Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time to Sign Up to Run For Mercy!

Serious runners, mothers with strollers, families and even dogs will be hitting the pavement this fall to Run for Mercy! Since 2008, Mercy has been represented in more than 15 cities, with thousands of participants in the Run for Mercy 5K and Family Walk events as well as established marathons across the country. Mercy Ministries’ Christ-centered residential program is completely free of charge to the young women who come to Mercy for help. Our support comes from generous individuals, businesses and ministries who partner with us. So, when you Run for Mercy, you are making a way for more young women to get the help they desperately need, completely free of charge!

Run for Mercy isn’t just for serious runners. Kids of all ages can participate in the Fun Run or enjoy face painting and free treats in the Kids Carnival Zone!


Adults can run or walk as an individual or with a team, and if you can’t make it to a race, you can even participate as a virtual runner! Here’s what some of last year’s participants had to say about Run for Mercy:

“I run in a lot of 5Ks around the city, and this was one of the most well done races I have ever been in! It was really cool knowing that I was running for such a great cause, too.” – Brian


“WOW! It really inspired me to keep going to see all the signs reminding me of why I was doing this along the way…my favorite one reminded me that my support was helping to restore a young woman’s hope.” – Jennifer

Right now is the time to get involved with a Run for Mercy event near you! Registration is now open for all races online at www.runformercy.org. Be sure to sign up for one of our upcoming events:

Charlotte, NC – September 17, 2011
Roseville, CA - September 24, 2011
Nashville, TN Women’s Half Marathon – September 24, 2011
St. Louis, MO – October 1, 2011
Monroe, LA – October 22, 2011
Nashville, TN - October 22, 2011
St. Louis, MO Solutia Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon – October 23, 2011
Nashville, TN Country Music Half and Full Marathon – April 28, 2012

Thank you for running for Mercy!



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank You For Showing Your Support!

Thank you to everyone who went to www.SheSeeks.com yesterday and left a comment on their blog post featuring the horrific crime of sex trafficking in the U.S. and the work that Mercy Ministries is doing to help these hurting young women. For every comment left on their blog post yesterday, they donated to Mercy, and hundreds of you rose to the challenge! Special thanks to She Seeks for your generous support of Mercy Ministries, and thanks to everyone who left a comment and helped raise money to help hurting girls have their lives transformed and hope restored.

To read some truly inspirational comments left by some of our graduates and current Mercy residents, click here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

She Seeks Ministries Helps Mercy Change Lives – And You Can Too!

Mercy Ministries wants to give a special shout out to one of our newest ministry partners, She Seeks! She Seeks, a division of Proverbs 31 Ministries, is a website where the “20-something” woman can be encouraged, inspired and motivated. Today, for every comment left on their blog post, they are donating to Mercy!


Every Monday at www.sheseeks.org, you will find a new topic of discussion for the week. This week they are featuring the horrific crime of sex trafficking in the U.S. and the work that Mercy Ministries is doing to help these hurting young women. Please check out this amazing ministry, read today’s post and leave a comment to help more girls have their lives transformed and hope restored. You can also click here to read the incredible stories of some young women who have escaped sex trafficking and been completely healed and restored by the unconditional love of Christ while at Mercy Ministries.

Thank you to everyone at She Seeks for bringing awareness to this important issue and for your generous support of Mercy Ministries. If you would like to know more about how you or your ministry can partner with us to help hurting young women have hope and a future, please click here or contact Reid Cifrino at rcifrino@mercyministries.com or 615-831-6987.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five More Amazing Transformations!

Many of the young women who have their lives transformed by the love of Christ at Mercy Ministries couldn’t get help if they had to pay for it. When you support Mercy Ministries, you help us provide the help they desperately need completely free of charge. Your donations help save lives. Recent graduate, Samantha, said, “I am so thankful to all the donors for making this place available for me! I will become a donor as well, because I know firsthand that this place...it works. Not because of what it is, but because of WHO it is based on.” Samantha and four other amazing young women were set free from life-controlling issues and celebrated graduation from the program with staff, family and friends yesterday. Here are their incredible stories:

