounds,” said recent graduate, Christina. Many of the young women who come to Mercy Ministries have been in various treatment facilities with unsuccessful long-term results. Only Jesus can bring true restoration into the lives of young women who are desperately hurting and searching for something to fill the void they feel in their hearts. Here are the incredible stories of healing and transformation in the lives of four amazing young women who graduated from Mercy Ministries last week:


Lincoln

Christina

My life before Mercy was wrapped up in restricting my food and taking diuretics. I was miserable, and all I cared about was being thin. I was anxious all the time and wanted to die. I was also drinking a lot to numb the pain I was feeling from past sexual abuse. I heard about Mercy Ministries when the Program Director from the Lincoln home spoke at a women’s retreat I attended. I wanted a new life, and I thought Mercy could help me, so I decided to apply.

God truly met me right where I was when I came to Mercy. He helped me to understand that He never abandoned me in those times of abuse. He was there, comforting me. He taught me that He has good plans for my life. I now know who I am in Christ, and I’ve learned that God completely heals and restores. He doesn’t just put a band-aid on our wounds.

After graduation, I plan to work and go to school to get a degree in counseling and youth ministry. I would like to work with girls who are victims of sex trafficking. I would also like to get married and have kids someday.


Brittany

Before coming to Mercy I was very broken, scared and insecure. All I cared about was other people’s opinions about me and gaining their approval. This led to an eating disorder that consumed my life. To numb my pain, I also developed drug and alcohol addictions. I was tired of the lifestyle I was living and was ready for a change. I wanted a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. I heard about Mercy from my Mom and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God completely restored me. I learned to surrender everything to Him and to believe His truths about me – that I am pure, beautiful and a new creation. God showed me that my destiny is bigger than my past mistakes, and that my past does not define who I am. I know now that God’s promises are true.

After graduation, I plan to work and go back to college to get a degree in education so I can teach first grade. I would also really like to be a youth pastor and talk to teenage girls about life-controlling issues in hopes that they won’t have to go through what I did.


St. Louis

Nadia

From a very young age, I was seen as the “tough” one who had it all together, so growing up, I never felt like I could let anyone know about my struggles. I felt like it was not okay for me to have a problem or express any negative emotions to others. I tried to act like I had it all together, but my life was in absolute chaos. I felt like my acceptance was based on my performance, and I spent all of my time hiding an eating disorder. I didn’t believe that I would ever live a life of true freedom and joy. I heard about Mercy from one of my mentors, and I knew I needed God, not just a program, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God overwhelmed me with His love. He has shown me the value of open and honest relationships and how to trust Him and others. God has shown me time and time again that He is faithful to His word and that He wants me to depend and rely on Him for everything. God has also mended the broken relationships with my family. My desire is to worship God and boldly speak His truth!

This summer, I plan to work and get involved in my church. I plan to return to college in the fall to continue pursuing a degree in psychology and sociology.


Sarah

My life before Mercy was chaotic. I was a perfectionist and controlling. I struggled with a lot of anger and self-hatred. When I didn’t live up to my own unrealistic standards, I started self-harming to deal with the failure I felt. When that no longer helped, I began a cycle of bingeing and purging. I also battled depression and suicidal thoughts. I was at a point in my life where I didn’t know what to do. I felt completely out of control. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God set me free. He taught me that I am loved and that I am worthy. I learned that I am a chosen daughter of the King.

After graduation, I am going back to school to finish my degree in social work. I eventually want to work with youth and in the foster care system.


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of your commitment to face your issues and fight for freedom!! You are such incredible examples of the healing and restoration that can be found only in Christ. We look forward to hearing how God will use you to help others!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jordan Rubin and North Carolina Community Show Support for Mercy Ministries!

Guests at The King's Kitchen enjoying the event
Since 1983, Mercy Ministries has helped thousands of young women from across the country, many of whom come to us from the state of North Carolina. Last Thursday, 120 people from the Charlotte, North Carolina community came to hear more about Mercy Ministries and the young women who have had their lives transformed and hope restored.

The Mercy in the Community Luncheon was held at The King’s Kitchen, a well-known restaurant that donates 100 percent of their proceeds to help feed the poor in Charlotte. Everyone enjoyed the amazing upscale southern cuisine and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant is owned by longtime Mercy supporters, Jim and Karen Noble, who welcomed everyone to the event.

