If you have ever wondered if you have had a positive effect on someone’s life, you are not alone. Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World, explains that in the midst of chaotic times we basically have two choices – we either take care of ourselves and our families and “keep our wallets hidden under our pillows”, ignoring the struggles of others, or we reach out in spite of our circumstances and challenges and continue to offer compassion and hope.
Being part of a Christian ministry team like the Alpha Women’s Resource Center, offers many opportunities to create a “ripple effect”. We share the Gospel with the women and men who come seeking pregnancy resources and we also offer practical application through counseling with a trained client advocate, parenting classes, material assistance, and more. We may see a person one time and never know if we have had a positive effect or we may have the privilege of establishing a relationship that continues long after the pregnancy is completed. Many times, those who have been to the center tell their friends and family members about the benefits of coming to the Alpha center. One of our former Alpha clients had this to say about her experience:
“If it wasn’t for you all, my daughter would have ended up in somebody’s trash can. I never would have known how to take care of my baby without the Alpha Center.”
Each of us has a choice – we can choose to believe everyone is doing okay on their own or we can reach out and offer our time, resources, and the gifts God has given us to help others whether they are deserving or not. Now, more than ever, our world needs to experience the love of Christ, not condemnation or judgment. In his book, Onward, Russell Moore writes, “We’re prophetically engaged, in that we see the connection between gospel and justice, just as our forebears in the abolitionist and civil rights and pro-life activist communities did. The priority of the gospel doesn’t mean that we shrug off injustice or unrighteousness but it means we fight a different way. But behind all of that, and above all of that, we do what prophets are always called to do: we bear witness.”
Ask yourself how many lives can I touch? Through your financial support, volunteering at the center as a client advocate, abstinence presenter, volunteer receptionist, bookkeeper or as a board member, you too can be part of the ripple effect. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8
The new year has started off with a flurry of activity at the Alpha Women’s Resource Center. Clients are steadily coming in, center volunteers continue to minister in amazing ways and the community’s awareness of the scope of the ministry is steadily growing. Here is just a glimpse of some of the prayers God has answered:
- Our nurse, Crystal, delivered a baby girl in December, several months premature but, by God’s grace, baby and mommy are healthy and already home from the hospital.
- Resources for ultrasound training were provided by a generous donor at last year’s banquet and this month, training has been completed resulting in two more nurses who are now trained to perform ultrasounds at the center.
- Plans for the first major fundraising event designated solely for the mobile ultrasound unit are now underway and the Chocolate for Life event is set for Feb. 13th. Vendors are coming from several different areas, and the day promises to be full of fun, food, and family friendly activities. There will be an actual mobile ultrasound unit on site, thanks to the generosity of the pregnancy center in Huntsville and the unit will be available for touring all throughout the weekend. The center has been in prayer for many months concerning the mobile unit and God is listening and responding!
- The board of directors has met and agreed on a strategic plan for the ministry that will encompass the next 3-5 years. Goals include:
- Raising the funds needed to purchase a mobile ultrasound unit in 2016 by enlisting the support of area churches, businesses, foundations, and individuals.
- Acquiring staffing and volunteers for the mobile ultrasound unit.
- Hiring staff to take the place of the center’s abstinence coordinator, who also serves as the computer coordinator and fatherhood program coordinator.
- Updating the” Earn While You Learn Program”
- Having a volunteer Certified Professional Counselor on site.
- Expanding the center’s abstinence program to include Monroe County.
- Expanding medical services to include STD testing.
Through much prayer and hard work, the ministry is bearing much fruit as seen in the lives saved both physically and spiritually each year. God has many wonderful plans for the Alpha Women’s Resource Center and we ask our supporters to be in intentional prayer for this local mission. Ask Him to provide the disciples needed to carry on this legacy of life and in the words of Fanny Crosby, “To God be the glory, great things He has done!”
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in the abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 14:11
Spring is here and summer is not too far behind. The center continues to be a place where various scenarios are experienced: new life being seen on an ultrasound, moms coming to learn how to navigate through their pregnancy, women being consoled after having a miscarriage, families being counseled as a result of a teen pregnancy, joy shared over a newborn baby, and the ultimate celebration – a life changed through the sharing of the Gospel. Through it all, God’s presence is apparent and without Him there is no hope or peace.
We rejoice as God’s work continues. In the last newsletter, there were several goals mentioned which have already been reached:
- The center now has three nurses trained to do ultrasounds.
- The “Earn While You Learn” program has been updated.
- A volunteer certified professional counselor is now on site one day a week.
Also, approximately 75% of the total needed to purchase the mobile ultrasound unit has been raised and we are not even half way through the year! How we praise God for all that He has done and continues to do! Of course, working with a Christian nonprofit is not without challenges and heartaches. Days may go by where clients repeatedly fail to keep their appointments, a fundraising event does not go as well as expected, or the need for additional volunteers goes unmet. But with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the perseverance of those committed to standing for life and the prayers of the faithful, victory will come. God’s Word says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6