Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mercy Girls Give Thanks!

Thanksgiving is a special time of celebration and fellowship at all of the Mercy Ministries homes. The residents worked hard to prepare Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal complete with turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. The girls learned how to make most of their dishes from scratch, something many of them had never done before. Staff members from each home and our corporate offices brought some of their favorite Thanksgiving desserts for all of the residents to enjoy.

On Thanksgiving morning, the girls slept in and then enjoyed watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as final preparations were made for their special dinner. After enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal together, the girls shared some of the things they are thankful for. Check out this video of some of our residents expressing their gratitude:



Thanksgiving can be a very difficult time for the young women at Mercy as it often represents very painful memories from the past. Several of the girls expressed that this was the first time they truly enjoyed Thanksgiving.

The afternoon was spent relaxing, enjoying the beautiful weather, playing games, watching football and creating memories. We wanted to share these fun photos of our holiday weekend:



A special thank you to all of our faithful supporters! It is because of your commitment and generosity that these young women were able to have a truly special holiday filled with hope and love.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Mercy Nashville - A Night To Remember – This Thursday!

It’s time to celebrate with Mercy Ministries supporters in Tennessee! We invite you to join us on Thursday, December 1st, for the Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit at the beautiful Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Merry Mercy promises to be a night to remember with a gourmet dinner followed by entertainment from singer/songwriter and American Idol Finalist, Melinda Doolittle!

Founder and President of Mercy Ministries, Nancy Alcorn, will be there to share the vision of Mercy and you will hear amazing stories of transformation from some of our incredible Mercy graduates.

Dan and Cherie Hammond are the Chairs of this year’s Merry Mercy and are honored to help raise awareness and funds for Mercy Ministries. We are also excited to announce that the Legacy Tree Foundation will be the Chairman Sponsor for this event. LegacyTree Foundation is a Christian nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide spiritual, physical and humanitarian aid to those in need. LegacyTree Foundation partners with Mercy Ministries to offer charitable planned giving programs for individuals and families to help redeem and restore broken lives.
This event will also include a silent auction to raise money for Mercy. Unique and exciting travel packages, sports memorabilia, jewelry, artwork and gift baskets will go to the highest bidders of the night. If you don’t want to wait or if you are unable to attend, you can still take advantage of these amazing travel packages at a special “Buy Now” price in our Merry Mercy online store by CLICKING HERE. To get a preview of luxury travel packages, CLICK HERE. And remember, ALL proceeds go toward helping hurting young women have their lives transformed and their hope restored!

You can purchase tickets for the Nashville Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit by CLICKING HERE, or better yet, purchase a whole table and introduce your friends, family and colleagues to the work being done at Mercy Ministries! For more information, contact Heather Robinson, at hrobinson@mercyministries.com.

To find a Merry Mercy event near you, go to www.mercyministries.org and click on “Upcoming Events.”

Check out this powerful video to get a glimpse of last year's very special Merry Mercy and hear popular radio show host and New York Times Best Selling author, Dave Ramsey, speak about why he is a proud partner of Mercy Ministries!



This beautiful video was made available by Mercy partner White Chocolate Visual Media.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Graduates Express Their Gratitude

On this Thanksgiving week, we wanted to share what some of our Mercy graduates told us they are thankful for:

I am thankful for so much this year. I am thankful that God has brought me to this point in my life and for His never-ending grace. I am thankful for my family and their unwavering support and love. I am also thankful because I was finally able to return to school and graduate with my associate's degree. I am now enrolled in a bachelor’s program studying child welfare. I am thankful for Mercy Ministries, because without Mercy, I would never be where I am today and might not even be alive! -Jennifer


I am thankful for God and the amazing work he has done in my life. I am so thankful that God sent me to Mercy. Mercy helped restore my life and brought me some amazing sisters in Christ. I am also very thankful for my family who stuck by me through everything. God has blessed me so much since leaving Mercy. He has placed me in a Christian work environment with a boss that allows my coworkers and me to give part of our time to help others in need!! I have never loved a job more. God is so amazing. – Kiersten


I am thankful this year for the faithful work of God to open my eyes and heart to be able to see people the way He sees them. I am thankful for my church family and the outpouring of unconditional love I receive from them. I am grateful for the friends in my life. I am grateful that the scar of the word "unwanted" that I carved into my leg four and a half years ago is now unrecognizable and barely visible. I am very grateful for all those who serve in order that I may live in freedom! I've got a lot to be grateful for, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to go through the Mercy program and can now enjoy this life God has blessed me with!!! - Tamara