Nashville

Samantha


I grew up in a dysfunctional environment. My mother was a single parent, and I was a hyperactive, attention-seeking child. My mother worked several jobs just to try to make ends meet, which left me alone a lot. In my teenage years, I was sexually abused by a family member. I was ashamed and began to self-harm to cope with my pain. I felt disgusting and dirty and very much alone. My self-worth came from my outward appearance, and I never felt beautiful. This led me to a seven- year battle with anorexia and bulimia. I didn’t trust anyone, not even God, and life was meaningless to me. I overdosed on prescription medications and was taken to a hospital where I was told that there was a chance I wouldn’t survive. Upon hearing that, I knew deep down inside, I did not want to die; I just wanted to feel peace. The doctors told me it was a miracle that I survived, but I knew it was God. I heard about Mercy from a friend and looked online to see what it was all about. I knew it was the place for me, and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God has totally transformed my heart. Wow! I fought the whole way, but God and the staff never gave up on me. God proved his unending love, grace and mercy. He has shown me how special, important and beautiful I am to Him. I have found hope! I am finally where I need to be in my walk with God, and it will only continue to grow stronger. I am beyond thankful to Nancy and the staff for all the grace they have given me. And I am so thankful to all the donors for making this place available for me! I will become a donor as well, because I know firsthand that this place...it works. Not because of what it is, but because of WHO it is based on.


After graduation, I plan to get rooted and established in a healthy church. I would like to work with youth groups, join a worship team and go on mission trips around the world. I am also going to pursue my passion for writing.



Abbey


Before coming to Mercy, I was slowly dying from an eating disorder. I had a great childhood growing up, but when I became a teenager I started isolating myself and began a three-year struggle with anorexia. I didn't want anyone to be around me, I just wanted to keep losing weight. I over-exercised to lose weight even faster. I was miserable in my life, and the eating disorder was my way of coping with the pain. I heard about Mercy from a family friend and decided to apply because I wanted to be free from the eating disorder. I also wanted a deeper relationship with the Lord.


When I arrived at Mercy, I was very shy and very underweight, but God has done so much for me here. He has shown me that I am not defined by my past, I am an overcomer. I am His daughter, and He has given me back my joy, hope, love, compassion and kindness. God is so great, and my relationship with Him is so much deeper now. He has changed my life and given me a new perspective. I am so thankful for Nancy and the donors for all the support they have given me.


After graduation, I will return to high school for my senior year, and then I have plans to go to college. I’m looking forward to growing closer to my friends and family. I am also looking forward to playing soccer and running track in a healthy way, and I want to glorify God through everything I do.




Crystal


I was adopted when I was four weeks old, but my adoptive parents had a lot of problems and no real relationship. Eventually, they divorced, which just affirmed to me that I had no stability in my home. I needed some positive role models in my life. In high school, I started drinking, and then in college it grew much worse. I started using marijuana as another way of coping with my heartache. I was trying to distract myself from the miserable mess my life was in. I started seeing a counselor, and she told me about Mercy. I truly desired change, so I decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God opened my eyes and gave me so much insight. I have found so much healing and peace. My self-worth and identity in Christ has been restored, and I am learning who I am in Him. I've also learned that God's Word is real! It is “alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, dividing the bone and marrow, judging the attitude, actions, and heart of man” (Heb 4:12). I now know what it means to live life abundantly and what it is to be loved. I have learned so much, and nothing will go to waste. I appreciate everyone who made this possible!


After graduation, I am going home to reconnect with my family. I also plan to return to college and get my degree in social work. I am also interested in criminal justice. Eventually, I would like to go to graduate school.


St. Louis

Kelsay


For most of my life I have battled a severe struggle with anorexia and bulimia. I thought that my worth and value came from how much I weighed, what size I was and the grades I made. I felt like I would be trapped in this lifestyle forever. I was also diagnosed with major depression and even attempted to take my own life. After several stays in the hospital, I knew I needed help, but I couldn’t afford treatment at other facilities. I heard about Mercy at a BarlowGirl concert and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God has totally transformed my life. He has taken me by the hand and led me into freedom. God has completely delivered me from the deadly cycle of eating disorders and has shown me that I have worth and value in Him. I have also been able to get off all of the depression medication and learned to deal with my emotions. I want everyone to know that they do not have to settle for just coping with their issues for the rest of their lives. There is full deliverance and freedom available for anyone who is willing to choose life.


After graduation, I look forward to living a free and healthy life. I plan to finish school and use the gifts and talents that God has given me for music and writing. I am so excited to live out the future that God has for me.




Michelle


I grew up feeling unloved, unwanted and that I was of no value to my family. I was physically, verbally and emotionally abused and was raped by a close family member. As an adult, I turned to alcohol to relieve my pain after finding out my husband cheated on me. This began a six-year struggle with alcohol addiction. I wanted to stop living and overdosed on prescription pills in a suicide attempt. I went to three different treatment centers, but nothing worked. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God poured out His abundant, unconditional love. Miraculously, I was relieved of the urge to drink alcohol the moment I walked through the doors of Mercy. I believe God did this so I could focus on the pain behind why I was drinking and expose those roots so he could heal me. By His grace, I have been restored and redeemed. He has shown me that He has great plans for me. I know I am His beautiful child, and I know my identity is in Christ Jesus. I have learned to receive love and to forgive others. God has also restored my marriage and my relationships with my family.


