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Today there is rejoicing in heaven as a daughter finds her way to the Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ!
Her story…a year and a half ago she left an abusive marriage. It had not been an easy transition for her and her four children ages 2 through 14. However, over the year she found a job, met a young man and began to date again. After several months she finally met his family. His parents did not approve of their relationships or the fact that she had four children from a previous marriage. The two decided it was best to end their relationship.
A few weeks later she visited the New Life Pregnancy Center for a free pregnancy test because she had missed a period. She had already contacted her ex-boyfriend to explain there could be a possibility she was pregnant. He immediately told her he did not care and did not want to be involved in any way with her or with a baby. He suggested the best thing would be if she would get an abortion. As she sat telling her story to the NLPC peer counselor, with tears rolling down her cheeks, she said, “I don’t know what I will do if I am pregnant.”
The pregnancy test was positive and it appeared she was about seven weeks into her pregnancy. The peer counselor showed her the seven-week fetal model. Holding the model in her hand she commented that she was catholic and knew having an abortion was wrong. But she also said she did not know how she could have another child in her current circumstances. She said she was undecided and needed time to process things, but allowed the peer counselor to pray over her and her unborn child for courage, strength and peace. She received referrals to a local pro-life doctor, WIC, counseling and other agencies would could provide her with help. She also received free diapers and clothes for her two-year-old and was invited to return to the center at any time for support and prayer.
Four months later she walked back into the pregnancy center – her beautiful round belly now seven months pregnant. She shared how even though the father of her baby insisted she have an abortion, she decided to keep the baby. The past few months had been difficult for her: a high risk pregnancy, losing her job as a result of her pregnancy, and having no support from the father. But she said she had qualified for AHCCCS and somehow in one way or another her basic needs were being met and she acknowledged it was God caring for her and her kids.
The peer counselor took this opportunity to ask a few spiritual questions and when it was clear she was open to the discussion, the peer counselor shared the Gospel. She attentively listened, and unlike the first time she visited the center, the most wonderful thing happened: she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior! Immediately the center staff welcomed her into her new faith, rejoicing with her and providing her with information on the local church.
Let us not forget that we are His arms and feet. Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow in His timing. To God be the Glory!
Early in June a young woman, Alice*, visited the Avondale New Life Pregnancy Center for a free pregnancy test. As she talked with the peer counselor she shared that she and her husband had separated due to an unsafe, abusive relationship. She said they had sought counseling, but issues seemed to get worse so now she and her son were staying with friends. Alice felt her situation was already too difficult and explained she was considering abortion if the pregnancy test results were positive. Before leaving the counseling room to proceed with the test, the peer counselor and Alice prayed together and trusted God with the results.
The pregnancy test was positive and, after telling Alice, the peer counselor prayed for words to say and felt God told her to listen and not say anything right away. Obediently, the peer counselor sat in silence allowing Alice to process the test result. When she finally spoke, Alice said she felt overwhelmed and began explaining the reasons why she didn't think she should keep the baby. As the peer counselor listened she realized everything seemed to come down to the problems in her marriage and wanting to finish her degree. The peer counselor pointed out her observation to Alice. After thinking for a moment, Alice agreed. She said when she stepped back to think about it she realized there weren't too many obstacles in her life but she still needed to figure things out.
The peer counselor reassured her that she had time to figure out her situation and asked her not to make a quick decision based on fear or worry, especially one like abortion that she can't take back. Alice listened and acknowledged the wisdom the peer counselor shared. As they continued talking, Alice admitted she didn't really want to have an abortion but just felt overwhelmed. The peer counselor had the opportunity to share the gospel with her, pray with her for her whole situation, and encouraged her to seek God during this time. We are trusting God to provide Alice with peace and assurance that she can carry this baby to term, and praying she would feel His love for her and His presence in her life.
Ariana* contacted the New Life Pregnancy Center through the website. Her contact form simply stated: “Life after abortion – I need help.” With a feeling of urgency, a staff member called Ariana but only reached her voicemail. She left a message inviting Ariana to return her call whenever she was available.
A few days later Ariana called and told the staff member she had an abortion one week prior and was regretting her decision. Ariana explained how her mom was being supportive and was helping her find resources like New Life Pregnancy Center. Her mom had suggested that Ariana call and talk to someone.
For the next 45 minutes, while on her lunch break at work, Ariana talked with the staff member. She said after her abortion she realized what she had done was wrong but now she didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t expected to feel such deep sadness and was not sure how to handle it. Her friends who had abortions did not feel sad afterward, and her doctor did not prepare her for any emotional effects that could take place after her abortion.
The staff member listened and prayed continually for wisdom to know what to say and how to say words of encouragement to Ariana. She was able to share verses from the Bible describing God’s peace, forgiveness and hope. She told Ariana that God still has a plan for her life regardless of the choices she’s made. God was not finished with her life. Additionally she was able to explain to Ariana how the sadness she felt was something many women experienced after an abortion and she wasn’t alone in her situation. She encouraged Ariana to visit the local NLPC and nearby church to receive extra support and meet women who would surround her with love and encouragement.
Ariana repeatedly thanked the staff member for listening, relieved to hear that other women experience the same emotions she was feeling. She allowed the staff member to pray with her and was grateful. Women need to hear there is hope and forgiveness found in Jesus. Praise the Lord that Ariana reached out for help. Pray other women who find themselves hurting would do the same so they may discover the healing found in Jesus alone.
*Client name has been changed to respect privacy
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.