I'm thankful for FREEDOM! I'm thankful that freedom means I have a choice; I can choose life or death. I'm so thankful that through Jesus, I can choose LIFE! - Jessica


The greatest thing I am thankful for is life. Doctors told me over and over again I wouldn't be alive at this age. What Satan tried to harm me with, God used for good. That's the quote that represents my life now. I am so thankful for Mercy and for God's love through Mercy to completely change my life. I am thankful that I get to wake up in the morning, for the freedom to worship and the opportunity in life to do what I choose and not be a slave to any of the enemy's schemes. I'm so thankful for life! - Jenn


This year I am thankful that I am alive. I am thankful that even in my sin, God still loves, values, cherishes and desires me. I am thankful for the new heart He gave me and is continually transforming to be more like his Son's. I am thankful that His mercies truly are new every morning! - Morgan


I am thankful for friends who love me completely. I am thankful for God's provision in my life, health, family, my car, my cell phone, a job I can go to each week, the Word of God, His presence and my church – Kacy


I am thankful that I had the opportunity to serve on a mission trip in Uganda with a group of Mercy girls. I am also thankful that I was able to spend the last year serving in ministry to be a light in some of the darkest areas I have ever experienced. - Jenelle


How does one give a simple statement about what she is thankful for when she has tasted death and is now living victoriously? How do you express your thankfulness to a God that did not leave you in the very pit of your despair but came into the pit and lovingly helped you out, wrapped you in robes of righteousness and held your hand as He led you into the land of freedom and victory? I will attempt to sum up this past year and give the highlights of my thankfulness.
1. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had to share my story of freedom and healing with others. I am thankful that the Lord has restored my voice and that I am no longer silent.
2. I am thankful that God has brought new life and renewal to my broken family through the birth of my nieces and nephews.
3. I am thankful for the continued healing that has gone on in my life, and that I have Mercy sisters to remind me.
4. I am thankful that I can laugh again.
5. I am thankful that I am a homeowner! I am now walking and living in victory in the same city that once broke me.
6. I am thankful for every student I see each week and the blessing that I have to be able to speak directly to their pain.
7. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to serve alongside my mercy sisters and staff in Uganda.
8. I am thankful that I am not in control and it is okay. I am thankful that I can trust my Savior with my life.
9. I am thankful for the way God continues to expand my heart and never gives me more than I can bear.
10. Finally, I am thankful that GOD loved me enough to lead me to Mercy, and restore my life and give me life abundant and free!
-Suzanne

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two More Lives Restored and Free!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we give thanks for God’s provision, for all of our amazing supporters and of course, the thousands of lives that have been transformed at Mercy Ministries. Two more amazing young women recently graduated from our California home, and we wanted to share their incredible stories of hope restored:

Kassidy

Before Mercy, I struggled with abandonment and rejection and had a messed up view of God. I viewed Him as a father, and I wanted to please Him, but I was scared of Him. My family was very unstable and I was physically abused growing up. I struggled with depression and had no hope for my life. I knew that if I didn’t get help, things would only get worse. My sister told me about Mercy, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has restored my view of Him. I know that He is a gentle, loving Father who is crazy for me and will never leave me. I am His daughter. I know that I’ve been accepted by grace. I don’t have to earn righteousness, because it’s all been finished on the cross through Christ. I have found so much freedom here at Mercy. My life has been completely transformed!

After graduation, I’m getting married! I also plan on pursuing dance and using my gifts to bring glory to God!


Sammi

Before coming to Mercy, I was a lost girl. I was so broken from unhealthy relationships, and I tried to numb my pain with drugs. I soon became addicted and even more hopeless. I was not going anywhere in life. I was just living for my next fix. I always felt a void in my life and wanted to be loved, but I kept looking for love in unhealthy relationships. I was desperate for help when my mom told me about Mercy, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has done what I thought was impossible. I am free from addiction and there is nothing and no one in the world who can satisfy me, only God can. I can do anything through Christ Jesus. He has healed my pain, lifted my spirit, and I now have a future to live out. Mercy has changed my life; God met me here for sure!

After graduation, I plan to get a degree in criminal justice and either do ministry in prisons or help women who are victims of sex trafficking.


Congratulations Kassidy and Sammi! We are so thankful for all that God has done in your life, and we look forward to seeing how He will use you to share the message of healing and freedom through Christ with others.

Monday, November 21, 2011

California Merry Mercy Christmas Luncheon And Two-Year Anniversary!

It’s time to celebrate with Mercy Ministries supporters in California. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, December 6th, for the Merry Mercy Christmas Luncheon at the beautiful Catta Verdera Country Club. This promises to be an event to remember with a gourmet lunch, followed by entertainment from singer/songwriter Mary James and amazing stories of freedom from Mercy graduates!

