Lives Transformed: A gala evening with Nancy Alcorn and Mark Washington
October 16th, 2014, Over 200 friends and supporters of Mercy ministries of Canada gathered at the Newlands Golf and Coutry Club, in Langley in an beautifully created atmosphere of hope and freedom.
Guests were quickly put at ease by master of ceremonies, Mark Washington of the BC Lions. "Mercy has been moving mountains for a long time and we are all in for a great time" he told supporters. During the delicious buffet dinner, prepared and served by the very professional team at Newlands, musical guest Brooke Nicholls started the evening off with a set of inspiring songs that turned hearts towards the One who brings transformation.
Just before Mercy Ministries' founder Nancy Alcorn stepped up to share the story of how she started the ministry, the Canadian board surprised her with a presentation of a gift to mark her 60th birthday as a way of thanking her for stepping out in obeidience 31 years ago.
As always, Nancy Alcorn inspired all with her story of starting Mercy Ministries. She told of how after 7 years working in juvenile detention and child protection services she became convinced that she needed to start a home where young women could get help free of charge, and where they would be free to experience God's unconditional love, forgiveness and most importantly His life-transforming power. Little did she know far God would take her dream.
Canadian Executive Director Nicola Bartel took the stage next, and after sharing her God-led journey to overseeing the Canadian program introduced a panel of three Canadian graduates of Mercy Ministries.
Before the Canadian home was completed, Natasha Files overcame an eating disorder, self harm and a need to prove her value during her time at a Mercy Ministries home in the U.S. Today she is working at a private eating disorders clinic comforting others with the comfort she received from the Lord. Similarly, Rachel, who was among the very first group of young women to arrive at the Canadian home in 2010, shared how she overcame a drug addiction and an eating disorder. She has just started work at a Christian addictions ministry supporting others as they work towards transformation!
Rounding out the panel was a graduate from this year who is just starting her journey of living renewed. Maegan is finding her feet again after years of cycling in an out of treatment programs. She finally broke free from drug addiction, gang lifestyle and an eating disorder at Mercy Ministries and has returned to school to study social work.
Each transformed young woman addressed supporters and thanked them for their support. Rachel summarized the sentiment of all three as she choked back tears of gratitude.
"I just want to thank you all so much! without you I would not be sitting here. Who knows where I would be or if I would even be alive."
As guests made their commitments and contributions to the continuing work of Mercy Ministries in Canada, Brooke Nicholls took the stage again and introduced her latest song "Beauty from Ashes" which was inspired by her visits to the Mercy Ministries homes in Canada and Nashville. All guests were surprised with an opportunity to downlaod the song for FREE when production is completed later in the year.
Thank you for all the businesses and individuals who contributed to make this year's gala dinner and fundraiser a success. Special thanks go to the following for beautiful decor:
Thanks also to Jamie Delaine Photography for capturing the evening for us.