Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Blogger - Whitney Nall!!

Hello! Whitney Nall here. As Community Relations Manager for Mercy Ministries in Nashville, TN…it is with great excitement that I write to you today as a guest on Nancy’s blog. In less than 24 hours, our Second Annual Run for Mercy 5K & Family Walk at Shelby Bottoms Greenway in Nashville will be underway. It’s been amazing to see the support of this community as they take the ball and run with it! Last year we had 400 registrants and raised $35,000. This year we have 850 people registered and have already raised $54,000 so far! We are expecting 1,000 people on race day (woohoo!) and our goal is to raise $60,000.

There are a lot of fun incentives to get excited about! For every $100 that a person raises, they get entered into a drawing for a FREE iPad! Also, each registrant that is present on race day is eligible to win a FREE iPod Touch! Not to mention—so many local businesses and restaurants have donated GREAT door prizes (gift cards to restaurants, coupon books, jewelry, massages, etc.) for us to give away on race day. The goody bags are loaded with great coupons—including Chick-Fil-A, Blue Coast Burrito, 9Fruits, Sparkle Cupcake Company, Cold Stone, and many more—as well as a cute hot pink t-shirt AND a Run for Mercy water bottle for anyone who referred a friend to this event.

Event registration will start at 8:00 AM tomorrow (Saturday, October 30th) at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and the 5K & Family Walk will begin at 9:00 AM. One of our Nashville community board members and local Christian music artist, David Ask, will be there to sing the national anthem and “emcee” the event. 94FM The Fish will be out at the event to do a “live remote.” There will be a Kids Fun Run immediately following the 5K—as well as face painting, bounce houses and more for the younger family members! It’s not too late to invite your friends! Bring your strollers, dogs, youth groups and so on—the more the merrier! Click here to watch Channel 5’s Weatherman and Mercy supporter, Charlie Neese, share Saturday’s weather forecast.

Words truly can’t express how thankful we are to each and every one of you who have made this event possible. It’s amazing to see how all it takes is one person to make a difference. On Saturday we will see 1,000 people who want to be a part of making a difference in a girl’s life forever!! We would love to see you there!

Me (on the right) with fellow Mercy staff, Heather, running for Mercy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recent Report Out – Sex Trafficked Minors on the Rise

I want you to understand why Mercy is taking in more victims of sex trafficking. A study done between August 2009 and February of this year showed that sex trafficking of minors in the U.S. is a fast growing crisis. The total number of girls trafficked through Internet classifieds and escort services increased in double-digit percentages in several states over the six-month period.

For several years now, Mercy Ministries has been helping victims of sex trafficking in our residential homes. The last couple of years, I have felt a tug in my heart to get more involved with this issue by making a way to actually help the young women who have suffered this terrible abuse. We believe God has called us to become more public with the fact that we are caring for victims of sex trafficking. We also know that we need to be a voice that brings light to the disturbing fact that sex trafficking is an epidemic here in the United States – right in our own backyard.

According to the U.S. State Department, there were 350,000 reported cases of domestic trafficking last year. However, this number is much higher as there are so many cases that go unreported. Young women who suffer such devastating abuse are true victims who need a place to find help and healing. They need a place where their hearts can be transformed through the love of Christ. They need Mercy Ministries.

We believe God has called Mercy Ministries of America to help these domestic victims. We have already served girls facing this issue, but the cries for help are increasing. Our long-term mission is to build a facility specifically dedicated to serving victims of sex trafficking, and we feel that the time has come to begin speaking out this vision.

You can see more shocking statistics about sex trafficking in the U.S. by going to

Monday, October 25, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Nancy Alcorn…

Nancy’s Executive Assistant, Katelyn here. I often have the privilege of traveling with Nancy to many different churches and conferences where Nancy is speaking. I know that I have always wondered what pastors and ministry leaders are really like behind the scenes…and now I get the chance to work alongside a great leader in ministry. Honestly, one of my favorite “duties” in my job is getting to travel with Nancy. She is the real deal – the same in and out of the pulpit. Not only do we get to spend time with amazing leaders and pastors, but we also get to spend lots of time in airports and getting coffee! HA! :) I also make sure that Nancy is where she needs to be, when she needs to be there, and with coffee in hand. Even though I have been at Mercy for just over three years, every time I hear Nancy speak, I am inspired to continue to run with the vision of seeing lives transformed and hope restored.

I just returned from traveling with Nancy on a whirlwind tour to Chicago, St. Louis, and the Panhandle of Florida. Not only is traveling a break from the office, but it’s an amazing time to meet many of our Mercy supporters, graduates, and even encourage some girls who are considering applying to Mercy!!! It’s such a blessing to be a part of such a great ministry and serve an amazing leader!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Straight from the heart of our California Director…

My name is Cheryl Bangs. As the Program Director for Mercy Ministries in Lincoln, CA (Sacramento area), it is my great joy to be a guest writer on Nancy’s blog…

The amazing race has nothing on the AMAZING journey many of us here at Mercy Ministries in Lincoln, CA have experienced this year. We have witnessed before our very eyes lives transformed and hope restored.

