Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Kim Hayes Kim Hayes Cambridge, OH, Nativity

There is always a dragon disrupting the story—praise God for sending a Savior

Life is good, yet there seems to always be a dragon in the story. We have good times which create happy memories, however brokenness exists in our world that can overwhelm us with sadness.

At Christmas time I tend to think about my hometown of Cambridge, OH. Like the storyline of Christ’s birth, the beauty and majesty are disrupted by an enemy that brings sadness and pain.

The best news ever was the birth of our Savior, Jesus. But Revelation 12 records the backstory of how Satan (seen by John as a red dragon) intended to devour the newborn Savior.

This battle played out in heaven and on earth with the efforts of Satan’s schemes resulting in Herod’s orders to have babies in Bethlehem slaughtered (Matthew 2:7-18). 

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In Cambridge, as with most of our world, babies are in danger of being slaughtered, but not at a king’s command, yet no doubt still very much part of the efforts of Satan’s schemes. Therefore, the Lord made a provision to battle against potential abortions through Open Arms Pregnancy Center.

While this center does not see a high volume of abortion vulnerable clients, they are vigilant on that front as well as challenged by a more frequent issue in the area, drug abuse. So once again Satan finds ways to seek to kill and destroy.

Andrea Woodmansee is the executive director of Open Arms Pregnancy Center (OAPC). She was hired in January 2012. Over the past several years the organization has seen amazing growth.

Currently they have nine staff members and pre-COVID, plenty of volunteers. Woodmansee hopes to rebuild the pool of volunteers as they are valuable as advocates with their clients.

In January of 2022 the staff will be undergoing ultrasound training through Heartbeat International’s Medical Impact Team. Currently they are completing didactic training online. This is all done through Heartbeat International’s Academy which meets the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses guidelines. 

In regard to funding ultrasound at OAPC, Woodmansee said, “I was working on tax things one day. I remember that day. I was thinking ‘this is not fun,’ then I get this phone call. We had done one grant through Save the Storks, and they called me that day asking if I wanted a second grant.”

God has been faithful in providing for their needs and OAPC continues to prayerfully seek His direction. In 2019 they sought to raise money for a mobile unit realizing the center could serve so much more of the community. The funds were raised in less than 12 months.

Cambridge OAPC

Next spring, they are getting the mobile unit and the current fundraising focus is on building a garage for it. Also, with the help of Save the Storks, they will be getting a second ultrasound so there will be one in the pregnancy center and one for the mobile unit. 

With the expansion of their service territory, OAPC focuses in on the major challenges they see in the community.

“Our issue is we face a lot of drug use. A lot of moms trying to get off drugs,” stated Woodmansee. “Once we get the mobile unit out, we may see what other needs are out there.” 

“With Open Arms I noticed that our clients seem to live their lives with us for about a year, when they have their next child, they return. Through Earn While You Learn we’ll see about 150 clients that we’ll do life with for a year,” she noted.

Cambridge OAPC Baby Boutique

One advantage of a small town is the ease with which ministries can choose to connect. Woodmansee’s husband, Troy is a pastor at Redeeming Passion Ministries and runs Ladders Coffee Bar in downtown Cambridge.

The coffee house (just a few blocks from OPAC) is not just noted for great coffee, but a place for good fellowship.

“It sometimes gives me an opportunity to have a client join me for coffee there. It just looks like mentoring. We really see life change when you’re just being two people getting coffee together,” said Woodmansee.

“A lot of good things happening with the pregnancy center and the coffee bar is a business owned by a ministry,” she said. “A lot of discipleship happens there very organically.”

Among the successes of OPAC is a program started in 2014 called IMPACT (Individual Marriage Partner and Community Training). This is a well-attended class that meets monthly at OPAC. The curriculum was developed for adults out of the sex education curriculum OPAC utilized with high school students.

“We recognized the younger generations struggle in relationships,” Woodmansee said. “We give points for attending, for the Earn While You Learn program. They get to meet other clients.”

Woodmansee added, “Lessons are Christ-centered, taught in a culturally relevant way. Forgiveness is one example of the topics. What that does when we harbor unforgiveness. This really gets clients opening up.” 

Open Arms Pregnancy Center Executive Director
 Andrea Woodmansee and husband Troy

In regard to reaching the younger generation Woodmansee said, “If you get them behind something they are passionate about, they are very loyal to a vision. We have a good bridge between the older and younger generation.”

“All of my staff are millennials,” she said. “One is a ‘Gen Z’ who does all the Instagram stuff. That’s been really beneficial.” 

It is a joy to listen to Woodmansee talk about OPAC and the connection of ministries and the community of Cambridge. The joy of Christmas is celebrated on the streets of downtown Cambridge with displays of Charles Dicken’s characters and a nativity.

All are a reminder that life is good. God has given us good gifts. Yet at times we all experience that life is hard.

Tweet This: We can hold onto our wounds, or we can surrender to God's healing and love.

We all have good times which create happy memories and bad times which create sadness. The hard times wound us and then we do have a say in our own story line. This is the focus of pregnancy help organizations.

We can hold onto our wound, even cause it to become more severe. Then anytime it is thought about, brushed up against by others, there is pain.

Or we can slay the dragon. This happens when we surrender the wound to our God who heals it, and the remaining scar is a reminder of His healing and love, and we can praise Him as the angels did the very first Christmas night and will for eternity.

May your story end with the second choice and become the version which allows hope, peace, and joy to dominate.

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages pregnancy Help News.


Kim Hayes

Kim Hayes is a writer for Pregnancy Help News. She has been a teacher, author, speaker and facilitator for marriage and family issues and married for over 35 years to Jeff, with four grown children. Kim’s counseling experience included 21 years as a volunteer consultant and trainer at Pregnancy Decision Health Centers. She was the Athletic Director of Columbus Crusaders Youth Sports ministry for 15 years. Kim has written several books, including the latest release, Prodigal Rewind:  The Grateful Son.

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