Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Real Hope in Today’s World by Christine Caine

What an honour to write a guest blog for a great friend and amazing ministry. For anyone that knows Nancy and I, we are known as Thunder from Downunder (that would be me the Australian) and lightening from up over (that would be Nancy the American) and when we get together, we create a perfect storm!

As I travel the world and see the plight of humanity, I note above all else the absence of hope. People are despondant, without a sense of purpose, future or destiny. Hopeleness permeates the media, politics, arts, finances and society at large.

I am so grateful that the scripture teaches us that no matter what is happening around us, it is what is in us that matters and that Jesus is this hope we have as an anchor for our soul both firm and secure. We live according to a different pattern and paradigm and so in the midst of uncertainty, we can hold on to the certainty of Jesus.

Here are some things I have always done and continue to do no matter what is happening around me:

1 Stay Focused on Jesus (Heb
2 Draw near to Jesus (Heb 10:22)
3. Hold fast to the CONFESSION of our hope (Heb 10:23)
4 Stay Confident in Christ (Heb 10:35)
5. Pray (James 5:16)
6. Listen to the right voices (Rom 10:17)
7. Remember Gods faithfulness thus far (Josh 4:7)
8. Remain Steadfast (1 Cor 15:58)
9. Remain Generous (Prov 11:24-25)
10. Be Thankful (1 Thess 5:18)

These Top 10 Tips will help keep you focused on the import
ant things and keep you doing the right things. We need to cling to the hope that Jesus gives us.

I thank God for Mercy Ministries who always brings the Hope of Jesus into the most adverse circumstances. Because of Mercy, so many young women who would have given up on life are given renewed faith, HOPE and love. It is the message of the Gospel.

Have a HO
PE FILLED day today
Love, Chris xox

To learn more about Chris Caine and to hear her amazing testimony, click here. To learn more about the incredible work Chris and her husband Nick are doing all over the world, visit their brand new and updated website at

Monday, April 27, 2009

Executive Office Tells All


I am so excited to introduce myself today and share a little bit with all of you! My name is Cassidy Carlgren, I have been Nancy Alcorn’s Executive Assistant at Mercy Ministries for almost four years now. Before I talk about my role at Mercy, I’d love to tell you a little about myself…

I was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas. I invited Jesus into my life when I was five years old. It was my grandma who led me to the Lord. (My grandparents had been missionaries in Europe. They had a Bible School in Rome, Italy, and my grandfather pioneered bringing Christian television to Europe.) Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a heart for ministry. I also loved playing office – I remember getting office supplies for Christmas one year and was so excited. All of that to say, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work “on the business side of a ministry” when I grew up! I knew I wanted to work in a place where lives were being saved and changed for eternity – somewhere I could use my skills in business and administration to support something much greater.

I met my husband, Jerrod, in college, and we were married the summer after our sophomore year. We moved to Nashville in 2004 after graduating from Evangel University in Springfield, MO. I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (I double majored in marketing and management), and like most college graduates, I was excited to find my dream job! I put my resume in at Mercy Ministries and several other ministry organizations. I got a job as a staff accountant with a privately owned company as I waited for other doors to open. Exactly one year later, in August of 2005, I got a call from Mercy Ministries and began the job application process. I was hired in September, and it has been such an amazing journey thus far.

As Mercy Ministries has homes in the U.S. and in five other nations, and is growing rapidly, my position quickly became too much for one person to manage…and that’s where Katelyn comes in…

Hi!! What an awesome journey my life has been that has led me to Mercy! I grew up in Amarillo, Texas with my parents and two older (and very protective) brothers. I was raised in a Christian family and gave my life to the Lord when I was eight years old. However, as many teens do, I lived my life the way I wanted to up until I was 17. It was then that I realized I had a heart for ministry. Although I didn’t know what that was going to look like, I knew that I had a heart for helping people and leading them to the saving power of Christ. After high school, I moved to Austin, Texas where I lived and went to school for three years, and then graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in May 2007. While I was living in Austin, my parents made the move from Amarillo to Nashville, Tennessee to be closer to the grandkids (my two nieces). Since they had moved to Nashville, I began to visit more, and honestly, I didn’t like it. I loved Austin! I used to tell people that I would never live in Nashville, I would never live in the same town as my parents (we were raised to be very independent children), and I would never live with my parents again. However, God had a different plan.