Our first resident walked through the doors October 1, 2009 and since that day we have had 80 young women join us in this home. These young women are so courageous. I have great respect for them. They are some of the heroes in my world.

What a joy to observe the work of God as He restores life. He doesn’t “fix” us, He chooses to restore us. You see, to fix is to repair but to restore is to put back to our original state. He chooses to wipe away all the shame and brokenness and as we learn to hear what He says about us, our choices change. We begin to live life as a victor instead of a victim, one who steps into the inheritance God has promised. In John 10:10 Jesus says “The thief has come to rob, steal and destroy, but I have come to give you a life that is full.” It is a life of possibility and promise, one of joy and peace in the midst of struggle. God can take the mess of life and create a masterpiece. These young women become a Masterpiece as they walk life out in freedom.

It is an epic journey and the staff in Lincoln, CA is excited to be on it. We have seen firsthand the amazing work of a loving God!

Beyond Blessed!

Enjoy these pictures from our California home!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest Blogger Selah Hirsch!

Hello! My name is Selah Hirsch and I am thrilled to be a guest on Nancy's blog! When I came on board with Mercy almost five years ago to join the development team, we realized there was a lot of work to be done sharing the vision of Mercy with our local communities. I always joke with those who know me that there is a reason I am not a counselor (we have such great ones!), but that I am called to be a part of an amazing team of people who have the privilege to connect with our donors, plan our local events and raise awareness and funding for the ministry. I believe that through our team we touch eternity by working to provide a place for girls to come free of charge to receive hope and healing.

This past weekend we had our annual Run for Mercy 5K and Family Walk in St. Louis which is my favorite event each year! Hundreds of people come out in the early morning to "get moving for Mercy", is how I like to describe it. I love to see the intense runners lining up at the start line, along with the families and strollers. Even some people brought their dogs! It is truly a beautiful representation of the community coming together to support Mercy!

I love what I do and I am so honored to be a part of God’s plan for the healing and restoration of young women. To read more about the race and see pictures click on this link St. Louis Run for Mercy 5K.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Power-Packed Weekend in St. Louis!!!

I thought I would take some time on today’s blog to share with you about the great time I had in St. Louis this weekend. Not only did I get to speak at a Women’s Rally on Friday night, but all 30 of our St. Louis residents were in attendance, as well as our St. Louis staff! In addition, there were over 10 graduates there who came into town to participate in the Mercy 5K and Family Walk taking place on Saturday morning. Speaking of the fundraiser, the weather was absolutely perfect and we had double the number of participants this year, as well as double the money raised to help us to continue taking in young women free of charge. I thought you might enjoy seeing pictures from the Rally on Friday night, as well as the 5K run on Saturday morning.

I also had the privilege of speaking at Destiny Church with Pastors Jim and Jessica Stern, and Phil and Linda Stern. It was truly a blessed time, and it was so great to speak at the home church of our residents in St. Louis and to see how much they love the girls! I spoke in the Saturday night service and both Sunday morning services. It was truly a great family time for Mercy. I thought you would enjoy hearing about how awesome it all was! I hope your weekend was great as well!

Me and Pastor Jim Stern – so thankful for him and Jessica and
how they love on our residents!

Me sharing at the Women’s Rally

I always love getting to spend time connecting with the residents!

Me and all of the St. Louis girls!!

The starting line!

The Run for Mercy 5K is definitely a family friendly event!

Friday, October 15, 2010

On the Road Again…

These days it seems like I barely have time to unpack and do my laundry before I am packing and heading out again. This week is no exception! Even as I am writing this to you, I am leaving the great city of Chicago after having been a guest speaker at the “Reality” Women’s Conference, hosted by Linda Thompson and Family Harvest Church, and I am now headed to the great city of St. Louis where I will be speaking this weekend. If you live in the St. Louis area and you can come out Friday night, I will be speaking at the Destiny Church Women’s Rally at 7:00 PM. I will also be the guest speaker at all the weekend services at Destiny Church on Saturday at 6:00 PM, and Sunday at 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. The church address is 1809 Des Peres Rd., St. Louis, MO, 63131. If you live in the area, I hope you can make it to one of the services!

One of the things that I am the most excited about this weekend is being able to see the staff and girls in our St. Louis home. I was there about a month ago, but I always enjoy seeing how the girls have grown spiritually each time I visit. I am also excited about the Run for Mercy 5K and Family Walk that takes place in St. Louis on Saturday, October 16th at Queeny Park (off Manchester Rd.). Registration opens at 8:00 AM with the run/walk starting at 9:00 AM. Kids 12 and under are free! Hope you can make it! Our girls and staff would love to see you, and we welcome your help to continue seeing lives transformed!!!

Thanks for all your prayers and support!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mercy’s Connection to The Beatles…

When I was 9 years old and became such a fan of The Beatles, little did I know that I would one day have a close friendship with someone who walked very closely with them. I’m not sure that I can really improve on this story that was written for our website by one of our staff writers, so maybe I’ll just share what she wrote. However, I do want to say how much I love Ken and Connie Mansfield, and how thankful I am that God chose to put such great personal friends in my life. It was our joy to have Ken as our special guest speaker yesterday at Mercy Ministries in Nashville… Hope you enjoy hearing about it and seeing these great pictures! Click here to read the story!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nicole C. Mullen Rocks the House!

