Friday, February 26, 2010

Mercy Graduate Serves in South Africa!

You might remember a blog I did on January 28 about one of our awesome 2006 graduates, Bethany ( Her parents had sent a letter along with a donation informing us that Bethany and her fiancé Beau had decided that instead of purchasing favors for their wedding this summer, that they were using that money to give a generous donation to Mercy! They also shared with us that Bethany was currently on a mission trip in South Africa, using the skills she had obtained while at Texas A&M veterinary school to serve the community there.

When we found out she was going to be in South Africa, we were excited to connect her with some of our ministry friends in the area, Sarah and Barry Le Roux. I recently received the coolest update from Sarah and Barry about Bethany’s trip. We thought you would love to hear about some of the amazing things she got to experience and see some of the incredible pictures from her trip.

Hi Nancy,

I would like to thank you for connecting us with Bethany. We had such a GREAT time together. On Tuesday, I took her to my friends’ game farm and we went for a game drive and saw all the animals. On Wednesday, I took her to the lion park where she got to hold baby lion cubs. Wednesday night, at our home cell group, Bethany shared her testimony and it was amazing!!! Some cried and after she was finished, everyone had so many questions for her - wanting advice, wanting to understand how she sees herself now, wanting to know how to deal with people they know who have eating disorders, and wanting to know parenting advice on how to deal with their children in similar situations. Bethany answered everyone's questions with such wisdom. We all went home blessed and encouraged, and praising God for His mercy and grace, and the testimony of Bethany’s life is unto Him. Although I have shared what Mercy is about, it was so great for them to see a young girl who has actually graduated from the program and whose life has been totally changed.

Thursday, we went on an outreach into a very poor township. There is no electricity, no running water and most of the community have not been educated and don’t have jobs. We took clothes and food parcels that will feed a family for a week or more and Bibles in their local languages. We saw many sick children suffering from AIDS and Tuberculosis. The team leader for that community took us to the 10 poorest families and we blessed them with the gifts. Bethany got to go inside their shacks and see how they live. She was touched by the whole experience and said she could do that everyday. I was so sad to say goodbye, but I know we will meet again. Thank you again for organizing this! Lots of Love and hugs and please send our love to all the girls at Mercy.

Sarah and Barry

It is so amazing to see the transformation that has taken place in Bethany’s life. She is a true hero and I am so proud of her and excited about the awesome future the Lord has in store for Bethany and Beau.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recent Graduate Gives Thanks

Stephanie came into the Mercy program hungry for freedom and desperate for change in her life. God met her right where she was and has transformed her heart and given her hope for the future. We recently received this awesome email from her and I wanted to share it with you.
Hey Nancy!

I just wanted to personally thank you for being obedient to God in not only opening up Mercy, but also in the way that you run the program. I am a recent graduate from Monroe [I was Isaiah’s dog mom (Isaiah is one of Mercy’s shelties – pictured RIGHT). ] and I know that without Mercy Ministries, I would not be alive today. It was used to drastically change my life. Before I entered those doors, I was at the point where I thought I would have to completely leave my relationship with God because of my hypocriticalness, and the hopelessness that I had about ever experiencing any freedom. During my time at Mercy, I received more blessings than can be comprehended. God has given me a whole new life and I am alive for the first time. He has refreshed my vision for the future and I am so excited about what He revealed to me about my destiny. I am so thankful to you and your ministry for all of the love and assistance I received in my healing process. Thank you and God bless!


We are so proud of the amazing progress Stephanie has made. I know God has awesome things in store for her life.

Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mercy Resident Designs T-Shirts with a Purpose!

Even before coming to Mercy, Christin had a desire and the skill to create. It wasn’t until recently, after hearing a teaching I did on tithing and the power of giving, that she asked the Lord, “Since I have no money to give back to you, what do I give?” She felt the Lord prompting her to use her talent for design to give back to Him and to bless others. Since then, Christin has been using her gift of creativity to design personalized t-shirts for residents and staff. She calls this outreach ministry “Threads of Hope.” Each t-shirt design is created based on something very personal to the person, whether it’s a prophetic word spoken over their life or a favorite scripture God has given them. Not only is each t-shirt a one-of-a-kind original design, but they are also hand sown by Christin herself!

I thought you would like to see some of the very cool t-shirts Christin has done.

Once she graduates from Mercy, Christin plans on continuing her t-shirt designs with the possibility of it becoming a business. If she sells them, she plans on donating a portion of the proceeds back to Mercy. We are so proud of Christin for using her gifts to minister to those around her and for the awesome transformation taking place in her heart and life. We wouldn’t be surprised if one day we could buy Christin’s t-shirts in some cool store! If you want to be one of the first to help Christin get her business off the ground, let us know and we will contact you to discuss the details.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New BarlowGirl Video – Never Seen Before!!

