Happenings at Alpha Women's Resource Center

From the Director – The Ripple Effect

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...

From the Director – John 15:8

“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...

From the Director – Proverbs 14:11

“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,...

Where Mercy Meets the Need of Forgiveness

Have you ever felt like your life is one bad choice after another? That what you do best is mess up? Do you hear that voice that says, “You’re a loser and always will be.”? Absolutely, I think we all have at one time or another. I know I have. So what do we do about it, how do we break the” bad choice after bad choice” habit? How do we counteract the voice that says, “You’re a loser and always will be.”? We need someone to tell us the good news of Jesus Christ. We need to know that because of His love and mercy, God sent His Son, Jesus, to die upon the Christ for sinners like us. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9) We need to know that God wants to come and live in our hearts and change our lives. We need to know that through Jesus, and only through Jesus, can we be forgiven. But, “how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10: 14b) That is where you come in. If you have experienced the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ in your life and desire to be obedient to His commandment to “go and tell”, I want to encourage you to consider becoming a Client Advocate at the Alpha Women’s Center. A client advocate is one who comes alongside others to “advocate” on their behalf, one who shares the good news...

Working on the “Wall”

The months have flown by this year and through it all, God has steadily made His presence known at the Alpha Center. We’ve been excited to see more clients come in, new volunteers come on board, and have sadly said goodbye to board members who have rotated off or stepped down. At the end of May, the Alpha Center invested in a one-day intensive board training. Under the direction of Mike Williams, a dynamic pregnancy center board consultant and pro-life speaker, the Alpha board has implemented new strategies in several areas of the ministry. We are now more intentional with advertising placement, and you will soon see a much larger sign in front of the Alpha Center, better defining what the ministry does. Our board members are now equipped with the tools they need to invite the community to catch the vision of the center. The center has also invested in a new donor website to better inform our supporters about the ministry and to encourage more online support. Alpha staff members have been busy too. Each of them has a section in this newsletter and I encourage you to take the time to read and catch up on the work being done in the different areas of the ministry. Every person associated with the ministry seeks to make a positive impression on the lives they touch through the Alpha center. The work being done here can be compared to the building of a brick wall. The wall is the Alpha Center, a ministry designed to save and protect the lives of those in need of help and hope....

From Grey Gaillard

Abstinence For the 2013-2014 school year, we presented to 15 schools in 3 counties. Modifications to the program include the 6th grade class being taught the Changes program instead of 5th grade, an update to the DCO program for 10th grade, and the use of a grant to teach Aspire and Quest on an 8 day cycle in select schools. We had 11 volunteer Abstinence Presenters dedicated to teaching these students that saving sex for marriage is the safest and healthiest choice for their future and I became the Abstinence Coordinator when Amanda Schell stepped down. We are very excited to have given the Abstinence Program to 2734 students this school year! Fatherhood The Fatherhood Program is up and running! We have several clients who have participated in the program already. This program uses the Quest for Authentic Manhood© DVD series to teach young men how to be the best father and man of God they were designed to become. It addresses issues like defining fatherhood and manhood, dealing with wounds from the past, overcoming overly bonded mothers, and mentoring your child. If you know of a man who would like to become a Fatherhood Mentor, please contact the Alpha Center for details. Run To The Light 5k/1 Mile Fun Walk Our upcoming Run To The Light 5k/1 Mile Fun Walk is already off to a huge success! We have over 60 runners signed up and 20 sponsors! The event will be held on Aug 2nd at 7:00pm. If you haven’t signed up, there’s still time or you can sign up on the day of the event. We even...

Thoughts on Alpha Women’s Resource Center

As I look around our nation sometime it is really hard to watch the direction we have turned as a nation. It is easy to just sit and watch as people we know and love find themselves in situations that seem to have no hope. Truly, this is not what God would have us to do as His people. He tells us in His word to help those that are in need. I am thankful that God had placed such a call on the heart of people in this community to step up and to be His hands and His feet. I have been truly blessed to be a part of the ministry here at the Alpha Women’s Resource Center. I am thankful to the staff, all the volunteers, and the Board of Directors that dedicate their time and finances to reach out as God has called us all to do. I am also thankful for those in this great community both churches, businesses, individuals, and our Lord Jesus by which makes the ministry even possible. Thank you all. You have helped touch and change many people’s lives through the years. The apostle Paul said to Timothy in 2 Thessalonians,” Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ”. This is the calling that God has...

