Thursday, June 30, 2011

Purchase Our New LEATHER EndSexTrafficking.com Wristbands And Make A Difference!

You can help us end sex trafficking one victim at a time, make a statement and proudly show your support by purchasing our leather wristbands. Join the fight against sex trafficking by contributing $8 or more and receive a high quality, genuine leather wristband with adjustable silver snaps. The number eight signifies new beginnings, and when you contribute $8 or more, you will directly help victims of sex trafficking here in the U.S. get a new beginning, full restoration and hope for the future! Also, any donation you give beyond $8 will be tax deductible.
These popular wristbands are going fast, so spread the word to your friends and family through twitter and Facebook! Click below to purchase your very own End Sex Trafficking wristband!



Conference Call
If you want to learn even more about what you can do to help us end sex trafficking one victim at a time, join us for a free 30-minute conference call on Thursday, July 21 at 11:30 AM EST. We will be launching a new End Sex Trafficking initiative that includes our Freedom Teams. If you would like to be a part of a Freedom Team, go to www.endsextrafficking.com. For more information and to RSVP for the conference call, email kmontgomery@mercyministries.com.


In The News This Week - Innocence Lost
By J.D. Sumner, government reporter
Southwest Georgia is contributing to Atlanta’s child sex obsession. J.D. Sumner, government reporter

ALBANY, Ga. -- In Southwest Georgia, law enforcement officials say that there is a growing demand for child prostitution. A hunger that is being sated more frequently through the use of Internet websites and chat rooms.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards and his staff of prosecutors see firsthand the evil that exists on street corners throughout Dougherty County. And he says that there is growing evidence to show that a child sex trafficking problem usually associated with the urban landscape of Atlanta is finding demand for its seedy services in the communities that dot rural Georgia.

“There was a study done that showed that 7,200 men in Georgia each month were buying sex from persons online,” Edwards said. “Of those, 47 percent were willing to pay for sex with a child. That’s a sobering statistic.” According to the Governor’s Office of Children and Families, a 2010 study done by the Schapiro Group called “Adolescent Girls in Georgia’s Sex Trade: Tracking Study Results, Atlanta, Ga.,” 373 teenage girls were actively in the sex trade in Georgia in May 2010. The vast majority of those — 302 — were active online. The study suggests 33 were active in escort services, 31 in street activity and seven were working in major hotels.

Edwards says that the growing trend is for men in rural areas like Southwest Georgia to go online to use ad websites like Backpage to “order” prostitutes or to learn the locations of meeting places, brothels or massage parlors.

READ MORE…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Beatles, The Bible, and Ken Mansfield’s Amazing Journey to Faith

Ken Mansfield
Only a handful of people in the world can say they were a trusted companion of the Beatles. Yesterday, our Nashville residents and staff had the privilege of hearing from Mercy supporter, Ken Mansfield, a Grammy Award-winning record producer and the former U.S. Manager of the Beatles’ corporation, Apple Records.

Ken spoke about his close personal relationship with The Beatles, his journey out of new age religion and gurus and how he came to know Christ as his Savior. Ken spoke about his rise to fame and fortune and how even when he had everything he could possibly want in the material world, he still felt empty. In the 1980’s, Ken’s career declined into bankruptcy and desperation, and in 1984, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee a broken man. But as Ken put it, “When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something,” and it was clear that God was up to something amazing.

Shortly after moving to Nashville, Ken met his beautiful wife, Connie, a long-time friend of Mercy Ministries’ Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn. Connie’s love for Jesus and her unwavering faith was what eventually attracted Ken to Christ. Connie celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday, and we were honored she chose to share her special day with us. The girls were excited to surprise Connie with a beautiful cake they prepared especially for her.


Connie celebrates her 60th with the Mercy girls!

Connie and Ken now live in California, and in 2000, Ken established a literary career with his highly acclaimed book The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay, the only book ever to be approved by the Beatles. He has since written two more books about his life, The White Book – The Beatles, the Bands, the Biz: An Insider’s Look at an Era and Between Wyomings. Today Ken is a highly sought after public speaker and appears at churches and colleges across the nation.

Nancy with Ken and Connie Mansfield
 We are so grateful to Ken and Connie for taking the time to share their incredible story with our staff and residents! Ken and Connie are also generous monthly partners with Mercy Ministries, and Ken gives a percentage of the sales of all of his books to the work of Mercy Ministries. For more information about Ken Mansfield and his ministry, check out www.kmansfield.com.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nancy Goes to Prison…to Speak, Check it Out Tomorrow on TV!!!

