Life Centers Blog
The news out of New York about the expansion of allowing abortion up to nine months gestation and contemplation of infanticide (killing born babies) by Virginia elected officials has saddened us at Life Centers. We have received many calls and inquiries. Many have asked, “What do we do?”
The expansion of killing of innocent life and the celebration of that killing should move you emotionally, but an emotional response is not enough. We are not to simply sit on the sidelines. We need to use the God-given urge to act. There are three areas of action to choose from: political, activism, and service.
Roe v. Wade was implemented 46 years ago and has not been overturned. The law in New York was passed with a President in office that ran on a pro-life platform, and a conservative, pro-life majority in the U.S. Senate. While we must not abandon the political fray, history should inform us to not put all of our hope in a political solution to a heart problem.
Online engagement, marches, and rallies, while encouraging to those who agree with their positions, these things do not change hearts or minds. Christians need to be aware that for every six babies born in the U.S., one is aborted, but accurately describing the scope of the problem is not a solution in and of itself. What is worse, is that these efforts of activism often alienate those whose opinion is most important: abortion-minded young women.
This is the path that Life Centers chooses. We serve women facing pregnancy-related decisions with love and compassion. At our centers, we provide free services like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, maternity and baby supplies, agency and ministry referrals, and peer counseling. We do these things so that these young women can find hope and choose life for their babies. Abortion is an option chosen out of a sense of hopelessness, not out of a political ideal. Last year, we were fortunate to be a part of 1,533 babies being born to our clients.
What can you do?
Pray. We need your prayers as our staff and volunteers carry heavy burdens.
Volunteer. Our budget would not be enough to run all seven of our centers without enough volunteers.
Give. We operate solely on the financial contributions of individuals, churches, and like minded organizations without government funds.
Helpful Links To Get Involved:
While one of our staff members, Teresa, was out to dinner the other night, she asked her waitress about her tattoo. The waitress opened the floodgates and began to tell Teresa a personal story about an unplanned pregnancy she had when she was 16 years old.
Teresa asked the waitress, Katie, if she had ever thought about volunteering at Life Centers since her story is so similar to many of the young girls who walk into our centers daily. Then, Katie realized Teresa worked for the same group of pregnancy resource centers that had helped her years ago during her unplanned pregnancy! Katie was floored. She started to cry, and hugged Teresa.
Katie then told Teresa more about her story and mentioned she had actually spoke at one of our Walk + Run for Life events years ago about her experience with our ministry. Katie went on about how helpful we were to her and how she loves what we do.
Here it is 16 years later, and Katie is still in awe of how greatly some strangers helped her and loved on her when she was in a scary, anxious place in her life.
Katie and the baby’s father have now been married for 15 years!
It is a chance encounter for a current staff member to meet someone who was a client at one of our centers years ago, and then to speak with them about their experience- even more of a rare chance encounter. Or was it?
Earlier that day during a staff meeting, Teresa prayed that God would allow us to see more of the fruits of our labor and His labor. She praised Him for allowing us to be a part of these LIFE decisions and prayed that He would bless us by letting us witness moms that have chosen life for their babies.
Teresa’s “chance encounter” was an answer to the prayer she had prayed that very same day. Teresa witnessed firsthand a mom who chose life for her baby after she visited one of our centers 16 years ago.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
When something unexpected happens, it can be difficult to see the good in the situation. It is human nature to want to try to control every aspect of our lives, but God often has a different plan for us than we have for ourselves. At these times, we strive to remember that God’s timing is never wrong and to accept the unexpected.
This was the case for Lydia.* Lydia came to one of our centers with her aunt and her boyfriend. Her aunt told a peer counselor that she was afraid her niece was considering abortion. After Lydia started talking with the peer counselor, she confirmed that she did want to abort because she had just moved here from Puerto Rice to finish school. She mentioned if she did abort, it would be with the pill. Lydia was starting classes this fall and didn’t want a baby to interrupt or prevent her from going to school. After all, Lydia had moved to the United States to fulfill her dreams.
It was hard for Lydia to see past the situation she was currently in. In her mind, having a baby and attending school at the same time wasn’t possible.
During the counseling session, the peer counselor reviewed materials with Lydia on all of her options. When the counselor asked Lydia if she thought her boyfriend would want to abort the baby, Lydia said he would not agree. Lydia started to cry, telling the peer counselor that she was a believer in Jesus Christ and she knew it would be wrong to abort her baby. They went over a resource list so Lydia could see that there were people who were willing to help her and her baby if she decided to carry her child.