Nancy Alcorn (center) with Jim and Karen Noble
Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, was honored to have her good friend, Jordan Rubin, as the guest speaker for the luncheon. Jordan is the New York Times best-selling author of The Maker’s Diet and is considered one of America’s most recognized and respected natural health experts. He shared the story of how he and his wife became the adoptive parents of a Mercy baby and why he is a strong supporter and advocate of Mercy Ministries.
Jordan Rubin and his son Samuel

Jordan Rubin sharing why he supports Mercy

Jordan Rubin and Nancy Alcorn
Nancy Alcorn also shared her heart for the countless young women who need to know there is a God who loves them unconditionally and that freedom from life-controlling issues is absolutely possible. She told the story of God’s calling on her life to develop a Christ-centered home for young women, and she cast the vision for the ministry’s future growth to North Carolina.

Guests also had the opportunity to hear life-transforming testimonies from Mercy graduates, Julia and Alyssa. Julia, a 2001 graduate, came to Mercy with an unplanned pregnancy. She spoke about her decision to place her daughter for adoption and how she is now fulfilling her lifelong dream of serving as a missionary around the world.

Mercy graduates Alyssa (left) and Julia (right) with Nancy
2004 graduate, Alyssa, shared that she was abused as a child and feared that she would continue the cycle of abuse. While at Mercy, she was completely healed and restored and is now blessed to be a part of a ministry that nurtures and cares for children. These young women were excited to share their powerful stories and encourage support for Mercy Ministries.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to come and hear about the lives being transformed at Mercy Ministries and especially to Jordan Rubin for being our guest speaker. Thanks to Jim and Karen Noble and everyone at The King’s Kitchen for hosting the event and for the delicious southern cuisine! Special thanks to Freedom House Church, Grace Covenant Church and Tom and Marie Fisher who all generously sponsored this event and to Kristy Huddle for donating her photography services.

Freedom House Church Pastor, Penny Maxwell, presenting Nancy with a check for $20,000!
If you would like to know more about how you can support Mercy Ministries, call (615) 831-6987 or email Whitney Cantrell at wcantrell@mercyministries.com for more information.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nancy Alcorn on Joyce Meyer's Enjoying Everyday Life

Nancy Alcorn with Joyce Meyer

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, spoke with her good friend and loyal Mercy supporter, Joyce Meyer, on Enjoying Everyday Life, last Friday, May 13th. The topic of the show was “Restoring Broken Lives,” something Nancy has witnessed time and time again at Mercy Ministries, and we have seen an incredible response to the program. If you missed this opportunity to hear Nancy share the personal testimonies of many young women who have had their lives transformed through the love of Christ, while at Mercy, it’s not too late!

You can see the program in full by clicking here.

Nancy is also looking forward to being a special guest speaker at Joyce Meyer’s “Love Life” Women’s Conference in St. Louis, MO on September 15 – 17, 2011. To register for this awesome life-changing conference, go to http://www.joycemeyer.org/wc11/index.html.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Team Ramsey Raises Much Needed Funds for Mercy Ministries!

Amazing Donation from The Ramsey Family Foundation
We see miracles of transformation every day at Mercy, but we also get to see God’s miraculous provision when we receive donations just at the very time we need them to pay our bills. Today, that miracle came from amazing longtime Mercy Ministries supporters, Dave Ramsey and The Ramsey Family Foundation.

Dave Ramsey, a popular radio personality and New York Times Best Selling author of The Total Money Makeover, motivated his employees who recently participated in the Country Music Marathon by offering to donate to Mercy on their behalf. He gave $500 for anyone who finished the half marathon in under three hours and $1000 for anyone who finished in under two! They did an amazing job and raised a total of $23,000 for Mercy!!!

Dave’s daughter Denise is the Director of The Ramsey Family Foundation, and she stopped by our corporate offices today to deliver the check! Having worked in the Intake Department at Mercy Ministries for almost three years, Denise knows firsthand how many calls for help we get each month and the financial resources required to help these hurting young women. We are so moved by the efforts of those who ran and the incredible generosity of the Ramsey family. Check out this awesome video of Team Ramsey running in the Country Music Marathon:


Dave Ramsey's Team Runs Country Music Marathon 2011 For Mercy Ministries from Cam Cornelius on Vimeo.

