Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

I just wanted to get back to everybody today as we are well into the last day of 2008! I know in my last blog, I asked people to put their prayer requests for 2009 in the comments section, and several of you chose to do so. Please know that I am in agreement with you for the prayer requests that you posted. For those of you who have prayer requests in your heart, but you chose not to post them, please know that I am also in agreement with you for God’s will to be done in your life. Since this is the last day of this year, I thought it would be appropriate for me to mention to you that no matter what you are facing today, it is possible for things to change.

In fact, I received a very encouraging message on Facebook from the mother of one of our Mercy graduates from this year. She was sharing with me how she and her husband just kept looking at each other and reflecting back on where they were this time last year, and how different things are today. Things are so much better in their family, but rather than hearing it from me, I wanted to share this with you by allowing you to read these words straight from the heart of a mother. I hope that this mother’s words will encourage each and every one of you to know that no matter where you are today and no matter what you are facing, that this time next year can be so different if you will dare to look to God for help and take the steps that you need to deal with whatever it is in your life that you may need to deal with.

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all you do! My daughter Tabitha graduated from the Nashville home in November - just about a month ago - and my husband and I both have looked at each other so many times during this Christmas season and reflected on where we were last year at this time...I am afraid that without Mercy it is very likely that our Tabby may not have been with us! Thank you for all that you do - you are such an inspiration to so many!
Sending you the best of Christmas blessings and God's love all year around.
(grateful mother of Tabitha)

It’s not too late for you to send prayer requests if you would like to us to pray with you about anything. Please feel free to do that today or any other day. God Bless you all.

Will talk back later,

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year’s Resolutions

I haven’t talked to you since the day after Christmas. I hope that you had a very nice weekend. As we approach the New Year, it is common that many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Some statistics have shown that the average length that New Year’s resolutions last is usually around eight days; so instead of doing New Year’s resolutions the normal way, and perhaps failing, I was thinking that it would be a good idea if those of you that read this would list in the comments section what your New Year’s resolution is, and then we can all join together and pray for one another so that, by God’s grace, we can succeed in whatever we want to change with His help. Today is December 29th. Maybe you could go ahead and post your resolutions (prayer requests) in the next few days so that we can all agree in prayer with one another. We are told in James 5:16 that we are to confess our faults to one another and pray for one another so that we can be healed. Let’s join together in the New Year by praying for one another so we can see god change us from the inside out.

Blessings to everyone, wherever you may be!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Break

I am really enjoying my Christmas break, and I hope you are as well. I had a really nice Christmas with friends and family. Today, instead of talking about what I am doing, I think I would prefer to share with you about one of our Mercy graduates from just six months ago who is already making a difference in the lives of other people. I was absolutely amazed by this young woman as I read her story and thought that I just had to share it with you, so here goes.

Hi Nancy!

I’ve been keeping up to date with all that’s happening with Mercy! I love all of the blogs because it’s awesome to see all that God is doing in other’s lives through this ministry. In 5 days, I will have graduated Mercy 6 months ago from the St. Louis home! I’m blown away every time I even think about what God has done in and through my life. I recently spoke at my church and shared my testimony of what God has done in my life! (see picture to the left) Man, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was! I have always hated speaking in front of others. In fact, I spent my entire life trying to not be seen or heard, I just wanted to be invisible and die. God has taken those feelings and turned them around! I’ve been given the opportunity to speak at two chapel services coming up specifically on self-injury. I have also been working with an eighth grade class every Wednesday and youth on Sunday nights. I have been totally blessed with these opportunities to not only show who God is to these young teens but also to learn how to have fun again…they are truly blessing me in ways I can’t even express. (see picture on right) This year started out as a year of death. I came into the program January 10, 2008, dead! Honestly that’s all I can say…I hated life, God, and myself. It’s been a year of transformation, realization, growth, and relearning how to love life, God and myself again! It has not been an easy year - in fact, probably the hardest, but I can definitely say it’s been the greatest and most needed! The opportunities that God has placed in front on me are huge. Sometimes I think, “There’s no way I can do that,” but in that moment I remember that, no, I can’t do it, but He can through me! Thank you for the amazing woman of God that you truly are! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn who God really is! I hope you have an awesome holiday!


P.S. Oh yes, I also forgot to mention the fact that I had the opportunity to go back to school, FREE!! I received a complete scholarship to pursue a career in baking and pastry. I finished my semester this week with a 4.0 GPA! God is restoring my memory and I'm seeing the results! In my past I have abused simple things like knives, alcohol and food and was able to use these items, this semester, in the way they were made to be used in the culinary field. I'm growing so much and am amazed with God daily! Alright, that's it...ha! Just wanted to share that!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I wanted to take a moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. How great is that!! I am so blessed that someone took the time to share Christ with me so that I could come to know Him in a personal way. Today we not only celebrate His birth, but we also celebrate the new life we have received in Christ. The truth is that God has adopted each and every one of us as His child. I am amazed and so very thankful to be in the family of God.

