A House Built on Mercy

By Ashley Tieperman

Nineteen is about the age where you learn that life is, 1. Really Scary and 2. Really, Really Hard. Now try adding to the mix an unexpected pregnancy and nowhere to go. A current resident in the Mercy House program came to them at nineteen-years-old for physical support, but has gained a whole new spiritual outlook.

Susan Hulet founded Mercy House, one of IBC’s local partners, to meet the needs of single mothers looking for support. The Lord gave her a vision of a house filled with single pregnant women and babies. With her heart so moved by this vision, she took action to bring this dream to life. She believed the church taught and encouraged for women to choose life over abortion, but something was missing.

“I felt like there was a gap,” Susan said in her video about changing hearts and changing lives. “Because if you say choose life, and a woman says, ‘Well, but I have nowhere to live, and I don’t have a job, or my situation’s really bad and my parents are kicking me out, my boyfriend’s going to leave…’ Those types of questions and needs I felt like weren’t being met.”

Until Mercy House opened its doors to help meet all the needs of single pregnant women: physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Mercy House is so much more than just a house. Residents work with staff to develop a service plan that caters to individual needs. They work together as a team to set goals for what she will accomplish during her pregnancy and time in the home, as she prepares to move forward with confidence when her baby arrives.

House Parents play a critical role during the residents’ time at Mercy House. Pam and Rory Frink act as the current House Parents, as Pam also transitions into the role of Executive Director and Susan moves to her new position as Founder/Speaker for the nonprofit organizational ministry.

So what does a day in the life of Pam Frink look like?

Busy!

Pam lives in Mercy House with her husband and their two youngest daughters. Her day starts early with her private devotional. After she gets her daughters off to school, it’s time for her to check on the residents.

At 8:30 a.m., she meets with the house Family Worker to help develop and execute a game plan for each of the residents. Pam actively participates in the onboarding process, jumping in on phone call and face-to-face interviews with potential clients.

Next up: shopping and appointments. Pam drives residents to doctors’ appointments and takes them shopping for their personal needs. When back at the house, you can find her either counseling a resident or helping a new mom with her baby. As the mother of seven children, Pam has a great deal of experience to share with the mothers-in-training.

By 4 p.m., it’s time for Pam to go grocery shopping and make dinner for the house. She cooks along with the moms at Mercy house, helping to teach them about healthy eating and preparing meals for their growing family. And just like most families, after dinner is family time. Pam and Rory spend time with their two daughters and the residents. Sometimes that means counseling sessions, and sometimes that means watching a movie or playing a game together.

“Of course, Wednesdays and Sundays we take the residents to church along with our family,” Pam said.

Susan’s original vision for Mercy House included helping women to leave with assurance that they can do it with the Lord’s help. Pam and Rory remain dedicated to this mission, which is especially evident in an incredible success story for the nineteen-year-old current resident we told you about who came looking for help with physical needs and will leave with deep spiritual needs met.

“She gave her life to Christ last December,” Pam said. “She was baptized on Mother’s Day. She declared at the baptism that she wants to make all of her decisions under Christ.”

When Susan met years ago with Tricia Kinsman, IBC’s Director of Local Partnerships, they knew the collaboration was a perfect fit for Mercy House and IBC. Little did they know, this partnership would continue for years to come.

“I knew of other maternity homes in the area,” Tricia said. “But none of them are growing into these girls’ lives in this spiritual way and allowing them to stay for so long after the baby is born to help increase support.”

Mercy House also has a new second-step program for women who have had their babies and still need continued accountability and support. There are currently two shepherding homes that help women until they are ready to live alone with their new babies.

If you are looking for ways to support the efforts of Mercy House, there is an ongoing need for volunteers to help women learning to care for their new babies in preparation for building their strong, self-supporting lives. They are also looking for a leader for a Bible study with the women. Please contact Marjorie at mercyhouse@irvingbible.org.

Thank you, Mercy House, for showing IBC how to have a successful and long-standing local partnership that truly impacts so many lives. You continue to encourage and inspire us to serve those in our neighborhoods in need of loving mercy.

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