When the session was coming to an end, the peer counselor asked Lydia if abortion was still an option, and Lydia said no. She requested her boyfriend come back to the counseling room so she could tell him that she was pregnant. He was so excited and was very pleased to hear that abortion was not an option for Lydia anymore.
Lydia is still going to attend classes this fall.
Even during the unexpected, God can make a way. It can be so hard for us to see that sometimes, and that is why it is so important to surround ourselves with and talk to other Christians who can help us see the path God is creating for us.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
*Name has been changed
“We get this amazing opportunity to have extended relationships with clients and pour into them over and over and over again because of physical items we can offer.” – Associate Center Director
Some of the women who come to our centers aren’t pregnant. They’re not even worried they might be pregnant. These women come to our centers for support services.
We are able to help many more men and women and share the gospel with them all because we can offer them diapers or clothing for their babies. Support services is a huge piece of our ministry. It includes providing material resources to men and women who need help with supplies for their children. We can offer diapers, wipes, bottles, clothing, and even some furniture.
It may seem like we are just giving away baby stuff, but in reality we are doing so much more. We are showing God’s love. We are sharing the gospel with each person who seeks support services, and by doing so we are changing people’s lives.
Kiera has been coming to us for support service items since 2014. Every time she has visited, the counselor who assisted her, has kept detailed notes of Kiera’s spiritual journey. Because of the support services we offer, Kiera continues to come back to receive not only the items she needs, but spiritual guidance and prayer, as well.
Here is a timeline of Kiera’s spiritual journey that we helped guide her through over the years as she came to our center:
- 2014- “Kiera doesn’t think she has given her life to Christ yet, but she is on her way.”
- March 2015- “She came for more items. Kiera says she now prays and reads the Bible.”
- June 2015- “We had a long discussion about God, His redemption and restoration, and healing.”
- September 2015- “Kiera isn’t attending one specific church. She was given a church referral list.”
- 2016- “Our discussion was about God’s plans and purposes for Kiera’s life and receiving his grace.”
- 2017- “Kiera expressed a desire to grow in her faith and desires to continue down a path of faith and better choices.”
- February 2018- “Kiera said that she was against trying church because of “being judged.” I shared the gospel with her again, and reminded her of God’s great love for her. She was open to considering Christ.”
- May 2018- “Kiera is still not in church because of judgment and had many questions about the need to be rededicated. The conversation revolved around assurance of salvation and she was given a “How To Find God” Bible.”
- August 2018- “Kiera was seen and has been attending a church. She understands the gospel partially but not grace. Kiera prayed her own prayer of salvation and was given a “12 weeks with God” Bible study.”
On our exit surveys, these are all of Kiera’s responses to the question: “What was most helpful about your visit today?”
Not being judged, someone who can listen to you.
That we talk about having a closer walk with God.
Before I left the lady that prayed with me help me feel at peace and human.
Notice how not ONE of her responses about what was the most helpful about her visit to our center included receiving material support items? Which she did receive, every single time. It wasn’t the clothing, the diapers, or the wipes we gave her that kept her coming back. Kiera longed to know God. It’s evident in her spiritual journey over the course of the 4 years she came to us, and each time she got closer to knowing God and understanding his grace- eventually joining a church!
Kiera’s journey is an amazing reminder of how we are able to transform lives because of something as simple as diapers and clothing. These material items are a gateway to a relationship with Jesus Christ and changing lives for the better.
Note: Client’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.
The following story was written from an actual client. She completed the post-abortive program Life Centers offers, soar. Soar (spiritually oriented abortion recovery) is a post-abortion recovery support group for those impacted by the loss of a child to abortion. Life Centers leads participants on a confidential journey of recovery in an intimate support group with others who are moving toward freedom and healing.
If you would like more information about soar, including session dates, click here.
I had an abortion on July 17, 2008. I went to a clinic for a “way out” of my circumstances. I didn’t want to be pregnant. Not because I didn’t want children, I had a daughter at the time, but because of life circumstances. I thought that at that time, being pregnant and having another child would make my life more difficult. I thought that having an abortion meant I would be “free” from this situation. What I didn’t realize, was that this false sense of freedom was actually putting me in bondage. I had no idea that this one decision would change my life forever.
I was not the same person after I left that clinic. I was a mother, I had a child. I understood how precious life was. But I was afraid and I didn’t believe that God would take care of me. I went to the clinic, I went through with the abortion even though so many times I thought about leaving. I was afraid to stay and I was afraid to leave. Sometimes when I think back to that day, I find myself calling out to that girl, me, though it wasn’t me. I’m telling her to “Get UP! You don’t have to stay there. You don’t have to do this. Get UP!” I so wish that I had gotten up. That I’d had that courage. But I didn’t.
After carrying this burden around for 5 years, I sought out a support group. Google took me to Life Centers. Machelle assured me that Grace bible study (now soar) would really help. I showed up on our first day. I really didn’t want to go into the building. My heart was pounding. So many voices were trying to convince me that it wouldn’t really help. I knew that I didn’t want to continue carrying this with me- the guilt and shame. Some days it was more than I could handle. But I showed up, and I was willing to do the hard work. I struggled through many of the topics, but the struggle wasn’t in vein. God was breaking down some very thick walls so that He could show some light where it was dark. Grace (now soar) gave me hope when I had none. Grace helped me see Jesus when I believed He had left me. Grace helped me fully understand God’s true love and forgiveness. He doesn’t forgive us because He has to, He does because He wants to.
While I know that this is a part of my story and a part of my journey, it’s not how God ever intended my life to be, but I can walk with Him in love and grace.
If you want more information about abortion recovery through soar, please contact Machelle Montgomery.
Some of the most powerful, most impactful, most miraculous stories are told directly from the source. We shared this client’s story, Failed Abortion Was Little Boys’ Answered Prayer For Baby Sister, back in February. She wrote her story and sent it to us, wanting to share with others how Life Centers can help them, too. Her story is truly moving and shows how mighty the Lord we serve really is.
I was recruited by a company from my home state to Indianapolis in the fall of 2017. Right before our move, my husband and I found out we were expecting. At 35 (me) and 40 (him) we were not expecting to have another child. While I was reluctant, he was insistent, and we proceeded with a medical abortion. This doesn’t happen to us! We’re adults with college educations, we make good money, we were careful, we were married, I hold a prominent professional position. This just doesn’t happen to us, or people like us.
The abortion failed. As we found out some months later after we arrived in Indiana. I called every place in town looking for help. Your centers were the only ones that truly helped me during this difficult time. My husband left for a period, to process the news and I was on my own with a young son as well. After a few months apart, God put it on his heart to return to us.
We prayed for the baby together. And I felt something change in my heart towards this child. Pregnancy was pretty non-eventful, however God showed his great mercy again, when I nearly died on the operating table from an amniotic fluid embolism, hysterectomy, and inverted uterus. As it turns out – the fact the placenta had grown into the uterus is largely the contributing factor as to why the abortion didn’t medically work. Spiritually, God didn’t want it to work, and He always knows what he’s doing.
This life and death experience for me and my new 3-month old daughter has changed my opinion on pro-life versus pro-choice. She has completed our family. I’m trying to pay it forward now, bringing in items to the location that my daughter doesn’t need any more to help others. If there is a call to action – it is this. YOUR PROGRAM SAVED MY LIFE AND MY DAUGHTERS LIFE. Without your donors and volunteers, I don’t think I would be here today. Thank you for all you do for our community and our children.
You’ve heard it time and time again: It takes a village. This is especially true when you’re talking about caring for and raising a baby.
At our centers, we stock up on baby supplies like diapers, clothing, bottles, and other items. These different baby supplies are given to moms or dads who need them for their own baby.
Recently, a previous client came back to our Boone County center. She didn’t need anything; she came in to give back some of the items that we had provided her with last year when she was pregnant. Any donations are welcomed and you can read expert reviews before taking anything home. Her baby is now a 1-year-old, so she brought back the baby bath tub and bouncer seat that he could no longer use. She told the center director that she was so blessed by receiving these items from us, that she wanted to return the favor for the next mom who will need them. We were so touched by her thoughtfulness to bring back these items that she no longer needed for her son.
And then something wonderful happened. Just after the woman who gave back the baby items had left, an expectant mother came into the Boone County center needing two things: a baby bath tub and a bouncer seat.
God’s timing is perfect. These two women’s lives crossed paths and their stories aligned just perfectly without ever meeting one another. It truly does take a village, and sometimes that village includes people you’ve never even met.
If you’re interested in donating baby supplies, check out our urgent needs list. Items can be dropped off at any of our locations, or you can shop our Amazon wish list and have the items shipped directly to us!
Kattie came to one of our centers back in October for a pregnancy test. She told the peer counselor, Tina, that she had been spotting a few days ago, but she hadn’t at all today. Kattie proceeded to take a pregnancy test, which was positive.
