Giving Tuesday, which was on November 27th this year, is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season.
This year, Life Centers raised money for ultrasound exams on Giving Tuesday. One ultrasound exam costs the ministry $100, but they are free to our clients. By the end of this year, we will have provided at least 150 free ultrasound exams, which is why our goal for Giving Tuesday was to raise $15,000.
We exceeded our goal. We are overwhelmed by the response we received on Giving Tuesday. As you may know, we had two donors who collectively matched every donation we received on Giving Tuesday up to $25,000. We received $34,790 in donations, totaling $59,790 with the generosity of our matching donors!
You might be wondering why we chose ultrasound exams to raise money for. Ultrasounds are a vital piece of our ministry. Often times, an ultrasound can be the deciding factor in our clients choosing life for their babies. Below are just a few of the comments clients have made after receiving an ultrasound exam at one of our centers:
“Hearing the heartbeat melted my heart, it made me want to parent my baby.”
“The ultrasound made me feel like a mother already.”
“My baby is bigger than I thought!”
“Seeing my baby on the ultrasound made me happier about being pregnant.”
As you can see, ultrasounds are vital to save babies from abortion. Some clients come into the ultrasound room undecided about what they are going to do with the life growing inside of them. More times than not, they leave choosing life and wanting to parent their babies.
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
“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.