This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan shares about medical neglicence and about how genuinely nice staff members or questioning residents mysteriously vanish without explanation. This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at Pretty Pink Koolaid.
While I was struggling through the Restoring the Foundations curriculum at Mercy Ministries, a new “troubled girl” who entered the program started questioning things with Mercy staff even more than I had been. *Jamie did not understand Mercy’s program and wasn’t at all shy about expressing her opinions. She tried to do what Mercy asked but just didn’t understand so many things. Instead of just sucking it up like the rest of us who were willing to “submit to the staff” to obtain our healing, she fought back with her words.
One afternoon, while we were away from the home during recreation time, Jamie had counseling. I remember finishing up with rec that late afternoon and heading back toward Mercy on the bus when the staff member driving us received a phone call. Since we were all riding in a small bus, it wasn’t hard to hear that something of intensity was being discussed on the other end of the phone call.
After the Mercy Ministries staff member hung up, we detoured from the ride “home” to Mercy and simply started driving around Monroe, LA aimlessly. As we drove the girls started talking…
What was going on?
Was someone in trouble?
Who amongst us had stayed back at the home for counseling that day?
I asked the Mercy Ministries staff member what was happening and told her many of us were worried, anxious, and confused. Instead of answering, she informed us that we were “sight-seeing” and continued to drive around for more than an hour without a concrete explanation. Instead of settling our fears, the Mercy Ministries staff member increased them by her silence and disregard for our emotions. We knew something was going on at the house but we didn’t know what…and we were very, very scared. After all, if there was trouble with another “Mercy Sister” – then she was in danger of getting kicked out of the program, which meant she would never receive her healing.
When we finally arrived back at Mercy Ministries, no explanation was offered and no one talked to us – we were expected to not ask questions and go on with our day. Jamie’s roommate noticed that her things were gone, there was a blood colored stain on the floor, and the window was broken. From then on there was simply no more *Jamie. Although we speculated, no one knew what had happened, and there was a great grieving throughout the home. Jamie was now out of God’s will and would never be healed. She left before God told the Mercy Staff she could graduate from the program, and that…was a spiritual death sentence.
There were many mysteries like the one with Jamie – there was a staff member, Patricia, that was the household favorite. Patricia was with us every evening and into the next morning Monday-Friday. She was a light-hearted, caring, insanely intelligent individual. Actually, she was one of the few Mercy Ministries staff members that seemed to really, genuinely care about us and our well-being.
Patricia was on staff for my first 6 months at Mercy Ministries, until one day, I and other girls saw her walk out crying. After that morning, there was no more Patricia. I was particularly disturbed by this sudden disappearance of a staff member, and asked the director, Margaret, why she left. I explained that the girls, including me, were upset and deserved some kind of an explanation. After all, Patricia had been a constant for us. Other Mercy Ministries staff members in the home had already come and gone due to being “promoted” to Mercy’s Nashville campus, but Patricia stayed. She was a comfort to us, and more than that…she had become the person we trusted in the house.
Margaret simply told me I was to trust the Mercy Ministries staff as my authority and that Patricia would not be returning.
*Vikki, another Mercy girl who arrived after I did, should have disappeared for her own wellbeing…but she never did. Vikki would be very, very sick at times. We (the girls in the program) weren’t told why she was ill; we were just instructed to pray for her.
Vikki would have occasional seizures…and one particular night she wouldn’t stop seizing. We were awoken from our beds and told to go out in the hallway and pray for Vikki in tongues while the paramedics worked on her. Upon asking what was wrong with Vikki we were told that demons had entered her body due to past sexual abuse and that the seizures were the demons way of exiting her body as she worked through the Restoring the Foundations curriculum. It was a very frightening time (unfortunately one of many) for me and other girls in the home.
Note: I have been in touch with Vikki within the last year, and though she’s not ready to speak out against Mercy Ministries– she shared with me how she would beg for medical help with her seizures, but not until the one, late evening when her body would not stop seizing did the Mercy Ministries staff finally call in medical assistance. After Vicki was taken to the hospital and returned to the Mercy Ministries home, she was stuck in a private back room (known as “Nancy Alcorn’s room” in the Monroe, LA home) for weeks and weeks at a time where no one was allowed to speak with her. The staff members rarely spoke with her and during her “shunning period” she didn’t receive any counseling. Vicki was so confused and scared, but like many of us…trusted blindly that the Mercy Staff were being instructed by God. In her trust and vulnerability Vicki didn’t dare question the Mercy Ministries staff even throughout her severe physical illness, fear, and confusion.
*Names have been changed