While the program is always free of charge to the young women who come to Mercy for help, Mercy Ministries takes no government funding that might interfere with the ability to share Christ. We rely solely on the financial support of businesses, churches and individuals to help us bring hope and healing to the young women we serve. At times like this, we are reminded that no matter how great our need, God is our provider and He always faithful to sustain us in the most amazing ways.

Mercy Ministries would like to thank the Ramsey’s for this amazing financial gift. 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, visit his website at www.daveramsey.com.

For more amazing stories of God’s provision for Mercy Ministries, check out How to Bring Increase by Nancy Alcorn, Founder and President of Mercy Ministries. You can order your copy today by clicking here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Monroe Residents Have a Day to Remember!!

Last week, the girls from the Monroe home grabbed their sunscreen and swimsuits and headed to Lake Griffin with In His Wakes Ministries for a day of facing fears, trying new things and having fun. In His Wakes has made it a priority over the past few years, to impact the lives of the Mercy girls at the Monroe, LA home by hosting an annual “Day to Remember.”

In His Wakes is a ministry that uses water sports to share the love and hope of Christ. The residents participated in various activities designed to challenge both their physical and emotional limits such as swimming, knee boarding, water skiing and tubing. What a great way to show the girls how to leave their fear, pride and insecurities “on the dock and take to the waters of life with Christ and experience His hope, victory and purpose!”

The girls cheered each other on as they stepped out of their comfort zones and conquered their fears! After a morning of fun and excitement on the water, the residents had lunch by the lake and spent the afternoon with a time of praise and worship and sharing what they learned from the experience. Check out this video of their fun day on the lake:



Thank you, to all the staff from In His Wakes Ministries for faithfully partnering with Mercy Ministries. We always look forward to having a blast under the sun and on the water with your team.

To learn more about this unique ministry, check out their website at http://www.inhiswakes.com/.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mercy Supporters Host Fundraiser in Shreveport, Louisiana!

Mercy supporters, Wayne and Kim Moore, with Nancy Alcorn
It is an incredible blessing when our supporters want to share their passion for Mercy Ministries with their friends, colleagues and community. Wayne and Kim Moore are faithful supporters through our “Sponsor a Girl” program, and last night they generously opened their gorgeous home for a private event to benefit Mercy Ministries. More than 70 people came to “Mercy in the Evening” to learn more about the lives being changed at Mercy Ministries.

After enjoying some delicious hors d'oeuvres, everyone took their seats to hear Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, cast the vision of Mercy Ministries.

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn
Recent Monroe graduate, Malorie, shared her story of growing up under the magnifying glass of being a pastor’s daughter, while struggling with self-harm and other life-controlling issues. She is now completely healed and free, finishing college, mentoring other girls and looking forward to pursuing a music career. Malorie is a talented songwriter and sang two songs for the attendees.

Monroe graduate, Malorie
Current resident, Hannah, also shared her incredible story of finding freedom from addiction and the pain of sexual abuse. Hannah will graduate from the Mercy program in a couple of weeks and is looking forward to finishing her degree in fashion design.

Monroe resident, Hannah
 We are so grateful to Wayne and Kim for hosting this wonderful event and to Central Oil & Supply for sponsoring the event. Thanks also to Mercy Ministries Board Member, Susan Cordell, and Monroe Community Board Members, Dee Ledbetter and Richard and Judy Moore, for their dedication and support. Here are some more photos from last night’s memorable event:




Nancy with Malorie and Hannah

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pastor Penny Maxwell Keeps it Real!!!