Thanks to a generous gift of $2.5 million and one acre of land, donated by the Buzz Oates Charitable Foundation, Mercy Ministries just celebrated the two-year anniversary of the opening of our first West Coast home in Lincoln, California. The faithful generosity of area supporters has made it possible for us to take 40 more hurting girls off our waiting list.

Nancy Alcorn and Buzz Oates cut the ribbon in 2009
The Sacramento-area home is Mercy Ministries’ fourth home in the United States, but the first on the West Coast—a fact that Mercy Ministries’ Founder and President Nancy Alcorn says is important. “So many girls from California have sought our help over the years, but they have always had to travel across the country to find a Mercy Ministries facility. Before the construction of the California home, Mercy Ministries in St. Louis was our closest home to California. Now we are serving girls from the West Coast in their own backyard,” Alcorn said. “I am so grateful to Buzz Oates, a generous man with a huge heart, and his foundation, The Buzz Oates Charitable Foundation, for giving such a large gift to make this home for hurting young women possible.”

Mercy Ministries California Home
We hope you will join us for the Merry Mercy Christmas Luncheon as we have a lot to celebrate in California! You can purchase tickets for the event by clicking here, or better yet, purchase a whole table and introduce your friends, family and colleagues to the work being done at Mercy Ministries! We are still looking for Event Sponsors to partner with us; so for more information, contact Community Relations Manager, Stephanie Vierstra, at svierstra@mercyministries.com.

To find a Merry Mercy event near you, go to www.mercyministries.org and click on “Upcoming Events.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Freedom!!! – Four More Mercy Grads Celebrate!

Young women come to Mercy Ministries desperate to fill the emptiness in their lives that the world has failed to satisfy. Four more amazing young women have learned that only Christ can fill that void and set them free. Residents, staff, family and friends recently gathered at the St. Louis home to celebrate their graduations, and we wanted to share their incredible stories of healing and transformation with you:

Kelly

Since the age of 16, I have been heavily involved with drugs and alcohol. Being raped at the age of 16, and then being told that it didn’t happen or that it was my fault, really distorted my perception of myself and of man. I never learned how to respect my body as a woman or to develop healthy relationships with people. In May 2008, I was diagnosed with AIDS. Since then, my life has consisted of one devastation after another. On a daily basis I prayed that God would either let me die or help me to live. When my aunt told me about Mercy, I knew that my prayers for help had been answered.

While at Mercy, I have learned that I am a new creation in Christ and that all things are new. I now have a personal relationship with God. I know that He has been by my side since the day I was created. I know that God never intended for me to experience any of the pain I have, but that all along He has been carrying me through it. I now have hope and feel like I'm living for a purpose. I am so excited about what's coming next and look forward to each new day.

After graduation, I plan to get actively involved with my church and other ministries that help people find restoration and freedom from addiction.


Rae

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with depression, drug addiction, anxiety and anger. I couldn’t function in normal, everyday life without painkillers. I was extremely insecure and didn’t feel like I had a purpose. I didn’t have any dreams or goals and didn’t feel like I was good at anything. I had lost all hope, and I was tired of hurting myself and others. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I heard about Mercy from my cousin, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me who I really am. I no longer believe the lie that I am worthless and hopeless. I know I have a purpose, and I can do anything with God by my side. I know now that God has always been pursuing me even when I thought He was a fantasy. He loves me more than I can comprehend. God has taught me how to dream again.

After graduation, I plan to go to college. I’m also getting married in December and want to eventually start a family. I would also like to one day get involved with prison ministry. I am forever grateful for Mercy and all the staff. Coming here has changed my life.


Alleah

Growing up, I was constantly sick as a child, which later translated to the thought that there always had to be something wrong for me to get attention. I was also a level 9 gymnast and trained several hours a week at the gym. While competing, I used the sport as a cover for self-harm and would often push my body to hurt myself on purpose. I found my identity in gymnastics, but as my body deteriorated, I was no longer able to participate in the sport. After quitting gymnastics, I turned to prescription drugs to numb my emotions, and I made plans to take my life. After my first hospitalization, I turned to cutting. I was also placed on medication that caused weight loss, which only made me want to lose more weight. I heard about Mercy from a friend who graduated from the program. I saw the freedom and happiness she had received, and I wanted the same thing. What I was doing wasn’t working, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I have learned that my identity is in Christ, and I have the power to choose life or death. I made the decision to choose life. I have also learned that I must keep my eyes on Jesus.

