I thought a great way to close out the week would be to highlight one of the stories I have received of one of the girls from one of our international homes. I just got this amazing update and pictures from Kirsten, our first ever graduate of Mercy Ministries in the United Kingdom. Kirstin graduated exactly two years ago in March 2007 – here is her story...
My life before Mercy Ministries is best described as hopeless. I was always striving for happiness and love, perfection and control, but was never able to attain any of it. I spent so much of my life trying to fix everything including myself, but the more I tried, the more out of control everything got until eventually I gave up trying. I allowed the depression and addictions that were controlling my life to take me over. Yet despite it all, there was always something inside of me that could not give up. I now know that was God.God is so cool! There is no time or distance in the Spirit and He is all about setting people free, regardless of where they live!
I found out about Mercy Ministries during a time that I spent in Australia. Just reading about the program began to spark that sense of hope that lay dormant inside of me. I wanted to apply in Australia, yet being from the UK it would not have been possible for me to enter the program there. I figured that was it. I had no idea that they were even thinking about opening a house in the UK. Of course God knew. He knew all along what was best for me and the right time. As soon as I found out that there was a home opening in the UK, I knew that it was the right place for me.
Kirstin with her friend, Thandazile, whom she met
on a recent mission trip to South Africa
Mercy was literally my last hope. I was accepted into the program before the house was ready for girls and I called the staff up regularly, wanting to know when I could come. I knew that this had to work. I was at a point in my life where I had had enough. I knew that things had to change; that I had to change. I had tried it every other way, now I had to try it God’s way. Upon entering the program I learned that with God’s help, I had the power to make choices that would, step by step, take me out of the darkness that I found myself in. It was a time when I was able to intensively soak in the truth of God’s word and learn His thoughts towards me.
Being the first UK Mercy graduate is a privilege. It still completely overwhelms me how amazing God is that He has directed the course of my life despite me. Even when I gave up on myself, He never did. When I look back, I see his fingerprints throughout and I realize more and more how much He loves me. Now I am excited for the future. God has used Mercy to give me my life back and more. I have learned that by giving God the control, I no longer need to worry. I used to be petrified of being on my own, but now I know that I never really was and never will be.
Have a great weekend!
Love to all,