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Supporting Life Through Support Services

What do you think of when you think about Life Centers? The free pregnancy tests? The counseling services? The ultrasounds?

Do you think about support services? Don’t worry, most people don’t. But that is starting to change.

When Life Centers started more than thirty years ago, the biggest need we filled was pregnancy tests. They were expensive, making it difficult for young, single women to acquire them. By providing free pregnancy tests, Life Centers was able to build a connection with these young women and build a bridge that would allow us to share the Gospel.

Today, Life Centers still provides free pregnancy tests, but they aren’t as needed as they once were. Most drug stores now sell pregnancy tests for a few dollars, allowing women to get the tests and do them at home. So how does Life Centers create opportunities to reach these women, since the pregnancy tests are no longer needed as much? What need are we meeting and how are we showing the Gospel in tangible ways to these young women?

Through support services.

Support services is the category Life Centers has created in our ministry for all of the supplies we provide to the women who come to our centers. From toys and books, to shoes and onesies, to diapers and formula, this is a huge part of the ministry we provide.

You may have heard before that three out of four women who have had abortions list “lack of finances” as a reason for the abortion. By providing support services, Life Centers is able to lower this number, one life at a time, giving women the confidence they need to choose life.

One specific support service we provide is a Baby Bundle, which contains diapers, formula, clothing, and blankets for a new baby. Each woman who comes in and has a positive pregnancy test receives a voucher for one of these Baby Bundles, which she can redeem near the end of her pregnancy. Throughout the next months after the baby is born, the mother can then bring the clothes back when her baby has outgrown them and trade them for clothes in the proper sizes.

This model of offering service is important because it allows Life Centers to build a relationship with the women who come to our centers. We support her throughout her pregnancy, and we continue to support her afterward as her child grows. We are there for her and for her children. Life Centers doesn’t care only about whether she chooses life; we care about helping her and her child succeed in life afterward.

Do you have items you are able to donate to the support services ministry of Life Centers? No donation is too small! Every blanket and every ounce of formula helps. If you are interested in donating items, you can drop them off at any Life Centers location, including the Administration Office. Do you need help transporting it? We can help with that. Or do you have a question about whether an item you have can be donated? We can answer that. Call us at 317-280-2635.

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The Sanctity of Life

January 22nd is the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that extended the 14th amendment to include a woman’s right to have an abortion.

For this reason, January is also Sanctity of Human Life Month, a time we set aside to celebrate life and proclaim its value.

It’s tempting to become discouraged. After all, it’s been 44 years since Roe. v. Wade, and we still haven’t seen it reversed. More and more, the topic of abortion is being sidelined in the public square, and people look past it to something more exotic or more recently divisive. Abortion has become an issue many people in our culture take for granted as decided, and now only want to mainstream it as perfectly normal. Just last month, actress Lena Dunham said, “Something I’ve thought about a lot is the fact that there is stigma around abortion. Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

You probably read that quote and wished you were more shocked. It’s not surprising anymore to find that people don’t value life. But as tempting as it is to give in to discouragement, we must not. We must continue to celebrate and defend life because we serve the Creator of Life.

Have you heard about Shiprah and Puah? They were midwives to the Hebrew people during the captivity in Egypt. The Pharaoh was worried that the Hebrew people would revolt against the Egyptians, so he decided to institute population control. He told Shiprah and Puah to kill any baby boys born to the Hebrew women, although they could keep the girls. Exodus 1:17 says, “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.”

Did you catch that? Shiprah and Puah defied the cultural norm, and the command of Pharaoh. They refused to do what was expected because they feared God more than the king of Egypt.

We are called to nothing less today. Do we fear God more than cultural expectations? Do we offer love where there is hate, and comfort where there is sadness? Do we champion life where there is death and speak truth where there are lies?

This January, may we support, encourage, and defend life wherever we find it, and may we fear God more than we fear man.

Are you looking for a practical way to encourage life in your community? Visit the Life Centers volunteer page for more information about how you can get involved with the Life Centers ministry.

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The Gift of Volunteering

Life Centers has a very small paid staff. This model of operating helps us get a lot of bang for every buck that is donated to us. It also means the ministry can’t function without many faithful volunteers.

At Life Centers, we are blessed to have a committed, compassionate group of volunteers who donate their time every week to counsel women in our centers, perform ultrasounds, answer phones, file paperwork, and assemble baby bundles, among many other tasks.

