Our telehealth nurse spoke to 19-year-old “Rachel.” The young woman planned to abort if she was pregnant. When Rachel came into our center a few days later, her intention remained the same.
After a positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound that revealed her six-week-old on the screen, and receiving information on her three pregnancy options, Rachel left our center. Her mind unchanged.
That’s not unusual. However, occasionally, one thing – the ultrasound image, learning the truth about abortion, or something else – stays with an abortion-determined woman. That happened to Rachel. Within a few weeks, she contacted our center, True Care Women’s Resource Center, inquiring about resources, including Medicaid and our parenting classes.
“I thought long and hard about abortion, and I decided I just couldn’t do it,” she said. “I’ve decided to parent, and my boyfriend is on board with that. He wasn’t at first, but he listened to my thoughts and concerns, and now he supports parenting.”
Whether Rachel was impacted by the ultrasound image, the information contained within the pages of the abortion brochure, or our advocate’s Gospel presentation – perhaps all three – I don’t know.
However, I do know is this: God works in women’s hearts, and we in the pregnancy help ministry are the instruments He uses.
Persistence and prayer through 2020’s challenges
Last year brought many challenges to my center and to those across the country. The coronavirus; readjusting hours, services, and programs; increased need among those we serve and within our communities for materials assistance; temporary closures; more fearful women, and more women determined to abort.
I’ve spoken with leaders of many pregnancy centers during the past year, and one thing I learned: last year’s challenges were not rare. Some facilities remained closed for months and are still finding ways to connect with patients virtually. Some changed their marketing tactics to reach potential clients. A few found innovative ways to interact with new patients and keep in touch with those they were already serving. That’s persistence.
Another commonality we in the pregnancy help community share: prayer. Whether virtually or in person, each day we are open at True Care, the staff gathers to pray. We rely on prayer warriors in our community to pray for us and for our patients. I imagine that’s true for all pregnancy centers.
Prayer is powerful. As our Lord said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20). Prayer for an abortion-determined woman can bring a change of heart and mind, as in Rachel’s case. Prayer can sustain us to meet those abortion-determined women daily and to meet other challenges, as we experienced in 2020.
The importance of partnership
Partnerships are vital to our work.
Many True Care patients lost their jobs in the spring of 2020. We raised funds to purchase grocery store gift cards, and we were able to dispense more than a dozen $150 cards to help them. We also provided diapers and wipes, Christmas gifts, and other special and necessary items during the year, thanks to our donors, friends, and prayer partners. In a year of financial uncertainty, many True Care and other pregnancy centers’ supporters came through to keep our vital ministries alive - and serving women who were afraid, lonely, and without hope.
Tweet This: In pregnancy help persistence is key, prayer is powerful, and partnerships are vital to our work.
Family foundations, churches, individuals, volunteers, other pregnancy centers, national organizations – these and more assist us in the pregnancy help movement in important ways. Whether through volunteer nurses providing ultrasounds, men who minister to fathers-to-be, congregations participating in baby bottle fundraisers, youth conducting diaper and clothing drives, or people signing up to become monthly donors: each person contributes to the important work of pregnancy centers. We are not an island – we need partners in this mission field.
A new year is upon us. We don’t know what lies ahead, but we do know this: challenges don’t end when the calendar turns to January or beyond.
“In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus tells us. Then he reminds us: “But take heart – I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). Let us do just that!
Persistence, prayer, and partnership make a difference. May those strengthen us in 2021 as we journey through this new year.