Friday, December 3, 2010

Being His Hands & Feet

I was holding it together pretty well until the end.  It was last night at the Mercy Ministries Christmas Dinner and Auction in Charlotte, NC.  We'd heard from a couple of the amazing young women whose lives have been forever changed by a miraculous encounter with Jesus Christ through the ministry of Mercy Ministries.  We'd heard Nancy Alcorn, the founder and President of Mercy Ministries, share her story and we'd seen a powerful video.  But so far I hadn't lost my composure.  Until...

"When I visited Mercy Ministries last year, I was standing in the lobby just about ready to leave, when a girl walked in with her parents.  She was clutching a teddy bear and rolling her suitcase beside her.  She had obviously been crying and she looked very scared.  Immediately, the merciful ladies behind the counter ran around and opened their arms to this precious, young 16-year old girl and told her how happy they were to see her.  They told her they had been expecting her and everything was going to be just fine."

One of the women who the Lord used to bring a Mercy Ministries Resident Center to the Charlotte area earnestly shared this testimony last night and hearing this was all I could bear.  I imagined being that sweet girl, who was obviously in bondage to something greater than she or her parents knew how to get out from underneath.  I imagined how loved, accepted and hopeful she must have felt as she was greeted, not from someone behind a cold desk, but in the warm arms of a loving stranger who had been praying for her and expecting her; who actually seemed thrilled to meet her and have her stay with them for awhile.

I imagined how a flood of relief must have swept over the parents as they saw a genuine love and concern for their precious daughter.  They probably always knew she was special, but had been through so much over the past couple of years that they may have lost hope in their desperation to see her healed, restored and walking in the Truth.  They were probably told by a secular rehab center that their daughter would die from this and there was no hope.  But they always believed otherwise in their heart of hearts - and it was probably the most amazing feeling to see that someone else believed it, too.  As all these thoughts flooded my heart, I was sobbing within seconds.

Hope.  Love.  Acceptance.  Relief.  All of it.  They were being blessed and it was all because someone gave to support this important, life-saving ministry.  There is so much hurt, so much pain in our world.  It was the most amazing, refreshing drink of cold water last night as I heard about how this ministry is changing all of that, one sweet young woman at a time, through the power and love of Jesus Christ.  As a mom, I was so encouraged to hear about how daughters were healed.  As a woman who has been rescued from the bondage of alcohol and eating disorders, I was deeply touched to hear how God is using this ministry!

I'm excited to say that Mercy Ministries is opening a Residential Center in Charlotte soon!  This is an amazing gift that God is giving to our area.  There are so many girls, you may even know one yourself (or maybe you are that one) in our area who suffer from eating disorders, sexual abuse, self-mutilation, drug or alcohol abuse or unplanned pregnancy.  This is a safe, Christ-centered place for her to go.  And it won't cost her a penny because the people at Mercy Ministries want the girls to know that they are loved and they are not there so they can make money off of her pain.  They want them to know that other people believe in them, too, so they give to the ministry so these girls can be introduced to the healing and hope that only Jesus can bring.  It's a beautiful thing to see people being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 61:1-3 says, about Jesus Christ....
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

The same Jesus that this scripture was written about lives in YOU when you are a believer. We are called to serve the brokenhearted and this is a chance for you to do just that.  If you want to be a part of this miracle through giving gifts, prayer, or your time, sponsoring a girl or in some other way, please check out their website.  www.mercyministries.org 

Merry Christmas - and God bless you!

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