It’s not an easy job, being a Life Centers volunteer. Women come in with hard stories and broken hearts, searching for some kind of hope. Our volunteers are on the front lines, working to provide that hope, along with compassion and the love of Jesus Christ. It can be draining, but each one of our volunteers would say it is also extremely rewarding.

Two volunteers shared that their experience being counselors was very encouraging to them. There’s nothing like being able to share hope with these girls, they said. They love being able to watch the Lord work so clearly in the lives of the women they meet. They see what they call “divine appointments” every day, when women come in at just the right time to meet with a volunteer who has just the right experience to be able to understand and speak life in the situation.

One Life Centers volunteer had been looking for a way to serve for a while when she realized she could volunteer at Life Centers. “I thought, ‘this is something I can do,’” she said.

And while the volunteers are encouraged by their opportunities to share with clients who come to the centers, it is the clients themselves who are probably most blessed. One client shared in a comment recently that she “felt like she was talking to her mom,” when she was with her volunteer counselor. She felt safe and understood and encouraged. What a gift that volunteer was able to give her, just by being there to listen and speak with her!

As we enter 2017, Life Centers is in need of many more volunteers to keep up with the number of clients who visit our centers. Would you be interested in volunteering with us? You bring unique talents and gifts to the work, and we need your voice. Please click the button below for more information about volunteering with Life Centers.

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Launching Soar

We talk a lot at Life Centers about the services we provide to new and expectant mothers. We offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, diapers, wipes, formula, clothing, and counseling.

But what about the women and men who have already had abortions, and are now dealing with the aftermath?

That’s why Life Centers has the soar (spiritually oriented abortion recovery) ministry. Previously called G.R.A.C.E., soar is our newly rebranded ministry to people who are post-abortive. The program includes a support-group style study of the book Forgiven and Set Free by Linda Cochrane and culminates in a weekend retreat.

There is much argument, politicization, and conversation surrounding abortion. Often, the conversation can get bogged down in “pro-life” versus “pro-choice”. At Life Centers, our goal is to push beyond the labels and focus on the real needs in our community. Women need help. Those who are pregnant need guidance and material support. And those women and men who have already gone through abortions need more than the silence they so often find.

Led by women (and men in the men’s study) who are themselves post-abortive, soar reaches beyond the silence. Some who go through the program have not spoken of their abortions for 20 years or more. Soar is the first step toward finding healing and forgiveness.

Our leaders deal with the real issues surrounding abortion—the denial, the stress and anxiety, the deep depression, and the relationship issues, among many other things. They offer compassion and acceptance and help the women and men understand that their past does not define them and that they can truly be free from the weight they have been carrying. Through the study, participants find hope in the forgiveness God offers, and peace to live fully.

“After carrying around this burden for five years, I sought out help from Life Centers,” said Danielle, a soar participant. “Some days the guilt and shame were more than I could handle. Soar gave me hope when I had none. Soar helped me see Jesus when I believed He had left me. It helped me fully understand God’s true love and forgiveness.”

Soar programs operate in many churches around Indianapolis, and there is always opportunity for more programs to be started! If you are interested in starting this ministry in your church, or if you would like to be a participant in the program, email Machelle Montgomery at mmontgomery@lifecenters.com.

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Who is Janet Parshall?

We’ve already announced that Janet Parshall will be our speaker at the 2017 Life Centers Celebration of Life Banquet. But who is Janet Parshall? Why is her presence at the Life Centers banquet so exciting and important?

Janet Parshall is a radio personality and an outspoken Christian conservative in the public square. Her radio talk show, In the Market with Janet Parshall, airs on Moody Radio.

Janet is a prolific author and a respected speaker. She presents a unique and thoroughly Christian perspective on culture, and brings her past experience to bear on her interpretation of current events.

Present Bush appointed Janet to be a public delegate of the United States at the 49th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2005. Though Janet has had much experience around politics, she presents her opinions wisely, keeping personal bias to herself and offering counsel and interpretation based on biblical thinking. Janet has been an outspoken advocate for life for many years.

Janet is married to Craig Parshall, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters. They have two children, the late Samuel R. Parshall, and Sarah Parshall Perry.

Life Centers is delighted to have such a strong advocate for life and for Christianity in America as our Banquet speaker this year. If you would like to hear Janet Parshall on Moody Radio, visit her radio website: In the Market with Janet Parshall.

The 2017 Celebration of Life Banquet will be April 27th at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Registration details will be coming soon!

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