After graduation, I will be working part-time and volunteering at a safe house that assists women and children. I also plan to get involved in my church through bible studies and fellowship. I am really looking forward to taking a second honeymoon with my husband too. I’m going to live a life worth living!


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of your commitment to face your issues and fight for freedom!! Your excitement and hope for the future is inspirational. We look forward to hearing how God will use you to help others!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From Professional Football to Prison Ministry – Mike Barber Speaks at Mercy

Mike Barber
After an incredibly successful career in the NFL, Mike Barber walked away from his dream of coaching and responded to God’s call on his life and a new dream of starting a prison ministry. Staff and residents at the Nashville home were hanging on every word as Mike spoke yesterday about ATTITUDE! Mike challenged everyone that you can either compliment or contaminate the atmosphere around you. He also shared a very powerful seven-step prayer that comes directly from Colossians 1:9-12 and encouraged everyone to use it daily. Here’s what some of the residents had to say about Mike’s powerful message:

I loved his heart. He was an amazing speaker. It really impacted me that he gave up his dream to coach football to minister to thousands of prisoners about Jesus Christ. I plan to pray the seven step prayer every day, have a positive attitude, even in negative circumstances, and declare truth over my life and forgive! – Michelle

This is one of the best teachings I have heard since I have been at Mercy. I was hanging on every last word. I am grateful that I can be at a place like Mercy. Just seeing Mike, and who he is, ministered to me that there are good godly men in the world. – Andrea

Everything about today spoke to me about letting go of the way I used to live and moving forward! I really want to explode with faith. I know I have the choice and the power to live out the will of God. – Julie

This was so encouraging! I really love the passion Mike and DeAnne have for their ministry. Mike challenged me to always have the attitude of Christ, and I want the presence of God in me to shift the atmosphere. I am going to claim my victory and move forward. I am going to walk in integrity and obedience and make a difference in others’ lives! - Jena

For the past 25 years, Mike and his wife DeAnne have traveled to prisons all across the country sharing the love of Christ with thousands of inmates. Three years ago, their son Brandon also joined the ministry and now works with the youth in prison. Mike Barber Ministries' PRO-Claim TV hosts church services that are televised from inside prison on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) every Wednesday at 12:30pm EST. Click here to find your local listing.

Mercy Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, recently had the honor of speaking alongside the Barbers at four different Texas prisons. Check out this video of Nancy going back to her roots and sharing a message of hope and healing with female inmates:


Pro-2011-20 from Pro-Claim on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Mike and DeAnne for sharing this powerful teaching with our staff and residents. You definitely complimented the atmosphere at Mercy and had a huge impact on everyone! For more information about Mike and DeAnne and PRO-Claim ministries, go to http://pro-claim.tv/.

Nancy with DeAnne and Mike Barber

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mercy Live Radio Show, Mercy Multiplied, Is Back on the Airwaves!

Mercy Ministries is excited to announce that Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, will once again host a live, one-hour radio show called Mercy Multiplied on KXEN 1010am Christian Talk in St. Louis beginning Sunday, September 18th from 6:00-7:00pm CST (7:00-8:00pm EST)! But you don’t have to be in St. Louis to tune in – there are several ways to listen live. Go to www.mercymultiplied.com to listen to the show and subscribe to the podcast. You can even download a free app for your iPhone or Droid by searching for KXEN 1010 in the app store, and hear the show live wherever you go!

Listeners can call in to 1-855-MercyLive (1-855-637-2954) to talk to Nancy, share stories and ask questions about numerous relevant topics making headlines today in the U.S. Each week, the show will focus on one of many life-controlling issues such as physical and sexual abuse, sex trafficking, eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addiction, depression or unplanned pregnancy, and listeners will learn biblical ways to find freedom from these issues. You will not only hear raw and real stories, but you will also truly be encouraged by the testimonies of healing and transformation shared by Nancy and our Mercy graduates!

With over 27 years of experience and an incredibly high success rate, Nancy and Mercy Ministries want to share our expertise, help and resources, as well as communicate the vision and mission of Mercy. The one-hour show will air live each Sunday evening from 6:00-7:00pm CST (7:00-8:00pm EST)!. You don’t want to miss it!

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Martha Munizzi Shows Mercy Ministries How To Make It Loud!

