Pregnancy help servants from across the globe joined Heartbeat International for its 2020 Vision Annual Conference this week, virtually and in the spirit of a common cause – support for the sanctity of human life.
Heartbeat’s International affiliates took part in a virtual Parade of Nations on the conference’s opening day. The ceremony has held deep significance for the attendees in the previous years, and with the nature of this year’s conference – remote attendance in place of in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the unity took on increased meaning.
“Together, we’re standing here in this difficult moment because we share a vision that the smile of a baby is the light needed by our society,” the Parade of Nations message read, “everywhere in the world, and namely, in this critical moment together, in prayer and for life.”
Heartbeat has more than 1200 international affiliates in more than 60 countries across the world, serving on every inhabited continent.
Typically, all international affiliates who attend Heartbeat’s conference in person participate in the Parade of Nations by carrying their nations’ flags to the main stage during the event held on an evening during the conference.
Heartbeat’s Annual Conference was re-imagined in previous weeks from an on-site event, the largest of its kind, to a first-ever virtual conference.
The conference being virtual making the on-site parade impossible meant a virtual Parade of Nations was conducted via video message, presented to the conference Tuesday before the final keynote address of the day.
Heartbeat’s international affiliates recorded video messages demonstrating the global nature of the pregnancy help movement, including a greeting in their individual native language, followed by the name of the organization, the country served and a brief message from the affiliate.
A virtual international meet and greet was also being held throughout the entire three-day conference, where the affiliates full video messages are posted on a special wall for viewing.
“This year things look different for all of us, and while we might not be able to come together in person, we still unite for a common cause,” the Parade of Nations message continued. “Many people, cities, countries and continents with one goal – to give hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless.”
“Let’s all continue doing good,” Barbra Mwanza of Association for Life Africa in Zambia told her fellow international affiliates. “Let us all be strengthened, and also let us be focused” in serving life.
“We are pro-life,” said Sandy Shoshani of Be’ad Chaim in Israel. “Pro-life for the mom, pro-life for the baby, pro-hope, pro-practical help and renewed lives, pro-restoration of broken hearts.”
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Alexandra Nadane from “St. Alexandra the Empress” Counseling Center in Romania sent a message, “From Romania with love, pro-life, pro-faith … We are pro-life together.”
“We are truly Heartbeat International, Heartbeat President Jor-El Godey said, introducing the Parade of Nations.
Godsey remarked that there is such a joy and a celebration that comes with collaborating with Heartbeat’s International affiliates.
“It’s been wonderful for us to minister to and serve with people around the globe that make pregnancy help happen,” Godsey said. “We are so grateful for our international friends.”
Representatives of international affiliates in the Parade of Nations included:
Giuseppe Grande, Movimento per la Vita, Italy
Daniele Gradwell, Africa Care for Life, South Africa
Aoife Collins, Ask Majella Pregnancy Support Service, Ireland
Barbra Mwanza, Association for Life Africa, Zambia
Sandy Shoshani, Be’ad Chaim, Israel
George Festus Blamoh, Association for Life of Africa-Liberia, Liberia
Charles Lin, Pro-Femina Taiwan, Taiwan
Jacque Baumgardner, Voice for Life, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Casey M, ELM Center, Thailand
Elizabeth Massaba, Lifeseed of Tanzania, Tanzania
Alexandra Nadane, “St. Alexandra the Empress” Counseling Center, Romania
Lindiwe Ramolobeng, Tiny Bumps, Botswana
A representative for Lydia, A Beating Heart, Macedonia
Kimete Klenja, St. Joseph’s Pro-life Center, Albania