Partnership with United Way

Good News! As an approved 2014-2015 partner agency of the United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA), the Alpha Women’s Resource Center was recently notified that it will receive a total of $10,500 in specific program funding. UWSWA recently changed its funding requirements and the Alpha Center was awarded $8,000 for its Medical Service Program and $2,500 for its Abstinence Education program in Clarke County. A local volunteer Community Impact Committee selected these programs for funding. This is a very competitive process with many deserving programs submitted for consideration and compounded by having a 3 to 1 ratio of requests to dollars the United Way had to invest. The Alpha Women’s Resource Center would like to thank all those who contributed to the UWSWA campaign. We appreciate your...

Meet Grey

Hello! My name is Grey Gaillard and I’ve recently taken the position of Abstinence Coordinator for the Alpha Center. I thank God that He has blessed me with this position and I look forward to the wonderful opportunities He has for me here! As Abstinence Coordinator, one of my main functions is to make sure that the students in our surrounding schools understand the importance of saving sex for marriage. There are several volunteers who have joined with me in order to accomplish this goal. Each of us has different techniques and styles of presenting the material, but the main goal is to teach these students the truth so that they can make the best decisions. When we go into the schools, we hand out surveys before and after each presentation. I’ve had the privilege of keying in the data from these surveys and have found some interesting results. The most important and most gratifying is that we are actually making a difference in the lives and minds of these young people. Their initial opinions have shifted positively regarding abstinence as the only 100% effective protection from the possible physical, mental, and social consequences of sex before marriage. Another thing I’ve noticed is that although some students have changed their mind about their choices, I’m finding that more and more students still have a hard time communicating with their parents. As we present to each student, we teach them the truth about parenting, abortion, adoption, peer pressure, the media, harmful substances, and how to make goals for their lives. These are all issues that should be addressed by parents...

Uncommon Joy

Studies indicate that 43% of woman between the ages of 18-45 have had an abortion and 79% of those women have made a profession of faith. That is 1 out every 3 woman sitting in our churches every week. My name is Jennifer Sanabria and I am one of those women. In 2000, while married I had an affair. As a result, I became pregnant. Not wanting to be caught in my infidelity, I chose to do something I had always been strongly against. I chose to abort my child. Finding this to be an ideal solution, I continued in my immoral behavior and a few months later was pregnant again and decided to abort that child as well. It was not until 2006, when I rededicated my life to the Lord and found myself in a post-abortion Bible study, that I truly understood what I had done. Until that point, I did not believe that the abortions had had a negative effect on me. I did not realize how far I had turned from my relationship with the Lord. The friends I had, the choices I made, and the lifestyle I was living was destroying my fellowship with the One True King. I was not fine. Depression, promiscuity, low self-esteem, and anger were part of my life prior to my abortions, but after the abortion, they were magnified and ruling my life. During the 8-week study, I discovered that the blood of Christ does indeed cover ALL sins! My decision to abort my children had broken the heart of my Savior, but if I would allow Him to,...

What Do Blessings Look Like?

“I’m blessed”, “Bless you!”, “Bless their heart!” These expressions are as natural as breathing (especially in the South), but what do they really mean? Are we too casual in our use of a word meant to describe an awesome gift from God which He offers to His undeserving people? At the Alpha Women’s Resource Center, God’s blessings are extraordinary acts of love. He blessed the ministry in 2013 by: Directing a single mom in need of a job to the Alpha Center where her office skills were quickly recognized and put to good use Providing the ministry with a spacious office building located on a main thoroughfare Bringing people from different churches and from all over the community to offer their talents and skills to create a warm and inviting women’s resource center Enabling the ministry to receive a special grant in order to offer free labor and delivery and breastfeeding classes to center clients Leading women and men with a passion for life to become client advocates, abstinence educators, and board members Rejuvenating the Alpha staff by providing a way for them to attend the annual CareNet conference Answering years of prayer for a post abortion recovery program by bringing the right person to prepare the ministry to offer a Bible study for post abortive women Rescuing the lives of a dozen children whose mom’s changed their minds and chose life after coming to the center Instilling an ongoing desire in His people to give to this ministry of hope and light Yes, the Alpha Women’s Resource Center has many blessings to be thankful for as we look...