Martha Munizzi
Internationally acclaimed, award-winning gospel singer and songwriter, Martha Munizzi, led the Nashville staff and residents this week in a powerful and life-changing time of worship. She shared her story of being abused at a young age and overcoming by proclaiming the truths of God. Martha encouraged everyone to praise God for His love, goodness and faithfulness in the midst of pain and difficult circumstances in order to find peace and freedom. The presence of the Lord was felt by all during this incredible time of teaching and worship. Here’s what some of our residents had to say about how they were impacted by Martha:

Today during worship I totally once and for all let go and said yes to Jesus’ promises for me. God made it clear that He is a God that stays true to His Word. If He told me I would be free, I am free! My plan of action is to worship God even when it gets hard and remember that God loves me no matter what. - Julie

This was a great message. The atmosphere was amazing! God knew I needed to hear, “I may not know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.” Lately my heart has been so overwhelmed with thankfulness to God. He really has done so much for me. I am resting in the peace of God, and when I do that, nothing else matters. - Samantha

The presence of God was so thick. He really spoke to me about His love for me. I am so encouraged by God saying ‘yes’ to me. I am standing on His promises, and I am believing for breakthroughs in this process. I am going to be unshakable, stand on the Word, live a lifestyle of worship and be an atmosphere changer! - Jena

Wow! I absolutely loved the way she ministered to us! It was so powerful and it spoke right into my life. I’m going to trust God and stand strong in my belief! She inspired me to go after what God has for me and not settle. - Blaise

Thank you, Martha, for investing your time and talent and pouring into our girls. Lives were changed during your visit, and we look forward to worshipping with you again soon! Thank you also for generously donating copies of your newest CD, Make It Loud, and Make It Loud wristbands to everyone.


Founder and President Nancy Alcorn with Martha Munizzi
Martha has written some powerful songs in her career such as “Glorious,” “Because Of Who You Are,” “Say The Name,” and “Jesus Is The Best Thing (That’s Ever Happened To Me)” just to name a few. Her latest CD release Make It Loud is “a declaration for Christians to stand up and be bold and vocal about their faith.” To order your copy of the CD and for more information about Martha’s ministry, check out www.marthamunizzi.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mercy Ministries Shout Out To Two Of Our Newest Partners!

Mercy Ministries of America is proud to have a number of partners who work with us by providing essential resources, sponsoring fundraising events, sharing the vision of Mercy and investing their time. By helping Mercy Ministries, these partners demonstrate their commitment to helping provide a solution for the problems facing young women today. Partnership with Mercy Ministries can directly save the life of a young woman and we wanted to introduce you to two of our newest dedicated partners.

In the fall of 2012, Julie Rossini will compete in the Miss California International Pageant in Los Angeles, California and has chosen Mercy Ministries as her platform. Beginning 23 years ago, The Miss International pageant system was developed to provide a pageant that maintains the highest moral values and allow contestants to select a nonprofit to promote during their reign.

Julie will be hosting some special fundraising events to benefit the JEMM Foundation, an organization she created to raise funds for Mercy. Julie will also play a big role in helping with our California Run for Mercy 5K and Family Walk on September 24, 2011. To learn more about Julie and to follow her race for the crown, go to www.julierossini.com or follow her on twitter @julierossini01. Here is what Julie had to say about why she supports Mercy Ministries:

“Being a former alcoholic, I know the vast challenges of those who suffer from addiction which is why I advocate for women and young girls. I am excited to do this through the JEMM Foundation, in which I donate 10% of all my proceeds to Mercy Ministries. In running for Miss California, I plan to advocate for Mercy Ministries every day in hopes of bringing change and healing to suffering young women.”

But you don’t have to win a crown to help Mercy Ministries, helping Mercy Ministries can be as easy as making your morning cup of coffee. We are excited to announce that COZZ-EE coffee is now partnering with Mercy Ministries to help victims of sex trafficking have hope and a future. COZZ-EE coffee carefully selects only the finest Arabica beans from the best and most exotic coffee producing regions in the world and ships it right to your front door. Simply go to their website, choose your coffee, choose sex trafficking your cause and COZZ-EE will donate 100% of the profits to Mercy Ministries!

Mercy Ministries has been helping victims of sex trafficking for years, and we continue to receive more and more calls for help. You can now enjoy premium coffee and know that you are helping these hurting young women have their lives transformed and hope restored at the same time. Choose your coffee, choose sex trafficking as your cause, change the world! To get your coffee, go to www.cozz-ee.com. You can also follow them on twitter at @CozzeeCoffeeCo.

If you would like to know more about how you or your business can partner with Mercy Ministries to help hurting young women have their lives transformed and hope restored, go to http://www.mercyministries.org/OurMinistryPartners.aspx or contact Reid Cifrino at rcifrino@mercyministries.com or 615-831-6987.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Five More Graduates Want You To Know Freedom Is Possible!

