Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Muslim Story

She walked into the center with her head down and, hidden under her coverings. Because she had lived in America just one year, she didn’t know English well enough to read the general questions on our form. Her husband signed her name and answered every question for her. Reviewing the completed intake sheet, our Client Advocate read the client’s religion: Muslim. This Wednesday morning appointment was a practicing Muslim from Israel. Our Client Advocate took a deep breath and prayed for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading. She knew what we all know in this pregnancy center: every client is brought here on purpose by God Himself to know the passionate pursuit of the Savior. The Client Advocate led the woman in to counseling room.

She began the appointment with the basic, required questions on our intake form. She asked about previous pregnancies-the client had none. She asked about drinking or drugs-the client did none. She asked about her husband, and the client beamed with pride, saying in English as best as she could say, “I love my husband, and my husband loves me very much!” They had just been married one year. They both grew up in Israel, but he moved to America 20 years ago. He built a life here, but one still incomplete. He returned to Israel, and married our client, bringing her back to America. After confirming the news through today’s positive pregnancy test, this was their first pregnancy.

The Client Advocate bravely asked this woman about her Muslim faith, genuinely wanting to understand religion through the eyes of this client. This was the woman’s background. This was her culture. This was what she had known for so long, and she did allow our Client Advocate to share about her own faith-the Christian faith. The counselor then introduced her to the God that she worships—the one and only Living King of Kings. She explained who God Almighty is. She explained who Jesus Christ is. She shared the unconditional hope in life and after death through the Savior of the World. The client nodded, comprehending all she could from the language.

Wanting to capitalize on this clearly divine opportunity, we offered this couple a limited ultrasound. Because we are not a medical facility, our abdominal ultrasounds do not investigate or diagnose any problems. Our volunteer nurses verify a baby’s presence in the uterus, listen to the heartbeat, and give a more accurate due date. This appointment was already a God-orchestrated moment to show this Muslim couple the love of Christ, so our Wednesday nurse, Claire, welcomed them into her ultrasound room. Together, they viewed the now 11 and a half week old baby.

     Claire explained that the baby already had the 4 chambers of the heart. She showed them the baby’s form as she measured the size. She gave them their first view of their baby, but so much more than that, she gave them a new, generous view of God’s love, pouring into them through a pregnancy center appointment. It was more than a machine with a monitor now showing a baby. It was a woman of God with saved heart showing the love of the Savior.

       After the ultrasound, Claire led them back to the counseling room to finish the appointment with their Client Advocate. The counselor shared their excitement over the ultrasound and asked the couple if they had any final questions. The husband then asked, “Where do you go to church?” A little surprised by the topic, the counselor told him the name of her church, her non-denominational Christian church. She knew their hearts were open, so she asked him about his religion. He too was a practicing Muslim, but he admitted, “I’ve been comparing them, Muslim and Christian. I want to know more now.” The Holy Spirit was active and obvious and led our counselor to share Jesus Christ with this seeking soul. At the husband’s request, the Client Advocate gave them a Bible to study and the name of a church to visit. She told this husband of the loving God who already made a way to Heaven for ALL who will accept Him. He wanted to take his wife to our Thursday classes, but more importantly, he wanted to take his wife to the Christian church to learn more about the God shown at this pregnancy center.

The couple left in overwhelming gratitude, ready to pursue this new love they experienced today. We praise God for the honor of showing this lost world even a glimpse of the Living, Loving Lord of Lords.

“This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.
John 13:35

Contributed by Hannah Crocker

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Agonizing Decision – When Does Life Begin 

     At Community Pregnancy Center, and when I am in speaking with a client, the truth is what we share.  In fact, that is how we often describe the pregnancy center, Sharing Truth-Offering Hope-Saving Lives.  I so often do not understand the debate over abortion; it is so clear to me life begins at conception-at that very moment thcell has a distinct DNA signature different from any other species on this planet.  It is a baby, yes it needs 36-40 more weeks to develop into a  a sweet, crying, wiggling, poopy-diaper baby boy or girl, but it is alive.  By day 21 - almost before you realize you are pregnant, baby has a heartbeat!  As early as 18 weeks she is beginning to hear car doors slam, and is intimately aware of the sound of momma's heartbeat and breathing and, can recognize the sweet sound of her voice.  At 8-10 weeks we can watch baby, on the ultrasound, roll over and wave at mom and dad.  This is LIFE.  For me, there is no question, but like the resident doctor in essay #4 (  Yahoo Health - The agonizing decision  ),   I share the truth, we don't have to lie or embellish the truth of abortion, because the truth is scary enough, but we share the truth for a women or teen girl so they know every option available:  this joy and trials of parenting, the fear and heroic-ness of adoption, and the sadness and side-effects of abortion.   
     We don't do or refer, or even give the locations available for abortions.  We do pray, with the client if she agrees (and yes she usually wants our prayers), with each other, we are devastated when lives are lost and, rejoice when lives are saved and redeemed.   
     We are pro-life.  We, at Community Pregnancy Center, not only want to see a life saved, but a life fulfilled; we can provide diapers and clothes,  strollers and furniture and, referrals to food and formula banks as a woman or teen girl works to break through the "ceiling" of a single parent and expected poverty levels.  CPC encourages continuing education, college, we refer to "friendly" work agencies, and want each baby, momma, and dad to know a Savior, establish a family - at home and in a church, and if they will allow us, we love on them sometimes for years to come... At CPC we are pro-life.   
     Are you pro-life?  Will you join us as we minister to women, teen girls, young men, and babies - Sharing Truth-Offering Hope-Building Families.  -community pregnancy center     
"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."    Psalm 139:15-16