Soon after graduation, with no doors opening in Austin to pursue a job, I moved to Nashville to pursue event planning. Ministry was always something I thought I would do with my husband, not as a single woman. After several interviews, my mom (better known at Mercy in Nashville as the “Cake Lady” because she makes all of the residents of our Nashville home a birthday cake on their birthday) would not stop begging me to send in my resume to Mercy Ministries. Long story short, to appease my mother I sent in my resume and actually heard back right away. I had three interviews the following day (Friday) and was hired on Monday as the receptionist in July 2007. After working as the receptionist for six months, I was asked if I would be interested in interviewing for a position in the Executive Office. I was thrilled!! I knew it was the right fit, and after meeting with the leadership team, we began to move forward. It has now been 15 months since I started working in the Executive Office alongside Cassidy and Nancy, and it has been amazing and so fulfilling. I have truly learned just how much God knows me better than I know myself. He has already begun fulfilling the desire of being in ministry and being part of helping people find freedom through the power of Christ.

(Cassidy and Katelyn) -
It has been such an honor and an incredible opportunity to work alongside Nancy. As her Executive Assistants, our responsibilities vary from day to day and no day is the same as the last! Together, we oversee her travel and speaking schedule (and all the many details that encompasses), as well as scheduling most of her appointments when she is in town. We help her manage and keep up with most of her correspondence – including mail, email, and phone messages – which can sometimes be a full-time job in and of itself.

I (Cassidy) work closely with our Marketing and Development team and help oversee most ministry communication including mail-outs, publications, websites, lots of editing, and so on! Since Nancy travels ½ to ¾ of the year (depending on her schedule each year), I am also the point person who takes her calls, wherever she is in the world, ready to help with whatever question or need arises – and I can assure you it is a waste of time to try to guess because I never know what will come up!! Nancy is a cutting edge visionary leader who believes strongly in meeting needs on an individual basis – and that requires creativity and being led by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Katelyn and I have come up with what we call our Executive Office Motto – “Making the impossible possible all over the world…and usually last minute!!”

To elaborate, we thought we would include a funny, yet informative list of some of Nancy’s quirks and preferences…
  1. Even though Nancy’s title is Founder and President, her dog Jude is the one who really runs the show. ☺ He loves to spend a day in the office with Nancy – upon his arrival, he demands a treat and cup of water before any work begins. Once he is satisfied, he takes a nap while everything else is business as usual. However, the minute Nancy tries to leave her office, Jude roams the floor looking for her until she returns.
  2. When flying Nancy prefers an aisle seat closest to the front (but not a bulkhead row because she likes to have her stuff under the seat in front of her and not up above…..don’t we all?!?!?!?)
  3. When either of us travel with her, we don’t allow her to carry her own boarding pass through the airport….she is most likely to misplace it (along with her wallet, her glasses, and/or her Blackberry). ☺
  4. When talking to Nancy, never use pronouns (such as she, he, her, or him) when referring to someone – always use their name – make every effort to get to the point and eliminate confusion in communication.
  5. The smell of gum or mint makes her nauseous….
  6. Nancy has a mind like a steel trap – she never forgets. Often we will be asked to find an email from years ago – for example, “Hey, I need you to find that email from that lady back in 2004 - I think it was in November - and she said something about a girl needing help.”
  7. Stray hairs gross her out…
  8. She prefers for the office blinds to be open all the way.
  9. Clutter stresses her out, yet she has a hard time throwing anything away.
  10. One of Nancy’s nicknames is “Eagle eye” because she never fails to notice something that needs to be fixed or is out of place (i.e. a burnt out light bulb, a dying tree on the property, or a picture on the wall that is crooked).
  11. Another one of her nicknames is “camel” because she drinks SOOO much water. (She’s actually a great example in this area. ☺)
  12. I (Katelyn) am known as Nancy’s race car driver because she is usually running late to make the bag cutoff at the airport, and I often find myself weaving in and out of traffic to make sure she gets to the airport on time and praying that her flight is delayed just enough, but not so long that she misses her connecting flight. We actually know many of the skycaps at the Nashville airport by name….shout out to Charles who is always a great help when we are running late!!
  13. Jude often rides with us to the airport. This is a love / hate situation for him – he loves going to pick Nancy up, but he hates saying goodbye and will pout, refuse to make eye contact, and refuse a goodbye kiss. It’s quite comical!
In all seriousness, it is an absolute honor to be even a small part of the magnitude of ministry that happens through Mercy Ministries. On a daily basis, all over the world, the ministry that goes on inside our homes and also outside our walls through Nancy speaking, our graduates sharing their testimonies, our books, our internet outreach, and all the other ways that lives are touched through Mercy Ministries is incredible and it is nothing short of a privilege to be a part.
Mercy Ministries operates with a high standard of excellence. We have each grown so much personally in our time at Mercy in the areas of faith, excellence, character, integrity, generosity, efficiency, and communication. Although we work very hard, we know that we have a part in the lives that are being saved and transformed every day through Mercy Ministries.