As most of you know, the awesome Christian group BarlowGirl, (made up of three sisters Alyssa, Lauren and Rebecca), are longtime Mercy supporters and friends. We have known the Barlow family for years and are so blessed to be able to partner with them in something new and really, really exciting – a brand new music video to promote Mercy Ministries! Taping was recently finished for their new video to go along with their song, “Sing Me a Love Song” from their newly released CD “Love and War”. What is so cool about this video is that it features a story about a girl struggling with some of the same issues we help girls with here at Mercy. It gives you a real and honest look at what many young girls are facing today. We thought you would enjoy getting a sneak peek of this video before it is released in the next couple of weeks.

We are so excited that this video will be shown at their upcoming concerts and we are believing for it to have a profound impact on those who see it. These ladies are so special to us and we are so proud of all they have accomplished. It is awesome that they have chosen to use their influence to impact their own generation and the next generation. The fact that they are using their lives to take a stand and speak into the social issues of our day is commendable. They are an awesome example of what it means to truly use all God has given you to bring Him glory and we honor them.

To learn more about BarlowGirl, check out their website at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Day of New Beginnings!!

Today has been such a great day, and very busy! I had the pleasure of being a part of an adoption placement ceremony where one of our courageous young women handed her beautiful baby girl to the adoptive couple of her choice. Both the adoptive couple and the young girl had their extended families and closest friends in the room. It was truly emotional, and we saw God move in such a special way. We thank God for every life – the life of this young girl and the life she chose to give this beautiful baby girl. I wanted to share this joy with those of you who support us, because your support is making all of this possible.

Speaking of sharing the joy and thanking our supporters, I also wanted you to see the three beautiful young women who graduated the program today - so much overcoming of the past, so much joy in the present, and so much anticipation for the future! God is a God of new beginnings, and I thank Him for 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, all things are new.”

I am so thankful today that because of Jesus Christ, our past does not have to destroy our future and we can have new beginnings in Him. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by getting an inside look of what went on at Mercy today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls’ Getaway Weekend!

Last Friday, I was invited to speak at a Girls’ Getaway weekend in the Nashville area for the Tennessee District Assemblies of God women’s ministry leaders. It was such a great time of ministry, as well as a fun time of fellowship with other God chicks! I had the privilege of speaking along with Debbie Lindell, co-pastor with her husband John, of James River Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, and Shelayne McDaniel, Tennessee Assemblies of God Ladies Director. The theme for the weekend was Dare to Dream, and we challenged the women to dream God-sized dreams. For today’s blog, I wanted to challenge you to do the same - wherever you are today and whatever you are facing, I dare you to dream big. God is greater than any circumstance or situation, and He has awesome plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11)!

I thought you might like to see some of our pictures from this fun and impactful Girls’ Getaway weekend!

Debbie, Shelayne, and me

Debbie’s daughter, Savannah; Debbie; my assistant, Katelyn; and me

Me and Debbie doing a question and answer session

Me speaking – the jars in the background were for the women’s ministry leaders
to take back to their women’s groups and raise money for Mercy – amazing!!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Love to all,


Friday, February 12, 2010

Mercy Graduate Says “I Do”!

Since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, I wanted to share a great love story with you from one of our graduates…

Tabitha came to Mercy 5 years ago feeling alone, afraid, depressed, and ready to give up on life. While at Mercy, God did a tremendous work in her life, and in December of 2005, she graduated, having found freedom from bondage and purpose for her life.

I just received this update from Tabitha and couldn’t help but share it with you, especially on Valentine’s weekend!

Hi Nancy,

I have some exciting things to share with you that just took place! At 2:00 last Friday afternoon, I was married to the most wonderful man in the world! I was thinking about you and Mercy because I know that if I had not chosen to go into the program and do what was necessary for freedom from all the crap in my life, I would have died.

I got the call that I was accepted to Mercy in March of 2005. They told me at that time that I would probably have to wait several months. I told the person I talked to, “go ahead and put me on the waiting list, but I will most likely be dead by then.”

God had another plan. I graduated from Mercy in December of 2005. Of course, there have been some hard times since then, but I know I will never go back to my old life and I will never be the same – I know what it means to be free!

I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything. I would not have lived to see this day – my wedding day - if I had not chosen freedom and taken the steps of faith to enter the program and face my issues. My husband is so thankful for you and Mercy as well.

We had a small wedding at the court house, nothing big or fancy, but it was so great. I love you Nancy, and I am so thankful for you and your ministry.

Love always,

Tabitha and her husband Daniel currently live in Houston, TX. Tabitha plans to get her degree in Psychology or Social Work so that she can work with young women like herself and help them find the freedom she found at Mercy. God is truly the God of healing and restoration. Tabitha’s life is a perfect example, and we are so proud of her.

This Valentine’s Day weekend, whether you are single or married, dating someone or not, I want to remind you that love can be found and celebrated in many places – first and foremost in God, the Creator of real and perfect love. This weekend, I encourage you to focus on all the ways God’s love reaches your heart and life. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Valentines Day!

Much love to all,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Debbie Lindell Visits Mercy!

