Have Mercy!

This spring, Nancy Alcorn celebrates the 20th anniversary of Mercy Ministries, which offers God's hope and healing to girls struggling with addictions, eating disorders, unwed pregnancy, and abuse—girls not so unlike the bulimic teen she once was.

Tired of not being able to share the saving Truth that ended her own teenage rebellion—including a five-year battle with bulimia —Nancy left government-run services to become director of women for the Nashville branch of faith-based Teen Challenge. There she sensed God lead her to launch a ministry for young women caught in destructive habits and homes. Armed only with a $1,000 going-away gift from Teen Challenge, Nancy moved to Monroe, Louisiana, where she sensed God calling her. She was sure of four things: The ministry was to refuse government funding so she'd be free to share the gospel; she was to tithe on all contributions to the ministry; she was to take in girls free of charge so they'd know the only motivation for reaching out to them was God's unconditional love; and, somehow, God would silence skeptics by providing for Mercy Ministries' every need.

Bit by bit, Nancy saw God provide such things as the low-priced home outside city limits (away from stringent zoning laws) with lots of bedrooms; local media coverage that prompted donations; even a local doctor who gave Nancy $4,600 to pay off the remaining debt on her car. Additionally, her friends introduced her to various business and church leaders in the area who gave her money and opportunities to spread the word about Mercy Ministries. The fresh coats of paint were barely dry on the house when Nancy started receiving calls from parents of girls in desperate situations. Their first resident was 19-year-old Theresa, who was suicidal and heavily involved in drugs and alcohol. Theresa was followed by countless other hurting girls urgently in need of God's healing and hope.

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