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 to reinforce the concepts they have learned.
We read in the scriptures that children are to honor and obey their parents in the Lord for this is right. Ephesians 6:3 goes on to say that if the children do this, that things will go well for them and they will live for a long time. I challenge you today is to be a mentor; whether to your own kids or someone else’s. Continue to pray for this ministry as we seek the Lord’s guidance while teaching these youth. And lastly, continue to pray for more volunteers who would be willing to stand in the gap for these students by making a commitment to teach abstinence education. It really will make a difference in their lives, in our cities, and in our communities!
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, He could restore my heart, not to what it once was, but even better. He could actually use my secret of abortion to bring Glory to His name, further His Kingdom, and minister to other hurting women and men.
It was during my first mission trip to Guatemala, 4 years after completing that study that I came to realize what the Lord’s plans were for me. A team bonding exercise during our mission trip was to share our testimony. It was the first time I would include my abortion story. After sharing, 3 women came to me and confessed they had also had an abortion story. They were curious about the study I had completed and asked if I would be willing to lead them through it.
Since that time in 2010, I have led several women through this healing journey in our former home in Clearwater, Florida. I am now able to share this healing ministry with you and others in our community through the Alpha Women’s Resource Center. For many years the center had desired to expand the ministry to include post-abortion recovery, but did not feel they had the right resources. Through the grace of God, I have been able to join with them and facilitate an abortion recovery Bible study.
As a result of the fervent prayers of many, the ministry, Uncommon Joy: Finding Joy in the Most Uncommon Place, was born. This ministry allows us to walk with post-abortive women through the journey of finding forgiveness, healing, and restoration from their decision to abort. Through the Grace of God they find joy in Him and in the memory of their children who are now with their Heavenly Father.
I ask you to diligently pray for the ministry, the lives which will be impacted, and most importantly for our community to realize the women carrying the shame and guilt of abortion are aware of their sin. Our job is not to judge them, but to lead them to the One True Source of Healing, Jesus Christ.
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 me that “God owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). He went on to say “We only need three or four and He has already taken them to the stockyard!” There you have it, plain and simple.
I covet your prayers for the Alpha Center ministry. During the past few months, the staff and volunteers have prayed for the clients by name asking God to save and change lives. Through an outpouring of God’s grace and mercy, 9 women and 1 man have made a profession of faith! One by one, lives are being changed for eternity as we who are faithful pray, give and serve. Jesus paid the price and He didn’t worry about the cost. He calls us to go and do likewise.
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 additional resources and programs, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the essence of the Alpha Women’s Resource Center. We covet your prayers and support as armed with the essentials of His truth and love, we “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14