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was this morning as Nicole C. Mullen and her special friends spent the first half of their day with the staff and girls in our Nashville home. Many people know Nicole C. Mullen as the award winning music artist, but this morning we experienced her as a powerful teacher of God’s Word. She shared her personal testimony and spoke very candidly about the need for us to forgive people who hurt us, trust God when we don’t understand, and always remember that “we get to the other side because we choose to trust Him in the middle.”

After Nicole finished her teaching, she blessed us with her music and a special drama presentation which included teenage girls who are in her year-long mentorship program. It was especially impactful to see these teenage girls who travel with Nicole demonstrate the power of God’s Word in their lives as they quoted whole passages of scripture that they had memorized. These young girls also encouraged our residents to make God’s Word a top priority in their lives.

Afterwards, Nicole and her team hung around to spend personal time with the girls, pose for pictures, and personally autograph the 8x10 promotional pictures that she brought for each girl. I can honestly say that this was one of the most powerful times we have ever had at Mercy with a guest! The highest compliment that I can give Nicole C. Mullen is that she is a real deal Christian!!! A special thanks to Nicole and her girls for taking time to impact all of us at Mercy.

Nicole C. Mullen

Me with Nicole C. Mullen and some of the girls in her mentorship program

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mercy Ministries Receives Generous Golf Tournament Donation!

It way my great blessing to fly to Oklahoma City yesterday to be with my special friends Bill and Cindy Stewart, owners of Petra Industries. Bill and Cindy have been dear friends of mine for almost 19 years now. I first met them when they adopted their son Gabe from one of our birth mothers in 1991. Petra hosts an annual golf tournament to which Mercy Ministries is one of the beneficiaries. Yesterday, Bill and Cindy presented me (pictured right) with a very generous check of $30,000 to Mercy Ministries as a result of funds raised from the golf tournament itself. We so appreciate all that Bill and Cindy do for us, and we also wish to thank those who flew in from all over the United States to participate through their presence and generous donations. 100% of the proceeds of this gift will go to provide for the care of the young women we serve. We pray God’s continued blessings on the Stewart family, as well as their family business.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Special Friends, Dave and Sharon Ramsey, Host Mercy Event

I want to personally thank my dear friends Dave and Sharon Ramsey for hosting a special event in their home last evening to help us prepare for our upcoming annual Christmas fundraiser. I have been so blessed by Dave and Sharon’s friendship over the years, and I am so thankful for all they do for so many people.

Instead of writing a separate story, I thought I would just send you to the story already posted on our website about last night’s event and share some pictures with our special guests. Check it out at

Monday, October 4, 2010

Designed for Life – Pictures Speak A Thousand Words…

There’s no better way to share how much our St. Louis residents loved being at the Designed for Life Conference this past weekend in Springfield, MO hosted by Debbie Lindell and James River Assembly than to let you see for yourself. I want to give a special shout-out to Debbie Lindell and her amazing team for an awesome conference and for the great surprises she had in store for our St. Louis residents!

Dare to Dream!

St. Louis residents waiting for the conference to start…

There was special music by Christian recording-artists Shane and Shane

Conference Worship Team

Guest speaker, Christine Caine

After one of the sessions, the girls were taken to a salon downtown for awesome makeovers…

Mercy girls at the salon receiving makeovers

The process begins…

Here are a couple of ‘after’ shots from the salon!

Girls with stylists

All of the St. Louis residents with the amazing stylists that made their makeovers possible!

You will not want to miss out on next year’s conference! Check out the Designed for Life website for 2011 dates and information at

Friday, October 1, 2010

Designed for Life Going on Now!!!

Although I am in Sacramento hanging with the Mercy girls here, our St. Louis residents are in Springfield, MO at the Designed for Life Women’s Conference hosted by Debbie Lindell and James River Assembly. I had the privilege of speaking at this conference last year, so I know the Mercy girls are having a blast! Chris Caine opened the conference last night and other guest speakers for the conference include Lisa Smith, DeLynn Rizzo, and Pastor John Lindell.

Conference host, Debbie Lindell, also arranged to surprise the Mercy girls with a special luncheon, gave each girl a pair of pajamas, as well as get some pampering! After today’s morning session, the girls were taken downtown to have their hair and makeup done and were greeted by several other Mercy graduates! Here’s what a couple of the girls have to say about their time at the Designed for Life Conference so far…

“It’s been so cool to really feel God’s love this weekend and see everything come together. I am really beginning to understand that God has a plan and have been able to see it through not only what people have said at the conference, but through the actions of people that have followed Christ and live like Him. It’s such a blessing to be here!” -- Sherri

“It was such a surprise to all of us to be taken to the salon to have our hair and makeup done! I would have never expected this and it has blessed me so much – I don’t have words! It is so amazing!! I am so happy and excited, and feel so beautiful right now! The love that has been poured out on us has been amazing!” – Shannon

Hope you have a great weekend!!!