The young women who graduate from Mercy Ministries have had their lives completely transformed and are eager to let others to know that freedom IS possible. “Mercy Ministries is amazing, and God is faithful. What He’s done for me, He’ll do for you,” said recent graduate Samantha. Staff, residents, family and friends recently gathered at the St. Louis and Lincoln homes to celebrate the graduation of Samantha and four other amazing young women. Here are their incredible stories of healing and restoration:


St. Louis

Stacy

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with several life-controlling issues. Throughout my life, I struggled with eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, self-harm and sexual abuse. I was constantly trying to earn the approval of others, but at the same time, I hated myself for the choices I made. I was carrying around hurts from my past, was discouraged with my present and unable to see any hope for the future. I heard about Mercy from one of my pastors, Lindsay Willis, who is a Mercy International Board Member. I knew it was the absolute right next step for me to take, and I decided to apply. God’s hand was evident in every step of the process, and it was very clear that this was where He was leading me.


My time at Mercy was primarily a lesson in learning to rest. God showed me how wonderful and necessary it is to stop and rest in His presence. I’ve learned to rest from trying to earn approval and have been able to see that I have worth and value apart from what I do. The staff members here at the St. Louis home are such incredible living examples of Jesus and model the things they teach on a daily basis. I can now fully trust the promise of God’s faithfulness, both to get me through the present and giving me a genuine hope for my future.


After graduation, I’ll be going back to work, and I look forward to getting plugged in at my church again. I can now embrace the future with hope, knowing that God is walking with me and that He knows the way. I want to thank Nancy, all the staff and the donors for their hearts toward all of us and for their faith and sacrifice which has made my transformed life possible.


Stephanie

As a child, I was diagnosed with diabetes and felt emotionally detached from my family as a result. Later in my life, I turned to other things to fill the void I felt in my life and got involved in the party scene which included alcohol, drugs and sex. I was later raped, and after that I felt that there wasn’t any real meaning or purpose to life, so I began working as a prostitute. Prostitution led to more drugs and alcohol and a gang rape. I felt completely empty inside and didn’t care about my life at all. My family was constantly worried they would get the call that I was seriously injured or dead. They told me about Mercy Ministries, and I wanted help, so I decided to apply.


While at Mercy, I learned how to have a personal relationship with Christ. Through my relationship with Him, I gained self-respect and purpose for my life. God has also restored my relationship with my family and filled the void in my life with His love.


After graduation, I plan to go back to college to get my associate’s degree, and I would eventually like to pursue my bachelor’s degree in psychology.



Samantha


I was raised in a loving home, but my dad traveled a lot, and my family did not communicate well. I had an experience in the 5th grade that left me feeling rejected and alone, but I learned to hide my emotions. I struggled with perfectionism and developed anorexia and bulimia in my efforts to gain a sense of control over my life. I later started using drugs and alcohol to numb the pain I was feeling and eventually ended up with two DUI’s. I was also raped in the midst of all this. My mom heard about Mercy through Joel Osteen and told me about the program. I wanted the same love for life that I saw in my Christian friends, so I decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God freed me from bondage in every area. He taught me that I’m loveable, it’s okay to need help, how to be a good friend and that I am not a disappointment. I now know that freedom is attainable. Mercy Ministries is amazing, and God is faithful. What He’s done for me, He’ll do for you.


After graduation, I plan to go back to work and pursue my master’s degree. I also want to help other girls who are struggling with life-controlling issues.


Lincoln

Sara

My life before Mercy was full of hopelessness and pain. I was verbally, physically and sexually abused for a majority of my childhood. I was also sexually assaulted two times at ages 16 and 18. I felt an emptiness in my life that I tried to fill with a lot of different things. I self-harmed, developed an eating disorder and attempted suicide multiple times. I wanted freedom, but I did not know how to get it. I heard from a friend that Mercy Ministries was amazing, and they help people with my issues, so I decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God gave me hope. I now have a passion for life and want to tell others how God has changed my life. I have a purpose, and I know that I am loved. My past does not dictate my future, and the abuse that happened was not my fault. But it is my responsibility to go to God with the hurt and let Him heal me. I have forgiven the people who hurt me, and I now have joy and peace.


After graduation, I will be attending a Christian college and one day I hope to be a pastor. I would also like to mentor girls through the church and help them find the freedom I have found.


Emily

Before coming to Mercy, I was constantly seeking the approval of others, because I felt that would give me value. I felt worthless and was filled with shame and guilt as a result of verbal, emotional and physical abuse. I heard about Mercy from a friend, and I knew I needed help, so I decided to apply. I was ready to live the life Christ died to give me!


