Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mercy Ministries...

I know it's been a long time since I've written anything in this blog. Rest assured, we've got a LOT going on in regards to missions, both here and points around the globe. But today I felt compelled to live blog as our special guest speaker, Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries, ministers.

We got to hear the testimony of a young lady who graduated from Mercy's FREE (there's NEVER a charge to the girls or their families). She had been hospitalized over 40 times before getting to Mercy Ministries and had been diagnosed as hopeless and needing to be institutionalized for the rest of her life. Her life was completely turned around and now she's 12 credits away from a college degree and has been a worship leader at several churches (her dad is a military chaplain, so she's moved a lot.) Thank God she learned to NOT believe the "experts of the world"!

So, Whose report are YOU going to believe? ...The "Experts of the World"? ...Or God?

1 Corinthians 1:19 says this:
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."

We have heard about generational curses (sometimes referred to by the world as "genetics", "he takes after his daddy", etc...BUT we have an opportunity to start a generation of BLESSINGS!

Continued Next Post...


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Free if you are in the States. The Australian branch was obtaining welfare payments by deception and using this to fund the program.

The experts of the world? I gather you walk on foot or use a horse and cart? Likewise you never go to the doctor when you fall ill?

Paul was preaching to illiterate common folk when he wrote this - its a great way to say to people, don't listen to those who have spent there lives developing specialist knowledge, just believe me because I know the mind of god.

This leaves believers so blantantly open to the abuse of unscroupulous church leaders.

You refer to the experts of the world as if the were one organised group rather than people with diverse knowledge from diverse backgrounds examining a situation and coming up with the best possible solution.

I am glad that this young woman has found success but I know three women persoanlly that have had their lives shattered by this group. One of them was on the road to recovery and had to be hospitalised after she left mercy.

I know of one suicide at the facility in the US.

I also know that there have been upwards of 15 people that have complained about their treatment.

I don't know if you will listen, but I thought it was worth trying.

Do no harm. Peace be with you.


Sandi said...

Hey Sean! Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it when people not only take the time to read our blog, but are willing to share their thoughts and comments with us. I want to address each of your comments, but not necessarily in order. And I want to PREFACE THIS by saying that I am NOT ON THE STAFF at Valley Word Church, I AM A VOLUNTEER who writes for the blog, so the things that I am sharing are MY thoughts, and not that of our pastor or anyone else with a full-time leadership position at the church. I am however a medical professional, having been in the nursing field since 1993. I've worked psych wards. I've worked rehab facilities.

So as someone who has dealt with a multitude of medical facilities both in Virginia and Tennessee I wanted to address some of your latter comments first.

You stated, "I also know that there have been upwards of 15 people that have complained about their treatment." Well, in a 25 year history, I think that's pretty impressive. When you are dealing with people who are struggling with a myriad of emotional issues there are quite often complaints.

Add that to the fact that many of the young women who are accepted at facilities like Mercy's are used to living with no strict rules or boundaries...or have lived in rebellion toward their parents sincere attempts at such. It can be VERY difficult assimilating into an environment like that for some people.

You stated, "I know of one suicide at the facility in the US." I have read of other facilities through the years that have lost clients to suicide..both for-profit and non-profit agencies alike. Again, when you are treating people who are dealing with severe emotional issues/depression/etc there is a possibility that some will not respond. It is tragic, and it is an even greater reason to reach out and help more people to come out of the darkness in which they've been trapped.

You made the statement, "I am glad that this young woman has found success but I know three women persoanlly that have had their lives shattered by this group. One of them was on the road to recovery and had to be hospitalised after she left mercy." That's a pretty strong statement to make. As I don't know any of the details surrounding the cases to which you are referring I will again reiterate that not every program works for every person.

When my youngest son was in high school and suicidal he was in a local treatment facility. We had a TERRIBLE experience there, BUT there are a great number of people who are helped there on a regular basis. I can't condemn their program because of our bad experience.

Regarding the "experts of the world" term that I'd used, I did not mean it as an organized group. But having been in the medical profession for years, I have seen NUMEROUS occasions where very well-educated physicians were completely wrong in diagnoses. And I have seen God perform miraculous healings that the medical profession said was impossible. We even had a man raised from the dead right here in our sanctuary back in 2001.

Anyone can know the mind of God...It's all writtten in His Word, The Bible. That's why we are instructed to, "Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP

As a Christian I believe that God's Word has greater authority in my life than the wisdom of men. God is not bound by earthly limitations. The healing power of the Holy Spirit can supercede what "normally" happens to someone with any given diagnosis.

The environment that Mercy Ministries strives to provide for young ladies is one in which the truth of the Word of God can be presented to them. Psalm 107:20 states, "20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions." Psalm 119 states, "130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

As to whether or not I go to the doctor...haven't been in years. Haven't needed to...

Now, as to your FIRST statement. Sean, you stated, "The Australian branch was obtaining welfare payments by deception and using this to fund the program." That's a very serious charge you made, and unless you have strong court accepted evidence your statement could be considered slanderous...And it's not something that I want to debate on Valley Word's blog. If you feel that there have been any improprieties on the part of one of the branch offices then you should contact Nancy at the main branch.

Again, I want to thank you for your comments and for taking the time to read our blog. I hope that something here may have ministered to you or challenged you to further personal study.

Grace and Peace to you!

PS I like your title...blogonaut!

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...


I am short on time. So forgive me for being brief.

The fifteen complaints i am referring to is from the Australian facility. Which has been in operation for about 7 years and has treated under 90 people, so roughly that's 16% of their client base. We are not talking about being disgruntled at rules being imposed but genuine complaints about sewerage overflow, disconnected water mistreatment and bullying by unqualified staff.

Mercy grossly overstate there success here in Australia and elsewhere. All programs have some success based on cognitive/behavioral modification.
I assume this is to secure additional funds to keep their program going.

They do something that secular institutions don't do which is provide aftercare(providing you subscribe to ther religious leanings) that does reinforce the program. This is where their strength lies ie continued long term care.

On the issue of suicide, its the fact that its covered up that concerns me, and it has no bearing on the situation whether or not it occurs in another religious facility or a secular one, it does not excuse Mercy.

Not every program works for every person, but Nancy claims 90% of people doesn't she? Ithink this is a gross overstatement.

Mercy Australia is under investigation from the Australian government, I have no fear with regard to slander.

Mercy has public ally requested that the Australian branch stop taking welfare money but its 6 years too late. That the President of an organization does not know how a branch is receiving its funds, beggars belief.

I won't get into a philosophical debate - I have not the time:)

We have differing world views, in mine the educated physician gets things right most of the time and prayer does nothing.

Humans are wonderful self healing creatures and sometimes we die when not expected and at others we break all odds like Lance Armstrong.


Sasha said...

Nancy knew they were taking girls' welfare payments. She was ok with it until the rest of what they were doing came out. I know she knew about it because when I met her years ago she said something about how it's ok because Aussie government money doesn't come with strings attached and they can still preach the gospel.