Speaking of adoption, I could not think of any better story to share with you on Christmas Day than this one. I just received this update from a Mercy Ministries Louisiana graduate from 1997. This is the first time I have heard from her in 11 years. I was so touched by her message hat I had to share this with you…

Hi Nancy!My name is Kris and I am a former Monroe Mercy resident. I received Christ as my Savior and my blessing in '97. I got an email today talking about your blog, and I found you on Facebook through that. I wanted to thank you for what has been done in my life through Mercy. When at the home, I was honored to be chosen by another friend there as a birth coach to her son that she gave up for adoption. It was the first time that God really introduced me to this blessing and really gave me a heart for it. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Carol (the friend) and Heartsoul (the boy she placed with another couple).
It is with great joy that my husband and I adopted our first son this summer! I see how God works everything to the good of those who love him according to His purposes. If not for Mercy, I would probably be dead. But through Christ, as a new creation, I am a happy MOTHER to a beautiful little boy. I am a darn good one too. :) Merry Christmas!-Kris

That says it all. I hope in the midst of the busyness, presents, family, and food that you will take the time to remember what this day is really all about as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Hope your day is wonderful.

Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Miracle…My Fondest Christmas Memory

The year was 1979 – I remember every detail of this Christmas so vividly. For one thing, it was the first time that I had ever spent Christmas Eve anywhere except in the home of my parents. But here we were - my entire family including my parents - all spending the night at my older sister’s house. Let me explain why the sudden change of plans…

It had only been a little over two months since my sister Rebecca’s husband was tragically killed. He was on his way home from playing golf with his buddies, and he called my sister to say that he would be home in just a few minutes because he wanted to be able to kiss the kids goodnight. My nephew, Jesse, was four months old at the time, and my niece, Rachel, was three and a half. My brother-in-law, Al, was a very hardworking man who loved God and his family, and he always did what he said he was going to do. A few minutes turned into over an hour, and then another hour and then another. My sister knew something was wrong, so she called around to no avail. Just after midnight, the doorbell rang and when my sister opened the door, she saw two state troopers standing there. They proceeded to tell her that her husband had been run off the road by a drunk driver. He hit a tree and was killed instantly.

This was one of the most difficult times our family has ever known, so we all knew that we would go to Rebecca’s house for Christmas to be with her and her two children. Obviously Jesse, the four month old, was too young to remember, but Rachel kept asking where her dad was. My sister would tell her he was in heaven. We knew that it would be a tough Christmas, but we were all amazed at Rebecca’s strength. We all kind of spread out in the house – some slept on the couch, some on the floor, and some in beds. What mattered was that we were all there together.

As we got up on Christmas morning and gathered around the Christmas tree to watch three and a half year old, Rachel, open her Christmas presents, I was thankful that we all had a reason to suck it up and be excited for her. Every three and a half year old is excited when they’re opening Christmas presents. She was just finishing opening the last present when the doorbell rang. We all looked at each other as if to say, “Who on Earth would be paying us a surprise visit on Christmas morning when it is usually a time when everyone is at home with their families?” So my sister went to the door just to see if perhaps someone’s car had broken down or something like that. When she opened the door, there was a middle-aged man standing there. We heard Rebecca call him by name as it turned out it was a friend of hers and Al’s that owned the local Western Auto store. He was standing on the porch with a small bicycle with training wheels on it. We were all close enough to the front door that we could hear what was being said. This man proceeded to tell my sister that the morning that Al was killed, he had stopped by his store to pick out Rachel’s Christmas present. He explained that he couldn’t help but think that God wanted him to deliver the present to Rachel since her daddy meant for her to have it. I watched Rebecca take a deep breath, smile, and say ‘Oh let me go get my checkbook so I can pay you.’ He put his hand up in the air and said, “No! There is no way you are going to pay for this. It is my joy to be able to deliver this gift at my expense.” My sister thanked him and we all got tears in our eyes, rolled the little bicycle into the living room, and said, “Hey Rachel, look...your daddy sent you a Christmas present from heaven!” Because Rachel was only three and a half, she didn’t try to figure out how that was possible, she just received the gift with such joy. It was so special.

Even though it was a very painful time for our family, that is without a doubt my fondest Christmas memory. It was obvious that this was not just a gift from Rachel’s earthly father, but it was a gift that had been orchestrated by our Heavenly Father for us all.

I think it is so appropriate that I am sharing this blog on Christmas Eve. Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, I hope that you will make the most of the time that you have with your family and loved ones.

If you have a moment, I would love for you to use the comment section to briefly write about your fondest Christmas memory. I am sure it will bless us all to hear it.

Merry Christmas to all.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Broken Engagement

A Broken Engagement

I thought it might be interesting to you if I share my best Christmas memory, as well as my worst Christmas memory. I’m going to start by telling you my worst Christmas memory, and I hope you will check back in tomorrow so you can read about my best Christmas memory. You definitely don’t want to miss my best, because it’s truly an amazing story.

