Monday, June 29, 2009

Graduate Gives back in Honduras!!

One of my greatest joys is hearing from former Mercy residents who have gone on with their lives and are now giving back to others. Almost every day, I receive an email or Facebook message from a former Mercy girl who is updating me on what is going on in her life. I just received an email with pictures from Chelsea, who graduated from the Nashville home last October. Chelsea is 15 years old and just returned from a mission trip to Honduras with her church and family. They spent a week building a feeding kitchen in the village of Caire, as well as putting on a Vacation Bible School for the children there. I wanted to share the joy with you! Here is her email along with the pictures she sent to me from her trip.

Dear Nancy,

I just wanted to thank you again for the support you gave for my trip to Honduras. It was such an amazing time in my life. I got to do songs in the VBS and also share God’s Word with the children. While we were there, we had about 30 children receive Christ. I also got to meet the little boy that my family has been sponsoring for five years. He is almost 13 and is the sweetest boy ever. I cannot wait to go back. Even though I cannot speak Spanish, I still love being with the people. God has healed me and has given me a heart to be with the people there and love on them. The feeding kitchen we built is so amazing and beautiful! God has blessed my family’s life!

God Bless,
Check out these pictures from Chelsea’s trip –

To read more about how Chelsea and her church got connected with the village of Caire, go to

Friday, June 26, 2009

Exciting Update from one of our Adoptive Couples

Today, I was right in the middle of a leadership meeting when a FedEx package arrived. As I opened the package, I was so excited to see that one of our adoptive couples had sent me pictures and an updated report on the three children that they adopted from our adoption agency. I always love getting these pictures and updates – it is so exciting to see how much the children have grown and how happy they are!

I couldn’t think of a better way than to wrap up a week than to share some of the joy with you. I could go on and on about this family and how awesome they are, but I think these pictures say it all. I wanted to share them with you, so here we go…

The first picture is a set of twins named Caroline and Catherine that are now 11 years old. They don’t actually look like twins, but they are! They are very beautiful, but they both look quite different. They are shown in this picture hugging their new dog named Oreo.

When these twins were four years old, another one of our birthmother’s selected this same couple to adopt her son. Christopher is now seven years old, and he is shown here this past Christmas with his twin sisters and their new dog, Oreo.

I also wanted to share with you a picture of Christopher on his mountain bike. He is very handsome – it’s probably not too early to be praying over him because as the gecko says on his famous insurance commercials, Christopher is "easy on the eyes!”

I hope you guys have a great weekend. For those of you who are financial partners with Mercy, I want you to see three of the beautiful lives that have been saved from abortion because your giving gave a young girl a practical way to choose life. The Bible teaches us that every life is from God, and life is so precious. Thank you for your love and support!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mercy Graduate Celebrates 5 Years of Freedom!

A couple of weeks ago, I got the coolest email from one of our former Mercy graduates who wanted me to know that she was celebrating her five year anniversary from graduating from the Mercy program. I cannot even begin to tell you how encouraged I am when I get these emails. Because we have been going strong for 26 years now, it seems that I get at least one of these messages everyday. It’s so encouraging for me and the staff, but I also want to encourage those of you who are partners with us so that you too can see the fruit of your giving. I’m going to share with you in Melanie’s own words so that you can hear straight from her heart.
“Dear Nancy & Mercy Staff,

I just wanted to e-mail an update of how appreciative I am of Mercy Ministries! I am a former TN Mercy girl who had many things to celebrate this past June 9th. June 9th to me is a day of new beginnings – it was 5 year anniversary from graduating from Mercy. I not only celebrated my graduation 5 years ago, I also celebrated the birth of my baby sister Madison. She was born the same day I graduated! I adore her, and can only hope to pass onto her everything the Lord taught me during my 7 ½ month stay at Mercy. But that’s not all, on June 9th; I also celebrated my 2 year wedding anniversary! God has done so much in my life since graduating from Mercy. The biggest lesson He has taught me is that when you live your life in Christ, your past does not determine your future, and God can make ALL things NEW!

