Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Music City Miracle…

I had a very wonderful sports weekend and wanted to take today’s blog to give my teams a shout out!!! My Tennessee Titans won on a miraculous play at the very end of the game – so exciting!!!

Also, my Florida State Seminoles (coached by my friend, Sue Semrau) won both of their games over the weekend and are currently ranked #9 in the nation. Today is a happy Monday for me in the sports world. I hope I can still say that this time next week!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Am Thankful for Changed Lives!

The thing that I am most thankful for is changed lives and fruit that comes out of what we do to try to help people. From time to time, I do free book offers for people who are struggling with issues such as cutting, self-harm, addictions, and sexual abuse, and need help. In July of this year, we offered our books free of charge to anyone who would write in and say that they were struggling with one of these issues and would like to receive a free copy of that particular book (or multiple books for those struggling with more than one of these issues). We heard from individuals all around the globe and one such lady who took advantage of that offer is from the United Kingdom. She just contacted me with the following testimony of how her life has been impacted from the books we sent her. PLEASE keep in mind that this young woman did not come to one of our Mercy homes, but she did apply the principles of freedom to her life and she is reaping the fruit of that decision. I received permission from Vicki to share both her story, as well as her before and after picture over the course of five months.

Hi Nancy,

Just writing from the UK to you to let you know how I am doing. I received a number of books from you back in July because I was struggling with an eating disorder and various different issues ranging from sexual abuse to self harm! I would like to thank you for the books you sent me as they have helped and encouraged me in such a big way. I've let down my guard and let God into my life. He is renewing my mind every single day and helping me to build new foundations! Since receiving your books back in July, I have gone from strength to strength and I'm on my way to overcoming my eating disorder. I still struggle occasionally but I can honestly say it’s not often. God has lifted an enormous weight off of my shoulders and I am now enjoying my life instead of hating it. I've enclosed a photo from 5 months ago and a present photo of me and my cousins – I’m on the far left and I think you will be able to see the difference!

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to you! You are such an inspiring woman of God and there are so many thankful young women all over the world who you've showed that there's more to life than living with hurt, pain, rejection, addictions, etc.! God is good!

God Bless you,


Here is Vicki back in July - picture of her with blonde hair

Here is Vicki now (she has colored her hair and is on the far left)

Thanks Vicki for being so transparent, and for your willingness to share your story so that others can get the help they need. If you are out there struggling with one or more of these issues, I pray this story will encourage you to email me at and let me know which of the books you need to be able to receive in order to begin your journey to freedom and wholeness. We will be happy to send it to you at no charge. Remember that God is a God of steps and the first step is to reach out and ask for what is being offered. Like Vicki, it might change your life forever!!! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Am Thankful for People who Care!

I want you to know that I had an amazing day in St. Louis with many of our supporters and friends who are so behind the work of Mercy Ministries. We held a very special event at the St. Albans Country Club, which was extremely well attended. The feedback from that time together has been tremendous!

It was my great joy to have as our keynote speaker for the event Brenda Warner, New York Times best-selling author of the book "First Things First," and co-founder of First Things First Foundation with her husband, NFL great Kurt Warner, currently the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Brenda gave so unselfishly of herself to speak on behalf of Mercy Ministries and she gave a bit of her personal story of overcoming tragedy and adversity. I was tremendously blessed by who Brenda is as a person, and the depth God has put in her heart to share with so many. Her passion and love for Christ is evident as well. I want to personally thank Brenda and all those who attended to make this event such a success. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures from our event, which featured art that was done by our St. Louis residents under the direction of Bert VanderMark, who is Founder of Visual Parables. The guests were given an opportunity to purchase these works of art and take them home with them, knowing that their support would go back to help the work of Mercy Ministries.

Me pictured with Brenda Warner

Me pictured with Lauri Tanner,
President and CEO of Ranken Jordan and Mercy supporter

Besides Brenda, one of the bright spots of the day for me was the fact that we had eight Mercy graduates in attendance, seven of which are pictured here.

I hope you enjoy the slideshow of some of the artwork, as well as the guests mingling and enjoying themselves.