Okay, let’s get the worst Christmas memory out of the way…

It’s been a little over 10 years ago now that I was very busy planning for what I had no doubt would be my best Christmas ever. Not only was I engaged to be married, but I was going to have the opportunity to spend the entire Christmas holiday with my fiancĂ©. We were not only excited about spending Christmas together, but we were also excited about finalizing plans for our upcoming wedding in the spring. Little did I know that my preconceived idea about what that Christmas was going to be like was way off target. Let me explain…

First of all, I had no doubt in my mind that this was a match made in heaven. Wayne and I were introduced by my pastor, who was very close to both of us. We quickly connected. We were both committed Christians who wanted to put God first in our lives, but we also loved to give to other people. We both loved sports, and he even liked my dog and let him ride in his lap when he was driving the car. I didn’t think it could get any better than that. We had so much in common, and we laughed and joked and could talk for hours on end. It was such an exciting time in my life.

I won’t go into all the details because it would be way too long, but I do want to lay out enough of them so you will understand how painful that Christmas turned out to be. We spent time at my parents’ house first with my siblings and nieces and nephews. All was going smooth. Then we made a road trip to see my brother in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was during this time that things began to change. I began to see a side of this man that I had never seen before. He became very short, had lots of mood swings, and was extremely irritable. We finally went out so that we could talk alone, and it was then that he confessed to me that he was addicted to prescription drugs. Being a pharmaceutical sales representative for a major company, it was not hard for him to supply his need or to feed his problem. Because of his job, he faced with constant temptation, and he confessed that he finally succumbed to it. My mind began to reason about how this really wasn’t so bad, because he could get help and everything would be okay. But in the moments to come, he proceeded to tell me that he was more interested in keeping his drug habit than he was in getting help. So there I was, faced with a major dilemma. I run a ministry that helps addicts, and I found out that I am engaged to one. I believe strongly in unconditional love and have no problem with sticking with someone while they get help. However, I did have a major problem when the man that I thought I knew so well proceeded to tell me that he didn’t want help. I knew that I had no choice and that was the beginning of the end of our relationship. I remember on Christmas Day, we both shed many tears and also exchanged strong words. I won’t go any farther than that, but that was definitely the worst Christmas memory I have ever had.

Before you start feeling sorry for me, I want you to know that even though it was a very painful thing to go through, I eventually became very grateful to God that He allowed me to find this out before the wedding instead of after the wedding. I have dated a number of guys since then, but have not yet found the right guy for me. I still have hope that it will happen, but in the meantime I have made up my mind that I will enjoy my life to the fullest. For those of you who are reading this - wherever you are in your life and whatever you are going through, I hope that you too will make the choice to serve God and live your life to the fullest.

Would you mind taking a moment to write briefly in the comment section about one of your Christmas memories? Perhaps in sharing, you can help someone else.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my best Christmas memory. Like I said before, you won’t want to miss this one!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Things that Make Me Smile- Part 3

Things that Make Me Smile – Part 3…

These messages I just received are just way too good not to share!! I hope you enjoy…

Ms. Alcorn,I just wanted to send you a note to say how much I have enjoyed reading your new blog and the other new Mercy blogs. I am a supporter of Mercy due to the fact that one of your graduate's testimonies allowed God into my life to have it transformed by Him! I had lost all hope and was in bondage to an eating disorder. I randomly contacted Becky, a Nashville graduate, after reading her testimony online and she emailed me back with the words that changed my life!!! She is now one of my closest friends and an angel. I have been walking in freedom for 16 months now and am spreading my message of hope to other women I come across and now have a circle of other friends walking in freedom from eating disorders. Because of Mercy changing Becky's life, she was able to help change mine, and this is why I LOVE supporting Mercy. I have also met on Facebook a few other Mercy graduates because of our shared love of freedom and life renewals. It's so good to have others who understand where I've been and have the same love and fire for Jesus!Thank for giving the gift of Mercy and allowing God into so many women's lives! GOD BLESS YOU!Dawn

Dear Staff and Mercy Girls,
I wanted to bless you all with an early Christmas present. I painted this picture especially for the Mercy girls. I want you all to know that God has been doing some amazing things in my life. He has truly healed me from my bondage. The love I felt there was pretty amazing. I know God can do the same for all of your beautiful girls. Continue to pull through and surrender your heart to Jesus every day. His plans for you all are so BIG! Don’t’ shut him out, but let Him in.
Sincerely all my love and prayers,

“We plan to hang this picture in one of our homes, where our residents can see it every day.”

Hello Nancy,I just spent the weekend with a few of my Mercy sisters. We had an amazing time talking about our time at Mercy Monroe, and all that God did in our lives. This morning I was reading the latest Mercy magazine and my heart was overwhelmed with the gratefulness I have towards God and Mercy. Thinking back to how life was last Christmas, it is TOTALLY different now. I am no longer consumed by depression and my eating disorder, and I actually want to get out of bed in the morning. God is doing GREAT things in my life and I just got a job offer to work as a nanny/teacher for a wonderful Christian family in the Houston area. Thank you again for following the path God had for you. You are making such an impact. My family thanks you as well. We are ALL thankful I am here this year to celebrate a new year, and the FREEDOM I have!!!!Many prayers and blessings to you Nancy :)Much loveEsther

Just wanted to share these messages with you. These are the kinds of things that truly make me smile and make me love what I do!! Talk to you tomorrow!



