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One mom of triplets visits the Tucson NLPC regularly for monthly material assistance. During one recent visit she asked if anyone was available to talk with her because she was feeling overwhelmed with life. One of the volunteers sat with her and the two really connected. The mom shared that even though she is married, she often feels very lonely raising her three babies. She left encouraged and agreed to meet monthly with this volunteer for peer counseling and a Bible study.
Another client visited the Snowflake NLPC. She has two older children who suffer from bladder control problems and often receives free diapers from the pregnancy center. Recently she came in to share a praise report: her daughter was staying dry at night! She was so excited and the staff was able to rejoice with her in this milestone.
A pregnant mother visited the Avondale NLPC. She was almost four weeks pregnant and was concerned she was miscarrying. The director explained that the center is not a medical clinic and referred her to a doctor who would be able to help her. But before she left the director asked if she could pray with her. As they were talking, another client and volunteer came in. Together all four women prayed for this mother and her baby.
We praise the Lord for these opportunities to encourage, celebrate with, and pray with clients! The women and families that visit the New Life Pregnancy Centers come from a variety of circumstances and backgrounds. But one thing they all have in common is their need to experience the hope and care that Jesus provides. It’s our hope that women, like these three moms, will come to know the pregnancy center as a place where they will experience this hope and encouragement.
The Tempe New Life Pregnancy Center serves clients from all over the world, many of whom travel to the area for school. The director, Debbie Gillmore, recently shared this story of how one international client received exactly what she needed at the perfect time:
“It is very difficult to say good-bye to clients who leave to return to their own countries on the other side of the planet. Our client came to us originally for a pregnancy test, attended Parenting Class faithfully during her entire pregnancy, accepted Christ as Savior after a Bible study, and was now standing in the center, her newborn in her arms and her husband beside her. After asking permission to pray for their safe journey home, the director and volunteers gathered in a circle and prayed for God’s blessing on this beautiful family. As we prayed, the door of the center opened and closed. When we looked up, a friend of the ministry said, “I can’t believe that you’re here! I wanted to say good-bye before you left and here you are!”
Our friend was at the center at that moment because her husband had given her an ultimatum that morning: “If you don’t take those strollers and other stuff to New Life Pregnancy Center today, I’m calling Goodwill to come pick them up!” So she quickly packed up all of the items and drove to the center where she then discovered the family to whom she had been ministering during the time they were here in the U.S.
Our client was delighted to see her again and as we talked, we discovered that the only piece of equipment that they still needed for the baby was a stroller. That’s when we found out that the car seat the baby was sitting in was an exact match to one of the strollers our friend had just donated! We enjoyed showing them how the car seat locks into the stroller and they were happy when we explained how to “gate-check” the stroller at the door of the aircraft and they would not be charged for another piece of luggage. Our client used the last Baby Bucks she had earned through NLPC Parenting Classes to buy a stroller to take to the other side of the world!”
On Friday, January 27th the three third grade classes from Northwest Christian School spent the morning volunteering at the Central Phoenix New Life Pregnancy Center. About 80 kids, parents and teachers bundled diapers, packaged wipes, made Bible verse tags and created beautiful “Congratulations” cards for new moms. They even brought donations of baby clothes, diapers and other baby items to support the center. All of the kids were given a tour of the center and learned about the ministry taking place in the community. It was a fast paced, loud morning and the center was abundantly blessed by the service of these kids! Thank you Northwest Christian School third graders!
In December the Tempe New Life Pregnancy Center held its 4th annual Christmas gift give-away for clients’ children. Fourteen volunteers gave their time that day, covering five separate rooms offering material assistance, childcare, picking out toys and wrapping toys. Many of these were first time volunteers and it was a blessing to have them! Throughout the event 157 children received new or like new Christmas presents. However, in the midst of all of the Christmas excitement of the day there were two unexpected appointments at the center – both of which were obviously God ordained.