Stay tuned….on Wednesday, you will be hearing from one of Nancy’s closest friends in ministry, Christine Caine – you won’t want to miss what she has to share!

Friday, April 24, 2009

What A Week!!!

Hey Everybody,

I just wanted to let you know that this has been a truly amazing week! After being in Tulsa the first part of the week, I jumped back into things on Wednesday, and we had some really cool things going on. We have actually graduated 18 girls from Mercy Ministries this week, 12 of which were in Nashville. Honestly, some of the most amazing testimonies I have ever heard. I am in awe of God and His ability to transform lives in such an amazing way. People can argue all day long about whether or not they believe the same about doctrinal issues, but you can absolutely not argue about a changed life. In fact, one of the girls who graduated this week asked me if I would be willing to post her before and after picture, so I have done that here for you. I will be sharing her story later on, but for now I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

This is one of 18 beautiful girls who graduated from Mercy Ministries this week. One of the best things about the fact that 18 girls graduated this week is that there will be 18 more girls coming off of our waiting list to enter the program – how cool is that!!

Since today is Friday, I want to tell you about something really neat that happened just this afternoon. I had the amazing privilege of praying over a beautiful 15-year old resident of Mercy who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy not too long ago. Today, we had the placement ceremony where the birthmother was able to literally place the child into the arms of the adoptive couple that she herself chose to parent her child. There was not a dry eye in our conference room as we met together, prayed together, laughed, cried, and shared the joy of this awesome time. I just wanted to share some of the joy of today and of this week. It has truly been one of the best weeks of ministry that we have ever had at Mercy!

In closing, many of you know that I have had a really tough schedule the last few months and have been on the road a lot, both in this country and in other countries. It is definitely time for me to pull apart and take a break. So…for the next two weeks I will be pulling away to get some rest and spend time with God in a beautiful secluded place (small hint - white sand and emerald blue, clear, beautiful ocean). Since I am taking a break, I have asked some other people in our extended Mercy world to be special guests on my blog while I am gone. Please stay connected because you will love hearing from them!!! Pray for me while I am gone that I will be refreshed, renewed, and strengthened.

I leave straight out of my vacation to speak at the LifeWomen Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Then from there, I leave to fly to Virginia Beach to do a special Mother’s Day service and then back to Nashville after that. I hope you guys have an incredibly amazing next two weeks. You will definitely love hearing from my special guests. In fact, Cassidy is my Executive Assistant and oversees a lot of ministry affairs, both in this country and in other countries. Her assistant is Katelyn. These two are probably the ones who work the closest with me on a regular ongoing basis. In fact, one or the other of them travel with me from time to time. I have asked the two of them to write a guest blog together while I am gone, and I have given them permission to tell all (I know I am living dangerously to do this)! I think they are going to be talking to you on Monday so you don’t want to miss this one!