Friday, December 19, 2008

A Special Message to Singles… (or to those who are alone)

As you know, it’s just a few days before Christmas. I felt compelled to write a brief message to those who are single, as well as to those who may be alone at Christmas. For those who are single, sometimes Christmas can be a difficult time. Since I have been single all my life, I feel qualified to speak into this. I can tell you that there were many times in the past that I found Christmas to be a sad time because it seems to be more family-oriented, and when you don’t have a family, you tend to feel like maybe something is missing. I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but a few years ago, I made a shift in the mind-set that I normally had as the Christmas holidays approached. I decided that I was going to make the very best of it, and to enjoy special moments with my extended family as well as my close circle of friends. I also decided to try to think about those who have lost loved ones recently must feel, having to face the emptiness of missing someone who is normally around sharing the joy of the season. I also made the decision to think about how blessed I am having a place to live and food to eat, as opposed to those that I may see on the news that are eating at a homeless shelter. I also found out about some single friends of mine who would make it a point at Thanksgiving and Christmas to go serve food to those in the inner city who were eating in soup kitchens and rescue missions. I thought how cool that they would choose to give themselves to do that.

I’m not trying to diminish the fact that I know it can be difficult for people who are single, but sometimes I think we have to make a choice to remember how really blessed we are. I know that when I spent a couple of weeks in Rwanda and met many of the survivors of the genocide whose arms and legs had been taken with machetes and yet they were still managing to function, I became very convicted at the moments I spend in any form of self-pity or temptation to think that my life is empty. I found these Rwandans so grateful to God that they are still alive, even though their entire family- mom, dad, and siblings – were killed right before their very eyes, yet somehow their life was spared. I think as a single person, we have to choose to remember that God is always with us and there are always others that we can reach out to. After all, isn’t that where real joy comes from?

As you are reading this, I hope that you will make a choice to look forward to the next few days with great anticipation of what God may have you do and who He may have you reach out to. It will make all the difference. I challenge you to get your mind off of yourself and on to others that you can lift up and encourage. Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Day in the Life

Today I am experiencing coming off an amazing night with the Mercy girls in Louisiana last night; but at the same time, I am now facing the challenging travel delays that usually surround the holidays. My flight out of Monroe this morning was actually cancelled, and then I was handed off to another airline which also had a delayed flight and I Finally just landed in Atlanta…so I thought I would do today’s blog on my layover.

I happen to have a 5:00 PM appointment today, but I’m not going to be landing in Nashville until 5:00 PM and that is if this latest time holds, so hopefully I’ll be able to make my appointment by 5:30 at the latest. At least I know that delayed flights are one thing people understand that you have no control over. We’ve all been there, haven’t we! Sometimes in situations like this, it all comes down to attitude. It’s important to just make a choice to be okay with what you can’t change. Seriously, I think our faith in God has to come into play at times like this. If we trust God to order our steps and direct our paths, then we need to not be angry at people who are just trying to do their jobs and get us where we’re supposed to be. The delays are certainly not their fault. It’s an opportunity for the fruits of the Spirit to grow in us and for kindness to rule and reign. We have to remember that there are other people in the world besides ourselves that are being inconvenienced. If we say that God is in control of our lives, then we need to trust Him when things don’t always go perfectly. That is something I’m still learning and I think that we all probably get tested on that at times. It’s a test that I would like to be able to pass every time and that is one thing that I’m working on.

I just looked up and saw a Starbucks so life is good again – ha! Look at the bright side – if I was rushing to make a flight, I wouldn’t even have time to stop and acknowledge the Starbucks, but because my flight has been delayed, I am just casually waiting in line to place my order. Can’t complain too much about that.

Back to my time at the Louisiana home – I was so blessed by the girls that are in that home as they shared with me the things that God was doing in their lives. They actually wrote a song and did this whole skit and performed it for me about coming out of your past. It was so powerful that I told them they should ask the pastor of the church they attend to allow them to do it for the church. It just really brought tears to all of our eyes, and we had a great time together. I also got to meet the latest additions to our family at the home… The girls have affectionately named them Isaiah Alcorn and Israel Alcorn in honor of me of course. I thought you might like to meet them so I’ve attached some pictures. I bonded with the new Sheltie puppies.

It’s just amazing to experience the unconditional love that is lavished on us by so many people who choose to bless the girls at Christmas. It is wonderful!! I have to go now because it’s time for me to place my Starbucks order, but I’ll talk back at you later. Have a great rest of the day and night.

Love to all,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great News!