It never ceases to amaze me how God sends the very BEST! Today we had the privilege of hosting Debbie Lindell and her beautiful daughter Savannah from James River Assembly in Springfield, MO. Debbie and her husband John are the senior pastors of this church, and it has grown to over 10,000 members with multiple locations ( I can honestly say this is one of the coolest churches I have ever been to. I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures from today of how Debbie and Savannah poured into the lives of our girls. There was truly a God connection, and both girls and staff felt so encouraged by what they heard. Sometimes pictures speak louder than words so I thought I would give you a good look at what took place here in our Nashville Mercy home today.

Last year, I had the privilege of speaking at Debbie’s women’s conference, Designed for Life, along with Lisa Bevere and Charlotte Scanlon-Gambill, and hosted by Debbie of course (go to for more details). We had so much fun. I want to encourage you that if you are looking for a great women’s conference to go to, check out James River. You will be so glad you did!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Success!!

In case you don’t know, I am a huge sports fanatic! I always love Super Bowl Sunday – I feel like it is an American holiday! I have to say that even though everyone said that the Colts were going to win the Super Bowl yesterday, I feel that it was the Saints time and it was meant to be! I want to congratulate the Saints and all their fans. I was pulling for them big time. I think it’s great for the city of New Orleans, and Drew Brees is a class act!

While I am thrilled the Saints won and I was cheering for them, I still had to keep the vision of the Titans being at the Super Bowl in front of me so I had to wear my Titans jersey! Saints, I will be pulling for you again next year, only I am hoping it’s the Titans you are playing, and that I will have the same feeling about you next year that I had about Peyton this year….He has already won one!! It’s our time!

The Mercy girls in all of our U.S. homes got to gather around and watch the game last night with their favorite foods! Everyone had a blast. I would love to hear your thoughts about the game – please leave a comment!

Check out these pictures from the Super Bowl parties in our homes!

Lincoln, California

Nashville, Tennessee

St. Louis, Missouri

Monroe, Louisiana

Friday, February 5, 2010

Special Guest in Nashville This Week!!

Yesterday, we had a special guest speaker, Bert VanderMark, an art pastor out of St. Louis, here with us in Nashville. He has been working with our St. Louis residents over the last several months, teaching them about art and how to create “visual parables” – turning the stories Jesus taught and our responses to these teachings into pieces of art. In fact, Bert made copies of the “visual parables” that the St. Louis girls did and put them together in a booklet with scriptures attached to each picture and gave them to all the St. Louis girls for Christmas.

We were so excited to have Bert here in Nashville to teach more of our Mercy girls! There was a powerful time of teaching before the residents pulled out the art supplies.

Bert shared how we are overwhelmed with visual images and messages that are contrary to the Word of God. Bert illustrated his message by passing out a popsicle stick to each resident and asking them to write a negative idea that someone had told them or that they believed about who they are. Later, they pieced the popsicle sticks together forming a cross (pictured BELOW) to symbolize how our past does not determine our future and that our true identity is found in Christ alone.

I thought you might want to see some of the girls’ artwork from yesterday. It is so cool to see the girls express themselves in such a unique way.

A big shout out to Bert for volunteering his time and resources to pour into the lives of our residents. Bert also generously donated some artwork to last year’s Afternoon of Mercy St. Louis Fundraising Event where the proceeds from the art sales were given to Mercy Ministries. For more information about Bert VanderMark, check out his website at

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love Brings Change

Kim came to our St. Louis home in 2005, broken, lost, and struggling with an eating disorder as a means to try to escape the pain of her past. While at Mercy, she experienced first hand the love of her Savior, and her life was truly transformed. Today, Kim is a full-time missionary to the nation of Guatemala, where she gets to extend the love of Christ to people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to hear about God’s love and forgiveness.

Kim recently returned home to the States for the holidays and a brief sabbatical. While she was here, she took the time to come and visit the Nashville home and encourage the girls who are currently in the program. Kim shared about the truth of who Jesus is and encouraged the girls to walk out their freedom after they leave Mercy. The girls really connected with Kim, knowing she was once in their shoes.
Her ministry in Guatemala is called Amor Trae Cambio in Spanish, which means Love Brings Change. I was so blessed to receive a special gift from her during her visit – a piece of art she drew depicting the love of Christ she found while at Mercy. We are keeping it in our prayer room so that our staff can remember to pray for Kim and the work she is doing.

To learn more about Kim’s work in Guatemala, check out her website at and her blog at

We are so proud of Kim and thought you might like to hear about what God has done and is continuing to do in her life!

Hope you are having a great week!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Surprise Winter Wonderland Weekend at Mercy!

Even when there’s a crazy snow and ice storm outside, life goes on at Mercy. For example, when labor pains kick in, they kick in… end of story! No waiting on the snow to end! Yes, you guessed it! We had a young woman who gave birth, (to twins), right in the middle of our Friday snowstorm. We are rejoicing at two more precious lives that have entered the world, but we also wanted to share with you what the rest of the group was doing to make the most of their unplanned, stay-at-home-by-necessity, snowed-in weekend. The girls had a blast sliding in the backyard, having snowball fights, and building snowmen – even Jude got in on the action!!

Snow in Nashville comes so seldom that we wanted to share some of the fun with you…