The phone rang and it was a young woman, Annie*, calling the pregnancy center looking for information on abortion procedures. The director stepped into the office to talk with her as volunteers continued serving those in the center. But Annie said she was calling from work and couldn’t say everything she wanted to say. “I guess I can’t really talk now,” she said. “I’ll call you some other time.”
The director knew how critical every minute is for a woman considering abortion. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to counsel Annie to choose life for her unborn child, the director offered to ask a few questions that would only require simple, discreet answers. Annie agreed and through this process, she admitted she felt completely alone and said, “I’m not in a good place in my life to have a baby.”
Asking more questions, the director learned that Annie had a very loving mother – a mother who was not angry about her daughter’s situation but who wanted this grandchild. The director gently explained to Annie about life in the womb and how small she was when her heart began to beat. She reminded her that she has eight months to consider plans for how to care for her baby, but an abortion decision made now would be irreversible. Annie listened intently and seemed to understand how the center could be additional support to her if she chose to parent her baby. After a few minutes she said, “I have to go now. Maybe I will call your clinic later.”
The call ended and the director prayed that God would use her words to touch Annie’s heart and spare the life of her little one. A little while later as the director helped a young family leaving the center, a young man approached her and asked, “Is this the church office? I have some questions about this church.”
The director told him no, but offered to answer any questions he had. He explained he was writing a paper for a class at the university about comparative religions and had many questions about Christianity. He asked to see the worship center, and as they toured it together he said, “This is much larger than the mosque.” The director replied, “Oh, so you are a man of deep faith!” He looked surprised but said, “Yes, I am a Muslim. May I ask questions without offending you?” The director smiled and said, “You may ask me any question that you like and I will not be offended. You are a seeker of truth just like myself.”
As they talked, the director told him the worship center was decorated for Christmas and that Christians believe God the Son was conceived by God the Holy Spirit in the body of a young woman named Mary. She said, “God made a plan before the creation of the heavens and the earth because he knew the humans he would create would fall out of relationship with Him because they chose to disobey His Word. This is what our Holy Book, the Bible, calls sin. I understand that Muslims know Jesus by the name ‘Isa Mesih’ which means ‘Jesus Messiah’. ”
“Yes, this is true,” he said.
She continued, “Part of God’s plan was that He would require a blood sacrifice to remove the sin that separated people from Himself. His plan meant God the Son would need a body of flesh that could bleed in order to be that sacrifice. God the Son would then be 100% man and 100% God at the same time, so His blood would have the supernatural power that the blood of animals cannot equal.”
“Yes!” he exclaimed, “Do you remember Abraham on the mountain? He was going to sacrifice his son, but then there was a sheep in the bushes.”
“Yes, I know the story of Isaac very well. God provided a blood sacrifice so that Isaac would not be killed. When Jesus became a blood sacrifice when he was crucified, God was providing the perfect blood sacrifice that has the ability to give eternal life to every person who chooses Jesus as their Savior, their Messiah.”
He looked very serious and said, “Muslims do not believe in forcing anyone to accept our religion.”
The director smiled and replied, “No, a Christian who is obeying God’s Word does not force our religion on anyone, either. When I was 17 years old, I first understood the story of the sacrifice of Jesus and I decided to become a follower of Him. You are a seeker of truth. I am a seeker of truth. If you walk beside me for a while, learning about Jesus, then we can walk together in our search.”
He smiled warmly and asked if he could attend a service at the church. What a joy it was for the director to invite him to church that Sunday and assure him he would be welcome!
God’s timing and His plans are perfect! His plans were much greater for this special day than anyone at the center could have anticipated. Knowing these two young people in search of truth would call and visit on a busy day, He provided the many volunteers needed to help those receiving Christmas gifts and other services that day so the director could dedicate time to helping both of these. They were different in every way! But in the loving eyes of Jesus their hearts are exactly the same – they are seeking answers to the most profound questions of life.