Thank you SO MUCH for your continued dedication to the lost. I would not be where I am today had God not placed Mercy Ministries in my life. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

My husband and I were given the opportunity to come to Mercy Nashville last summer, and I was approved to speak to the girls the Saturday we were there. It was incredible! The girls were even asking my husband questions, and the staff said that the girls don’t normally stick around on a Saturday and ask as many questions as they did. God was moving in their hearts and it was an honor to be able to minister to them.

Kevin and I really want to come back to Mercy. We both have a passion for telling God’s story. We have actually been dreaming up some stuff that we would like to do for the girls if those doors were to open again. My husband came up with the idea that we should give them each a rose, and then I thought of a song that I wanted to attach to the rose...”
I was so blessed by what Melanie had to say that I emailed her back and thanked her for sharing her heart with me. I reminded her that I never get tired of these stories, and that I’m so thankful that God put her and Kevin together and that we’d love to have them come back at anytime they can. I just wanted to share with you that Melanie’s story represents so many of the young women who desire to help others with the same help and comfort that they themselves have received (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

I hope that wherever you are in your life today that Melanie’s words will help you understand that regardless of what your past may have been like, your past does not determine your future! We can’t change our past, but we can change our future with the choices we are making today.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jeff Fisher Charity Softball Game was a Hit!

I just wanted to share with you some highlights from the Jeff Fisher Celebrity Softball Game. We had a blast! It was so fun watching the girls at the game participate in all of the activities and interact with the players, fans, and Mercy supporters. The old saying “a picture paints a thousand words” definitely works for me in this situation. I thought you might like to see some of the highlights. Of course, Coach Fisher’s team was down in the last inning so they totally cheated so they could win – as always! LOL!

Friday, June 19, 2009

This Weekend – Jeff Fisher & Friends Annual Charity Softball Game

Last night I had an awesome time at the Silent Auction VIP Reception for the Jeff Fisher Celebrity Softball game that benefits Mercy Ministries and other local charities. Many of the Titan’s players and coaches were available, as well as friends and supporters who greatly enjoyed bidding against each other for coveted items in the silent auction. There were a few people that were as competitive as the NFL is on any given Sunday – it was so much fun to watch! Obviously, we are so thankful for everyone who chose to come and give to help enable us to serve the young women who come to us free of charge. The actual softball game itself takes place tomorrow night, June 20th at 7:00 PM at Greer Stadium, home field of the Nashville Sounds. Our staff and girls will be out in full force, and I learned last night that this event is a sellout! Obviously we will be taking a lot of pictures tomorrow night, but I thought you might enjoy some scenes from last year’s event.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a Week!!

We have had an amazing week with the girls in the Nashville home – it has been a time of special guests bringing special ministry this entire week. We have had our dear friends, Pastors Tom and Jane Hamon, with us from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. It has been a great time of teaching and personal ministry to both the girls and staff. We are very closely connected to this couple, and they have spoken into the lives of our girls and staff for many years.

In addition, we have also had two of our Australian leaders here with us this week, Adrian and Jayne Feben.

Not only have they been able to bless us, but our staff have been able to bless them through an intentional time of training and connection with each and every department that operates throughout our international headquarters here in Nashville. What a joy it is to have such quality people on our new team in Australia.

As if that’s not enough, today we were blessed to have Kathi Pitts with us from Toledo, Ohio who pastors Cornerstone Church with her husband, Michael. They are a powerful couple in the Kingdom, and I had the pleasure of speaking at her women’s conference this past February. It is so cool to have her spend a couple of days with us. Kathi will also be with us tomorrow as Lisa Bevere makes her way to Nashville for two very special sessions with our girls and staff.