After Mercy, I plan to get involved in my church. I also plan to go back to school to get my associate’s degree in graphic design so that I can one day have my own photography business.


Stephanie

The last 8 years of my life, I spent addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was physically and sexually abused and attempted suicide several times. I was diagnosed with several mental illnesses and told I would be in and out of hospitals for the rest of my life. I tried other facilities, but they didn’t work. I heard about Mercy Ministries, and I had nowhere to go and no more money, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has done so many things for me! I am a new creation in Christ. I am no longer an alcoholic or addict or any other label, and I have been off all medications for three months now. I now know my identity in Christ, and I can quit running- finally! I would like to thank Nancy Alcorn for her obedience to God to follow His will for her life. I am forever changed. Thank you!

After graduation, I plan to get my degree and become an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I will also be serving at my church and joining a small group Bible study.

Congratulations Kelly, Rae, Alleah and Stephanie! We are so proud of your bravery and maturity and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you on your new journey with Him. We look forward to hearing how He will use you to help others!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Very Merry Mercy...

As December approaches, we look forward to one of our biggest events, the Merry Mercy Christmas Benefit. We hope you will join us to celebrate the season by sharing a delicious meal and hearing amazing stories of transformation. Our Nashville, St. Louis and Charlotte events will also include silent auctions to raise money for Mercy. Travel packages, sports memorabilia, jewelry, artwork and gift baskets will go to the highest bidders of the night. To get a preview of some of these amazing auction items, CLICK HERE

Check out this powerful video to get a glimpse of last year's very special Merry Mercy and hear popular radio show host and New York Times Best Selling author, Dave Ramsey, speak about why he is a proud partner of Mercy Ministries!



To purchase tickets for an event near you, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Five More Lives Transformed At Mercy

“I am so thankful for everyone that has sown into my life. I cannot ever repay you, but know that I pray that my life blesses you. I am also excited to give back to Mercy in the future, because Mercy changes lives. Mine is forever changed.” – Danielle

Mercy Ministries values every young woman’s life and believes in her future. By accepting Christ’s love and forgiveness, the five young women who recently graduated from Mercy are freed from their past and are now equipped to take hope out into the world. Here are their amazing stories of transformation:


Nashville

Danielle

My brother died when I was 10 years old, and from that moment on I never knew how to properly grieve. I was also molested my whole life growing up and raped several times by boys from school. I then got involved in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship, where I lived under my boyfriend's constant control. During that time, I became heavily addicted to pills and smoked marijuana all day long. At one point, I overdosed on pills and ended up in the ER after going into cardiac arrest. When my relationship ended, I began shooting up heroin and became even more dependent on pills to numb the intense pain I was feeling. My cousin came to my aid after I was hospitalized. She told me that Mercy saved her life nine years ago, and it could save mine too. Four months later, I applied.

I was very excited when I got to Mercy and decided that I was going to give it all I had. While at Mercy, God has changed my life and helped me to see clearly. I've learned that I can go to Him, and He will give me everything I need. He gave me a new life. I am no longer living in fear, and now I have hope for the future. God has healed my heart and become my best friend. I am a new creation in Christ!

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get a degree in communications. After that, I'd like to go to law school. I would love to help bring justice to this world, especially in the area of domestic violence. I am so thankful for everyone that has sown into my life. I cannot ever repay you, but know that I pray that my life will bless others. I am also excited to give back to Mercy in the future, because Mercy changes lives. Mine is forever changed. Thank you.


Blaise

I was born to a single mother who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was also sexually abused as a child on a few occasions. My siblings and I were mostly left at home alone and had little or nothing to eat. At the age of four, my aunt and uncle took us in, and at the age of ten, I was adopted by another loving family from their church. My adoptive parents did everything they could to make me feel loved and accepted, but I rejected that love. I was very angry about what happened in the past and developed an eating disorder. When my parents found out what I was doing, I switched to over-exercising. I became very rebellious and deceptive and would do anything to lose a pound. I also found myself in a relationship with a man 40 years older. I was so ashamed and had no hope, no purpose and no future. I heard about Mercy from several family members and decided to apply.

When I arrived at Mercy, I was scared, but everyone I came into contact with just loved and encouraged me. I have been able to forgive so many people, and my relationship with my parents has been completely restored. I can now look in the mirror and see beauty, and I know that I am accepted, forgiven, pure and whole in Christ. My identity is in Him, and I do not have to perform to please others. God does love me, and He has GREAT plans for my life.