Hey Everybody,

I just wanted to write about something that happened yesterday that made me really happy. So often, we can be really selfish and only get excited when something good happens for us, and we forget to do what the Word says, which is to rejoice when other people rejoice and to be happy when others are blessed. So today, instead of writing about something awesome that happened to me, I would love to write about something that I’m excited about that happened for one of our dear friends and supporters. My favorite Titans player is Kevin Mawae. Not only is he a tremendous football player, but he is a dear Christian brother who is such a strong witness for our Lord, Jesus Christ. Kevin and his beautiful wife Tracy are very close friends and very generous supporters of Mercy Ministries.

Yesterday it was announced that Kevin Mawae made the 2008 Pro Bowl roster!! He was the leading vote-getter on the AFC side at Center, and he will be a starter for the Pro Bowl game in Hawaii on February 8. This is Kevin’s 15th season in the NFL and this will be his 7th Pro Bowl appearance. In addition to Kevin’s accomplishments on the field, he was also voted off the field by his peers as the President of the NFL Player’s Association. His leadership both on the field and off the field has been exemplary and it is my joy to be able to call Kevin a friend. Even if you are a fan of another team, you can certainly rejoice that one of our brothers in the Lord has been honored in such a great way.

Kevin and Tracy, if you happen to be reading this, just know that we love you so much and are so proud of you!! Thanks for all you do not only for Mercy Ministries, but for our entire community.

Even as I am talking to you today, I am on my way to Louisiana to be with the girls and staff in our home there to celebrate Christmas. I always try to have one or two days that I can be in each of the homes before the actual day of Christmas comes. I always look forward to getting in the living room with each group of girls in each home and letting them tell me about what God has done in their lives and the things that they have overcome. It always makes me appreciate our Mercy staff at each home so very much. They are constantly laboring in love to provide the very best care and ministry that they can for the girls that God entrusts to us to care for. I just want to take this moment to give a big shout out to my staff and to brag on what amazing people they are and how they are so well equipped and well prepared, but most of all very dedicated to seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ. It is my joy to take a moment, 8 days before Christmas, to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed time. For those of you, like me, who are single, I challenge you to make the very best of the time. I will talk more about that on another blog. Blessings to everyone.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slipping and Sliding!

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I was on my way to St. Louis to spend time with the staff and girls at our home there. We actually had a Christmas party last night and spent quality time together, just the girls and staff. It was very, very special!! I was so amazed as I went around the room and listened to each girl tell me how far they’ve come and all the wonderful things God has done in their life since they have been at Mercy. I just had to mention this, especially for those of you who are reading this and are financial supporters. The gifts you give are making a huge difference in so many lives. There were at least 10 girls that mentioned that they probably wouldn’t be alive right now if it wasn’t for the opportunity to come to Mercy. That really says it all as far as the impact your giving is having.

On a humorous note, I must tell you what it was like this morning trying to get out of St. Louis. I had an early morning flight, so I was up early getting ready to go. I knew the weather might be bad so we allotted a little extra time for the drive to the airport. I looked outside and there was about an inch of snow on the ground. I saw people slipping and sliding, and I realized that all that joking around people do in the South about people not knowing how to drive in the snow, actually applies to people in the Midwest as well!! I had to laugh because I’ve heard so many people from the North make fun of us Southerners, even though I know we deserve itJ

I was being picked up by one of our staff members, and she got to the hotel about 15 minutes late because she had a tough time getting through all the traffic. When she arrived, she left it up to me whether we would take the time to stop at Starbucks and take a chance on missing a flight. To me, it was a no-brainer!! I had to have my regular Starbucks fix or I probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with the traffic (It’s probably not cool that somebody who tells everybody else to pray about their anxiety is confessing that a cup of Starbucks is what helps her get through hers – ha!). Anyway, I will say that after I got the coffee and had a few sips of it, we did pray for ourselves and all the other people that were hurrying to get to where they needed to be. While there were a lot of people that slid off the road into a ditch, we saw no serious accidents, so that’s really good! My friend and co-worker who picked me up and drove me to the airport suddenly realized that she knew a way to go that would be less traveled than the interstate system where so many people were backed up. (It sort of reminds me of our walk with Christ. Almost always the road He wants us to take will be the road less traveled.) Anyway, her prompting turned out to be correct, and we made it to the airport exactly five minutes before the bag cutoff. For that, I was so thankful!! Just thought you might enjoy hearing about my crazy morning. I hope yours was good. I look forward to talking to you guys tomorrow.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!


Monday, December 15, 2008

St. Louis Visit

Hey guys,

I am on my way to the Christmas party in St. Louis. I am so excited that we are going to be able to bless the girls with such a special night. Because of our wonderful supporters, we have so many surprises for them. I can’t wait to see their faces when they realize how much God loves them, and how much they are loved by so many people who support us!