I am SO VERY THANKFUL FOR ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS. I want you to know that as we go into Thanksgiving, that my heart is so filled with thanksgiving FOR YOU!!! Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Heart of Thanksgiving

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, I wanted to share with you a letter that I just received from a 2007 Mercy graduate named Lindsay, along with a $1,000 donation to Mercy. We were so overwhelmed by her generosity and always love it when former Mercy residents give back. I hope her encouraging words bless you as much as they blessed me…
Dear Mercy,

I’m so glad I am finally able to give you something in return for all that you gave to me. You loved me even when I did not love myself. You gave me a peaceful home to stay in and provided delicious food for me to eat. You did not think of yourself when you gave all you had – you thought of me. When I was at the bottom of the pit, you reached your hand out towards me and brought me to the light. You showed me that the darkness I called life was only lies. While I was in your care, I was able to seek the truth. Because you showed me love, I can now hope. Because you led me towards the One who saves, I now know freedom.

Thank you for loving, thank you for giving, and thank you for all you have done for me!!

With much love and gratitude,

I want to encourage you as you prepare for Thanksgiving this week to take the time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for, and also to express your gratitude to those around you. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thunder School Visits Mercy Ministries!!!

This morning, we had Pastor Scott MacLeod and the Thunder School here at Mercy in Nashville to share with our staff and girls. Thunder School is a creative compassion inner-city ministry where teams use different forms of media – praise and worship, dance, drama, and rap – to share about Christ. There were about 40 students from Thunder School here to perform and minister to the girls. It was a powerful time of testimonies, praise and worship, drama, and even a really cool rap!

One thing that was especially cool is that one of the members of the Thunder School is a Mercy graduate from 1993! Rashelle came to Mercy Ministries in Monroe with an unplanned pregnancy 16 years ago and chose to parent her son, Chance, who was born in July of 1993. She introduced Chance to the staff and girls, as well as her other son, Christian (pictured below).

1993 Mercy graduate, Rashelle,
pictured with her sons, Chance and Christian

Rashelle now lives in Nashville with her husband and two sons, and works full-time with the Thunder School. Rashelle shared her testimony with the girls and encouraged them to really stand up and fight for their freedom. It was such a powerful time of ministry and an awesome end to a great week! I thought you might like to see some of the pictures from the Thunder School today…

To learn more about Pastor Scott MacLeod and the Thunder School, check out their website at

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She was 14 when she came to Mercy over 6 years ago…

I just received the most awesome email from a young lady who came to Mercy when she was 14 with a severe eating disorder, and she was told by the “experts” that she went to for treatment that death was eminent. BUT GOT HAD A MUCH BIGGER PLAN!!! I love to tell her story, but it is so much better if you can hear it in her own words, and see her beautiful face, so here it is.


Where to begin? I don't even know, so first off let me just say thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and letting Him use you as a vessel. I know you already know this, but let me just reiterate that Mercy has affected my life in so many aspects...I'm still reaping many blessings because of my experience at Mercy. I also wanted to tell you that I feel like the Lord is really stirring in my soul a way to help. I would absolutely love to come and intern this summer and just help out in any way! ...A little update on my life: I'm a sophomore at Abilene Christian and majoring in elementary education. I am now 20, which sounds so old haha, I can't believe it’s been almost 6 years since I've been to Mercy. Crazy!! Life is flying by which makes me extremely anxious to be a life changer and shake up this world for the glory of the Lord while I’m here on earth. It's time!! Well I just wanted to give you a little heads up to be looking for my internship.
I love you

--Mary Ellen Alexander

Yes, you guessed it – she will definitely be doing an internship with us next summer!! Thanks again to everyone who supports this ministry. Mary Ellen’s life was saved because of it!!! Hope all is well with you.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Report from the New York City Marathon!!

I just received one of the coolest reports from one of our supporters who recently raised money for Mercy and ran for Mercy in the recent ING New York City Marathon on November 7. I thought you might like to hear about her experience in her own words:

“It was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had. One of my favorite memories is walking through all the different neighborhoods in New York and the people on the sidelines cheering from all different countries and every walk of life. When I got a little weary, I thought about all of those supporting me for Mercy Ministries, and that’s what got me through. I finished strong and all glory goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me His strength. – Pam”

We are so grateful for the amazing supporters God sends us!! If you would like to know more about running for Mercy, check out the website at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Atlanta Christian City Church Visits International Headquarters!