Love to all,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More from Guts Church

I blogged to you Monday about being at Guts Church in Tulsa with Pastors Bill and Sandy Scheer. I spoke about a meeting that was going to take place on Monday night called Guts Girls, which meant all girls ages 13 and up. It was so cool to see how the same message spoke to everyone there whether they were 13 or 93. In Christ, there is no generation gap! I was so overwhelmed by the hunger of those who came and their desire to hear TRUTH. We talked very openly about some of the major issues facing women in today’s society. At the end, it was so cool as I gave women of all ages the opportunity to come forward and make a total commitment of their lives to Christ, and well over 100 people responded. The church staff tried to count, but they say that 100 is a very conservative estimate.

There is no greater joy than to see those who have carried pain, shame, guilt, and condemnation for years choose freedom in an instant. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “This day I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life that you and your seed may live.” Many people in the Christian world talk about generational curses, but through the power of our choice to follow Jesus fully, we can actually start a generation of blessing. Just ask yourself this one question if you are still hanging between two opinions and living with compromise in your life – who is on the other side of my obedience? There are people that you are meant to reach, and that is why God is reaching for you. Not only that, but He wants you to have the very best life that you can live. John 10:10 tells us that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus said that I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Make your choice today for the abundant life and watch how God will not only bless you, but others through you.

Speaking of others being blessed, it was my great joy to see quite a few former Mercy residents come to hear me speak while I was in Tulsa. There were several girls there at both Sunday morning services, and quite a few others who came on Monday night. Check out this picture with Brittany, Mercy graduate from a couple of years back.

Also, I had the opportunity to see another former Mercy resident who was in the home in Nashville in 1996 as an unwed mother. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that I got to hold – that was 13 years ago, and I actually got to see this little baby as a 13 year old teenager because her mom brought her to see me! It was so amazing to not only see the awesome family and the mature growth of that girl who was once an unwed mother, but to also see how she has raised her daughter to be such a young woman of character.

I just wanted to share some of the joy from my time at Guts Church. I commend Pastors Bill and Sandy Scheer for the tremendous work they are doing. It was so refreshing for me to be there and see the many ways they reach out to the community and serve their city. I’ve heard it said before, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” To me, Pastors Bill and Sandy Scheer and their amazing staff at Guts Church totally reflect that statement – people are coming to that church because they are seeing how much the people there really do care. To learn more about this amazing church, check out their website at
Hope you are encouraged in reading this today, and I hope you will make an effort to reach out to someone in your world today who is lonely, in pain, or needs to be encouraged.

God Bless!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Tulsa Speaking at Guts Church…

I just wanted to give you an update on my weekend, which will not end until late tonight. I am presently in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Guts Church with Pastors Bill and Sandy Scheer. I am blown away by this cutting edge church and their awesome leaders. Bill and Sandy have done a great job raising up the next generation of leaders to equip, empower, and release them into all that God has destined them to be. The various ministry outreaches that they have around the city and state is staggering. It has really touched my heart to see the way they are reaching in to the public school system to build relationships and love people right where they are. There is way too much judgment in the church as a whole, and we have got to learn to love people where they are the same way that Jesus did. Jesus never lowered the standard of His Heavenly Father, yet He always reached down and lifted people up – never condemning, but always loving. Remember that James 2:13 clearly tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment…ALWAYS!!!

On another note, I wanted to share the good news that many people responded to the altar call in all three services yesterday to come to Christ. It was so cool to see how hungry people are for what is real and true, especially the younger generation under the age of 30.