After graduation, I plan to go back to my job and to college. I would like to get my masters degree in counseling and work with young women to help them with the issues I have now overcome through Christ. I also have a heart for missions. I am dreamin' big! I am so thankful for Mercy’s supporters. I could never have afforded it if I’d had to pay, and I am forever grateful.


St. Louis

Jessica

Before coming to Mercy, I was a drug addict and was depressed and suicidal. I experienced abuse in my past and made some bad choices to try and cover up the shame I felt. I had issues with trusting authority and was selfish and rebellious. Eventually, I lost everything I had, including my son. I had a good friend who went to Mercy, and my dad also suggested the program. I wanted to be a good mother for my son, and I knew I needed help, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God rescued me, healed my broken heart and restored my soul. I’ve been cleansed and forgiven, and I am a new creation in Christ. I am completely free from drug addiction and have learned the importance of responsibility. I am also learning to trust authority.

After graduation, I plan to go home and be the best mom I can be. I can’t wait to watch all that God has in store for my future! It’s going to be awesome!


Laurie

Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with rejection and shame, and I felt unloved and rejected. I developed an eating disorder as a result and began leading a double life. I would go to church and act like everything was fine, but I was in desperate need of help. I did not know God’s love for me, and did not trust Him. My mentor told me about Mercy, and I couldn’t afford to pay to get help, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that God loves me, accepts me and forgives me. He has redeemed me, changed me and taught me love and compassion. He has been with me through every situation and brought me to an awesome place of healing! God is more amazing and loving and beautiful than I ever imagined, and His healing is incredible!

After graduation, I plan to pursue art and music, and to reach out to others, all to the glory of God! I would also love to get married someday and have a family.


Alex

Growing up, I was sexually abused, and I blamed myself. I hated myself for what happened and took on a lot of false responsibility. I felt a lot of shame, guilt, rejection and a lack of purpose for my life. I was struggling with bulimia, cutting and suicidal intentions that left me desperate for help. I did not understand God’s unconditional love and acceptance for me, but I knew I needed to be able to forgive and learn my true identity in Christ. A doctor referred me to Mercy, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has restored my relationship with Him. He has shown me how to receive unconditional love, and has helped me to forgive others and myself. My identity is now determined by who He says I am. God used Mercy to save my life.

After graduation, I plan to work and attend college. Before, I had no hope for my future, but now I’m excited for what God has in store for my life, and I can’t wait to live it.


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of you and excited to see where the Lord will take you in this next season of your lives! You have truly been transformed and will help so many other hurting young women know that freedom is possible!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nashville Residents Enjoy “A Time Of Refreshing”

Fun, fellowship and life-transforming truths were all a part of the Fashioned In His Image (FIHI) Women's Conference held at Born Again Church November 9 - 13. The Nashville residents were so excited to attend “A Time of Refreshing,” and all the girls felt loved and encouraged by the amazing speakers.

The girls heard powerful teachings from Founder and Conference Host - Kiwanis Hockett, Pastor Kimberly Ray, Rev. Dr. Jackie McCullough, Psalmist Vicki Yohe, Dr. Judith McAllister and Rev. Susan Sawyer. Here’s what some of the girls had to say about this life-transforming weekend:

I loved it so much. The extreme makeover skit was hilarious and lots of fun. I feel really refreshed, and I really felt God's presence in that place. God really touched me and moved me through this conference. – Stephanie

I really enjoyed the conference. I wasn't expecting to be so touched. The speakers were so good and the last night was amazing. I had the opportunity to have the person who spoke on a specific topic that I related to pray for me. God spoke a lot to me through this conference. – Abby

The FIHI Conference was amazing. The speakers totally presented the Word in a new, fun way. I felt totally refreshed and renewed. The extreme makeover night was my favorite. – Danielle

I can't get over how friendly the people are and how loving the environment is. You can tell just how much everybody loves the Lord, and the Holy Spirit was definitely present. I loved the interaction and makeover theme. – Rebekah

The conference was so amazing! The speakers were all anointed and spoke so many words of wisdom! I learned many life-transforming truths, and I was very blessed by what each person had to say. I’m so thankful I got to go to the FIHI conference. It was an amazing blessing. – Danielle
Fashioned In His Image has been providing outreach services and support to thousands of women, teen girls and families throughout Tennessee. We are so grateful for their support and the opportunity to learn, fellowship and worship with these amazing women of God. Here’s what Nashville resident, Bekah, had to say about this incredible event:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Amazing Auction Items Up For Bid – All To Benefit Mercy Ministries!

Have you ever dreamed of what it might be like to be a NASCAR driver? How about an astronaut? Have you every wished you could take a cooking class from the world-renowned chefs at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Paris? Well, now might be your chance!


