Joseph and Daisy Pardo were ten years entrenched in the pregnancy help community when they ventured to Puerto Rico for a summer-long visit with Daisy’s family. Having grown increasingly involved in the movement over the years, one of the first things the couple did was seek out how to become involved with the pregnancy centers on the island.
To their surprise, they found none.
While planning their extended trip, Daisy, who grew up on the island, flew to Puerto Rico for a few days to visit her family and to see the potential need up-close.
As Joseph recounts, “She found it to be true that aside from sidewalk counseling on Saturdays at one of the abortion clinics, there was no other activity to rescue children from the hands of abortionists and offer gospel-centered alternatives.”
Concerned by the dearth in pro-life ministry in Puerto Rico, the Pardos consulted their friend Andy Layton, executive director of A Woman’s Place, a pregnancy center in their hometown of Tampa, Fla. The Pardos challenged Layton to start a center in Puerto Rico.
“He in turn challenged us to pray through doing it ourselves,” Joseph Pardo said. “This began a road we did not expect to go down and our summer trip to visit family turned into a three-month vision trip.”
Layton recalls, “I have known from my first meeting with Joseph and Daisy regarding this new pregnancy help center in Puerto Rico that God had something special planned through this amazing couple. Their passion for the sanctity of human life is abundant and overflowing and it was only a matter of time before God had to give them an outlet to express this.”
During the Pardos’ vision trip, the couple uncovered the little-known state of abortion in Puerto Rico. They found that seven abortion facilities were performing 17,000 abortions annually.
“Returning from our PR vision trip, we said that God was going to have to do a few miracles to get us out of Tampa,” Joseph Pardo said. “We were perfectly comfortable in Tampa. We had bought a home, our ministry was thriving, the family was settled. But from July 2014 to September 2015, God did some amazing things.”
Tweet This: One family is taking on #abortion in Puerto Rico #whywemarch #prolife
In that time, two new directors joined the Pardos’ Tampa ministry, leaving Joseph free to pursue his vision for Puerto Rico. Other miracles included rapid approval of their non-profit status for their ministry, Love the Nations; enough financial support for the Pardos to begin laying the groundwork for their ministry; the gift of a sonogram machine provided by New Life Solutions in St. Petersburg.
Finally, Argentinian missionaries arrived in town and bought their home at full price before it was on the market.
Having raised enough financial support to move, the Pardos family of six resettled in Puerto Rico in October 2015. One month into their new life in Puerto Rico, the Pardos already felt at home and began actively working to make inroads with the pro-life community, local churches, and leaders.
Now, the Pardos are looking toward establishing a network of centers across the island, starting with the central location, Cree Women’s Center, in San Juan. Originally, they set their hearts on a location that was at the center of the island’s abortion practice: Right next to Clinica Iella, where Planned Parenthood operates. But the owner of the office raised his price from $800 per month to $2,000 per month.
Undaunted, the Pardos are now seeking a larger office in the city of Bayamon, one mile from three of the seven abortion clinics on the island. The plan is for the first site to function as a headquarters and main location that would host a sonogram machine and classes for women. Once the main center is established, they then hope to open satellite centers near each abortion facility over the next five years.
“Cree”, the name of the Pardos’ pregnancy center, is the Spanish word for “believe.” As the web page for Cree Women’s Center says, “In Mark 5:23 Jesus tells the leader of a synagogue whose daughter was dying: ‘Do not be afraid, just BELIEVE!’ ‘Being afraid’ is one of the many negative feelings a woman can feel when facing an unplanned pregnancy. This fear and the lack of support and education can lead a woman to make the devastating decision of having an abortion.”
In turn, Cree Women’s Center is inspiring belief among its supporters.
Tweet This: Family to offer Puerto Rico women #prolife choices near #PlannedParenthood facilities #whywemarch
Sol Pitchon, whose organization New Life Solutions provided the Pardos’ ultrasound, describes the Pardos’ mission with admiration: “They heard God's call. ‘How can we say no to going down to Puerto Rico and helping transform this community from a culture of death back to a culture of life?' They prayed and have gone forward led by the power of the Holy Spirit. Their vision is becoming a reality and God will provide the harvest.”
Asking readers to keep the Pardos in prayer, Layton, who now serves as chairman of the board for Love the Nations, says the Pardos are both literally and figuratively on an island. The financial support the couple arrived on the island with is enough to pay them one year’s salary—that's before including the cost involved with running a life-affirming outpost.
As they continue to lay the groundwork for their pregnancy help network, Joseph says that he, Daisy and their board are looking toward the future, trusting that God will provide the funds to operate a much-needed pregnancy center.
“We know all things will happen in God’s timing and that He has brought us this far," Joseph Pardo said. "We expect Him to complete the work He has called us to here in Puerto Rico to save the unborn, end the need for abortion, and raise up a generation of families who trust in Him.“
To learn more about Cree Women’s Center, click here.