Thursday, July 28, 2011

Update On Mercy Graduates Trip To Uganda/Watoto!!

I cannot think of a time that I have ever been more proud to write a report to those of you who follow our @mercyministries news. Even as I write to you today, our team of 18 are in Uganda and have just finished building four classrooms for the Watoto children. Not only did our graduates build these classrooms, but they also raised the money to be able to pay for them. I thought it would bless you for me to highlight a small portion of the pictures and reports they have placed on their daily blog. I pulled out just a few, but at the end of this report I will provide a link for you to be able to go on and see all the pictures and read all the reports posted daily. There will also be an opportunity for you to comment with an encouraging word. I’m sure that our Mercy graduate team in Uganda would love to hear from you and know that you’re cheering them on from a distance.

First of all, I wanted to show you a picture of the entire group of 18. This team is being led by staff leaders, Katelyn Rollins and Nandi Pryce. Not only have these beautiful young women built classrooms, but they have also spent time with the babies and the children in the various Watoto homes during their stay this week.

Our wonderful team:
Our girls loving on the babies:

Our girls pouring out love on the children:

Check out our team hard at work:

One of the host families they had lunch with:

In closing my part of the story, I wanted to share with you in its entirety the graduate blog that was posted today, which is day seven of the trip. The reason I want to call attention to Natalie’s blog today is because of the significance of her writing today’s blog. Natalie is actually celebrating her five year anniversary date of having graduated from Mercy (see Natalie – pictured right)

Day 7 – The Bulrushes and the Craft Market…

Today has been hard to describe. It was wonderful to have a little extra sleep this morning before heading out to The Bulrushes, Baby Watoto, where we were able to stay for several hours. It’s so easy to love those precious babies, to give them my heart, but my heart also aches for them. They are all so tiny and fragile, unaware of their stories, unconcerned with their situations. They lay in groups of 15 or more on the hard concrete floor, but yet they are still just babies, God’s children—born with a purpose and a promise. They are cared for very well by the nannies and the volunteers, and we were blessed to share in that as we fed, changed, and rocked many of the babies. I felt at peace loving on those babies. My mind was still, not racing with what was next or where I needed to be, just calm. I looked around and saw the beauty of creation and the simplicity of the Gospel, and I felt at rest.

After we left the babies home, we went to the Garden City Mall for lunch, which proved yet again to be an adventure. Our host, Melvin, took us into a grocery type store to get some snacks and led us straight to the candy isle…we all went crazy!! Once we left the mall, it was time to go souvenir shopping at the craft market. This is always a fun experience because you have to barter! We all shopped like true women and bought many gifts for our family, friends, and supporters. We ended this evening with an appreciation dinner from Watoto at Mambo Place.

It has been a wonderful day, topped off with the fact that today is a personal victory for me. Today is my five year anniversary of graduation from Mercy Ministries. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of this ministry and to be on this trip on this day in my life! As I reflected throughout the day, God really placed Isaiah 61 on my heart. Thank you so much for you continued prayers and support. Our team is doing very well and has become very close!

- By Natalie

I can’t even begin to tell you how moved I am seeing the pictures of these young women who once walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries broken, not even knowing if they wanted to live, and now they are so full of joy and giving out to others. When you give to Mercy, it has a ripple effect, and you are causing Mercy to be multiplied throughout the nations of the earth. These girls represent thousands of graduates over the years who are making a difference in the lives of others and helping build the kingdom of God, one life at a time. Hope this touches your heart as much as it has touched mine. If you want to see all the pictures and read each day, here is the link where you can do so ( and hopefully post a comment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cornerstone Toledo Youth Visit Mercy Ministries Today!!!

We had such a great time today hosting a group of 25 girls and guys from the youth group at Cornerstone in Toledo, OH pastored by Bishop Michael Pitts and his beautiful wife, Kathi. It was extra special today to host this very special group of youth leaders because of the relationship we have with this church. Not only have they provided financial support for Mercy Ministries, but I have also had the privilege of speaking at their women’s conference and visiting the church over the years. Bishop and Kathi have become very dear friends. We have many mutual relationships, including Wayne Hilliard and his gospel music group “Higher Ground.”

The 25 Toledo visitors were hosted today by Merri Duff, one of our Mercy youth volunteers who is a local college student at Trevecca University here in Nashville. Merri was actually born to a Mercy birthmother in 1991 and placed for adoption through our adoption agency. That is why it was so special to have her host this awesome group of youth leaders from Cornerstone.

