Editor's note: Above photo - Emily Evans, of East End Pregnancy Center in Richmond, VA, Katie Almanza and Neeley Pickard, from Open Door PCC in Hutchinson, KS, Audra Buchmiller and Jamie Fisher of Pregnancy Services of Delta County, Escanaba MI, met for the first time at the 2021 Conference.
Members of the pregnancy help community who took part in the Heartbeat International Annual Conference offered exuberant and heartfelt response when asked what they liked best about the event.
Heartbeat’s Annual Pregnancy Help Conference took place Apr. 27-30, in both a virtual and in-person format. The in-person Conference was on hiatus last year as the 2020 Conference was completely virtual due to the coronavirus.
Many people were happy to be together again for the first time in two years, the in-person Conference taking place in Columbus, OH, in conjunction with Heartbeat’s 50th anniversary, and many among those who could not be there expressed gratitude for being able to gather virtually.
Connecting, whether in person or electronically across the miles, was a key element, along with the Conference’s educational offerings and joining together in expressions of faith.
What were some participants’ favorite parts?
“The worship,” said Martha Avila, president of Heartbeat of Miami. “And the fact that we are back together again.”
“Last year (not being together) was like a hole in my heart,” Avila said.
Tweet This: “Last year (not being together for the Annual Pregnancy Help Conference) was like a hole in my heart”
Jeanne Pernia was at the Conference with PassionLife Ministries, a global pro-life missionary ministry that was an exhibitor at the Annual Conference.
She was happy to connect with people as well.
“Having the opportunity of seeing the workers of the other states that we have a relationship with,” she said. “I really enjoy having the opportunity of working one-on-one.”
Avila’s colleague Nohelia Cubillan, clinic director for Heartbeat of Miami, found the Conference beneficial, and especially liked the Parade of Nations.
“I love the Conference,” she said. “The way that’s organized. I love the Parade of Nations.”
Tweet This: “I love the Conference" - "I love the Parade of Nations” - "Grateful to Heartbeat for this"
Emily Evans, of East End Pregnancy Center in Richmond, VA, and Jamie Fisher, from Pregnancy Services of Delta County, in Escanaba, MI, both liked the worship and musical performance from two members of the Christian band We Are Messengers.
“Seeing old friends and making new friends,” said Audra Buchmiller, of Pregnancy Services of Delta County. “Getting refilled. Grateful to Heartbeat for this.”
Those taking part virtually were in the hearts and minds of in-person participants and Heartbeat staff.
International affiliates reached out virtually during the Conference.
Giuseppe Grande from Italy’s Movimento per la Vita (MpV) sent this message:
“In front of tv and with my notebook... ready for the wonderful and inspiring workshops of today”
And this message came from Albanian affiliate Qendra për Jetën "Shën Jozefi":
You just made me cry!!!
Seeing the Albanian flag there made me so proud being part of Heartbeat network!
We all miss you but I miss you especially because you are like Joan of Arc fie Albania.
I just feel so blessed with you guys!
I couldn't believe my eyes I was seeing my beautiful flag ?
I'm still crying of joy! ?
We're really a big family! ?
The family of God ♥️
Responses from the Heartbeat International Conference Whova App:
“Nicole C Scott”
"I loved doing The Love Approach sessions!"
“This is my first HB conference..what I have loved most is the “atmosphere of love and kindness” among all the attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. While I certainly wasn’t looking for it, I have felt valued and appreciated for what I do.”
“Wow! I literally loved The Love Approach sessions. Cried so much during Nicole C. Scott, they guys tonight were hilarious and walking back with sweet women from Wisconsin validating each other for what we all do! I love it here! ?”
“Restoration! Conference always restores my drive and my spirit! I would say the keynotes!”
“Loved Nicole C Scott and marketing pre conference”
“Fundraising with Kirk!”
The keynote speakers have been amazing!! Love Peggy’s history@of HB and her heart for PHC’s!!
“Hard to beat Sarah’s APR story”
“Loved We Are Messengers, Pam Stenzel talk and ending on a very humorous note. Our work is not easy. Helps to have a few days with levity. THANK YOU!”
Heartbeat International’s Annual Pregnancy Help Conference will take place in Jacksonville, FL. next year, March 30 – April 1, 2022.