I want to share one more thing with you before I close this blog today. I knew about the previous guests that I had mentioned because we had planned for them to come, but today we had a surprise visit from a couple that we are in personal relationship with – Jeremy and Sarah Pearsons. Jeremy is the grandson of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and he and his wife, Sarah, came by to share with us about a new project that they want to do to support Mercy Ministries. While they were here, they also gave a special seed offering toward this new project. We are believing with them for an incredibly blessed partnership. More details will be forthcoming about this. Here we are with a special picture that we had made in the lobby just this afternoon.

Hope you are having a blessed day. I will look forward to talking to you again on Friday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My 100th Blog!!

Today is blog number 100 for anyone who’s counting! I know a lot of people do something really special for blog #100, and so I wanted to do the same. I thought and thought about what would be something really neat that I could do to celebrate this 100th blog. When it all came down to it, what really came to me very strongly was that I should say in this 100th blog that today I am writing this in honor of the first 100 pregnant girls who came through the Mercy Ministries home. About 50% of those girls made the decision to place their babies for adoption, and the other half decided to parent. In both cases, because of the courageous decision to choose life, not only did these birthmothers receive life for their children, they received new life in Jesus Christ. You might say that this represents a double blessing!

I couldn’t think of anyone that I would want to honor any more. I can tell you that the first 100 babies would have been born in the 1980s. So that means that these young men and women would now be in their 20s. I can guarantee you that they are out there somewhere thanking God that their birthmother chose life and chose to give them an opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest. Today we honor those first 100 girls and those first 100 babies (you know who you are if you are reading this!!)

Even now as I close this blog today, I can’t help but think of the young girls who are currently in the homes at the present time who have also made the choice for life. Just think what this will mean to them 20 some years from now!

Hope you are having a great day!



Friday, June 12, 2009

Good News from Australian Graduate!!

I just got the coolest email from our very last graduate of the Sunshine Coast home in Australia before it closed back in February. Her name is Eloise, and she has kindly given me permission to share the words that she encouraged me with. It reminds me of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) - “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”


All I can do is thank you... constantly ... for what you have allowed God to use, create, advance, evolve and mold into such a life changing ministry (I’m forever going be grateful!!). I was the last graduate of the Sunshine Coast Mercy home in Australia--- without your ongoing support of what happens over here in Oz, that would have never happened and honestly, I wouldn’t be alive today! I had the pleasure of meeting with you just before our home closed and your words of encouragement really spurred me on in the hard times while I was walking it out. I have now been graduated for six months and have just passed my one year mark since entering the program and life is just sooo good. Two years ago, I didn’t even think I would live to see 18. Now I’m celebrating my 18th birthday and I am SO excited about the future. God is going to do great things through me. Thank you thank you thank you... for listening to Gods call and being such an inspiration to the generations of young women you have affected directly and indirectly.

xx Eloise
Sunny Coast QLD Aus Graduate 2008

For all those who are reading this blog today, I hope that you will take the time to look for the positive in every situation that you may be facing in your life. As human beings, I think all too often we tend to zero in on the negative, rather than doing what the Word says in Philippians 4:8 (NKJV): “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Back to Eloise…I just want to say how proud I am of her and how much I appreciate her words of gratitude and encouragement. Eloise, we are cheering you on as you live your life to the fullest. Go for it girl, you can accomplish anything you set your heart to accomplish with God’s help!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Point of Grace Rocks the House!

Our relationship with Point of Grace first began 17 years ago when they decided to take Mercy Ministries on as their one and only cause, and be our national spokesperson. Since that time, they have raised millions of dollars to enable us to help young women get the help that they so desperately need. I have remained close personal friends with the girls over the years, and I treasure our very special friendship.

Last night was like having all of the family come home for Christmas – it was so cool to be back together with them again! The setting was totally informal, and the girls even had opportunities to have individual pictures made with the Point of Grace chicks. We also opened this evening up for our staff to come, as well as those who participated in our recent marathon to raise money for the cause. The girls from Point of Grace did not want to run the marathon, as Denise humorously pointed out with her interaction with the group last night, but they did want to bless those who did help to raise significant amounts of money for the ministry. There was both laughter and tears as we experienced a very intimate and informal evening together that was completely heartfelt. I wanted to share with you some of the pictures from last night, as well as some of the comments made from our Mercy family.

