Tuesday, 20 April 2021
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Arizona pregnancy centers provide hope and care to women and families Christian Bowen/Unsplash

Arizona pregnancy centers provide hope and care to women and families

“Nadia”* and her boyfriend walked into the Yuma, Arizona, pregnancy center for a test. New to the community, the young couple had little support and were unsure what they would do if she was pregnant. 

After a positive pregnancy test result, Nadia was scheduled to return for an ultrasound; her boyfriend came to the second appointment as well. Volunteer nurse Melissa Barr conducted the ultrasound, which revealed twins. 

“When I was scanning, I realized I was seeing two different babies,” Barr said. “I told her, ‘It looks like two babies are in your uterus.’ She seemed surprised but didn’t say much.”

Nadia wanted her boyfriend to join her, and after he came into the ultrasound room, Barr told him what they were seeing on the scan.

“He just melted,” she recalled. “There were tears in his eyes. I just knew the Holy Spirit was connecting him to those babies. He even put his hand up to the screen.”

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For nearly 15 years, the New Life Pregnancy Center in Yuma has brought truth and light to women like Nadia and their partners and other family members.  

               
               Melissa Barr and Adriana Mrofka
                 in the Yuma ultrasound room/Melissa Barr

Barr began volunteering as a sonographer upon relocating to the community with her military husband nearly three years ago. This is the second pregnancy resource center at which she’s volunteered her medical services.

“God opened my eyes to this ministry (pro-life pregnancy centers),” she said. “God deeply loves and values women and babies – I feel this is a very tangible way I can reflect that.”

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New Life Pregnancy Centers serve Arizona communities

The New Life Pregnancy Center in Yuma is one of several pregnancy centers in the state overseen by Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries (ABCS). In addition to providing free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, the Yuma center offers parenting classes (which went virtual in 2020) and materials assistance, said Adriana Mrofka, director of the center. Many families are helped by these services. 

“We’ve been so blessed to see God at work, especially last year,” she said. “We’ve been able to give more generously clothing, diapers, and other resources.”

For example, more than 3,000 people were assisted through materials distribution, and last Christmas, 26 families, including 72 children, were helped thanks to partnerships with different churches and individuals, as well as community diaper banks which donate diapers to the Yuma pregnancy center.

“That is huge!” she said. “It’s great to see the number of families that are blessed.”

New Life Pregnancy Centers began in Tucson as a materials assistance ministry according to Raquel Williams, state-wide director of the centers. 

“There were so many requests for baby items – needs were not being met,” she said. “We provided materials to anyone in need.”

The organization also launched free parenting classes. Now, with eight pregnancy centers in Arizona and one in Mexico, many women are reached with pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, materials assistance, parenting classes, Bible studies in different languages, and post-abortion healing programs.

ABCS – A ministry with a variety of programs

AZ Baptist Children's Services Facebook


The mission of ABCS is to help children and families.

“We seek to provide hope and care to hurting children and families through Christ-centered ministries,” Williams said. “We are unique in that we serve the full spectrum of families, from unborn babies to older adults.”

ABCS operates seven ministries, including the pregnancy centers. Foster care, senior adult ministries, and community resource centers are also part of the organization’s programs. These ministries are found throughout the state.

“All of our centers are unique as well,” Williams said. 

                
                Raquel Williams-
                 New Life Pregnancy Centers State Director

For example, the New Life Pregnancy Center in Mexico provides materials assistance, classes, after-abortion support, and pregnancy tests. Pregnant women are referred to a community health clinic for ultrasounds. The pregnancy center in Wickenburg, AZ, offers all the services as the center in Mexico plus ultrasounds.

Last year, New Life Pregnancy Centers celebrated 20 years of service. In January 2021, the organization hosted an outdoor Sanctity of Human Life Prayer Rally in Phoenix. Several people joined virtually as well, Williams said.

“We wanted to gather the church body to pray. It was a beautiful time,” Williams said. “We’re going to carry that hope in Christ throughout this year.”

Sanctity of Human Life Prayer Rally/
 New Life Pregnancy Centers Facebook

 

From serving in the largest cities of Phoenix and Tucson to the smaller communities of Wickenburg and Show Low, the New Life Pregnancy Center in each town helps pregnant women, whether those pregnancies are planned or unplanned. The goal is to meet clients’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs through the varied services provided at each location.

“We’re here to serve families and provide hope and care,” Williams said. 

*Client’s name changed to preserve privacy

Gayle Irwin

Gayle M. Irwin is human and pet life advocate and an award-winning author and freelance writer. She is a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books and the author of many inspirational pet books and stories for children and adults. Her first novel, a clean, contemporary pet rescue romance titled Rescue Road, released November 8, 2019. She subtly weaves important life and faith lessons within the lines and pages of her stories. As Patient Resources Director for True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyoming, for ten years, Gayle oversees the volunteer program, writes patient stories for the organization’s newsletter, creates blog and social media posts for the center, and serves as a patient advocate when needed. Learn more about her writing endeavors and read her pet blog at her website: www.gaylemirwin.com.

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