Tonight we are having a God chicks' night. Please pray for a great outpouring of God’s compassion and mercy, love and forgiveness. We are believing for great breakthrough in the lives of those who are desperate and hurting. This meeting will be for all girls ages 13 and up. It is so cool to see generations coming together for the same reason with no generation gap! God is good! For more information about Guts Church or tonight’s event, check out

Friday, April 17, 2009

Death Transformed into Life…

I never get tired of hearing how God literally pulls someone out of the pit and breathes life into them. Only in Christ can our past be totally forgiven and our slate wiped clean – a brand new beginning! It’s been over five years since Tiffany graduated, and the fruit of her life is evident. I hope her story in her own words will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me.

Hi Nancy! I am not sure if you remember me, but I graduated from Mercy in 2003. I just wanted to say thank you. If it wasn't for Mercy helping me get out of my "pit" and giving me the tools I needed, I do not know where I would be (or if I would be). Mercy showed me the unconditional love of God, and because of that Love, I now have the ability to love. Before Mercy, I was on anti depressants, and I could only cry through one eye...I know weird...the only emotion I really ever remember was anger/sadness. After Mercy, I was off my meds (after almost 10 years of being on some type of drug) and now I can cry and laugh because I am happy and blessed!!!)

After Mercy, I moved to Texas and started at a wonderful Christ-centered church. This is where I met my husband, and we were married in November of 2005. My husband said what drew me to him was my love for God. Never in a million years did I think that I would ever be blessed with a good Godly man. Mercy helped show me who I was in Christ and my husband saw that woman. I love that God blessed me with a man that doesn't see me or judge me for my past but he sees me with Christ’s eyes and loves me for who I was created to be, not who I was.

We now have two beautiful boys, Josiah and Kaleb, and we are expecting our third this summer. God has been so good to us! Yes, I have struggled some since leaving Mercy, but I always find myself drawn back into the unconditional love of Christ! I have learned that nothing is impossible with God, but everything is impossible WITHOUT Him!

I could go on and on about the goodness of God and the way He has transformed my life because of Mercy. He has been so GOOD to me!

Thank you, Nancy!


If you are out there in need of a lift, I hope Tiffany’s story will be the proof you need to know that God can transform anyone who will dare to turn their life over to Him. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Investing in Future Generations

I am in Sacramento today and just attended a luncheon with local pastors and leaders at our beautiful new facilities in Lincoln. A few of the pastors have agreed to put us in their mission’s budget, and several are considering paying for the furnishings of at least one room. Our goal is to have this home open sometime this summer. The new facility has 23,000 square feet, and will house 40 more girls and additional office space for our new West Coast staff. Two of our former graduates from the Northern California came and shared their personal stories with our guests, and it made us all so excited about the countless numbers of girls who will walk through those doors in the months and years to come to receive new life in Christ! Speaking of former residents, today I wanted to share with you an encouraging letter I received from Amber, who graduated from the Nashville home in April 2005, exactly four years ago…

Dear Nancy and Mercy Staff,

Hi, I hope you are all doing well and in good health! Recently, I noticed that I was mentioning Mercy Ministries quite often in my discussions. It has caused me to reflect on how much Mercy means to me and the specific things I learned during my tine there that have changed my life. Normally, I simply send a check, but this time I wanted to give you an update because it has been a while now since I graduated (April 2005).

I recently moved to Boise, ID after living in Monterey, CA for 6 months and before then, I was in Olympia, WA for three years attending Bible College. I am currently living with my parents, which is going really well, and pursuing some career options. I am looking into Esthetics.

I have been able to have some really good talks with my parents (I haven’t lived near them for a long time). When I tell them about things I have learned or what has helped me these past several years, it almost always tends to be from my time at Mercy. Some specific things I learned were that healing and freedom came when I began to focus on my relationship with God and not my problems. I had to quit talking about and focusing so much on them. I also learned that I HAD to take action in changing my THINKING or I was never going to change or experience lasting freedom. It was also the first time the WORD ever really became a live to me…even though I had been to Bible school for three years before then.

Now when struggles and down times come, I always find myself going back to the foundational principles and tools that Mercy taught me so that I can get back onto the path I want to be on. Giving myself grace when I fail, changing my thought patterns, and knowing that I can be free and not in bondage to the “issues” that the devil uses to take us down. It’s hard, but once I take action, the chains slowly fall off again, and I start to gain my freedom back again.