The Faith of the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-10)

5” When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” The above Scripture passage is a well known story of faith. It is remarkable for two reasons: it was about a centurion, who was a Gentile of faith and not an Israelite of faith, and Jesus was amazed by the centurion’s faith, so you know it was a big deal! Similarly, at the Alpha Center, those who profess faith in Jesus Christ may not look like your typical “church goer”. At the banquet last week, one of our client’s testimonies was in the form of a rap song to the surprise of many of the attendees. But the words of his testimony rang true and many were touched by his honesty in stating his need to believe and trust in God. We also have faith that God will provide the finances needed to carry the ministry forward. Below this article...

Changing Direction

The front page of the Alabama Baptist, dated Sept. 19, 2013, featured the headline “Momentum Shift”. The article described a Birmingham abortion clinic closing as part of a national trend. There are now 5 abortion clinics in Alabama and the rate of abortions in this state has declined from 9,523 in 2011 to 9,046 in 2012. The Guttmacher Institute, the statistical arm of Planned Parenthood, reports that there have been 50 million abortions in the United States since abortion was legalized in 1973, or approximately 1.2 million annually. As a ministry, the Alpha Women’s Resource Center’s goal is to promote a culture of life and we celebrate when a woman initially abortion minded changes her mind and chooses life for her preborn baby. But what about those who did not choose life and are dealing with the aftermath of their decision? Recently five volunteers and two staff members completed a post abortion recovery Bible study training. The group was led by a post abortive woman who has been facilitating recovery groups for several years. Although no one else in the group had experienced the heartache of abortion, several had had miscarriages and were given the opportunity to deal with those losses. Over an eight week period, the group faced many issues – anger, depression, forgiveness, and ultimately exchanged gut wrenching heartache for peace through Jesus Christ. The next step is to make this recovery Bible study available to the women in our surrounding communities. Studies show that 1 in 3 women who sit in church pews on Sunday morning are post abortive. Satan would like nothing more than to...

Counting the Cost

For nonprofit organizations like the Alpha Women’s Resource Center, financial donations are a crucial part of the ministry. The media is quick to point out that, according to the current administration’s plans, donations to nonprofits may soon no longer be tax exempt. Therefore, many people may decide to cut back or even eliminate charitable giving and we recognize that as a distinct possibility. As believers in Christ, that way of thinking has no basis for merit. God’s Word is clear that He knows our needs and has promised to meet them if we are faithful to give. Malachi 3:10 says “ bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.” God has been gracious to triple the operating budget for the Alpha Center over the past ten years. No one person can take credit for the increase and no one program or grant can meet all the needs of the ministry. Only God can do that and He is clear that His provision comes as a result of obedience by His people. In the same way that our clients are taught in the “Earn While You Learn” curriculum about the importance of disciplining their children and teaching them to obey, so too must we as Christians be disciplined in our commitment to give. Recently, as I was expressing concern for the low balance in the center’s checkbook, a pastor reminded...

Networking and Perseverance

It has now been two months since the Alpha Women’s Resource Center moved to its new location and the last item on the lengthy to do list was to move the center’s large wooden storage building. Numerous inquiries had been made and all sorts of obstacles encountered as we tried to make plans for moving the building. City Councilman, Paul South, heard of our predicament and asked if the building had been originally built on site or moved. After learning that it had in fact been moved, the people who had originally moved the building were contacted. It was discovered that a good friend of ours, Johnny Pezent, had been involved in the past move. Paul and Johnny contacted David Milstead, a local contractor, and with the assistance of Ivan Pezent , Prince Cox and a police escort, the move was accomplished in a few hours! Upon reflection, God’s hand was carefully shaping the course of events described above and He also provided a good lesson in perseverance. There were many paths to choose from, and it would have been so tempting to just give up, sell the storage building and try to buy a replacement! So it goes with those we serve at the Center. Women and men face pregnancy related challenges, look at different options, and agonize over making the right decisions. Because we serve a sovereign God, there is a network in place to point them to the Alpha Center. Prayer warriors, word of mouth, supporting churches, phone book ads, website information, a convenient location on the highway, God knows these women and men still have...