As December approaches, we look forward to our biggest fundraisers of the year, the Merry Mercy Christmas Benefits. At each event, you will hear the testimonies of some amazing Mercy graduates while enjoying a delicious meal. At several of these events, you will have the opportunity to help us reach more hurting young women by giving your financial support through a live or silent auction. Luxury travel packages, sports memorabilia, jewelry, artwork and gift baskets will go to the highest bidders of the night. Some of the unique travel packages up for bid include:

Luxury Caribbean resort vacations
5-night dream ski vacation in Telluride, Colorado
MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Golf or College Bowl Game Sports fan getaway
Sonoma VIP Wine Experience
Long Weekend in New York
NASCAR Racing Experience
Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Demo
New Orleans Jazz & Dining Package
Disney World Resort Family Adventure
Kennedy Space Center Space Pass and Astronaut Training Experience

Start planning your vacation now and secure your destination for up to a third of the price!! There will be plenty of great items available for bidding that would make the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one. You can get more details about some of our auction items by CLICKING HERE. And remember, that ALL proceeds go toward helping hurting young women have their lives transformed and their hope restored!

We are still looking for auction items, so if you would like to donate and item, vacation home or service, contact Ali Howard at (615) 831-6987 or ahoward@mercyministries.com. If you are unable to attend one of these amazing events, you can still bid, so be sure to contact us for more details. Find an event near you by going to http://www.mercyministries.org/HowToHelp/Events. We can wait to celebrate with you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mercy Ministries Needs Your Help TODAY!!!

As you read this, every bed in our four U.S. homes is occupied by a young woman who believed she was a hopeless case before coming to Mercy. That means more than 130 young women are working their way through the transformation process and having their hope restored right now!

As exciting as this is, we cannot forget the hundreds more on the waiting list who are desperate for hope. We depend on people like you to give to Mercy so that we can meet the incredible needs of hurting young women crying out to us for help. Our financial needs have never been greater, and your support is critical to bringing hope to hundreds of hurting, desperate young women.

Please pick up your phone and give $10 right now by simply texting the word MERCY to 85944, and help hurting young women have their lives transformed and hope restored!

By supporting Mercy, you provide a safe place to live, Biblical counseling, life-skills training and transitional care for victims of sex trafficking and other abuse. Join the fight, and text MERCY to 85944 to help bring hope and healing and ultimately save a young woman's life!

To see an amazing example of how your support changes lives, check out this powerful video of Mercy graduate, Priscilla. After three long years of being held in shackles by her sex traffickers, Priscilla spotted the key on the floor. The guard hadn't noticed that he dropped it as he was struggling to restrain another girl being held captive. With her perpetrator distracted, Priscilla quickly grabbed the key, unlocked herself and ran for her life, holding that key to her freedom tightly in her grip.

Click below to hear Nancy and Priscilla on what that key symbolizes today...


Spread the word to your friends, family and fans by forwarding this email or copy and paste:

I texted ‘MERCY’ to 85944 to bring hope and freedom today! Will you do the same? Here is one story: http://vimeo.com/30099839 #givemercy

and share it through your Twitter and Facebook accounts! We need your support!

*A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. Donations are collected for Mercy Ministries by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 85944 to stop. Reply HELP to 89544 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Four More Mercy Ministries Graduates Celebrate Freedom!!!

After years of being told that there was no hope and that they would live with life-controlling issues for the rest of their lives, four amazing young women have been set free through the life-transforming power of Christ! Residents, staff, family and friends recently gathered at the Monroe home to celebrate their graduation, and we wanted to share their incredible stories of healing and freedom with you:

Trissy

After my mom died when I was 14, I was never allowed to express my emotions. Instead, I used eating disorder behavior and self-harm to cope with my pain. I struggled with a lot of rejection, abandonment, depression and anxiety growing up. I hated who I was and what I looked like and felt like I was never good enough. Immediately after graduating from college, I married my high school sweetheart, but the loneliness of being an army wife caught up with me, and I began using eating disorder behaviors to cope with life. I became so completely engrossed in eating disorder behavior, I required multiple hospital stays. On two separate occasions, my weight was so low, I was forced to go on feeding tubes. I was wasting away and slowly dying. My life revolved around eating disorder behaviors, and it was all I could think about all day long. I spent months going through the cycle of treatment, recovery and relapse. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me His awesome and amazing love. I do matter, and I am and always have been enough. He has also shown me how truly perfect His timing is. While on the waiting list, I started rebuilding my relationship with my husband, and just a few weeks after coming to Mercy, I found out I was pregnant. I had learned and grown so much from the program that I was determined to stick it out and see it through for my own life and the life of my unborn child, very likely saving the life of my baby. God has shown me that my life does matter and that He loves me so much more than I can really comprehend.