As I am leaving to catch my flight, I just thought I would share with you a couple really touching Facebook messages I received over the weekend from former residents. The first one I want to share with you is from a beautiful girl who was in the home ten years ago facing an unplanned pregnancy. It has been almost ten years ago to the day that she gave birth to her son, which after much prayer, she decided to place for adoption. I wanted to share with you what has happened since, but I’d rather you hear it from her directly:

Nancy, How wonderful to see the new graduates! I can remember almost ten years ago this month when I was pregnant and facing an incredibly difficult decision to place my son for adoption. Mercy taught me strength. I think I might not have been able to make that decision had it not been for the incredible women on staff at Mercy. On December 23, 1998, I gave birth to a precious baby boy. But, what I did not know was that the loss I would experience was much less than what I would gain from following God's plan. Today, ten years later, I still have contact with Samuel and have an amazing friendship with His Mother, Wendy. I am blessed, and I want to thank you as I remember standing in the hospital preparing to discharge him to go home with the adoptive mother, Wendy. You joined our hands and prayed for us that our hearts would always be bonded. What you allowed us to do was to forever have a moment that would serve as a marker to always remind me that this was God's plan. Over the years, I have seen God's work unfold as I have been given opportunities to not only get to know Samuel, but to truly feel a part of their family. After leaving Mercy, I worked as a flight attendant, and through that career choice, met my wonderful husband. Today, we have a beautiful son, Jake. He has been a wonderful gift, and in some ways, I like to think my gift of Mercy. No matter the bad decisions and steps I have taken in life, somehow God always allows the detour that leads me back on the path of life! I am not only at total peace but I feel more wonderful than I ever have in my life. Thank you Nancy, always believing in your girls!Oh yeah, and I will graduate from the University of West Georgia in May 09!!! ....32 years old, but better late than never:)Bronwyn

Also, I received another great message from one of our Australia graduates – thought this would bless you too…

"Hi Nancy, I am a graduate from Sydney and I just want to say thank you so very much for making Mercy a possibility for girls like myself to be able to go to here in Australia, it has truly saved my life and given me a future. THANK YOU!" -Katelyn

I’ll talk to you more tomorrow, so don’t forget to check back!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Nashville News

I meant to share this with you earlier this week, but time got away from me. I just wanted you to see a picture that I made with the six girls who graduated in Nashville this week. My heart was so touched as I listened to each girl share her story, trying to understand desperately the depths of pain that they have experienced in their young lives. If you want to know more about what each girl has overcome, click on the graduation story on our Mercy Ministries website at (link). Besides being so thrilled for these six girls who will now get to go on with their lives, I am also thrilled to know that because these six girls have graduated, that six more of the girls who were on our waiting list will now be able to come into the program and get the help that they so desperately need. Please keep these six girls in your prayers as they leave to go on to the next season of their lives, and also pray for the six new girls that will be coming in – that they will receive the freedom that they are seeking. God is faithful, and we are so honored to serve Him.

Oh yeah, one more thing I want to share... I am so pumped that the Tennessee Titans, my favorite NFL team, are 12-1!! We have three games left in the regular season and then hopefully it’s all the way to the Super Bowl for us! Some of you may or may not know this, but the Head Coach for the Titans, Jeff Fisher, donates $10,000 to Mercy every time the Titans win a game. This year, these donations have been so timely the way the economy is to help us make up for some of what is lacking. We are so grateful!!

One more thing about the Titans – a couple of weeks ago, The Tennessean decided to track down the top four or five craziest Titans fan in the whole city so that they could do a feature story. Somebody told them about my very public and openly confessed obsession, so they gave me a call. Please click the link to see the picture of me and my dog, Jude, in Titans jerseys!! This picture was taken the break room at Mercy’s corporate headquarters, which is basically a room dedicated to their years of success and our relationship with them. The room is filled with tons of memorabilia and autographed jerseys, pictures, etc. Check it out. It’s pretty cool.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Things that make me smile - Part 2!!

If you’ll go back to the very first blog entry I did a few days ago “Things That Make Me Smile” (now referred to as Part 1), you can see that I told about a lady who called from Arizona to say that one of our graduates, working in a bookstore, shared her whole testimony about how she was set free from an eating disorder after coming to Mercy Ministries. This lady just called to brag on this girl named Erica. She didn’t know her last name. The lady had been praying for her granddaughter to get help because she has a severe disorder, so she called to get the application packet for her granddaughter and she told us that this girl named Erica helped her in the bookstore and told her story and that’s why she was calling. She said that since we had helped Erica, she was hoping we could also help her in her situation. So I decided to post about that because I thought it was so cool that one of our graduates was sharing about her story and encouraging someone else in their time of need. I posted that blog on December 4, and just today I got a message from guess who – the Erica that I was talking about!! Here's what she had to say:

Dear Nancy, Just yesterday I went onto your blog page and began reading your posts. I started to read the one on Dec. 4 "things that make me smile" and realized a few lines into it that it was about me. I was the Erica that the woman from Arizona was talking about. I was so happy to hear that she called and got information for her granddaughter. I really enjoyed talking with Billie that night at the store and am so touched that she was impacted by my testimony. Thank you for all that you do! God Bless. Erica

As you can imagine, we’ve had a number of Erica’s over the years, so I wasn’t really sure which Erica this was. I am glad to now know that it is Erica Lee! I don’t think she’ll mind me sharing this with you. Hope you are as blessed by it as I am.