All of these lives intersect for the next three days, as they are in town to participate in CeCe Winans “Always Sisters, Forever Brothers” conference beginning tonight and continuing through Saturday night. This conference features nationally known music artists, along with internationally known speakers. The kick-off for the conference begins at 9:00 PM tonight at the Curb Center on Belmont University’s campus. If you are reading this and want to be a part of it, you can show up and register at the door.

Not only are the youth from Toledo a part of this conference, but the girls and staff from Mercy Ministries will be attending as well. It is my joy that CeCe has asked me once again to participate in her conference, not only as a speaker, but also as one of the sponsors for the event. I so believe in CeCe and her heart for the youth of our nation, both young men and young women. It has been our great joy to be a part of this conference every year, and it is always so amazing to see the way God moves in power to bring impact to the lives of those in attendance. Please say a prayer for this very special conference that it will be life altering, and that the ripple effect will be felt throughout the entire nation and beyond.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Team Of Mercy Graduates Travel To Uganda To Serve Watoto!!!

Our focus at Mercy Ministries for the past 28+ years has been to bring transformation to hurting young women one life at a time. When we first began in 1983, what we were doing seemed small, but the ripple effect that is still going on and on and on to this day has had global impact. I have watched over the years as thousands of young women have graduated the program and have gone on to make a huge difference in the lives of others, not just in this country, but also in other nations around the world.

Speaking of the ripple effect, a team of Mercy graduates will be leaving on Wednesday, July 20th for a two week mission trip to Uganda to serve Watoto Ministries ( This ministry is impacting the lives of thousands of orphans in Uganda, and now our Mercy graduates will get to go and give of their love and time during this two week period. As a part of our missions giving, we have had the privilege of building two homes for orphans in conjunction with Watoto. Now our graduates, led by two of our staff, will be traveling to Uganda for the purpose of building a set of four classrooms. Not only will our graduates be building those classrooms, but they have actually raised their own support for this trip as well as the funds to build the classrooms while there. This team will be led by Mercy staff members, Katelyn Rollins and Nandi Pryce (pictured right). There will be a total of 18 people going on this trip. I ask that you keep them in your prayers as they go. Pray for safe travels, for flights to be on time, no lost luggage, and for God’s protection and favor. Last but not least, pray for the anointing of God that destroys every yoke of bondage to totally impact the lives of the orphans as our Mercy graduates go and serve. If you want to keep up with our Mercy graduates and staff while they are in Uganda, you can visit their blog at

So excited to share with you how this ripple effect is never ending! Thanks for all you do to bring transformation to the lives of young women who the world has given up on. Your support literally makes a difference between life and death…one life at a time!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God Is More Than Enough!!!

In all of our Mercy homes, we have girls walk through the doors who are seeking freedom such as self-harm, eating disorders, sexual abuse, chemical dependency, and even severe depression. You might be surprised to find out that many of the young women who walk through our doors have all of the above mentioned issues – that’s right, all of these issues in one person.

Such was the case with Michaela when she walked through the doors of Mercy, and yet even with multiple issues, we saw the same amazing God that we call “MORE THAN ENOUGH” transform her and bring her into a place of complete freedom from all of these life-controlling issues. It has been a bit over two years since Michaela graduated from the Mercy program in Nashville (June 2009), and we just got this awesome thank you and update from Michaela’s mother that I want to share with you. Michaela was once struggling with all of these issues and did not think she could make it through, but here she is today a blessed and happy young woman who is enjoying her life and celebrating her recent high school graduation! Not only was she able to graduate from high school, but she was also on the cheerleading squad and enjoy special times with special friends. Now Michaela is preparing for the next chapter in her life and all that may hold. I think it would mean so much more to hear her mother’s words rather than mine, so let me share a portion of what she sent to us…

This is Lori, Michaela's mom, just wanted to send you some recent pictures of Michaela's prom, graduation, and her trophies her team won for cheerleading this year. She has been awesome! We are so thankful as we are coming up on two years of freedom! Our family cannot thank you enough for your dedication to the girls at Mercy. I pray for the girls and staff every day that God will continue to do His good works at Mercy. I pray that the blessings we received will be given to so many girls that are hurting, and that they remember how much God loves them and will restore them, such as we have seen in our daughter! :) I love seeing her laugh again, as well as enjoy cheerleading and school again. I cannot wait to see how God is going to use her compassion and commitment to help others just as she has been helped by Mercy. Thanks again for all your work and kindness.
God Bless You!

I say this so often, and I will say it again…NO MATTER WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, JESUS IS THE ANSWER!!!

As we celebrate this praise report, please remember that we currently have 130 beds in our US facilities alone that are filled with young ladies who need your prayers to get the breakthroughs they need to experience this same freedom. Our God is more than enough!!!