After graduation, I plan to go back home with my husband. I want to volunteer and get involved with our church. I plan to be a stay at home mom for a while after the birth of our baby in March. Eventually, I would like to use my psychology degree and help other girls struggling with eating disorder behavior. I can’t thank Mercy enough for the healing they’ve helped me receive through God!


Angie

Before coming to Mercy, I was hopeless. I hated myself because of past sexual abuse. I felt like I had to punish myself for the things I had done, so I began cutting. I also developed an eating disorder in an attempt to feel some sense of control. Because I hated myself, I tried to end my life and ended up in the ICU. This began a cycle of going in and out of mental hospitals for two and a half months. Doctors told me that I would be institutionalized for the rest of my life. Then, my best friend graduated from Mercy and came home. I saw how truly transformed her life was and how God changed her heart. I wanted what she had, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me that He truly loves me. My past abuse was not His plan. His plan is for me to have life and have life abundantly. I have also learned that God meets us right where we are. I don’t have to “fix” myself before I come to God, He accepts me just the way I am.

After graduation, I plan to get a part-time job and go to college. I would like to get a degree in the mental health field. I also have a heart for the homeless and hope to share the hope that I now have in Christ by volunteering at a homeless shelter. Mercy Ministries has laid the foundation of God’s Word in my life, and I’m so grateful.


Dara

Before Mercy, I felt alone and unloved. I was neglected, abandoned and abused multiple times growing up. At school, I was often the center of others' cruel jokes and felt stupid and worthless as a result. I truly hated myself and began cutting and starving myself as punishment for being unlovable and unwanted. I was angry with God and with those who had abandoned me, and I shut myself off from everyone, vowing to never trust again. I decided to starve myself to death, and when my counselor realized what I was doing, she told me about Mercy. I was losing hope, so I decided to apply.

Being at Mercy has been one of the best experiences of my life. Since being here, I have learned that I have value and a purpose for my life. Satan’s plan for my life was pain and death, but God has a plan to give me hope and a future. He took me out of the pit and gave me a new life. I have learned that what others say about me doesn’t matter, because God calls me beautiful and lovable. I have learned that only Christ can fill my heart and take care of my needs.

After graduation, I plan to go to Bible College to get a degree in counseling. I want to share my story with others and help them to know God’s unconditional love. I want people to know that God is the only one who can heal them and that what they have done in the past doesn’t mean they are disqualified from a relationship with Christ. He accepts us as we are if we just surrender our hearts to Him.


Hannah


I was raised in a Christian family, but of course we had problems. I was learning about the Bible in school and my parents took me to church, but as I got older, I wasn’t interested in God. I felt like a freak and got involved in some deep sexual perversion. I began drinking and getting involved with guys in hopes of numbing my pain, but the relief was always temporary. There was so much chaos and darkness inside of me, and I had a deep desire to die. I ended up being controlled by obsessive thoughts of food and began starving myself. I saw several therapists who told me I would never be free and that women live all their lives with eating disorders. I would always leave in tears and despair. I would go to therapists who tried to help me, but without God, nothing helped. I heard about Mercy from a friend of my mom and decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that God has been there, even in the most painful times. When I felt so alone and like I couldn’t take it, He drew near to comfort and strengthen me. I met people here who are so in love with Jesus that I can see Him shining through them and feel the love in their hearts. I’ve given my heart to the Lord, and He is my only hope. Now I am excited to live!

After graduation, I plan to get a new job and save up for college. In college, I’d like to study to be a teacher or a nurse. Thank you so much to everyone at Mercy! The care and counsel I’ve received here has been so precious to me.


Congratulations ladies! It is so incredible to see you so full of hope and excited for the future that God has for you. We know you are going to have an incredible impact on other hurting young women in your communities and around the world!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mercy Residents Get Transformed On The Inside And Out!

Last week, stylists from Inside Out Hair Salon in St. Charles, Missouri came to the St. Louis home to give our residents a fresh new look to compliment their beautiful inner transformations! These amazing women generously gave of their time and talents to cut and style the hair of each girl and really took extra care to get to know each girl and make her feel special. Here’s what some of the girls had to say about their new looks:

With all the transformations God is doing on the inside of me, I was so blessed and honored to get a haircut and be transformed on the outside as well. God is continually showing me how much He loves and cares about ALL of me. The ladies who came were so encouraging and such a blessing.
-Jessie

Since coming to Mercy, I am a completely changed person. This new haircut matches my new transformation!
-Stephanie

Getting my hair cut was such a huge blessing. I am very thankful for the great women of God who donated their time to cut our hair.
-Jennifer

Residents Stephanie and Jennifer with their stylist, Julie
Our special thanks to Denise, Lauren, Julie and Jasmine of Inside Out Hair Salon. We are so grateful for the creative way you have blessed our residents!