Tune in tomorrow and hear Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, as she goes back to her roots in ministry, speaking to hundreds of female inmates in prison. Nancy recently ministered alongside Mike and DeAnne Barber of Pro-Claim Ministries as they worshipped together and shared the gospel message with women in four different Texas prisons. You can hear this powerful message of hope and healing tomorrow on their show, PRO-Claim – Liberty to the Captives, on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) at 12:30pm EST. Click here to find your local listing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Five More Mercy Graduates Transformed and Free!!!

Each day at Mercy Ministries, we witness the power of God’s unconditional love transforming young women’s lives. Their struggles and their transformations then become God’s message of hope to other hurting people. It is incredible to see these courageous young women graduate from the program and then impact the world. Here are the stories of five more amazing girls who have experienced the true freedom and joy that comes from having a relationship with Christ:


Lincoln


Christen

From a young age, I never believed I had any value. I never knew my biological dad, so I always felt like an outsider in my family. I was teased by other kids at school and was left feeling uncomfortable, empty and alone. When I lost weight during a growth spurt, I received positive attention, so I started using anorexia, bulimia and laxative abuse as a way to feel control over my life. I also began a very promiscuous lifestyle and used alcohol to escape reality. My life was completely out of control when I heard about Mercy from a friend, and so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God set me free! I have learned that every choice I make matters, and the more I surrender control of my life to God, the more self-control He enables me with. I have learned that I can’t always control my circumstances, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can control the way I respond to every situation.

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in health and nutrition. I have a heart for young women and would love to encourage them to embrace who God created them to be. He is so very faithful! Thanks to God working through the Mercy staff, I have been given a new life, and I can’t wait to live it!


Ellen

Before Mercy, my life was hell. I was sexually, verbally and emotionally abused. I struggled with depression, and when my brother died, I began self-harming in order to cope. I also became very promiscuous as a way of escaping my pain. I knew I needed help and found Mercy on the internet. For the first time, I felt hope that I could change and have a new life in Christ.

While at Mercy, God has given me a new heart and life. I have dreams again and a relationship with Him like never before. I don’t have to be ashamed of the past. I’m pure and blameless in Christ, completely loved and whole. Mercy Ministries is amazing!

After graduation, I plan to become a worship leader. In the future, I would like to be a missionary in Israel. I am also interested in one day starting a ministry that rescues girls out of the pornography industry.


Ellie

Before coming to Mercy, I was constantly trying to fill myself with things that never satisfied. I suffered physical and sexual abuse and believed lies about myself as a result. I felt condemned and struggled with depression and self-harm, because I hated myself so much. People around me were pouring truth into me, but I couldn’t accept it because I didn’t have a firm foundation in Christ. Everyday life was extremely exhausting for me. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that I am loved and accepted. I can see an actual difference in my life when I meditate on and speak God’s Word. I no longer live my life based on my emotions. I also now have the ability to set boundaries.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get a degree in business. I also want to go on mission trips to Mexico and one day build an orphanage there.


Monroe


Erin

I was sexually molested as a child and found it very hard to trust people as a result. I felt very unhappy but would always put on a happy face in front of others. I hid my emotions, buried my problems and began self-harming by pulling my hair out to relieve the stress. I heard about Mercy from a friend and wanted to grow closer to God as well as get healing, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned who I am in Christ and that my past doesn’t determine my future. I now have tools for healing so I can overcome and not self-harm during hard times. I have grown closer to God, become bolder in my faith and have grown closer to my family.

After graduation, I want to pursue a career in graphic design and would also like to pursue further education. I look forward to continued restoration in my family and rebuilding trust. I am so glad I came to Mercy!


Shayla

Before coming to Mercy, I was really depressed. The memories of sexual abuse were too much for me to handle. Dealing with the nightmares, memories and flashbacks was too much to handle. I would sleep or just lie in the bed all day. That was my life. I didn’t know what to do with the memories, so I started binge eating and self-harming to cope with the pain. None of it was working, and I became suicidal. I couldn’t go through another year of so much emotional pain. I heard about Mercy from my mother, and I knew I needed God’s help, so I decided to apply.

