Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mercy Ministries Girls from Around the Globe

Sometimes I think I am the most blessed person in the world getting to do what I do on a daily basis. I get messages from girls all over the world almost daily updating me on their lives and telling me how Mercy Ministries changed their life. Recently, I have heard from several girls that represent the different Mercy homes in all of the different countries who just have a great report about what’s going on in their lives since they graduated from the Mercy Ministries program. I thought it would be cool for you to read an international update from some of our former residents. We are so excited to share this great news. I hope these individual stories are really encouraging to all who read my blog.

United States of America

Dear Nancy,

When I walked though the doors of Mercy St. Louis, I found myself in a place like none other. I was used to being locked in hospital wings for the severely anorexic, monitored 24/7, shut in padded rooms, drugged against my will, force-fed through a NG tube, and stripped of every right known to man. I crossed the threshold of Mercy thinking that this would be no different - another program, another place, another failed attempt. Very quickly, however, I realized that this place was different - girls were walking and jogging outside, laughing and joking, seeming to enjoy being in this place. I was not locked in a room, or hallway, or even house for that matter. I was treated as a person and not as some case study or hopeless situation only trying to get stabilized. Mercy helped me with life - the staff poured into me when I deserved nothing short of being kicked out. This was hard for me to grasp as I desperately fought off every attempt of someone reaching out to me. With God's help, Mercy got to the root of my struggles - I was scared, alone, and walled in my own sphere of self-destruction. I wanted to die and no one was going to stop me. God had other plans.

Six and a half months into the program I graduated as a new person - I knew my identity in Christ, I no longer resorted to self-destructive patterns of behavior, and more than anything, I looked forward to life rather than abhorring it. God had changed me from the inside out and I was glad to be alive.

Has life outside of Mercy been all glorious and pain-free? No - I have struggled, fallen, picked myself up again, and moved forward. Do I still have occasional thoughts about reverting to my former behavior? Yes. Will I act on those thoughts? No. I am still human and the world is still filled with a fallen people. I know, however, that I am now equipped with the love, truth, grace, freedom, and peace of the Lord and I am excited to share that with others. That is what my recent mission trip to Mexico was all about - living out the life of Christ, sharing his love, and ministering his grace. I praise the Lord that he saved me for such a time as this.



Hi Nancy,

I would love to tell you what I have done after the program. I left Mercy Sydney in late November. In my final weeks in the program, Mercy helped me find a place to live back in my home town - Hobart, Tasmania, Aus. I came home a changed person, a person that was more interested in others and in love with God. I am also back at school and working hard in what I am doing. I love being at school again. While I was away, my mum worked out a lot of things too and me and my mum are great friends now. I also have my own great my church now, and I have been able to help with things I love doing.

In about a week’s time, I am walking in a 24 hour walk for people with cancer.

God bless,

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 get help here in Australia. It has truly saved my life and given me a future. THANK YOU


United Kingdom

Hi Nancy,

I graduated from Mercy UK last October and I am so grateful for the work you have done in beginning the ministry and your passion for seeing girls walking in freedom. Over the past year my life has been continuously transformed by developing a personal relationship with God and knowing who I am in Christ. I had experienced 14 years of trying secular health service programmes, and I can say without a doubt that true healing came only from giving my hurts to the Lord and allowing Him to come in to restore, heal, and take the control which I fought so long to keep a hold of.

My journey at Mercy has given me a real hunger and desire to work with girls in similar situations, so I plan to apply for an internship at the Mercy house in Bradford. In the meantime, I am working with adults with addictions and depression and I plan to return to work part time in nursing, which is my background.

Thank you for your obedience to God, your passion and perseverance- it has provided me with an opportunity to walk in freedom and to understand what it means to be loved.

Your sister in Christ
Pamela xo

New Zealand

Hey Nancy,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I met you in the New Zealand home when you were there for its grand opening in Dec. 07. I hope all is going well. OK well an update in my little part of the world is…well, I graduated in August 08, which is so exciting. I was able to get past some pretty huge issues - an eating disorder, self harm, alcohol addiction, sexual abuse & rape. Not that things are fully healed and perfect, but now I can actually live and enjoy my life. I'm just working in retail for the time being and in April/May, hopefully going to move to Australia to live. I don’t know what the future holds for me yet but I know it's going to be good.

Thank you for all your hard work. If not for you and Mercy, I wouldn’t be here today.

I love you heaps and respect you immensely! Thanks Nancy, love you lots and look forward to hearing from you.


Hi Nancy,

I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that I’m working full-time as a receptionist for a charitable trust that counsels children who have been abused or in domestic violence situations. (in NZ) I love seeing the kids come in, sometimes not with a smile, but they always leave with a smile. They do play therapy, so it's heaps of fun for them.