Also, when I blogged yesterday, I told you guys that I would be sharing with you today about the amazing Christmas event we just had at this really beautiful hotel in Nashville called The Hermitage Hotel. We had a Christmas brunch for approximately 150 women. Three of our graduates told their stories, Point of Grace came and sang, and it was just a very special time with some wonderful women of all ages from the Nashville area who totally support the work of Mercy Ministries. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures from this event.

Me with Point of Grace

Me with Graduates Monica, Ashleigh, and Kathryne

Finally, I just got a message on my Facebook page that I want to share with you. This one is really special.

Hi Nancy,
I’m one of the Sunshine Coast grads (in Australia). I am forever thankful for the vision God placed in your heart. Love and prayers, Lisa

It’s so cool that somebody that’s on the opposite side of the world from us can post a message and we can communicate in an instant. Wow, we have so much to be thankful for. Aren’t you glad we weren’t born in the 1800’s where we would be riding horses and it would take months for a letter to get to another country? What a world we live in! We are truly blessed.

Until next time,


Monday, December 8, 2008

Late Night Text

To all my blogger friends:

I’ve had a really crazy busy day today, so I don’t have time to write much. I’ll talk to you much more tomorrow because we had a really cool event in Nashville today that I wanted to tell you about, so stay tuned! What I do want to share with you now is a text message that I received late last night. It just meant so much to me so I wanted to share it with you. This is actually from a girl who was at Mercy with an unplanned pregnancy almost 22 years ago. This girl and I have kept in touch over the years, and I have even seen her from time to time. I have also seen her adoptive family and the precious daughter she chose to place for adoption 21 years ago. Let me share the text she sent to me last night.

Hey Nancy,

Lisa here. Alana turned 21 today. I can’t believe it’s been 21 years. I remember I was putting Christmas tree ornaments on the tree when I went into labor, and you never left my side the whole 12 hours it took me to deliver…some memories are so vivid! I was just reflecting back to the time in my life and the opportunities you gave me as a young woman, and I wanted to say thank you. We’ve come a long way, huh? Don’t ever underestimate what you do. Thank you. I love you.

I remember back to the time that Lisa first walked through the doors of Mercy, and she felt like she was such a failure. She was so hopeless. She made a very courageous decision, and today she is doing great and so is her daughter. It’s just so neat how after all these years, she is still taking the time to say thank you. It made my weekend, and I just wanted to share this with you. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow!!


"Deliver Me by Amy Lambert"

Hello all,

I wanted to share with you this amazing story told by one of our graduates, Amy Lambert. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I want to tell you something cool that just happened. We got a very generous contribution in the mail from a former resident in our Mercy St. Louis home named Ashley Hunt. Ashley first came to Mercy Ministries in 2005, and she now lives in California. I recently saw her at an event that I was speaking at in Sacramento. She came with about five or six other graduates, and they are all doing so good! Anyways, Ashley just feels a real heart to help other girls get the same help she received, and she started an online business where she sells cosmetics at wholesale. She just sent us a generous contribution, and I wanted you guys to check out her website so you can see what she’s doing ( I know a lot of you like MAC makeup, and so part of it is MAC stuff and other products that she gets from time to time. Check it out. You might be able to save some money and help Mercy at the same time. This blogging thing is new to me, but I’m excited about keeping in better touch with you guys.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Things that make me smile!

December 2, 2008

Hey! I just thought I would start by sharing some really cool things that have just happened. I guess if I had to put a title on this, it would be “Things That Make Me Smile”. Our receptionist at our headquarters in Nashville handed me a summary of her conversation with a woman who called in to ask for help for her granddaughter. I thought it was so cool that I wanted to share it with you:

Nancy, I just thought you might like to know that I received a call from an older lady named Billie. She said that she was at a bookstore and the young woman working there was named Erica. Erica began to share her personal story of how she was able to find freedom from an eating disorder she had struggled with for 10 years. This lady, Billie, said the testimony was so powerful that at the end of her sharing, Billie asked her where she received help. Erica then told her that it was through Mercy Ministries. Billie went on to tell her that her own granddaughter is now struggling with the effects of sexual abuse from her childhood and called to receive an information packet and any free resources we could send. Billie raved about the power and freedom evident in Erica’s life. She kept saying, “I wish you could have heard Erica, it was just incredible and I know God purposed my meeting her and hearing her story. I don’t believe in accidents or random chances.” I told Billie that we are so encouraged to hear when young women are going on from Mercy to share what the Lord has done in their lives with others and are speaking true hope and freedom into the lives of others who are hurting. Way to go Mercy girls….keep sharing your story! We are sending an information packet and a copy of Violated: Mercy for Sexual Abuse for Billie to give her granddaughter. -Brandy (Mercy Receptionist)

I never get tired of hearing about how former residents of Mercy are able to impact others in their everyday lives just by sharing their stories. I love the way that God connects people for his purposes, I love the way God forgives us of our mistakes, and I love the way God loves us unconditionally. I could go on and on but I’ll stop here on this story because I have something else I want to share with you.

