Last month I walked among an amazing group of heroes at the 2015 CareNet conference. Pregnancy center personnel from all over the nation gathered for encouragement, to learn new things and to be revived in their work for life.
I wouldn’t call myself an equal to these valiant souls. I’m simply someone who was transformed by one of their amazing programs. Since then, I have dedicated my life to helping them whatever way possible! Through personal support, training seminars, speaking at fund-raising events, writing resources for their work and building client web-sites, Ramah International loves to help these gallant organizations!
While a pregnancy center didn’t exist in Kalamazoo, MI in 1981 during my unplanned pregnancy, another center welcomed me with open arms in Colorado Springs in 1991. This center, Life Network, helped me recover at an emotional, spiritual and psychological level from my abortion. My life was transformed by the mercy and grace that center showed to my wounded heart.
My hope in attending CareNet was to meet as many abortion recovery leaders as possible. It’s much easier to refer abortion’s wounded hearts to a person versus a program. I was not disappointed in that search. My publisher, David C. Cook, even offered a free download of Her Choice to Heal during the conference!
Tina Price from the Pregnancy Service Center in Salina, KS introduced herself on the elevator at the start of the conference. Tina and I have communicated but never met in person. She shined encouragement to my heart. Later she outlined how my book, Her Choice to Heal, had impacted her life.
I joined Nancy Knowlton and her team from the Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic (pictured above) in Tennessee for the first meal and we introduced ourselves to those at the table. It was no coincidence that the team was from my hometown in Michigan – Alternatives of Kalamazoo. I was overjoyed to get an update on their efforts to reach hearts in that area today!
On the way to another meal, I ran into a staff member from the CareNet Pregnancy Center in Borger, TX. I shared with her the story of my speaking at their banquet several years earlier. I was facing the crowd at a country club as I gave my abortion testimony while a group of teens splashed in the pool behind the audience. These teens then worked to distract me. One young man even bent over and mooned me! I concluded, “He’s likely a pastor now because I’ve been praying for him all these years!”
Divine appointments met me at every point. Meeting old friends from the days when I ran pregnancy center conferences (1996 and 1998) through my position at Focus on the Family was a special joy. Talking to directors that had used me as a banquet speaker in years past warmed my heart!
At one point, I plopped down on a comfortable chair to await my next appointment. Another attendee sat nearby so we talked for several minutes about her ministry efforts in Florida. Then I asked how God led her to this work.
Quietly, she outlined she had been driving down the road one day years ago, listening to Dr. Dobson on Focus on the Family when she heard this woman share her abortion testimony. She had to pull over to the side of the road and cry as no one had ever spoken to her directly as a post-abortive person. That led her to the center, healing and now a wonderful job helping others considering abortion!
Quietly I asked her, “Do you remember the year you heard that broadcast?”
When she outlined the time-frame, I smiled with the knowledge that God had placed me perfectly to receive a gift myself. Meeting someone God had used me to touch in those early days of my work was wonderful but realizing she had been serving at a center ever since rocked me with joy.
I then quietly shared, “The woman on that broadcast who shared her abortion story was me.”
We embraced, having reached an entirely different level of fellowship. I will never forget that moment as it was the encouragement I needed to continue to share this difficult testimony. I’m sure I’ll have many referrals to her center in the future!
It is now my delight to continue this walk among heroes by spending October on the road, training pregnancy center personnel in Ohio, Western Michigan and at the Alliance for Life Conference in Branson, MO.
If you’ve never met the amazing heroes at your local pregnancy center please visit them soon. Learn about how they are helping offer alternatives to abortion and supporting women and men experiencing unplanned pregnancies, as well as helping abortion’s wounded find God’s healing. You may never know when you may need the services of a pregnancy center!
Sydna A. Massé is President and Founder of Ramah International, and the author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.