While at Mercy, God set me free. He exposed the lies in my heart. Now I know I have His approval, and He’s the only one that matters. I learned I’m uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made. What the devil meant for harm in my life has turned out for good, and I’m a beautiful daughter of the King.


The grace and mercy of God pours through the Mercy staff into the residents’ hearts, bringing transformation. Mercy Ministries is an amazing, unbelievably loving place. After graduation, I plan to get my master’s degree in counseling.


Congratulations ladies! We are so glad that you decided to trust God for your healing, and we are excited to see what he has in store for you. By sharing your stories, you are going to help countless other hurting young women find freedom!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Designer Bags Auctioned For Mercy!



An amazing group of women from Milford Church of God, used their designer purses in a creative way to raise money for Mercy Ministries! These women from Austell, Georgia, auctioned off more than 60 fashionable handbags, including designer purses by Michael Kors, Gucci and Coach. Cost of admission to the event was one new or gently used purse, and all proceeds came directly to Mercy.

The evening started off with an ice cream social including cup cakes, root beer floats and every topping imaginable for the ladies to enjoy while they previewed the purses. Associate Pastor, Dani Cole, shared a challenging message straight from the Word of God entitled “What’s in Your Purse?”

Then the fun began and the auction paddles went flying as each of the designer bags sold, raising $2,028 for Mercy Ministries! Check out these photos from this fun-filled evening:




It is because of supporters like these amazing and creative women that hurting young girls can come to Mercy free of charge. To learn more about how you can help young women experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and life-transforming power, go to www.mercyministries.com.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Come To One Of The Best Women’s Conferences On The Planet!!!

“God is calling us, His daughters, to JUST BE...to just be ourselves and embrace who He created us to be and then to move beyond ourselves and JUST BE LOVE, bringing the message of Salvation to the world!” – Pastor Debbie Lindell

We wanted to tell you about a very special conference coming up Thursday through Saturday, September 22nd to 24th that you will not want to miss! The 2011 Designed For Life Conference is hosted by Pastor Debbie Lindell at James River Assembly in Springfield, MO (Ozark). This year’s theme is “Just Be…” and it is sure to be more memorable than ever!

Mercy Ministries Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, had the privilege of speaking at this conference in 2009, and it was amazing to see how much God impacted the lives of everyone in attendance. This year, Nancy will be speaking along with Pastors John and Debbie Lindell, Charlotte Gambill from Abundant Life Ministries in the UK, and Pastor John and Helen Burns from Relate Church in Vancouver, Canada. The music will be provided by Christian hip-hop band and Mercy Ministries Artist Partner, Group 1 Crew.

There is still plenty of time to mark your calendar and make your plans to attend. The cost of registration is $89 until August 18th and then $99 from August 19th up until the day the event begins. There are also special student, single mom and group rates available, as well as a fantastic “Designed For Life Kids” program for children during the sessions. The conference begins on Thursday evening, September 22nd and ends on Saturday afternoon, September 24th. You can find out more information about this awesome event by going to www.designedforlifeconference.org.

Our Mercy girls and staff from St. Louis will be in attendance, as well as a huge group of former Mercy residents. We are very, very excited about this special conference that will encourage, inspire and equip you to live life well. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!!! We hope to see you there!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mercy Mission Team Back From Uganda!

Our amazing mission team of Mercy Ministries’ graduates and staff made it home safely after spending two incredible weeks serving in Kampala, Uganda! The group of 16 graduates and 2 staff worked with Watoto Ministries – a community that provides a holistic home environment, as well as quality education to children that have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic in Africa (http://www.watoto.com/). Mercy Ministries has had the privilege of financially supporting Watoto ministries through the construction of two homes for orphans, but this was the first time we actually sent a team to do the work! All team members raised the financial support to cover the cost of the trip as well as everything needed to build four classrooms for the children in Kampala.


The team was led by Mercy staff members, Nandi and Katelyn, who wanted to share this special message with you:

We are back! As we look back over the last two weeks, there are so many incredible memories that come to mind… holding the babies at the Bulrushes, attending the service at Watoto Church, laying hands on the building to dedicate it to the Lord and visiting the HIV positive women at Living Hope. We were all forever changed by our time in Uganda and serving alongside one another at Watoto! The word “life changing” has come up AGAIN and AGAIN as we try to put words to what the last two weeks were like. We went to Uganda to love and serve the children at Watoto, and in doing that, WE ended up being the ones that were blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

As we met for the last time as a team, we gave the graduates an opportunity to share their highlights from the trip. We were completely overwhelmed as we heard these young women from different states, backgrounds, ethnicities and Mercy stories share how God had personally answered prayers and stirred a new sense of passion and purpose. It was clear, as the graduates shared with tears and such tenderness, that God had done “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask, think or imagine..."