“It was great. They spoke of their support for Mercy and how much they believe in the ministry. It was neat to see how they related some of their past experiences to the residents. A lot of their songs spoke to Mercy’s vision and mission, which was so encouraging. They reminded all of us about the Lord’s goodness and grace.” – Kay, Team Mercy Runner

“I liked when they talked about not letting your past define your future. I’ve been struggling with that a lot lately. So, it was a good reminder that my future is bright despite what I have done in the past.”

“I really enjoyed the concert! It was nice to be a little relaxed, but be able to hear some good music and a good message. I had a lot of fun.” – Mercy Resident, Sam

“It was good to hear one of their testimonies about how she finally made peace with God. It was encouraging to hear that there is no sin too big for God to not forgive. I realized that God can take away the shame that tries to overwhelm me.” – Ashleigh, Mercy Staff Member

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blast from the Past

Hey! I know that so many of you that follow my blog are also big BarlowGirl fans. As you know, BarlowGirl is fully behind the cause of Mercy Ministries, and they have literally taken us on tour with them for the past year and plan to continue with their upcoming Fall Tour. This means that they show a video about Mercy and talk about the ministry at all of their shows, encouraging all of their concert attendees to support the work of Mercy. They also have a booth set up where people can get more information about Mercy.

I first met BarlowGirl at the end of 2000 in Florida when they sang at an event that I was a guest speaker for. That was long before they had their first recording contract and before they were known as they are today. I thought you just might like to know the background of how we met and the history we have together. The next really big thing that we did together was when they came and sang at the Grand Opening of our St. Louis home in September of 2005. Check out these pictures from that event - what a special day it was. Hundreds of girls have walked through the doors of our St. Louis home and graduated the program since that day. They too are all about seeing lives transformed. So fun. Isn’t God so good?!

Barlow Girl also came to help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary in Nashville last year. Check out some of the pictures from that awesome time...

Check out BarlowGirl’s website to learn more about them and see their Fall Tour schedule –

Friday, June 5, 2009

Former Mercy Resident of Twenty Years Ago Pays Visit

I so love it that even after almost 20 years, former residents of Mercy Ministries still feel that we are like family to them. That love was expressed today as Kelly Craig came by with one of her four daughters to our Nashville facilities to say hello. Kelly and her daughter Cassidy happened to be in Nashville for a Christian conference, and were thrilled to have the opportunity to get to pay us a visit. Almost 20 years ago, Kelly walked through our doors in Monroe, LA, pregnant and feeling broken and abandoned as a result of an abusive relationship.

During the time Kelly was in the home, she made a total commitment to Christ, and prayerfully made the decision to parent her child. A couple of years later while serving in a local church in Florida, she met and eventually married the youth pastor. Not only did her husband, Kevin, adopt Kelly’s precious daughter, Kelsi, but they went on to have three other daughters together. Today, they are senior pastors of Apopka Assemblies of God Church in Apopka, Florida and are monthly partners with Mercy Ministries through their church’s mission budget. It has always been Kevin and Kelly’s heart to give back to Mercy, and they have done so since 2002. I hope this story is a huge blessing to you, because Kelly represents one of thousands of young women who have been impacted by this ministry over the years.

The Craig Family

Kelsi will be 19 years old in jut a couple of weeks and I just received a brand new picture of her today. She is currently on staff at her parents’ church full-time as the worship leader.

Kelsi Craig

Our Community Relations Director, Whitney Nall, took the time to give Kelly and her second youngest daughter, Cassidy, a tour today. I wanted you to see this picture hot off the press.