I’ve told my parents again and again that if it wasn’t for Mercy Ministries, I don’t know what I’d have done. I don’t’ know what would have become of me by now. I was a complete mess and could not have made it without going to Mercy for help. So basically, I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. For teaching what you do and helping to change so many lives through the power of Jesus Christ. Thanks so much! I pray right now that God would bless Mercy ministries as a whole, all the people involved including sponsors, and that you will continue to grow and grow! Love you all. In Jesus’ wonderful Name. May we TRUST Him for all we need and have no fear.


Not only is Amber an amazing example of what God is doing in transforming the lives of these young girls, but she is also a monthly partner with Mercy! Her own life was changed because she was able to come free of charge, and now she is investing in the lives of those young girls who are coming today to get the same help that she herself received in the past. If you are reading this and you want to make an investment in future generations, please consider becoming a monthly partner with us today – we need your help!! There are many more Ambers out there waiting to be reached. Together we can make a great difference.


Monday, April 13, 2009

On the Road Again…

I decided to do more of a relational blog today to tell everyone what’s going on in my life. I just spent an amazing week at the Watchman Intercessors prayer conference at Christian International near Panama City, Florida. There were a total of five of us from Mercy who went. We got to hear Bishop Bill Hamon speak as well as Pastors Tom and Jane Hamon, Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, Barbara Yoder, and Chuck Pierce. It was such a powerful time! It is so very important to learn all we can about how to pray for people, and for our nation.

I got back just in time to do some laundry and leave again! I am now in route to a great church in Hobbs, New Mexico – Choose Life Church with Pastors Dean and Kathy Shropshire ( They have been great partners with Mercy Ministries for years helping us do all that we do, but this will be my first visit to their church. I am so excited! After speaking tonight, I will head out tomorrow morning for Sacramento, California for a few meetings there. We will be opening our new facilities in that area sometime this summer, which means 40 more girls off of our waiting list – very exciting!!

Please pray for the services tonight, that God will speak through me the message that He wants me to impart.

Also pray for my dog Jude. He was very sad that I was leaving again. He actually kind of gave me the cold shoulder when I was leaving. So, today’s prayer focus will be for my dog JudeI’m starting to understand you cat people because cats don’t actually care when you leave – ha! By the way, for all you cat people, there’s a reason why dog is God spelled backwards! Have a great day!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Another Mercy Ministries Graduate Prepared for the Mission Field

I just received a note and a college graduation announcement from a girl who graduated from the Mercy Ministries program in 2004, 5 years ago. In May she will be graduating from Bible college on Saturday, May 9th with a BA in Biblical Studies, Magna Cum Laude. Her story is a must read - I can't improve on it with my words...

Dear Nancy,

I wanted to send you my college graduation announcement. Not that I expect you to be there, but just for you to know that I am grateful for your support and love throughout the years. The whole thought of graduating college was only a dream. In six weeks, it will be a reality. Not only that, but a few months ago, I sat before a board and passed an interview to become a licensed Four Square Minister. I never would have guessed that I would be Reverend Kiyomi. God sure does have us on an interesting journey full of surprises. It can be a challenging journey, but ever so worth it.

I’m praying that by September, I will be back on the mission field with YWAM. I hope to go to Ukraine to do a few more counseling schools with YWAM. After that, I want to take all of these skills to Southeast Asia and help those girls who have been victims of sex-trafficking.

I hope that things are going well there. May His presence be near to you. Thanks for loving those who are broken.

- Kiyomi

God is truly raising up champions to reach their generation and beyond. Hope Kiyomi's story is a reminder of the transformation power found only in Jesus Christ. Hope you have a great weekend and a very a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Transformation Never Gets Old

Hearing stories of transformed lives never gets old to me! A lot of times I share with you about girls that have graduated from the program in recent years, but recently I heard from one who graduated over 11 years ago. She is now happily married with one child and another on the way, very actively involved in her local church as a worship leader, and traveling sharing her story with a major ministry that is internationally known. We couldn’t be more proud of what God has done in Katie’s life. With her permission, I am sharing a recent email with you that I received from her.