God has done so much for me while at Mercy. He has restored my relationship with my mom and dad and has even put love in my heart for the people who have hurt me the most. I have learned to trust God with everything. I don’t have to be in control. I now believe that Jesus loves me unconditionally, and nothing is going to change that. To know and believe that is incredible. Since being here, God has freed me from cutting, depression and anxiety. He made me into a new creation…a new person. He has given me a whole new life.

After graduation, I look forward to reconnecting with my family. I also plan to go to college to become a paramedic! Thank you to everyone at Mercy for loving me and supporting me through this time!


Congratulations ladies! We are so excited to see you graduate from Mercy with such a passion for life. God will use your stories of transformation and healing to help so many others who want to walk in freedom! We are so proud of you.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Check Out the Amazing Things Going on at Mercy Ministries Around the Country!!!

It has been an incredible week for Mercy Ministries residents, staff and supporters across the country. There have been so many exciting things going on and the message of Mercy is multiplying! To start things off last Saturday night, Mercy Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, attended Jeff Fisher’s Celebrity Softball Game along with the Nashville staff and girls. For the past 10 years, the Jeff Fisher and Friends Charity Softball Game has been a highlight for the staff and residents and has raised funds for Mercy Ministries as well as several other worthy organizations. This year’s event was the “Final Farewell,” and we were so excited to show our support for Coach Fisher, while cheering on some of our favorite Tennessee Titans players as they competed on the softball field. Check out the pictures from this special night…



The Nashville residents also enjoyed a powerful time of ministry during a special private concert with Higher Ground this week. Eddie Combs, Wayne Hilliard, and Rodney Jordan had a huge impact on the girls and staff through their anointed singing and teaching. Here’s what some of the girls had to say about how they were impacted by this awesome time of worship:

This was such an inspiring message. I was so touched by the power of God and the anointing that filled the room. It was so inspiring to hear how much Jesus loves me. - Monica

Their love for the Lord penetrated our hearts to the point where we wanted more of God no matter what it took. He is the only one truly deserving of our worship. – Allie

I felt so free during the service. I was clinging to the truth and life that they were singing about. I loved Rodney’s testimony. It encouraged me to fight for what God is trying to birth in me. I was inspired. - Dani



Eddie, Nancy, Wayne and Rodney

At the St. Louis home, staff and residents were excited to host 33 people from their community for a Friends of Mercy Luncheon. Everyone was so moved by the amazing stories of transformation and healing shared by current residents Kayla and Niki, who will graduate next week. Riisa Renee, author of “Breaking the Silence,” and Community Board Member, Victoria McCarter, both shared about how giving to Mercy Ministries literally makes the difference between life and death.

Residents Kayla and Niki


Meanwhile, at the California home, the girls prepared a delicious meal for 50 people from the Sacramento community who came to hear more about the work being done at Mercy Ministries. 2010 graduate, Beth, was there to share her incredible testimony of freedom with our guests. Beth had been abused in every way possible and was self-harming to deal with her pain. It has now been a year since Beth graduated from Mercy, and she is now experiencing the freedom and abundant life she never dreamed was possible!






Our special thanks to MEDELECT – Practice Management Solutions for sponsoring this event.

We are so thankful for all who have faithfully supported Mercy Ministries throughout the years and are committed to spreading the vision of Mercy to others. If you would like to know more about how you can help hurting young women have their lives transformed and their hope restored, go to www.mercyministries.com and click on “How to Help.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Purchase Our New LEATHER EndSexTrafficking.com Wristbands And Make A Difference!

You can help us end sex trafficking one victim at a time, make a statement and proudly show your support by purchasing our leather wristbands. Join the fight against sex trafficking by contributing $8 or more and receive a high quality, genuine leather wristband with adjustable silver snaps. The number eight signifies new beginnings, and when you contribute $8 or more, you will directly help victims of sex trafficking here in the U.S. get a new beginning, full restoration and hope for the future! Also, any donation you give beyond $8 will be tax deductible.
 
Sex Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the United States and is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years. We need leaders to step up, be official advocates and help save lives. Young women brutalized by this horrific crime right here in our own backyards are graduating from Mercy Ministries completely healed and transformed through the unconditional love of Christ.

Spread the word to your friends and family through twitter and Facebook so they can join the movement too! Get your EndSexTrafficking.com leather wristbands today, show your support and help these amazing young women get a new beginning! Together, we can end sex trafficking one victim at a time!

Click here and purchase leather bands for you and all your friends!


