SPARK Ministry Ignites Positivity in Mercy Residents
September 29, 2017
Last week, SPARK Ministry entered the California Mercy home and created a weekend retreat the residents will never forget. The beach-themed weekend was filled with laughter, encouragement, Bible study, and praise and worship.
SPARK Ministry provides hurting women living in a long-term, faith-based recovery center, a weekend retreat to empower women to step out and serve other women. The mission of SPARK is to “Serve People and Reflect Kindness,” by ministering to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women who are in difficult life situations.
The SPARK Ministry team included two special volunteers, 2011 Mercy Graduate Sarah, and 2013 Mercy Graduate Mary. It was special for Sarah and Mary to serve Mercy Multiplied.
On Friday, SPARK arrived at Mercy and served the residents lunch. Games and free time in the backyard followed. SPARK rented a shaved ice truck and residents enjoyed a sweet treat. After treats, crafts were set up in the foyer and residents designed prayer journals. SPARK led an afternoon session of worship and testimonies in the classroom and followed with dinner and more music. The evening ended with s’mores by the fire and an evening of volleyball.
Saturday morning, SPARK led a “Morning Glory” session and welcomed the girls with a snack. They spoke on taking the focus off of “self” in the “selfie culture” and did an activity to represent what happens when we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. A few SPARK members shared testimonies followed by cardboard testimonies from each SPARK volunteer. The residents then broke out into small groups.
After lunch, the residents did crafts in the foyer and got ready for their evening outing to Grace Vineyard where Beach Bash was hosted. At the Beach Bash, there was a dance floor, DJ, photo booth, and moon bounce slide for the residents to enjoy, along with a dinner buffet with special desserts. Residents enjoyed socializing and dancing the night away.
On Sunday, SPARK arrived for their last day and residents enjoyed a Sunday brunch. They had their last “Morning Glory” session upstairs with worship, Bible study, and more testimonies. They went into their sessions for their last small group. They took a break before having a big surprise where SPARK brought out a cake with candles and began to celebrate each and every resident’s life by singing “Happy Birthday.” The residents were given gifts and blew out their own candles. SPARK thanked Mercy Multiplied Program Director, Fredrica Singletary, and honored the home with a framed photo of the residents and the SPARK team.
The Mercy residents had an amazing weekend. Here’s what some residents said about their experience:
I absolutely loved SPARK coming. I loved being able to dance and feel confident. Those mamas poured unconditional love into us. I loved being hugged like a mom hugs a daughter. I appreciated that! –Mercy resident
This weekend was crazy powerful and so awesome! I felt an unconditional love that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. These women paid money to come love on us, spoil us, and share their hearts with us. I didn’t feel deserving, but it just showed like the love of God for me. I felt worth something. It was also beautiful how us Mercy girls came together so well and really connected. It felt like a real family. I felt like SPARK coming really brought us together and unified us. –Mercy resident
One Mercy resident was so moved by the experience she wrote a poem:
Women of faith speaking truth
SPARK gave me hope and food
Sisters, mothers, and grandmas too
Dancing all around the room
Hugs and love surround me now
The truth of God I see now
Feeling scared and overwhelmed
They had no judgment for me now
Embracing me with love and might
The devil fleeing from the sight
God’s love has overcome
The Son of God has won
Knowing I have a family with them
Feeling safe in their arms again
People may come and go
But they helped me seek the Lord
Love and faith that left a mark
All of you will be in my heart
Encouraged now to push on
For journey is long
One day we will meet again
This is definitely not the end!
Mercy Multiplied is very grateful to SPARK Ministry for serving hurting young women.