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
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 of Jesus Christ. One who having experienced the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ personally, desires to see others know of His great mercy and forgiveness.
Give me a call at the Alpha Women’s Center, a place where mercy meets the need of forgiveness.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing: it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 4-5, 8-10
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. The bricks represent people like you who invest their talents, money, and spiritual gifts to help keep the wall strong and intact. Constant prayer and acts of service are the cement that keeps the bricks in place. Like Nehemiah, who was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, we too are charged with rebuilding a wall of hope. The world we live in calls us to serve self and abandon God. The world opposes us just as Nehemiah’s enemies opposed him, but remember the words of the prophet, “And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.”(Nehemiah 2:18 ESV)
For His Kingdom,
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!
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 have parent/child teams ans stroller teams! Come by the Alpha Center for a registration form or search for the event on active.com. We’re gonna have lots of fun celebrating life together with entertainment, food, and plenty of glowsticks! All ages are welcome to participate! We look forward to seeing you there!