Hey Nancy,

I am currently living in Clarksville, TN where we are building our first home. I have a wonderful husband, Brad who just returned home from Iraq in November from his second tour. We have a beautiful son named Connor who is 17 months old and we just found out we have another baby on the way. We also attend Faith Outreach Church in Clarksville, TN where I am a worship leader and we, as a family, serve faithfully. I will have been there seven years on Father's Day. I have also been blessed to tour different churches, prisons, state capitols, and events all over the country, as well as singing locally and sharing my testimony which you are very much a part of. The Word became ingrained in me through what I like to call discipleship at The 700 Club where I remained a Prayer Counselor for almost 3 years. I was given the opportunity there to send many hurting young women your way through the phones. I was blessed also through my home church to go as a missionary to South America – Maracaibo, Venezuela. Plus if you look in my photos, I have lost 200 pounds since I left Mercy, and God has given me a 3-D cake business that He continues to bless. Nancy, I stand in teary-eyed awe everyday for what God has done with and through my brokenness. My life is FULL of blessing, full of His Holy Spirit, and is an absolute adventure IN HIM! I am FOREVER thankful for Mercy Ministries! You planted a seed in me that was truly infallible, incorruptible, indestructible, and irreversible! I am a life transformed to prove it! I just wanted to say that I love you and remind you of what kind of fruit God is producing through you! :o)

Love, Katie

Isn’t that a powerful example of someone who has chosen to walk out their transformation all of these years?! Thanks to all of our financial supporters who make transformed lives possible. Jesus told us to judge a thing by the fruit of it, and there is definitely fruit here – fruit that is remaining!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New York Mets Opening Day!!

I just got back from Phoenix, Arizona yesterday afternoon after speaking in a wonderful conference at Living Word Bible Church. Today, I am in St. Louis at the Mercy home hosting an event for NCAA basketball coaches that are in town for the Final Four, and also various staff representatives from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share the vision of Mercy Ministries with people who are in touch with young women everyday who struggle with the issues we deal with. This is a very exciting time for the sports world as well, since we will know at the end of the evening tomorrow who the National Champion will be.

Speaking of sports, today is the opening day of the New York Mets baseball team. Even as I am writing to you, they have just started their first game of the season, a road game against the Cincinnati Reds. It is my great joy to tell you that I am a huge New York Mets fan because of their Manager and leader, Jerry Manuel. Jerry and his wife, Renette, are not only monthly partners with Mercy Ministries, but they also recently sponsored the furnishings for a room in our new California home. I had the wonderful privilege of being with Jerry and Renette at one of the games in the last series they played on their old field. The picture you see was taken that weekend in late September last year.

I am so excited for the Mets this year, as I believe they are positioned to have an amazing season. Just wanted to introduce you to one of our monthly partners and his amazing wife, Renette. They are very special people in our life! Go Mets!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

All Things Made New

For several years, Mercy Ministries has had a relationship with the Oral Roberts University missions department in which every year a team of female students choose to give up their spring break to come and serve in all of our U.S. homes—they clean, organize, work in various offices, and help with whatever is needed. They also take time to encourage the residents and share their individual testimonies. This year we were so excited to hear that one of our very own Mercy graduates, Erin, who is now attending ORU, was going to be coming back to serve in our Nashville home as a volunteer. Her story of God’s redemption and restoration is absolutely amazing – check it out for yourself…

“When I arrived at Mercy on June 19, 2007 I was angry, hurting and wanting to die. For the past six years I had been battling anorexia, addiction to exercise, self harm, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I had been in the hospitalized twice and fed through a tube in my nose. I was told that I would never recover. They said once an anorexic, always an anorexic.

During the Spring of 2007, I hit rock bottom. I was attending Oral Roberts University, and I was supposed to be going on a spring break mission's trip to Mercy Ministries in Nashville; instead I was told that I was too sick to go. Not only was I kicked off of the mission team, but the Dean of Women told me I had to move out of the dorms as well. The doctors were hesitant to treat me because I was severely malnourished, which meant I was a liability.