If you would like to read more about how Mercy Ministries is helping victims of sex trafficking, read Priscilla's story of freedom here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friends of Mercy Ministries Show Support in Louisiana!

The dining room of the beautiful Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, Louisiana was filled with excitement as 130 guests came to hear about the work being done at Mercy Ministries. Community Board Member, Terri Trichel welcomed everyone, and Mercy National Board Member Susan Cordell opened the luncheon in prayer. Guests enjoyed an amazing meal while Director of Development, Whitney Cantrell, shared how hurting young women are having their lives transformed and their hope restored at Mercy Ministries.

Whitney Cantrell (left) with Susan Cordell
Crystal, a 2005 graduate then shared about how Mercy helped her overcome a chaotic, abusive childhood and find freedom from an eight-year battle with an eating disorder, self-harm, depression and prescription drug abuse. Crystal is an amazing example of life transformation. After graduating from Mercy, she graduated from college with a degree in nutrition, and she now serves on the Mercy Ministries staff in Monroe as the Nutrition and Fitness Director. Doctors had told Crystal she would never be able to have children, so she was thrilled to share that she and her husband recently had a beautiful baby girl, Macie Grace!

Guests also heard the compelling story of transformation from recent Monroe graduate, Malorie, who grew 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.
Mercy Graduates Malorie and Crystal
Mercy Graduate Malorie
We are so grateful for those who have faithfully supported Mercy Ministries throughout the years as well as our new friends who embrace the vision and make a commitment give. Your support is essential to seeing the lives of hurting women transformed and restored! We would like to thank James and Dianne Davison for hosting this wonderful event and our Patron Sponsor, O’Nealgas. Special thanks also go to Community Board Member, Stanley Dupuy, Lincoln Flooring and Acoustical and all our partners and table sponsors. Here are some more photos from this memorable event:

Community Board Member, Stanley Dupuy
Whitney Cantrell, Host Dianne Davison, and Community Board Member, Terri Trichel

Monday, June 20, 2011

From Death to Life – 23 Mercy Ministries Residents Demonstrate New Life Through Baptism!

There is no greater joy than to see young women who have carried pain, shame, guilt and condemnation for years decide to choose life and freedom! Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “This day I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life that you and your seed may live.” Last Friday, June 17th, 23 of our Nashville residents were excited to demonstrate, through water baptism, that they are leaving the past behind and choosing to live for Christ.

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, was so honored to stand with, pray over, and baptize each girl as they testified to transformation and healing and their desire to start fresh. Just as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!” Here’s what some of the girls had to say about what baptism means to them:

This was such an amazing experience and something that I will remember for the rest of my life. - Becca


Being baptized was a really amazing experience. It really signified a lot to me, and it was great seeing my sisters get baptized. - Ashley


This was definitely a day to remember. I’m never going back to the way things were before. - Amanda


The baptism was such a special day for me. Rededicating my life to God through baptism was a beautiful way to continue in my new relationship with Him. - Chelsey


This day was so awesome for me because I got to show that I have buried my old self and have a new way of living now. - Ashley


Since 1983, Mercy Ministries’ free-of-charge, voluntary Christian residential program has served a diverse population of young women from various socio-economic backgrounds, ages 13-28, who have been physically and sexually abused, including victims of sex trafficking, as well as those who face life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. If you need help or would like more information about how you can get involved with Mercy Ministries, please visit www.MercyMinistries.com.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Surprise Visit From Three Of My Very Favorites!

I was sitting in my office yesterday getting some work done when three of my favorite people in the whole wide world came to visit me. I guess you could say they are my adopted grandchildren…let me explain.

It was my privilege to meet these three very special people when they first came into the world in 1991. The reason I say that is because Mercy Ministries had the blessing of working with all three of their birthmothers – two of which chose adoption and one who chose to parent. In 1992, these three, along with another one of our Mercy adopted babies, joined me for a very special photo shoot. We had just bought the property in Nashville and we didn’t have any buildings on it, but we were believing God for that to happen. They sat on the ground with me on a blanket and took what we referred to often as our “faith picture,” because their lives served as a symbol of the many lives that would be saved in the years to come as Mercy Ministries would build a home and international office building on this very property.