I also recently was in the paper for the Mercy walk here in Hamilton, NZ. I appear to be the only grad in Hamilton, and my church is the one who officially runs the walk here in Hamilton. So a paper interviewed me and I shared my testimony at church, and then opened the walk on the day. It was heaps of fun. Although the enemy tried everything he could to stop me from sharing my story, but he didn't succeed! Praise God!

God bless,
Jules xoxo


(Natasha is from Canada, but she is actually a graduate of our St. Louis home. Her life is truly transformed, and now she is helping the Mercy staff in Canada get our first Canadian open – it is scheduled to open this spring!! Natasha has been encouraging girls who are on our waiting list and she has also mentored several girls who have struggled with the same issues she has found freedom from!)

Hey Nancy,

I wrote this email yesterday, my 1 year since graduating, but didn't have a chance to get Internet to send it...so a day late, here it is!!....

I sit here so in awe right now. I question why I even took time to put on make up this morning because I have cried it off over the course of the hour. I am alive! I am not holding on by a hair either, I am alive, set free, joyful, loving life and excited for the future. A year ago today I graduated from Mercy Ministries and the dream of walking out a life of complete freedom in Christ was a hope. I knew that it was a possibility, but also knew that trials would come. Where was my foundation? I knew it was in Christ, but was entering a new stage of life in faith that I would continue to choose freedom.

Well I did choose - I chose life and life more abundantly each time the trials came. It has not been an easy road, but because of the tools I learned while in Mercy, and our faithful Father, I have been able to stand firm on the Truth. I am overwhelmed. I honestly did not expect to be alive in anticipation of my 23rd birthday; before Mercy I lived my life literally trying to die and today I live it more alive than ever.

During worship this morning I was brought to my knees. Just 2 years ago I tried to end my life, the very gift that God created personally for me. He formed my inward parts and chose me as His own, yet for so many years I rejected who He created me to be and tried to null His workmanship – me! Praise God for Mercy Ministries. Nancy, I know I keep telling you how grateful I am, but today it is more of a reality than ever. I have been running in freedom for a whole year! I used to strive to have one good day, and now I am sitting on a year of amazingness. I am stepping into who He called me to be and am seeing Him work through me to bring others the same freedom that He so freely gave to me. You helped equip me to, not only walk it out, but to also take the beautiful Truth to others.

I love you so very much and do not have the words to describe how I am feeling. I AM ALIVE!!! THANK-YOU.

Natasha xo

(FYI – Giovy is from Peru, but she is actually a graduate of our Nashville home. She is one of the greatest miracles we have ever seen, and now she is super involved in helping us get our first Peru home up and running!)

Hey beautiful Nancy!!!...How are you guys doing? I am finally back home, in Peru land…and I wanted to let y’all know how awesome God has been so far.

Ever since I left Mercy, God has been proving Himself faithful and His goodness keeps blowing me away…starting with my relationship with my parents. God has totally done more and beyond what I could think, dream, or imagine. It’s like I am living a dream, one of the wildest dreams that I thought was too much like a fairy tale to be real.

The tools I learned there at Mercy work and there’s no way I won’t use them. It’s like having a present in front of you given to you, and you not wanting to open it….HOW RIDICULOUS! God is so good and faithful - teaching me new things every day and allowing me to go through different situations so that I can grow as a person, in my faith, my character, and in my relationship with God. I’m determined not to compromise

Ok…so I came back home and as I said it before I'M LIVING A DREAM…I never thought I could love life so much and that life could be so enjoyable…I wouldn’t change this for anything. So I got to Peru and had some job opportunities. I ended up getting a job with World Vision, which is awesome….just translating some stuff but I can do it at home….which works perfectly because I don’t have to miss any of my church meetings or Mercy meetings. Yesterday I was asked to go to the Mercy Peru staff meeting and share some of my Mercy experience and my heart….it was so awesome….God totally knit my heart with Mercy Ministries and it was like something clicked and complete peace came to me all during that meeting. When I was hearing the plans for the home in Peru and the staff talking, my heart got more and more passionate for Mercy and I want to be part of it here in Peru!! I still have a couple years to get my degree in psychology which I’m starting next year here, but I’m already doing whatever is necessary at Mercy to help so we can open sometime soon… in Gods timing. So I go to Mercy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and they are going train me. Maybe when the house opens I can volunteer while I’m still in college….I don’t know….Ill do whatever God wants me to do because I know that in His will I’ll find happiness and its going to be the perfect thing….but I’m excited for the days ahead.

I always wake up with great expectancy to see God’s hand over my life in that new day….He s soooo flipping cool! I love HIM!

Anyways so this is what’s been going on so far…and I wanted u guys to let u know….Thanks for helping me realize who I really am in Christ and for being that instrument God used to get the victory in my life…I’LL be forever thankful to God for putting you in my life. I LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH!