As I mentioned in an earlier post, Randy and I attended a fundraiser banquet last Thursday to support a local organization. I really dragged my feet when it came time to RSVP...I really didn't want to spend my birthday dinner at a banquet for an organization that I knew nothing about, I really didn't want to get dressed up, and I really didn't want to spend $$ on a sitter. But since the Residency Program supports this organization, I really wanted our Program to be well represented, even if it was just by 2 more seats.
Very little did I know that the Lord was about to bless me (and Randy) by attending this banquet. The banquet was organized to raise funds for our local Pregnancy Testing Centers (PTC), an organization created 20 years ago whose mission it is to reduce the number of out of wedlock births. Not only does the PTC provide abstinence education and community presentations, the Center offers free pregnancy testing, counseling, new mother services (diapers, infant wear, cribs), parental mediation, post-abortion support, and adoption referrals....all done while loving each woman who walks through their doors and sharing the love of Christ. I want to be clear, while this Center offers post-abortion support...they do NOT conduct abortions and do NOT refer women to a center that does. Part of the Center's mission is to save babies, and a lot of times that means praying with these women and inviting them to accept Christ into their hearts. Since opening their doors in 1989, close to 2,200 babies have been saved. That's enough to populate a small city. AMAZING!
During the dinner, we heard from a girl, who couldn't have been more than 16 years old. She shared with us that as soon as she found out that she was pregnant, the only thought she had was to abort the baby. She thought that she had no other option. Hearing that brought me to tears. I can't imagine having murdered either Josiah or Laney. How sad to feel that the only option is to kill your innocent child. Thankfully, she found PTC, accepted Christ, and gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Victoria, only 4 short weeks ago. We also heard from a woman who had an abortion 30 years ago. She shared how "broken" she had been since the procedure, how an abortion is NOT the easy way out, and how she finally accepted that she is still worthy of Christ's love. She now leads the PTC post-abortion support group/Bible study, the group she found so many years ago that helped her find peace again.
No doubt, this was one of the most amazing banquets I've ever been to. Up until Thursday, I had wondered about how I could use my education and experience to contribute to the health of the community where we now call home. I wonder no more...I signed up immediately to volunteer. Additionally, Randy and I have wondered where we should send our tithe since we don't yet have a "home church"--to the church back in VA or to an international mission? Our answer became clear on Thursday...none of the above.....the best ministry/mission field to receive our tithe is right in our back yard.