Kelly, her daughter Cassidy, and Mercy Ministries
Community Relations Director, Whitney Nall

To our supporters, thank you for every life that is changed. Your support makes it possible.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


This week I am actually in Nashville, and I am so enjoying being at home! I have the privilege of traveling around the world speaking at conferences and doing ministry business. However, my favorite thing even after 26 years is to have the time to speak to the staff and girls in the individual homes. I love not only teaching them, but I also love spending time with them. It always amazes me how much the girls change in such a short period of time.

Last week, I was in the UK speaking at the Cherish Conference, and I just returned over the weekend. I had the awesome privilege of teaching class to the residents and staff on Monday. It was a lot of fun, and it was so great to reconnect with them. I got to share with them all about my trip to the UK and about all of the exciting things that happened there.

The topic that I felt like God laid on my heart to talk about was choices. So many times in our lives, we make choices that we regret later. I challenged the girls to remember what Deuteronomy 30:19 says - that God gives us a choice, and we can actually choose life! I encouraged the girls to take responsibility for the things that had happened in their lives that weren’t so good as a result of bad choices made in the past. I encouraged them to let go of a victim mentality, and to understand and know that when they ask God to forgive them, they get a new beginning.
It says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any person be in Christ, they are a new creation. Old things are passed away, all things are new.” I encouraged them that through the power of the choices that they make from today on, they can actually enjoy good things that happen as a result of the choices they are making. It seemed so liberating to these awesome young women that they do not have to stay stuck in their past, that their past does not define them, and that their past does not have to destroy their future. The girls were encouraged to know that they have the freedom to make good choices with God’s help. It was a really special time and awesome to be back home. I wanted to share some of the pictures from that day, as well as some of the comments from the girls.
“What impacted me the most from this message was that I should not always make decisions by the way I feel, but by what God tells me is best. When God’s light comes in, the darkness is pushed out. When you choose to look to God, He will help you.” – Nakea

“What impacted me the most from this message was that we can choose to live defeated or victorious. Jesus loves us and wants the best for us. We have to choose to receive Him freely. I plan to implement this by seeking and following the Lord’s direction, and by realizing that my choices everyday can have a long term effect on my life.” - Brandy

“We cannot use our old life as an excuse to ruin our future. We have to make the Word personal and hide God’s Word in our heart. When we hide the Word in our heart, our desires will change. Unforgiveness is not a feeling; it’s a choice that we have to make. I plan to implement this information by digging into the scriptures we went over today in class.” - Andrea

“What impacted me the most from this message was there is no such thing as a case that is too hard for God. God is no respecter of persons if you choose life. God is a God of justice, but He's the one who settles the score, not you.” – Bethany

“I can't use my past as an excuse for the way I act. I need to take responsibility for the choices I make. I also can't identify with the past. I learned that I have to keep moving forward, even though healing is a process.” - Kelsie

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cherish Conference 2009

I returned from speaking at the Cherish Conference in the UK, hosted by Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill at Abundant Life Church in Bradford.

Pictured below is the amazing crowd – we had to do two back to back conferences to accommodate the registrations.

It was so fun to experience Ayiesha Woods’ music in person for the first time!

It was also great to get to speak with Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill, Christine Caine, and Dianne Wilson. We had fun hanging out together each night after the evening sessions.

The theme of the conference was Urban Angels, as we were all challenged to go back and make a difference in our individual communities and focus on meeting the needs of others. Last year at the Cherish Conference, Charlotte received a special offering to build a school for child soldiers in Gulu, Uganda. It was so amazing this year to actually see video footage of when Charlotte got to go to Uganda, dedicate the school, and see it filled with all of these kids who have been rescued from being held captive as child soldiers who were forced to do horrendous acts against mankind – brutal acts such as murdering babies and killing their own family members against their will. However, with the school that was built from the offering that was received at Cherish last year, these former child soldiers are now being healed, restored, and given an education so they can be the future leaders that God is raising up in their nation to make a difference. It is amazing how God can take what a few people come together and give to make such a great difference in the lives of others.

I just wanted to share this with you because it really touched me. This was definitely one of the highlights of my stay while I was there.

Here are a few other pictures from this amazing conference…