From left to right, Merri, Me, Rachel, and Parker
Yesterday, three of the four came to see me and we actually did a reenactment of the picture that we took years ago. IT WAS SO FUN!!! We laughed together and had so much joy reminiscing about what God has done and continues to do in all of their lives. I have to admit this much – I love it that they love me and choose to stay connected and in touch!!! Thought you would enjoy the original photo made in 1992 and the one we made yesterday. I love these three – check out these pictures! SO PROUD OF MY GRANDBABIES!

Written by Nancy Alcorn

Three More Amazing Graduates Beat the Odds and Walk in Freedom!

“Less than a year ago, psychiatrists told me I was gravely disabled and at risk of dying from anorexia. Today I walk in freedom, knowing God is so much bigger,” said Sarah. Last week at the California home, Sarah and two other amazing young women, Ashley and Kristen, celebrated their graduation from Mercy Ministries. These young women were struggling through every day of their lives bound by life-threatening eating disorders. While at Mercy, they learned to walk in the freedom Christ died for them to have, and they are excited for the amazing plans God has for their lives! Here are their incredible stories of restoration and healing:


Sarah

When I was younger, I was sexually abused and as a result, I struggled with perfectionism, fear of abandonment, anger and resentment. I developed an eating disorder and struggled with self-harm, depression and suicidal thoughts. If I wasn’t in the hospital or a treatment center, I was in appointments all week with doctors, psychiatrists, therapists and dieticians. I heard about Mercy at a Girls of Grace Conference a year earlier, and when my family reminded me about them, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God gave me a peace that I haven’t had since I was a little girl. My identity is no longer in an eating disorder, it is in Christ. I don’t have to live with my struggles for the rest of my life because God has liberated me and made me whole! Less than a year ago, psychiatrists told me I was gravely disabled and at risk of dying from anorexia. Today, I walk in freedom knowing God is so much bigger.

After graduation from Mercy, I plan to finish my degree in psychology, lead a group of high school girls at my church and take as many short-term missions trips as I can to a children’s home in Mexico.


Ashley

As a child, I felt abandoned, rejected, worthless and disgusting. My dad died when I was very young, and my mother and sister were too busy for me. I was made fun of at school, and by the age of six, my addictive patterns took root. I struggled with an eating disorder and lived every day of my life trying to stuff down the unbearable emotional and psychological pain. I also struggled with depression, and when I wasn’t eating and throwing up, I was sleeping. I tried 10 years of secular treatment and lots of medications. One of the treatment centers I called referred me to Mercy, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I found freedom from my issues. Though I live in a fallen world, He lives in me, and He has overcome the world! I am a treasured warrior Princess of the Most High God, and He has given me a spirit of power, love and self-control.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and pursue art. I want to use the gifts that God has given me to start an art ministry. I also plan to work and save money to go on a mission trip. Most importantly, I plan to live every day serving the Lord. I am so grateful for the life He has given me.


Kristen

My mother and grandmother both struggled with eating disorders and depression. All three of my older sisters battled eating disorders as well, and I learned the same behaviors. I felt a lot of pressure to appear perfect, and I dealt with the cruelty of my peers teasing me about my body. I never felt worthy to have a boyfriend, so when I got one, I put way too much pressure on myself to be thin. I exercised excessively and struggled with bulimia. When my boyfriend broke up with me, the depression and bulimia escalated. I knew I needed help, and when a friend told me about Mercy, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I was blown away by how God showed Himself to me through worship, speakers and His Word. His truths are powerful. I actually believe what God says about me now and believe His promises for my life. I trust Him with everything, and that’s an amazing feeling.

After graduation, I plan to work as a dental hygienist and do volunteer work at my church. I would like to eventually do mission work in Kenya. I am so extremely grateful to have come to Mercy and learn the tools I needed to overcome the enemy. God is so good!



Congratulations Sarah, Ashley and Kristen! We celebrate with you, and we are so proud of you!!! God has huge blessings in store for you, and we know He will use you in amazing ways.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

100 Holes Of Golf, 27 Miles Up And Down Hills…Compassion In Action!!!


Pastor John Burns
The Bible clearly tells us to provoke one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). I can’t help but think that is exactly what John Burns did Monday as he completed what even professional golfers say is virtually impossible. By the time the sun came up Monday morning, John Burns was on the golf course beginning the first of what was to be 100 total holes of golf, completing hole number 100 approximately 11 hours later. For those of you who do not fully understand what 100 holes of golf looks like, please understand that this means John covered 27 miles up and down hills as he completed this amazing feat. Why would John do such a thing? Let me explain…
 
It has been over eight years since I met John and Helen Burns, Pastors of Relate Church in the Vancouver, Canada area. I was blown away by their love and who they are, and totally blessed when we both realized God had brought us together for His purposes to bring Mercy Ministries to Canada.

