In brilliant waves of color, the flags of 90 nations—all home to Heartbeat International affiliates—swept into place onstage Wednesday evening at the Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Louisville, Ky., a dramatic visual reminder of the international nature of the pregnancy help movement.
“We wish every single country could be here with us,” said Jor-El Godsey, President of Heartbeat International. “But tonight, whether they’re here or not, we’re going to celebrate all of them.”
Volunteers carrying the flags of roughly 70 nations without attending representatives entered first and flanked the stage.
Next, the international attendees in distinctive attire carried their own countries’ flags onto the stage: Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Philippines, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Godsey said. “We are better together.” He praised the dedication of global pregnancy care workers, “some who have taken days to get here, and some who were closer.”
Tweet This: “Isn’t it beautiful? We are better together” - Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey on the Parade of Nations
Beth Walker of Trotter House in Lindale, Texas, volunteered to carry the flag of the Bahamas.
She said, “It was such a privilege to be able to be a part of that and to see all these countries coming together for one good cause, and to see all these people who are here, working to advance His kingdom right here on earth.” Walker’s own center opened only 30 days prior to the conference.
Lydia Luepke, RN, a first-time conference attendee from Choices Pregnancy Center in Redwood Falls, Minn., said, “When I heard about [the Parade of Nations], I thought, ‘This will be nice.’ But when they came in, I started getting all choked up. Sometimes I feel like what we’re doing is just a small thing. Suddenly I had a glimpse of all the work going on in all these towns all over the world.”
Heartbeat International’s ever-growing number of international affiliates come from nations on every inhabited continent.
Ellen Foell, Heartbeat’s International Specialist, said, “More nations represented than ever before demonstrates that God is growing the concern and activism of the pregnancy help movement worldwide.”
To close the ceremony in prayer, Barbra Mwansa, President and Executive Director of Association for Life of Africa (AFLA), one of nine regional pregnancy help networks partnering with Heartbeat International, thanked God “for the opportunity to come in this manner and lift the flags that symbolize the millions of lives being saved in all the nations of God, and that is it just a glimpse of what will happen in heaven.”
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.