This week, Francesca Battistelli released a new music video for her latest single, "He Knows My Name." As she sings about how God knows her name, the hard work of Joseph Snyder (director) and Ben Kasica of Skies Fall Media Group (producer) helps let the world know the name of Mercy Ministries. Ben, formerly the lead guitarist for Skillet, also brought in another name you may find familiar to work on the video. Nick Baumhardt, the guitar player for Stellar Kart (as well as Tricia Brock's [Superchick] husband) was the field audio engineer.
The 12-minute long project is part music video and part movie. It shares the stories of four women, ages 19 to 31, who went into the Mercy Ministry program as totally broken people and emerged whole and healthy, both spiritually and physically.
Taylor (19) watched her life start spiraling out of control as a freshman in high school. Her response to her dad's diagnosis with stage 4 cancer and subsequent death was to party her way through the grief. One week after graduating, she found out that she was 5 months pregnant.
20-year old Shannon's battles started when her parents got divorced when she was 12. By her senior year, she was self harming to numb her pain.
When Leslie (24) was in middle school, her quest to fit in led her down a dark path. By 17, she was a full-fledged drug addict.
Alma (31) spent her teen years thinking that she didn't matter. Eventually hospitalized and thinking that things couldn't get any worse, she was drawn into an inappropriate relationship with the very doctor who was supposed to be treating her. His insistence that the entire relationship was her fault and her doing took the last shred of her own worth and she tried to commit suicide.
The stories don't stop there. Each of the four women also share their experience with Mercy Ministries and how their program helped restore them, heal them and lead them back into relationships with Christ. They share their triumph over tragedy as "He Knows My Name" reminds us how bad social pressures can be and that the only way to overcome them is through knowing our own identities in Christ.
The video is not only beautifully done, it's also timely. On October 10, USA Today ran a special report on the growing rate of suicide within America, stating that "nearly 40,000 Americans lose their lives each year to suicide, making it the nation’s 10th leading cause of death and second-leading killer for young people ages 15-34."
In a press release, Nancy Alcorn, founder and President of Mercy Ministries talked about partnering with Franny and the video. She said, "We are so thankful for the partnership we have with Francesca Battistelli and Word Entertainment. I am blown away by the 'He Knows My Name' video and so are all the staff at Mercy! This video captures the essence of Mercy Ministries and shares our graduates’ stories in a beautiful and powerful way. I pray God will touch the hearts of everyone who sees this video, and may it be masses of people globally!”
Francesca, also talked about the song. She said, "You write the songs you need to hear. This was about being transparent and going deeper spiritually. To me, it’s an anthem. How many of us feel defined by what people say about us? But God calls us by name. His words for us are: chosen, free, forgiven, beautiful, wanted, loved. THAT is the only voice we should be listening to."