27 miles up and down hills --
compassion in action!
Now, eight years later, the first Canada home is up and running and filled with young women who came desperate for help. Many of these young women have been used and abused for years at the hands of many men who should have been their protectors. That is why it blessed the girls so much to see a man of God who has become a champion for the healing and restoration of their broken lives.

I really do not think I can improve on the story that Canada posted, so let me share that link with you, and remember that it is not too late for you to go online and sponsor John (http://bit.ly/lGMged) to make this an over and above sacrifice enabling Mercy Canada to continue taking in young women free of charge.

Perhaps like John, you would like to find a creative way to raise money for Mercy Ministries in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, or wherever you may live. Pray and ask God what He would have you to do to make a difference in the lives of others. Let’s provoke one another to love and good deeds just like the Bible says!

Written by Nancy Alcorn

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mercy Girls to Join “Jeff Fisher & Friends” This Saturday for Final Farewell

Mercy girls at last year's game
For the past 10 years, the Jeff Fisher & Friends Charity Softball Game has been a highlight for Mercy Ministries’ staff and residents. This event has raised funds for Mercy Ministries as well as several other local charities. This Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m., our Nashville residents and staff will join thousands of fans at Greer Stadium for the “Final Farewell.” We are so excited to show our support for Coach Jeff Fisher while cheering on some of our favorite Tennessee Titans players as they compete on the softball field.

At this year’s charity softball game, Coach Fisher will be joined by NFL greats such as Kerry Collins, Chris Simms, Eddie George, Blaine Bishop, Chris Sanders, and Kevin Dyson. Predators Assistant Coach, Brent Peterson; Predators Play-by-play announcer, Pete Webber; and Contemporary Christian Singer, Michael W. Smith will also be taking the field.


Nancy Alcorn and Jeff Fisher
Coach Jeff Fisher is a great personal friend of Mercy Ministries Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, who is an avid sports fan and Titans supporter. Coach Fisher and his family are longtime supporters of Mercy, personally donating to Mercy each time the Titans brought home a victory. The break room at Mercy Ministries’ corporate office is dedicated to the Titans and their years of success under Head Coach Jeff Fisher and is filled with photos and memorabilia. Check out these photos of the break room and some of our favorite times with Coach Fisher:






Nancy was honored to be interviewed by Nashville’s NBC affiliate, WSMV, about Coach Fisher’s decision to end his run with the Tennessee Titans football franchise. She said of his decision, “He deserves a rest. He works harder than just about anybody I know.” Click here to read more.

Be sure to check out the game this weekend! Come show your support and enjoy an incredible night of family fun! Bridgestone and Best One will host a dazzling fireworks display and early arrivals can enjoy the Nashville Sounds Fun Zone. Tickets are $10.00 for General Admission and $15.00 for Reserved Seats. Admission for children ages 12 and under is $6.00. Tickets are on sale now through the Nashville Sounds ticket office by calling at 615/690-HITS or online at http://www.nashvillesounds.com/. The gates open at 5:30 p.m. and parking is $3.00. For a complete list of players and more event information, please go to http://www.teamstrategies.net/ or call 615-321-4073.

We are excited for this new chapter in Coach Fisher’s life and look forward to all God has in store for this amazing coach and friend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tennessee Lawmakers Crack Down on Sex Trafficking While Mercy Ministries Helps Restore Victims!

Across the state of Tennessee, the horrific crime of sex trafficking is growing at a rate that even police find "shocking." This is according to a study of cases from last year by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt Center for Community Studies in which four counties -- Shelby, Davidson, Coffee and Knox -- reported more than 100 cases of sex trafficking involving minors. The average age of entry into sex trafficking is 13, with pimps recruiting their victims by various means, such as bringing in children from other countries, picking up runaways and victimizing those in foster care.

In response to these findings, lawmakers unanimously passed a series of bills to protect victims of sex trafficking and crack down on those who exploit them. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the bills Tuesday.

CLICK HERE to read Beth Warren’s recent article in the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, detailing Tennessee’s multi-pronged approach.