Enlarging Your Tent

When summer arrives in the South, it affects everyone and everything. Blistering hot days, pesky mosquitoes, and afternoon thunderstorms become the norm. I have a new regard for those who work outside and count it a huge blessing that I don’t! Typically, this time of year means we slow down, maybe take a few days off, and relax a little bit. But at the Alpha Center, with the move to a new location just behind us, new opportunities have come to light. The ministry has three new client advocates in training, a new post abortion recovery leader has come to Alpha from Florida, labor and delivery group classes will start in July and an expanded abstinence curriculum will be offered in five area schools this fall. As if that weren’t enough, a 5K Run benefiting the Alpha Women’s Resource Center is scheduled in Jackson on August 3rd (See below for more information). In every instance, much prayer has preceded each of these opportunities. God is truly enlarging His territory and brothers and sisters in Christ are responding to the needs of this ministry. As God’s Word and His amazing gift of salvation is planted deep in the lives of Alpha’s clients, there is no limit to what the future holds. The prophet Isaiah’s words to the Israelites, applies to this ministry as well: “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2 (NIV) As supporters of the Alpha Women’s Resource Center, please continue to pray with us that God’s will be done. Your prayers, financial...

Essential God

I was reading a devotional recently that described God as “Essential” and it prompted further reflection about what this word means. An online dictionary described it best: “vitally important; absolutely necessary; basic; fundamental; completely realized; absolute; perfect.” Yes, that’s God! So often, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what we perceive to be absolutely necessary, only to find out later that we have succumbed to the “tyranny of the urgent”. As we seek God’s point of view as to what He considers essential, skewed perceptions are righted and our paths are straightened. Earthly desires pale in comparison to God’s plan which yields eternal riches. One example of this is the Alpha Center’s recent Walk 4 Life. All the weeks of planning, coordinating, and preparation quickly came to a head on the day of the walk and in a few short hours it was over. Without a kingdom focus, we could easily argue that there must be simpler ways to raise money! But that’s the world’s view and not our Lord’s. He knew that it was essential to have walkers and sponsors, liaisons and pastors, adults and children, all come together to celebrate LIFE. We needed to be reminded that HE is the Author and Sustainer of all LIFE and out of His abundance He blessed this ministry and His people! As we prepare to move into the center’s new facility, again we are reminded to keep our focus on the essentials. No matter how spacious and beautiful the rooms are, or how wonderfully equipped the ministry is with...

40 Years and Counting

Forty years ago the Supreme Court made decisions concerning two cases that would ultimately mean death to tens of millions of unborn babies. The results of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton have led to the deaths of as many as one in three children born in subsequent generations and legalized abortion up to the day of birth in all 50 states. The count now stands at 55,808, 387 babies who have lost their lives to abortion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “State and Country Quick Facts”, January 2012, that number represents more than the combined populations of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky ,Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee in 2011 (53,702, 267). During the past 40 years, it has become evident that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and abortion is a mainstay of Planned Parenthood’s business. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) on February 18, 2011 but the bill later failed to pass the Senate, by a margin of 42-58. Despite its demise, this legislative act reflected a monumental shift in America’s attitude – a shift against the nation’s largest abortion provider who receives roughly 46 percent of its budget from federal and state grants and contracts. On January 20, 2013, across our land hundreds of pastors in the United States will speak about the sanctity of human life. We will hear what God’s plan is for life, how He is the Author and Sustainer of life and how it grieves Him to see a people bent on destroying what He has created just...