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 given to us.

Please continue to pray for the ministry and ask God to continue to lie on our hearts each day what we need to do be doing that God would be glorified and that those that need help and encouragement would receive what they need.

Rev. Jeff Lohrstorfer

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 support!

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 towards the upcoming celebration of Christ’s birth: “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:5-7

Wishing you Christ’s blessings this Christmas,

Diane

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 are listed the names of those individuals and businesses who underwrote this year’s fundraising banquet. We are so thankful for their ongoing support and appreciative of their desire to support the center. The list is followed by a snapshot of the ministry’s financial status based on a six month comparison between 2012 and 2013. Basically, the center now has an average of $20,000 in expenses each month. A little over $33,000 was raised the night of the banquet; some from first time givers and some who renewed banquet pledges from last year. The reality is that we will not have any left over to carry the ministry into the New Year.

Maybe this is a time of testing or maybe God has 200 individuals, churches, or businesses that are going to step up and give $100 a month to the Alpha Center, a local mission whose work has a ripple effect all across the communities it serves. Whatever God has planned for the Alpha Women’s Resource Center, we are praying in faith for people of faith to act according to His will. As the chorus of a popular Casting Crowns song states: “All You (God) have ever wanted was my heart”. May we be so led.

Serving Him,
Diane

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 keep women in bondage to the lie that they have committed an unpardonable sin. The Alpha center wants to help women and men break those chains and lead them to the freedom found in Christ through post abortion recovery.

On October 10, Stacy Massey will be speaking on this subject at the annual Alpha Fundraising Banquet. I heard Stacy speak at the 2013 Care Net Conference and she gave a powerful presentation about the need for post abortion recovery. After hearing her speak at the Alpha Banquet, I know you will have a better understanding of the overwhelming need for healing that is available through post abortion recovery. I encourage you to attend and reservations can be made by calling the center at 251-246-7750.

“Compassion lavished, love extravagant. He said, “Without question these are my people, children who would never betray me.”So he became their Savior. In all their troubles, he was troubled, too.  He didn’t send someone else to help them. He did it himself, in person. Out of his own love and pity he redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time.” Is 63:7-9 (The Message)

Serving Him,
Diane

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 the free will to make their life choices. In the meantime, center client advocates prepare to serve and look to Ephesians 6:17-19, for direction:

“…. take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel…” (ESV)

Whether you are facing a physical challenge like moving a storage building or a deeper, more serious spiritual battle, remember our Lord God stands ready to come along side, to strengthen you for the journey and provide helpers along the way. He is faithful!

Serving Him,
Diane