Pastor Penny Maxwell
“The worst situation will get the biggest solution from God,” said special guest speaker, Pastor Penny Maxwell. We were so honored to have Penny visit the Nashville home yesterday and share her empowering message of overcoming past abuse. Her open and honest approach really ministered to the girls and they appreciated her transparent answers to their questions. Here’s what some of them had to say about Penny’s message:

I really enjoyed her teaching. I loved her example of how God has something better for us than we can even imagine. God did that for me when I was praying about placing my son for adoption. I wanted him to be in a family that already had kids. God gave me a family with 7! - Hannah


I thought Penny’s message was a great reminder of just how big God is. When we have something in mind that seems great, God has something even bigger and better for us that we can’t even imagine. We can’t put God in a box or reduce Him to a situation, because He has so much more for our lives if we trust Him. - Becca


This message reminded me that I am loved by the Lord all the time, even when I don’t feel it. God is so much bigger than anorexia. He does have a plan for my life. - Abbey


This teaching was absolutely amazing! I loved how real and honest Penny was; it was a lot more powerful than someone just giving a generic religious or spiritual answer. - Amanda


What impacted me most was her testimony. She encouraged us to look toward our futures, not at our pain. God wants better for us than we want for ourselves. This was so inspiring for me to hear right now in this season of life. I will not forget Penny’s story. - Monica



Here is what Penny had to say about visiting our Nashville home:

“The whole experience was overwhelming on so many levels! I could see from the amazing facilities that Mercy is committed to excellence—and then I met the girls. They are so smart and so beautiful, and they had deep, heart-connecting questions for me. I was honored to spend time with them, hug them and pray with them. Their stories resonated with me, and I felt overwhelmed by their pain. But at the same time, I felt elation and joy, because I know that through Mercy Ministries, those girls are experiencing the answer that their hearts have cried out for.” - Penny Maxwell

Penny and her husband, Troy, are the co-pastors of Freedom House Church in Charlotte, NC and personal friends of Mercy Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn. Penny is also in the process of writing a book about how God healed and transformed her life. The Maxwells and Freedom House Church have been amazing supporters of Mercy Ministries and we are so grateful for their partnership. We look forward to a future home in Charlotte, NC!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nancy Alcorn on Joyce Meyer's Enjoying Everyday Life This Friday!

Nancy Alcorn with Joyce Meyer
Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, recently spoke with her good friend and loyal Mercy supporter, Joyce Meyer, on Enjoying Everyday Life, Joyce’s long-running television show. The program will air this Friday, May 13th, on TBN at 8:30am EST. Often our residents tell us that they first heard about Mercy Ministries on one of Joyce Meyer’s programs.

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. Her book, “Battlefield of the Mind,” is a standard part of the program for all Mercy residents, and many of her other teachings and resources are available to the girls as well.

The topic of this Friday’s show is “Restoring Broken Lives,” something Nancy has witnessed time and time again at Mercy Ministries. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear her share the personal testimonies of many young women who have had their lives transformed and their hope restored through the love of Christ, while at Mercy.

Nancy is also looking forward to being a special guest speaker at Joyce Meyer’s “Love Life” Women’s Conference in St. Louis, MO on September 15 – 17, 2011. To register for this awesome life-changing conference, click here.



We are so grateful to Joyce and her husband, Dave, who were instrumental in opening our St. Louis Mercy home in 2005 by donating the property and funding the renovations on the house. They have continued to be generous monthly partners of Mercy Ministries over the years as well as helping spread awareness of the devastating issues young women in our country are facing.

Be sure and check it out this Friday on TBN. Click here for your local listing.  If you miss the show on Friday, you can watch it online anytime by clicking here:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seven More Amazing Young Women Set Free!!!

Through God’s unconditional love, the hurting young women who come to Mercy Ministries are able to find the healing and freedom they have sought for so long. Many of our recent graduates went from one treatment facility to another, spending thousands of dollars, only to find a temporary solution. While at Mercy, our seven recent graduates were finally set free, and now they have hopes and dreams for the future. Two of them are even getting married in the next few months! Here are the incredible stories of how their lives were transformed and their hope restored:


Monroe

Jenn

I grew up distant from God, without any solid foundation in the Lord. As a little girl, I attended church, but it was an obligation that never brought any real meaning to my life. I grew up feeling rejected, and the pursuit of perfection controlled my life. I felt as though the bar was constantly being raised, and I was a total failure. Drugs, eating disorders, self-harm, sex, abuse, lies, depression, suicide attempts and an unplanned pregnancy were all the result of my attempts to fill the hole in my life that only God could fill. I went to the leading treatment facilities and all of them failed to offer lasting change. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on what turned out to be a temporary bandage. I was convinced that God had given up on me. Death seemed imminent. But then God introduced me to Mercy Ministries through a family friend, and I decided to apply.