Before

After

Friday, November 4, 2011

CHARISMA CHURCH IN PARIS, FRANCE – What an Experience!!!

This is my third time to speak at Charisma Church in Paris, France over the last several years, and I can tell you for sure that I get more inspired each time I go. Pastors Pedro and Natalie Nuno are absolutely amazing pastors and leaders of this congregation of thousands! They serve with integrity, character, and great love and passion for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That same heart and spirit, intensity, and passion, has been passed on to those they serve in what is known around the country as the largest church in France. What a great time we had as we shared together, not a common language, but a common bond and love through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thankfully for me, I had the privilege of once again having Pastor Natalie as my interpreter. She does such a great job, and I am so thankful for who she is because it makes my job so much easier. She is one anointed lady! I get so moved every time I witness the altar filling with people, and certainly was not disappointed on this day as the altars were filled with people accepting Christ for the first time. This just goes to show what a great job this church is doing in their outreach to the city of Paris and beyond. Not only are they impacting their nation, but they are impacting the nations of the world. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures from the time we shared together this past Sunday. Thank you Pastors Pedro and Natalie for the honor of speaking on your platform and loving on your people!



ONE LAST THING: My Executive Assistant, Katelyn, accompanied me on this trip and we had a great time shopping. It was special to have an extra couple of days in Paris with Katelyn because she is actually getting married on November 13th. It was kind of like our last girl trip together!


Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love,
Nancy

Give The Gift Of Freedom This Year!!!

This Is Freedom: Nancy Alcorn LIVE at Joyce Meyer’s 2011 Love Life Women’s Conference, is a new must-have teaching DVD now available in our online store! In this compelling teaching, Nancy Alcorn shares stories of hope and redemption and the restoration possible through Jesus Christ. Nancy challenges the church to rise up, confront the lies of the enemy and truly love those that are hurting.

Alongside Nancy, graduate Kim Brownie shares her powerful testimony of a life restored following a childhood of abandonment, violence and abuse. Kim never knew who her father was and was abandoned by her mother at an early age. After years of violence, having knives pulled on her and being told she wasn't wanted, Kim's aunt sold her into sex trafficking when she was 12 years old. As the nightmare of her life continued, Kim wanted to die and began self-harming to cope with her pain. After her 28th failed suicide attempt, she cried out to God and said, "If you're not going to let me die, then you're going to have to help me live." The next day, she saw Nancy on a national television program talking about Mercy Ministries.

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.

Don’t miss out on this life-changing teaching by Nancy Alcorn and Kim’s incredible testimony of healing and restoration! Purchase your copy right now by CLICKING HERE, and give the gift of freedom and transformation this Christmas to yourself or someone you love!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Week On Mercy Multiplied Live Radio Show - Unplanned Pregnancy

The statistics can’t be ignored - There are 750,000 teen pregnancies each year with 59% ending in birth. 82% of teen pregnancies are unplanned and 34% of girls in America get pregnant at least once before age 20. (Guttmacher Institute 2011)

2006 Graduate, Kristin
Be sure to tune in to KXEN 1010 AM Christian Talk in St. Louis this Sunday night from 6:00-7:00pm CST (7:00-8:00pm EST) and join the discussion about unplanned pregnancy in the U.S. and how Mercy Ministries helps young women choose life. Kristin, a 2006 Mercy graduate, will join us on the program to share her story of rebellious teenage years, drug and alcohol addiction and unplanned pregnancy. Mercy Ministries is dedicated to helping each expectant birth mother reach the best decision for herself and her child. Kristin will share her beautiful journey and how God led her in the decision to place her daughter for adoption.

Each week, Mercy Multiplied 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.

Please join us each Sunday evening from 6:00-7:00pm CST (7:00-8:00pm EST) and call 1-855-MercyLive (1-855-637-2954) to share your story or ask a question. If you miss the live show, you can always download the podcast from any of our episodes at www.mercymultiplied.com. You can also download a free app for your iPhone or Droid by searching for KXEN 1010 in the app store, and hear the show live wherever you go! For information about how you can be a sponsor for the show, contact Eve Annunziato at 615-831-6987 or mercymultiplied@gmail.com.