Mercy Ministries Christmas Benefit 2011 Co-chair Cherie Hammond Speech

Mercy Ministries Articles | June, 12, 2012 | by

Cherie Hammond, the co-chair of the Merry Mercy 2011 Christmas Benefit dinner, welcomed guests and shared her heart about Mercy Ministries.

Welcome! I hope you all have enjoyed your dinner.  You know it’s amazing to look out over this incredible audience.  I see friends of Mercy Ministries.  I see old dear friends.  I see new, wonderful friends.  I see family.  I see new family.  Thank you again for coming tonight.  As an introduction to the heartbeat of our program tonight, I’d like to share with you three things that I have learned, that I’ve come to know about Mercy Ministries.  And I’d like to do that in the light of a very personal story if you don’t mind for just a few minutes.

I first heard about Mercy Ministries many years ago, about ten years ago, at the church that we were attending.  But I really didn’t come to know about Mercy Ministries until I was at a Joyce Meyer conference.  Joyce has her annual women’s conference, and that was also probably about eight years ago.  Joyce brought Nancy up on stage, and that’s when I as well as fifteen to twenty thousand other women that were sitting in the stands really got to hear about the needs of women around us and their struggles and what Mercy Ministries was doing to help change and save their lives.  Well again it wasn’t until a couple years after that back in Nashville that I had the opportunity to serve and I actually accidentally came to the doors of Mercy Ministries. It was part of the Luis Palau Festival.  I was part of the hospitality committee and we met at Mercy Ministries and had different committee meetings.  Well the festival came and did their thing and left but then I stayed.  So it gave me the opportunity to begin to work with Mercy Ministries and their corporate staff.   That’s the first thing I want to share with you about the corporate staff of Mercy Ministries.

I’m involved with a lot of non-profits, especially down in Williamson County.  It’s very important to me about the leadership of a group.  And what I know about the staff of Mercy Ministries is that they’re very professional, high levels of integrity.  They do what they say they are going to do and they are trustworthy.  They are great stewards and I applaud them and I tell them that all the time.

Well, this brings me to this past year.  I was asked to serve on the community board with a number of other outstanding people, many that are here tonight.  And then Dan and I were asked to be event chairs for this Merry Mercy Benefit.  Well at that point all of a sudden Mercy Ministries became very personal in our lives.  Dan and I have three very unique and wonderful children.  Two are with us tonight, including our lovely daughter.  And I want to share with you a little bit of a story about our daughter.  And I have her permission to do so.  Especially since she’s sitting right at the table right there.  Her life was on an incredible path.  She was a high achieving athlete, huge adventurous person, went to the far ends of the earth to dive with her dad, with Dan.  She excelled in school.  All these great things.  She was poised to go onto her next stage in life.  Last year she was in her senior year of college.  And all of a sudden she had what I will call a collision of sorts.  All of a sudden some past hurts that hadn’t been healed arose once again.  Things that even Dan and I had not been aware of that had happened in her life and then some actions that happened because of those hurts.  At the same time she contracted a life-threatening illness.  Oh my gosh, what is happening Lord?  She had to go on some very difficult but life-saving drugs with very hard effects.  And then on top of that in the clencher of it all, because of all those struggles and the pressures, a stronghold set it.  And that stronghold had to do with an eating disorder.  Dan and I stood and watched and did everything we could.  But it was heartbreaking as parents to watch your beloved daughter basically dissipate in front of your eyes.  I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you.  Someone that you love with all your heart.  Someone that you would give your life for.  And all of a sudden there’s nothing that you can do to stop the course that they were taking.  That’s where the second great part of Mercy Ministries came in.  I will never forget the moment where all of a sudden I realized, oh my gosh, I’m a community board member, we’re going to be chairs of this event.  We need Mercy Ministries.  Not just everyone else that I tell about Mercy Ministries.  Not the stranger or the friend but we, the Hammond family, needed Mercy Ministries.  I’ll never forget calling up Heather Robinson and all I could say was, “Heather, help.”  And this was just a few months ago.

Well here’s what I love about Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries so cares about the person, the girl.  You know they just, it’s not about all the numbers.  It’s not about you call for help, ok well fill out those forms, get on the list, we’ll get you in a home.  It’s how can we best help you.  In our daughter’s case, it was using their outsourcing services.  They connected us immediately with a wonderful counselor that miraculously our daughter connected with right away.  And all of a sudden what started to happen was some healing started to happen.  That stronghold began to get broken.  It was a long and difficult struggle.  But let me fast forward to eight months and here we are today, again with our daughter as a host of her table over there.  She graduated from college with high honors with a major and a minor.  She’s back to her vivacious, athletic, outgoing ways.  The life-threatening illness has been arrested.  She is still recovering from a lot of side effects.  And the stronghold has been broken.

And this is where I want to tell you about the third great thing about Mercy Ministries.  And I call it the Mercy Multiplying Effect.  I don’t know if that’s a real term but that’s what I’m using.  And you know that’s about freedom.  And the Word teaches us, as Jesus teaches us, that him whom the Son sets free is free indeed.  It just makes me excited.  Because you know what happens is those bells of freedom start ringing.  And what happens in these lives of these girls, and we hear these testimonies over and over, they cannot stop talking about it.  And they want to share about it.  So when we invest and Mercy Ministries reaches out to help others, it’s not just that one person, it’s not just our daughter.  It’s going to be all of those people that our daughter’s life is going to touch.  So again I want just in closing to say on behalf of the Hammond family, Nancy and all the staff at Mercy Ministries thank you. Thank you so much.

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