We came to Uganda to pour out God’s love and compassion on all we came into contact with. Not only did our graduates do that, they were ALL walking examples of hope restored and true freedom! Everywhere we went, we saw our graduates praying for the house moms of these orphans, sharing their testimonies, and loving on people through a hug or smile—these graduates truly LIVED OUT their faith and were used so tenderly to partner with God to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim freedom!

Thank you to the prayer partners that covered us in prayer during our trip. Your prayers were definitely answered! Thank you to the Mercy graduates that attended this trip, you are truly our heroes for serving so tirelessly, being transparent and for carrying the penetrating love and heart of Christ to all that you came into contact with. We also want to say a huge “thank you” to Watoto and its founders, Gary and Marilyn Skinner, for allowing us to come to Uganda and serve such an incredible ministry. We pray blessings over the entire ministry and that God would continue to multiply the work of your hands. And of course, we are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to partner with Him to serve such an amazing group of young leaders and future world-changers!

What an incredible blessing it is to see Mercy graduates have a heart to give back and share the hope they have found, not just in their communities, but around the world. We hope you can see how your investment in these young women produces a ripple effect that has a global impact. If you would like to read more from our staff and graduates about the trip to Uganda, check their blog at http://mercygoestouganda.blogspot.com/. We promise you will be blessed by how these transformed lives are transforming lives!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Mercy Message spreads to Delaware!

Founder and President,
Nancy Alcorn
Mercy Ministries Founder and President, Nancy Alcorn, had another exciting opportunity this weekend to speak and share the heart and vision of Mercy. Girlfriends!, the women’s ministry of Seeds of Greatness Ministries and Bible Church, hosted a Mercy in the Community Breakfast in New Castle, Delaware. Pastor Jerome Lewis and his wife, Lisa, were first introduced to Mercy Ministries by Reverend Shirlet Edwards who opened this special event in prayer.

After a wonderful breakfast buffet, Nancy spoke to a group of 300 guests about the courage and determination of the young women who come to Mercy Ministries for help. For choosing to come to Mercy and face their life-controlling issues head on, they are truly Nancy’s heroes.

Michaela, a 2009 graduate, shared how she grew up in a loving Christian home, but after being sexually abused by a classmate in junior high, she struggled with depression and became suicidal. While at Mercy, her life was transformed by the unconditional love of Christ, and she is now preparing to start college in the fall.

Nancy Introducing graduates Michaela and Kim
Kim Brownie, a 2008 Mercy graduate, then spoke about how she was abandoned by her mother, and at the age of 12, her aunts prostituted her to a neighbor for $50. Kim wanted to die and began self-harming to cope with her pain. Not only did Kim graduate from Mercy transformed and free, she recently graduated from college and is now headed to graduate school. Kim also serves as a mentor to other young women.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as these two amazing young women shared their stories of hope and healing, and both received standing ovations. A powerful performance by dance group, Fresh Wind, finished the Mercy in the Community Breakfast perfectly.


Our special thanks to Girlfriends!, Seeds of Greatness Ministries and Bible Church and Pastor Jerome and Lisa Lewis for hosting the Mercy in the Community Breakfast. We are also grateful for our table sponsors whose faithful contributions played a critical part in bringing the vision of Mercy Ministries to a wider audience. If you are ever in the New Castle, Delaware area, we strongly urge you to check out Seeds of Greatness. For more information about this amazing ministry and church, go to http://www.sogm.org.

Mercy Graduates Camilla, Erica, and Jennifer also attended
Nancy with some of the members of Girlfriends!
From left to right, Lisa Lewis, Nancy, Kim, Michaela, Pastor Jerome Lewis

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monroe Home Hosts Mercy In The Community Luncheon

It was standing room only at the Monroe home yesterday as Community Board Member, Dee Ledbetter, welcomed guests to the Mercy in the Community Luncheon. Dee opened in prayer, and everyone enjoyed a fantastic lunch of grilled chicken and steak kabobs with full baked potato bar and delicious desserts.

Mercy grads, Rebecca and Malorie, and current resident, Meg, then shared their incredible stories of healing and transformation. “When no one else would take me, Mercy said “come,” said 2001 graduate, Rebecca, who is still walking in freedom from addiction 10 years later!
Mercy graduate, Rebecca

Malorie then described how facing her issues head-on resulted in a joy she had never known before. Malorie graduated from Mercy this past February and will graduate from college this December. While at Mercy, God inspired Malorie to write and perform songs that expressed her gratitude for the amazing love and grace He has shown her, and she shared one of her songs with our guests.