It is such an encouragement to see Tennessee lawmakers taking a stand to protect sex trafficking victims and punish their perpetrators. Mercy Ministries has been helping victims of sex trafficking for years, and we continue to receive more and more calls for help. Studies show that rescue falls short without a comprehensive residential program where victims can be cared for in a safe environment. This puts Mercy Ministries in the unique position of being one of the few programs of its kind.

Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato
Mercy Ministries Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato, spoke last weekend at the “Trafficking In America Conference” in Nashville, TN about the work being done at Mercy Ministries. She shared the incredible stories of Mercy graduates who were enslaved in sex trafficking, but now have true restoration and freedom in Christ.

By supporting Mercy, you provide a safe place to live, Biblical counseling, life-skills training and transitional care for victims of sex trafficking. You also help us give them a voice, so America will know the truth about this horrific crime. While awareness is important, it is the love of Christ that will truly transform the lives of these victims. To find out how you can partner with us to bring hope and healing to these hurting young women, click here.


Conference Call

Please join us for a free 30-minute conference call on Thursday, July 21 at 11:30 AM EST. We will be launching a new End Sex Trafficking initiative that includes our Freedom Teams. If you would like to be a part of a Freedom Team, go to www.endsextrafficking.com. For more information and to RSVP for the conference call, email kmontgomery@mercyministries.com.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nashville Celebrates Freedom with Three More Amazing Graduates!

After years of believing they could never be completely free from eating disorders, paralyzing fear and other life-controlling issues, three amazing young women had their lives completely transformed! Last week, friends and family gathered with the staff and residents at our Nashville home to celebrate the graduation of Becca, Julianne and Hannah. Here are their incredible stories of restoration and freedom:


Becca

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled a lot with trust and the fear of rejection. I struggled with depression while in high school and developed a severe eating disorder as a result. I also struggle with self-harm to cope with the pain. All I wanted to do was fill the emptiness I felt inside. I had been to several treatment centers but was only taught how to cope with the eating disorders. I knew deep down there had to be more to life. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply. I wanted freedom and healing and to strengthen my relationship with Christ.

While at Mercy, God has shown me He loves me unconditionally. I have worth, value and hope for my future. God has filled the emptiness I felt inside with His love, grace and mercy. I have joy in life because I am living for God. I don’t have to be bound by fear or worry because Christ has given me peace and a sound mind. I am beautiful and a child of God. Mercy is truly a blessing.

After graduation, I plan to get more involved in my church by volunteering with children or teen ministry. I also plan to go on some short-term mission trips. I am most excited to live a life serving Christ.

Julianne

I was sexually abused as a young girl and lived under scrutiny with high expectations to excel. I suffered even more trauma and grief with the unexpected deaths of my grandmother and mother. Growing up, I felt unimportant and was passed around in the midst of chaos and tragedy. I developed an eating disorder to cope with the pain and have some sense of control. I also developed major depression and a paralyzing anxiety. I became suicidal and was frequently hospitalized. I was very self-destructive and did not value my life at all. I heard about Mercy from friends and family and decided to apply. I didn’t want to remain hopeless about my life and future.

While at Mercy, I learned I am not defined by any disorder or diagnosis. I am a daughter of the King and Creator of the universe. I have been set free from obsessive thoughts and excessive worry and fear and now know that fear is not from God. God has given me freedom, proving that I am an overcomer. I believe coming to Mercy was the best thing I could have ever done.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get my bachelor’s degree in mass communications. I also plan to get actively involved in campus ministry.

Hannah

I was raised in a Christian home, but God was never real to me. I was raped when I was 13 and felt like God had completely forgotten me. I struggled with fear of being alone and that no one would accept me. I was in several abusive relationships and started abusing drugs and alcohol. I became very promiscuous and became pregnant at 17. I found out I was pregnant again at age 19 and I felt like I had no hope. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me how real He really is and that He has not forgotten me. He has shown me that the abuse I suffered wasn’t my fault. He has taken away all fear and worry, and He has given me a bright new future. After seeking God's guidance, I made the difficult decision to place my baby for adoption with a loving Christian family.  I know now that it doesn’t matter what others think about me, I am beautiful, and I am the daughter of the King.

After graduation, I’m looking forward to my new job and getting involved in my church. I plan to attend cosmetology school in the fall.


Congratulations Becca, Julianne and Hannah! We are so proud of you for making a choice to live your lives unto God! You are an amazing group of young women and we look forward to hearing about all that God continues to do in and through you!