I was just over at the Nashville home (located next door to our office headquarters) because we had a guest speaker today. We had a really great time and the girls were really pumped about what they heard today. I was headed out and one of the girls stopped me and said, “I just got so much out of what I have learned the last couple of days that I decided to write a poem about it, and I wanted to share it with you.” I was taking our guest speakers out to lunch, so when we got to the restaurant, I pulled the poem out of my purse and told them that one of the girls handed it to me on my way out, and we read it together. We all got teary eyed at just how cool it was to see this girl express her self. This poem is so beautiful and this girl obviously has a gift. This is what she wrote:

Mercy Girls

Mercy girls are like a rose,
slowly but surely they unfold.
When the rain falls they glow
from droplets of troubles only God knows.

They blossom into their beauty:
the way God created us to be.
Magnificent, crimson reminders
of our constant, powerful Provider.

And I will stretch my petals,
unfold the masks I hide behind.
I won’t be blown down by my troubles.
I will keep His Word constantly in my mind.

So courageous are my sisters
for following the direction of their Father.
Roses for His glory, for all to see
their amazing shades of beauty.

By Brooke, December 2008

I got so excited about this that I spoke to our program director about bringing someone in to help develop the girls’ gifts in the areas of art and poetry. We are now starting to have regular art classes for the girls so that they have different ways of expressing themselves. As I continue blogging with you, maybe I will be able share some of what comes out of these classes and let you hear from some of the girls about how their lives are being impacted.

These are things that make me smile – just the joys of everyday life knowing that God has promised in Philippians 2:13 that He is the One who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing, that you will let God work in you as well. He is so cool, and He meets us right where we are…every time!

Until next time,


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The new Blog

Nancy here. I am so excited to officially be blogging! I think it is such a great way to keep in touch ministry friends, supporters, and former residents from all over the world. I love the fact that we can all come on here and encourage one another and read what each other has to say. And for those of you who are supporters, I hope you are blessed getting on here and reading what all the girls have to say –you have made a way for them to have the new life they’re enjoying.

I want to hear from you! Even if it’s just little praise reports because remember when you share these, you’re blessing other people. Also feel free to put up prayer requests so that everyone can be praying for each other as needed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good News Magazine Article

Check out the article that was just published in Good News Magazine:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mercy Ministries Information

For over 25 years, Mercy Ministries has provided hope and healing to generations of desperate young women who are seeking freedom from life-controlling problems such as drug and alcohol addictions, depression, self-harm, unplanned pregnancy, physical and sexual abuse, and eating disorders.

Mercy Ministries is a non-profit residential counseling program that exists to transform the lives of young women between the ages of 13-28 who face life-controlling issues. The Mercy Ministries program is Christ-centered and last approximately six months. The program includes biblically-based counseling and teaching, life-skills training-including nutrition and fitness education, budgeting, and job preparation and transitional care services.

Here is a program overview:

Residential Program

We operate unique residential facilities free of charge designed to address the whole person: spiritual, physical and emotional. Our facilities are located throughout the nation and adhere to our core values of excellence, unconditional love and accountability. Our program is free-of-charge and lasts approximately six months. Services include individualized programs, biblically-based counseling, nutrition education, fitness instruction, life-skills training and educational opportunities. Our goal is to have each young woman not only complete the program, but also discover the purpose for her life and bring value to her community as a productive citizen.


Young women come to our programs from around the country as well as from other nations. If we cannot accept a young woman into our program, the intake department will refer her to another program equipped to provide her with the help she needs.


For young women who are pregnant and choose to place their baby in a loving Christian home, Mercy Ministries of America provides an in-house licensed adoption agency. The birthmothers who choose adoption are taken through post-placement counseling in our post-placement program for an additional six weeks. Parenting classes are also made available for the young women who decide to parent their child. These classes give the mothers practical training and guidance in numerous areas of child development.

Transitional Care

Our program also includes transitional care for each young woman to prepare her for success in society. Transitional care provides extensive life-skills training as well as assistance as needed with housing, transportation, job placement and school application. Our transitional care program also provides opportunities for our graduates to share their stories of transformation with youth groups, school groups, churches, Sunday schools and many others. Mercy graduates carry the message of hope they have learned in Christ while at Mercy Ministries of America.


We have developed resources that girls can use to find freedom even if they cannot come to Mercy Ministries of America. Books in our "Mercy For..." series deal with issues directly and contain practical, biblical help including testimonies of girls who have found freedom and healing from eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, sexual abuse, depression, and unplanned pregnancies. We know that we will be able to help many more girls with these books and the ability of our graduates to share their amazing transformation stories.