Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend an annual women's brunch held at a local church in Tulsa. Each year, Guts Church hosts a women's brunch and each year the theme, meal and speaker are fabulous. This year, Guts Girls was celebrating 20-years in ministry. The brunch theme was "The Greatest Brunch On Earth" and the decorations (inside and out) were vintage, girly circus! It was amazing. From the time you entered the building, from the time you made it to your table, each and every corner was decorated in an over-the-top-fabulous-vintage-circus fashion.
The speaker for this year's brunch was Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries. Nancy is the Founder and President of Mercy Ministries a free-of-charge faith-based residential program that provides hope and life transformation for young women, 13-28, dealing with abuse and life-controlling issues. Mercy Ministries serves young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ages 13-28, who face a combination of life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. Mercy also serves young women who have been physically and sexually abused, including victims of sex trafficking. Using proven methods, a holistic approach and professional counselors in a structured residential environment, Mercy has helped thousands of young women be restored to wholeness. Mercy’s goal is to help these young women find freedom from their issues and empower them to serve in their communities as productive citizens.
Nancy was an amazing speaker. Her journey to founding Mercy Ministries is simply inspiring. In Nancy's own words:
"I am a native Tennessean and spent eight years working for the state of Tennessee at a correctional facility for juvenile delinquent girls and investigating child abuse cases. Working for the state on a daily basis gave me direct encounters with the secular programs that were not producing permanent results that exemplified changed lives. I saw many of the girls pass the age of eighteen and end up... in the women's prison system because they never got the real help they needed. After working for the state and recognizing that true transformation would never come as the result of any government system, I was appointed Director of Women for Nashville Teen Challenge. Through this experience, I began to realize that only Jesus could bring restoration into the lives of the girls who were desperately hurting and searching for something to fill the void they felt in their hearts. I knew God was unfolding a plan prompting me to step out in faith to help hurting young women."
Several years and many changed lives later, Mercy Ministries has established locations in Monroe, Louisiana, Nashville, Tennessee, St. Louis, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The organization has grown beyond the borders of the United States, including affiliates in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Peru. In addition, plans are underway for more sites in America, as well as internationally.
I left the brunch feeling inspired and compelled to continue helping people in need. God has a plan for each and every one of us. We all have a story to tell and our story can truly help others and make a difference in a hurting world.
I want to share some photos from the event with you! You can click here to watch a video slide show of the event! Enjoy!
Toni The Chic Momma
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The above pictures are from the Guts Girls Facebook page. The pictures are pretty amazing, huh? It was such an incredible event. Below are a few more pictures that I took at the women's brunch.