Mercy graduate, Malorie, shares her song

Meg is a current resident and said that being at Mercy has helped her know how much God loves and cherishes her. She graduates in just 3 weeks and now looks to the future with joy and confidence.

Meg, Malorie, and Rebecca
Guests were touched by what they heard


After lunch, the Monroe residents gave tours of the home to our guests who were amazed by the beauty of the facility and touched by the testimonies of the girls.

Special thanks to Dr. Jason Maggio of All the Way Chiropractic in Shreveport, Louisiana for sponsoring the luncheon. Thanks also to Jordan Cassels for photographing the event. To find out more about the work being done at Mercy Ministries and information about our upcoming events, go to www.mercyministries.com.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Five More Amazing Graduates Transformed By Love!

Mercy Ministries exists to help hurting young women experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and life-transforming power. Last week, five more amazing girls in the Nashville home graduated from the program and celebrated their freedom with staff, family and friends. Each of them has been transformed from broken, hurting and wounded people into strong, confident women who know they have a hope and a future. Here are their amazing testimonies of restoration:

Allie

Before coming to Mercy, I was extremely isolated and had extreme social anxiety. My life was controlled by a severe eating disorder, and my value depended on how thin I felt that day. I was struggling with having been raped and sexually abused on several occasions. I didn’t have much hope for my life. I felt like I was dying on the inside, and I desired to die on the outside as well. I heard about Mercy from a counselor and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God taught me that my value does not come from a scale, it comes from being a daughter of the Most High King. I know I have a choice as to whether or not I believe the enemy’s lies. God taught me that He has an amazing plan for my life, better than I could ever imagine, if I continue to follow and seek Him. My life has been completely changed by the love of God, and I refuse to ever go back to the way things were before.

After graduation, I plan to finish high school and then go to Bible school. I feel there is a strong call on my life to be a missionary, and I plan to pursue it.


Amanda

Before coming to Mercy, I had no idea that an intimate relationship with God was possible. I was always trying to keep up appearances and gain the approval of others. All of my struggles with anorexia and bulimia came from trying to get fulfillment from people instead of from God, and I was never satisfied. I was looking for a way to get help when I heard about Mercy from a graduate of the program, and I immediately knew that it was God’s plan for me to go there.

While at Mercy, God showed me how to receive His love, and now I know Him as my Father and best friend. He has freed me from shame and condemnation and enabled me to forgive myself. He has given me the ability to hear His voice, and I have become a passionate worshipper.

After graduation, I plan to go back to college and double major in psychology and English. Eventually, I want to teach English in a foreign country.


Ashley

My life before Mercy was chaotic. I was trying to cope with past sexual, physical and emotional abuse and became very depressed and suicidal. I also struggled with bulimia, and I saw no way out. I tore apart my family and isolated myself from other people. When I heard about Mercy from a counselor in another program, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has completely restored my family. I have seen that God is real, and He is my one true Father and the lover of my soul. God has shown me His grace, mercy and forgiveness. I found my identity in Him.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and double major in journalism and nutrition.

Gina

Before Mercy, I was consumed every single minute of every day with counting calories and losing weight. I was focused on it all day and couldn’t even enjoy food. I struggled with people-pleasing, control issues and perfectionism. When I wasn’t exercising, I was in bed, depressed, crying and not wanting to be alive. I had no life and no relationships. My brother knew someone who graduated from Mercy and he told me about the program. I wanted freedom from the eating disorder and depression and wanted to grow closer to God, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, one of the biggest things I learned was that I can have a close relationship with God. He cares about every single part of my life, and I will never be alone. My worth comes from God, not from how I look.

After graduation, I will go back to high school and take some early college classes at a local university. I LOVE Mercy Ministries!

Tess

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with sexual addiction. I carried a lot of shame and guilt from past physical and sexual abuse and was constantly depressed. I knew God was pursuing me, but I wanted nothing to do with Him and instead became interested in witchcraft and Satanism. I no longer knew who I was. I heard about Mercy from my mom, and I knew God was telling me to go. I hated the way I was living, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God revealed so much to me about His character. He showed me who I am in Him. God has set me free from my addictions and has given me so much wisdom. I am so thankful that Mercy Ministries helped me discover who God is and that the staff never gave up on me.

After graduation, I will finish high school and go to college. I would one day like to travel around the world and help victims of sex trafficking.


Congratulations ladies! It is so amazing to see how your lives have been transformed by the love of Christ. We are cheering you on as you walk in freedom, and we look forward to all that God has in store for you!