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Since the center opened in early March, the volunteers at the Metro Phoenix New Life Pregnancy Center have repeatedly witnessed God’s faithfulness. They’ve seen many donations provided for the center but have also witnessed God providing for clients through answered prayer.
In May, a mother visited the center to receive free diapers and clothing for her child. She reminded the volunteers that previously they had prayed together for her husband to find a better job. Since then, God had answered that prayer and she thanked the volunteers for praying with her and for their family. She said she was grateful for the material help she had received from the center, but more than that she was astonished to know that God really hears prayers and answers them.
Since opening, the center volunteers at the Metro Phoenix NLPC have been able to pray over 130 times with individuals. Across Arizona and in Mexico, there have been over 1,800 moments of prayer so far in 2016 with clients in the NLPCs. Praise the Lord for the opportunity He gives through NLPC to pray for others and point them to Christ!
Last August, a young woman visited the New Life Pregnancy Center in Tucson for a free pregnancy test. When the test was positive, she stated she wanted to have an abortion. The center staff talked with her, explained the truth about life in the womb, and encouraged her to choose a positive option for her baby like parenting or placing her child for adoption. She agreed to come to the center the following day for a free ultrasound, however, upon arriving she was disoriented and left undecided about her pregnancy.
Months went by, and recently this same woman returned to the center for another free pregnancy test. The staff immediately recognized her and asked how she had been since her last visit. She replied that she was in a much better place now, sober and in a stable relationship. However, she stated she regretted deciding to have an abortion in the fall. She began to cry and said it was the biggest regret of her life. Tearfully, she shared how she kept thinking, “This is wrong, this is not natural, I should not be doing this,” but pushed those thoughts away and went through with the abortion.
She knew she was pregnant again and hoped to receive another free ultrasound from the center. She said she would never have another abortion after her experience and was very excited about this baby. She thanked the staff for being supportive of her, and for offering care without judgment so that she felt safe returning to the center even after her abortion. The staff was able to talk with her about God’s merciful forgiveness and the freedom he could provide her. She thanked the staff and they prayed together.
A few weeks later, she returned to the center with her boyfriend for the ultrasound. The ultrasound technician was amazed and said the baby performed like nothing she’d seen before! At 12 weeks, the baby was lifting his head and moving around nonstop! The young woman and her boyfriend were overjoyed to see this new baby, and tearfully thanked the center for all the help she received.
The director of the Bullhead City New Life Pregnancy Center had the opportunity to speak at a recent gathering for Southern Baptist Churches in Fort Mohave. About 100 ladies were in attendance and at the end of the presentation a young lady approached the director carrying the cutest little blonde headed girl.The young lady began crying and said, “I knew that was you when you started speaking. Do you remember when I came into your center and wasn’t sure what to do about being pregnant? I want you to know this is the little girl I decided to keep and raise.
“What you told me on that day made a huge difference in my life. Everything about me has changed. I’m a Christian now and go to church. I even help with the Set Free Ministries in Needles, CA.
“Please don’t ever stop telling others what you told me that day. It’s so important for people to know they don’t have to get an abortion.”
Who knows what might have happened if she hadn’t walked into the NLPC on that day? We praise the Lord for the opportunities he provides through NLPC to share with individuals the truth about life in the womb and the value that God has placed on each man, woman and child. It truly is making a difference between life and death in this world we live in.
Lori Palmer, a newly retired New Life Pregnancy Center Director, shares her reflections on her time working with the pregnancy centers. Lori helped open four of the six New Life Pregnancy Center locations in Phoenix and provided training to countless volunteers throughout her time with NLPC. The years have flown by! I guess this is what happens when you are in the midst of trying to do ministry. Yes, I said, “trying” because sometimes it was easy, however other times it was very difficult – but always worth it! I can’t believe how much the New Life Pregnancy Centers have grown. It sort of reminds me of what happens to a woman’s belly during pregnancy – ha!
I clearly remember October 27, 2010, the opening day of the Central Phoenix NLPC, which was the second of the Phoenix-area centers. Heather Tidball and I, as co-directors, were just praying we would have a few people show up needing diapers or a pregnancy test. We served six women that first day, representing three different countries. I realized right away this was going to be an international mission field. The first three months, a total of 67 people came for diapers, and a few additional women came for pregnancy tests. Once January of 2011 rolled around, we served as many people in 1 month, as we did in the previous 3 months, and we really felt the need of this ministry in our community. Now, this center often sees more than 67 people in one day, and we think nothing of it.
I had no idea how much this pregnancy center ride would change, grow and stretch me – as a Christian, as a woman, as a wife/mother/grandmother, as a missionary. Only God knew! I have had the opportunity over these last five and a half years to tell many about the love of God and his son, Jesus. I’ve had the privilege of praying with hundreds of people; serving thousands of folks from many different nations with basic baby needs, like diapers, clothing and formula, and experiencing the highs of happily letting a woman know she is expecting a baby or the test was negative and that was exactly what she needed to hear. But, I’ve also experienced the lows of hearing a woman who just heard me say, “Yes, the test is positive,” and she feels her only option is to not continue with her pregnancy.
I have been humbled by the men and women that walked through our doors and the stories they shared with me. They have blessed me by allowing me, for a fraction of a time, to glimpse their daily lives, the good and the bad. I’ve seen an increasing trend of grandparents raising their grandchildren. I’ve heard from a lot of men they didn’t have an example of what a “good” father should look like, but they know they want to be one. I’ve seen drug addicts and alcoholics who are doing everything they can just to say no so they can get their children back. Homeless women and men have come into our centers, not needing the services we offer, but just asking for prayer. I have heard some of our clients say they don’t feel they are deserving of prayer, and I’ve seen others express how they now know God really does exist because they have seen Him work in their lives through prayer. I’ve seen a few people just expect our help, while many others wished they didn’t have to ask for help but are grateful it is there for them. I’ve had the honor of attending the actual births of a few babies, and I’ve seen some babies I thought would never have the opportunity to be born.
There are so many more memories and reflections that I could go on for days, but this is enough for now. I have been blessed, in more ways than I can count, by being a director in this ministry. I’ve had the opportunity to live out a time in my life as a “Titus Woman” to help train up the younger women. Finally, as this chapter ends, I look forward to the next one which, for me, will start with the words “I was wondering if I could volunteer here!” I hope and pray you will join me in this journey!