I first met pastors Phil and Chris Pringle from Christian City Church (C3) in Australia over 10 years ago during one of my first trips to Australia. I had the pleasure of speaking in a Sunday morning service at their beautiful campus in Sydney. Pastors Phil and Chris have planted close to 300 churches around the world, and one of those churches is in the Atlanta, Georgia area. The pastors of the Atlanta church are Dean and Jill Sweetman. Pastors Dean and Jill also oversee all of the C3 churches in the U.S. under the leadership of Phil and Chris Pringle.

In March of this year, I had the privilege of speaking at Jill’s annual women’s conference called Imagine. Our hearts connected, and the rest is history! The ladies of this church have now made two trips to Nashville, spending two days with us each time. In the first group there were approximately 30 women, and just this week, we hosted another 12. Our staff and girls had the privilege of hearing Pastor Jill as she brought a special word to our staff and girls. Our time together was so encouraging!!

Me with Pastor Jill Sweetman

I want to give a big shout out to Pastors Dean and Jill and also legends Phil and Chris Pringle for the amazing network of churches they oversee around the world. Both our girls and staff loved having them here!! I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures. I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More on our California Home Grand Opening!!

I planned to share more today about the California opening, but when I read Holly Wagner’s blog and what she said about it, I felt like I should share what she wrote. So here it is straight from Holly along with some awesome pictures that we just got in from our official photographer that are much better than the pictures we originally posted…

Mercy Opening in Sacramento!

This weekend I was honored to be a part of the Grand Opening of the Sacramento Mercy home!! Mercy is an incredible organization that provides hope and healing to generations of desperate young women who are seeking freedom from life-controlling problems. This free-of-charge biblically-based program has been changing lives since 1983. Mercy is founded by my dear friend, Nancy Alcorn, who is giving her life so these girls can be free and healed. She is a legend! (that's her cutting the ribbon!)

I am SO happy that our Mercy family has expanded to the West Coast – we’ve been praying for this for a long time!! A quick flight up to Sacramento and I was on the grounds of the beautiful new home and had the pleasure of speaking at the Grand Opening Ceremony. It was awesome to see the new facility; walking through the halls, all I could think of were our fellow GodChicks that would enter those doors and have their lives changed forever...

I loved being there with Nancy and welcoming the girls who are brave enough to begin the journey toward freedom. I can’t wait to hear about all the stories of transformation that will come from this home – this weekend marked the beginning of generations of lives that will be changed!

Join me in praying for these brave GodChicks,

Click Here for Holly's blog.

Me with Buzz Oats and Holly Wagner

Me pictured with our U.S. Program Directors

Me pictured with the Mercy Ministries
Board Members
who were able to attend the Grand Opening

Generations of Mercy Supporters –
2007 Graduate Rachel with her mom and grandparents

2006 Mercy Graduate Ashleigh Stevenson

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sacramento Home Grand Opening – A Picture Paints a Thousand Words!!

People say that a picture paints a thousand words…is that really true? I hope it is in this case because I am actually boarding a flight home from Sacramento after an amazing weekend at our dedication and ribbon cutting for our new home there! I have more than a thousand words to say about how awesome it was, but I don’t have that much time, so I think I’ll have to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Pastors Greg and Kathy Fairrington of Sunset Christian Center welcoming guests

Recording Artists Austins Bridge performing at Grand Opening

Holly Wagner, Co-Pastor of Oasis Christian Center in L.A. and
Founder of God Chicks speaking at Grand Opening

Ken Mansfield, former President of Apple Records

I will tell you that we had close to 1,000 people walk through the home this weekend, including those who attended the dedication ceremony on Saturday and those who attended the open house on Sunday. I also had an excellent time speaking at Sunset Christian Center for the two Sunday morning services along with special music by Austins Bridge. I hope you enjoy these pictures – will share more later about the events of this amazing weekend.

Mercy Graduate Ashleigh sharing her testimony

Official Ribbon Cutting with Buzz Oates and Family

Mercy California girls at the Grand Opening Ceremony

Jerry Manuel, Manager of the New York Mets, and his wife
Renette sharing at the Grand Opening

Buzz Oats and I entering the home!

Guests entering the home after the ceremony for tours

Guests enjoying a reception after the ceremony

Mercy graduates Lauren, Britney, and Rachel

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello from Sacramento!!!