I was hurting so badly on the inside! Anorexia was my way of showing my pain to others. I wanted God to let me die. I remember one night I was running, and I cried out to God, "Let me have a heart attack and die, God why won't you let me die?!" I did not, and could not live with an eating disorder anymore. I couldn't seem to live, but I couldn't seem to die either. My parents could not afford to get me help, and nobody else offered any help. I was in a downward spiral, and I was going to die. I had no hope. At one point I thought I would go to Mercy Ministries as a volunteer, but soon I realized that I needed to apply to the program for myself.

After going through the application process, I arrived at Mercy Ministries in Monroe angry, scared and discouraged. The eating disorder had a strong hold on my life, and it would not let go without a fight. It took me a few months to soften and finally decide to surrender, but I did and this time there was a true heart change. I had a vision of Jesus taking out my old broken, bruised, hardened heart, and putting in a fresh clean heart. The new heart He gave me was soft and moldable. I finally realized that He loves me! From that point on, God transformed my life. It was hard, but this time it was different…my heart had changed. I never thought freedom was possible. I thought I would always count calories, always "have" to exercise, and always be defined by an eating disorder.

I graduated from the Mercy program on December 19, 2007, completely changed from the INSIDE OUT. I arrived home on December 21, and spent Christmas with my family. On January 5, 2008 I reentered Oral Roberts University and moved back into the dorms.

Let me tell you about the "coolness" of God. In February of 2008, only a few weeks after graduating from Mercy, I became a Resident Advisor in the dorms! I was the leader on a floor of thirty girls!!!!! Just the year before (2007) I was asked to move out of the dorms, and one year later, in 2008, I was in leadership! WOW! God is amazing. At the end of the year, during the Resident Advisors banquet, I received the award for most valuable RA. Over the summer I worked as a nanny, and this year I am back at ORU. I am the RA of a floor called Zoe ß Zoe, which means life!!!!!

Over Spring Break this year, I led a team of five women to the Mercy home in Nashville to volunteer our time! The same trip I was kicked off of in the spring of 2007, I am leading in 2009!!!!! God restores!!!!!

I am not going to lie, and say it has been easy. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. God NEVER said that it was going to be easy; He just said that it would be worth it!! God has transformed my life. The "old" Erin has passed away, and behold all things are new! I am no longer bound by depression, anorexia and self-hatred. I am a beautiful daughter of God and He is enthralled with my beauty.

It is all about choices. I choose life!!!!!! I am walking in freedom! When I step back and look at where I am today there are no words. I stand in awe of my Creator.

Thank you God, thank you Nancy, and thank you Mercy Ministries! I realize that Mercy is not the healer, but in my case Mercy was the vessel God used so I could receive my freedom!

To the staff: Thank you for your hard work and dedication. The seeds that you sow are producing a harvest. Do not become discourage in well doing because in the end you will reap a reward!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Chris Tomlin's song says it best:
My chains are gone,
I have been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns.
Unending love; Amazing Grace!”

For all who are out there reading this, please remember that God can take your mess and turn it into a message!! You will actually use the very thing that tried to destroy you as an encouragement to help others who are going through the same thing. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2 Brand New Books – Just Released Today!!

I am so excited to announce that we just received the next two books in the “Mercy For” series – Beyond Starved: Mercy for Eating Disorders and Beyond Cut: Mercy for Self-Harm. These books include the personal stories of many girls who have overcome these issues, along with a study guide at the end of each chapter that gives practical principles of freedom.

For the next seven days, for anyone who is struggling with either one or both of these issues, I will be happy to send you a free copy or copies of these brand new books, which I believe will be life-changing for you.

Just send me an email at and let me know what issue(s) you are struggling with, and I will be happy to send you a book free of charge. Be sure to include your mailing address. I just want to encourage you today that freedom is possible, and it can be yours!