After her visit to the center, Tina was unable to reach Kattie. She had called and left her several messages. Just last week, six months later, Tina made contact with her. She was very reserved, and did not give much information about the pregnancy and how she was feeling. Tina was concerned something had happened to her or the baby (abortion? a miscarriage?) but she thanked Tina for calling and agreed to come in for her Baby Bundle.
Yesterday, Kattie came in and told Tina her story.
Four weeks after Kattie came into our center, she was still spotting sporadically and knew something “just wasn’t quite right.” She had never spotted with her three previous pregnancies. At this time, Kattie had not started her pre-natal care with her doctor. She finally called her OB-GYN and they scheduled a routine ultrasound.
During the ultrasound, Kattie was relieved to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat. The sonographer showed her the different measurements and assured Kattie that everything “looked normal.”
But something caught Kattie’s eye, and she asked the sonographer to go back to the previous spot they were just looking at. She asked the sonographer, “Is that supposed to be there?” The technician went silent and turned white. She even dropped the equipment she was holding. The ultrasound technician said, “I can’t tell you, but your baby is okay. The doctor will have to confirm everything.” Then the technician left the room, leaving Kattie on the table crying, unsure of what was happening. She just started to pray.
When the doctor came in, she told her she was right to trust her “mother’s instinct.” The doctor then told Kattie she was pregnant with twins, but one of the babies was stuck in the fallopian tube. Surgery was required immediately to remove the tube before it burst. The doctor said if Kattie had waited just one more day to have an ultrasound, she might not be alive. At this point, Kattie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She knew something wasn’t right, but now she feared losing the other baby or possibly her own life.
Kattie made arrangements for her three other kids, and contacted her employer to take some time off from work. She went into surgery and they removed the entire fallopian tube. Kattie and her other baby came through surgery just fine! She is now mourning the loss of the baby who did not survive, but praising Jesus for sparing her life and the life of the other twin. She told Tina that she has no doubt God’s plans are more perfect than ours, and that He gives each mother the strength required to be a mom- one of the most humbling and rewarding callings we as women accept.
A client returned to one of our centers for a baby bundle for her baby girl who is due very soon. A baby bundle is a gift we give to our clients who chose life for their babies. They contain necessities for a baby: diapers, wipes, clothing, etc. This woman is from Africa, and her husband is still in Africa.
She was so appreciative for the baby items she had just been given, thanking the volunteer peer counselor repeatedly. When the counselor, Beth*, asked if she could pray with the client, she said, “Yes.” Beth then asked if she could hold her hands, and again, she responded with a simple, “Yes.”
As they held hands, Beth asked her if she loved Jesus and if He was her Savior. This sweet client responded, “Yes, He is!”
Beth said, “Look at our hands- they are different, but we are sisters. We are God’s children!” The woman smiled, and they prayed together.
“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him.” Romans 10:12
Did you know there are several volunteer opportunities at Life Centers? We always need people to volunteer as a peer counselor, receptionist, and a support services worker, which could mean assembling baby bundles, sorting baby clothes, or cleaning toy donations.
To learn more, visit https://lifecenters.com/get-involved/volunteer/.
*Name has been changed
It’s hard for some people to believe, but there are so many of our coworkers, neighbors, friends, and even family members who have not heard about what Jesus has done for us; for all of us.
Our peer counselors in our centers are reminded of this almost daily. Men and women come in looking for answers and wanting help. Often times, the initial reason they walk through our doors is for a pregnancy test, but when they go into a counseling room to talk one-on-one with someone who will listen, our clients are given the opportunity to hear the gospel- often for the first time.
Recently, an 18-year-old girl came to our center for a pregnancy test, which was negative. Back in the counseling room, the peer counselor asked Tara* if anyone has ever talked with her about Jesus and shared what He has done for us, she said no, but she wanted to know about Him.
Together, they went through scripture and the peer counselor told Tara how Christ died for us to save us from sin. The peer counselor could tell Tara was very interested, and asked her if she wanted to accept Christ. They prayed together, and Tara was very excited. She accepted Christ! She couldn’t wait to take her Bible and study guide home, along with a church referral list. The counselor described Tara’s excitement and joy as “genuine and contagious.”
Tara’s reason for coming to one of our centers ended up being less about a pregnancy test and more about accepting Christ and hearing the Gospel. At our center, Tara still got the news of a new life being born; her own, as she accepted Christ into her heart and into her life.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
*Name has been changed
Are you interested in changing lives through volunteering? Contact Tammy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.