I just wanted to let you know that I had the privilege of speaking to the staff and girls at our new home in Lincoln, California this morning. It was so fun to be there and experience my first time of teaching in this particular home!

Me teaching in the new California home!

We are so excited about our big weekend of events, including a special dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, and an open house on Sunday afternoon. I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of our guest worship leader, Cindi Benzel, from Harvest Time Church in Lincoln, California, and her friend, Shelby. A special thanks to them for leading worship!

Cindi and Shelby leading worship

We are so excited to connect with the pastoral leaders in this area! I hope all of you have a great weekend. Please remember to pray for the 40 new residents in this new home and that their lives will be forever changed and that their futures will be bright.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All the Way from South Korea!!!

I just received the most amazing email from a young lady that graduated from St. Louis in May of 2008, a bit over 18 months ago. I am so excited about this that I don’t want to mess it up by adding my own words. I will tell you that this young lady now resides in South Korea and loves it. You’ve got to take the time to read this one!
Dear Nancy,

Most people celebrate birthdays by inviting friends, eating cake, and blowing out candles. This year I celebrated by running for Mercy. When I left the States three and a half months ago, I was a bit sad about celebrating in a new country with few of my close friends. That all changed when I heard that there was a nearby running race, get this, on my birthday. I immediately knew the Lord was providing a way for me to support Mercy while celebrating the freedom they helped me attain. That race was three weeks ago.

A mere two years ago today I entered the doors of Mercy St. Louis. I was alone, scared, hardened, and determined to “beat the system” yet again. The seven months before going to Mercy had been a blur of medical wings, psych wards, and eating disorder units. I’d seen more psychiatrists and psychologists than I cared to remember, and I was off and on more medication than was warranted for any individual. I became a statistic, learning to adopt labels as my own: “cutter,” “anorexic,” “depressed,” “psychotic,” “unstable,” and the list went on. My identity and dignity were quickly stripped away as every aspect of life was controlled and monitored. Time in state and private treatment facilities solidified the painful truth – without lasting help, I was going to die, and honestly, that did not seem so bad.

Fast forward a year and a half outside of graduation – I am now living and working in South Korea – half-way around the world. I love it here, live on my own, and continue to walk in the truth and freedom I learned through Mercy. In fact, just yesterday, I had the opportunity to share a bit of my testimony. I wear my Mercy ring on a necklace and often people ask questions. After sharing that the "M" stands for God’s mercy and the three stones for the trinity, most people politely smile and say, “That’s nice.”

Yesterday was different. A co-worker asked me about it and after presenting my usual spiel, she inquired further as I had said that I had graduated – what was the program about? After sharing a bit about what led me to Mercy, and the struggles that almost claimed my life, she chucked and proclaimed, “That’s funny – I look at so many of the people around here and they make me wonder…but you – I would have never guessed. You seem so normal.” I laughed as well, but that comment stuck with me – she didn’t know me, or my past, and she saw me as normal - not as a cutter, not as that anorexic girl, not as the unstable one who needs constant supervision. She saw me as normal.

And that alone is a testimony of all the Lord has done for me. It’s been a year and a half since I graduated Mercy, and I am blessed to celebrate that by sending the money I raised through my half marathon. I pray that the Lord will use it to continue saving lost, hurting, and dying souls. I am ever grateful for the second chance I was given and am excited to pass that blessing on to others.


Isn’t this so cool! Think about all of the thousands of young women who have already had this same opportunity that Renee has had, and think of all the multiplied thousands in the future that will share a similar story. OUR GOD IS GREAT!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Check out Dave Ramsey’s Fox Business Show TONIGHT!!!

It was my great joy today to get to go tape a National television show with author and financial guru, and also a very good friend of mine and Mercy Ministries’, Dave Ramsey. We taped the program midday today, but it will be aired on Fox Business Network tonight at 8:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm CST.

It was also a great honor to be featured as one of two ministries on the show with fellow co-laborer Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of Evangelist, Billy Graham. I also want to personally thank Dave and Sharon Ramsey for the many many years that they have supported and continue to support Mercy Ministries. In case you do not get to see the show when it is aired on the Fox Business Network, you can access it by going to the Fox Business website at I thought you would enjoy seeing a picture of me and my Executive Assistant, Cassidy, with Dave and Sharon Ramsey.