Mercy has been the “suddenly” that saved my life. When I walked through the doors, I felt an immediate sense of hope. Slowly, I began to believe that the Lord’s promises actually applied to me. God’s Word has become my fuel and is the source from which I daily renew my mind. I have confidence in myself through Christ, and now I am capable of being the mom God has called me to be. I am free; it is finished!

After graduating from Mercy, I am moving back to Florida. I will work in medical sales and wholeheartedly serve the Lord. In God’s timing, I hope to marry a wonderful man of God.

Anna

As a child, I was abused and rejected. I turned to drugs, an eating disorder and self-harm to cope with the pain. I knew if I did not get help, I would either commit suicide or die of a drug overdose because I was so depressed. I heard about Mercy from my aunt and decided to apply.

Since I came to Mercy, God has given me a second chance at life! I have learned that I am a child of God who has been cleansed and forgiven. No matter what happens I will always have God on my side. He is all I need. I am so happy and can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

After graduation, I would like to go to college and major in psychology. I would like to be a counselor and help people overcome their issues. I also want to thank all the counselors and staff at Mercy for showing me what it means to be a true Christian, and how to live and experience true freedom!



St. Louis


Terrie

 My life before Mercy was hopeless. I didn’t have God in my life, and I had no hope for a future. I grew up in a chaotic environment with foster children who sexually abused me. I developed an eating disorder when I was 18 and was in and out of treatment centers until I was 25. I was constantly anxious, depressed, and didn’t want to live anymore. I wanted help but had no insurance. I searched Google for “free residential treatment” and found Mercy. I learned that Mercy is a free program with an incredible success rate, and they teach you how to know God. I knew He was the only one who could help me, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God set me free from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. God has shown me who He is and who I am in Him. He has helped me to love myself again. I learned that God is gracious and merciful, and His love for me is unconditional.

God has great plans for me after graduation. I’m so excited to be getting married this summer, and I plan to go back to school in the fall to finish up my degree in nutrition.


Juli

Before Mercy, my life was filled with darkness, and I had no desire to live. I struggled with depression, even in elementary school. I also struggled with bulimia, self-harm and drug abuse. I tried multiple times to end my life and was out of control. I was always trying to fill this empty hole I felt inside of me. I was in and out of other facilities from the age of 14 and never got better. I heard about Mercy from a graduate and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God completely has given me a reason to live. I learned that my life has purpose, and I was made for a reason. I know now that the Holy Spirit will help me push past my fear. I realized that because God lives in me, I can overcome anything.

After graduation, I plan to enroll in a ministry training school. I want to help people who are hurting and learn more of God’s Word.


Jessica

 Before coming to Mercy, I was struggling with depression and an eating disorder. I had been sexually abused and also lost a close family member. I felt my life was falling apart and I had to make a drastic change or I was going to die. I found Mercy Ministries online and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God completely turned my life around. I came to a house full of strangers and was nervous, but I knew I wanted to be in God’s will. I wanted to know His purpose for me. I have experienced so much joy and peace from this experience. I didn’t know that I could have a personal relationship with God. I felt like He was so far away. Now I know that I’m never alone, and God always has me in His hands no matter what.

After graduation, I plan to go wherever God leads me. I want to fulfill God’s purpose for me. This place is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.


Joyce

 Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy, self-hatred, unworthiness and insecurity. I struggled with self-harm and addiction to drugs and alcohol. I was trapped in a cycle of addiction, always trying to feel better at any cost. I was depressed and felt like I was dead inside. I had lost everything. I heard about Mercy from my mother and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I feel like God opened the windows of heaven just for me. He taught me that I do not have to lie down and just let life happen to me, I have a choice. When I put my trust in Him, it’s all good.

After graduation, I plan to get a job in my field of study, psychology and counseling. I also plan to attend Bible College.


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of you and the courage that you’ve shown. It is so exciting to see your newfound hope for the future as you move forward! We know God has amazing plans for you!  

To our donors - check out this special "thank you" from the parents of one of our graduates.