In the picture above right, I am sharing my heart concerning my experiences at the local Pregnancy Care Center.
This is a subject everyone should explore, keeping in mind that Jesus Christ loved little children and had strong condemnation for anyone who harms them.
In the Valley of Beracah, you will find a composite of small-town American life.
One memorable spot to me is known as The Pregnancy Care Center, and is dedicated to helping girls and women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies.
I remember when I walked into the Pregnancy Care Center for the first time. I was greeted by an older woman around my own age and a younger woman I knew from my church. When I told them I thought I might want to help there, their smiles became broad grins. “You're an answer to our prayers,” the younger one told me, “I just prayed for volunteers
Perhaps, like me, you have thought about volunteering for a ministry such as your local crisis pregnancy center. Like me, you may have put it off, wondered, even prayed about it, but you were unsure and were afraid to take the first step. What had made me take a deep breath and walk into the PCC that day?
One of my favorite quotes comes from Maria Anne Hirschmann, also known as Hansi, a German woman I once heard speak at a seminar. She made this her prayer for each session:
“Lord, make me a nail upon the wall,
fastened securely in its place
and on that thing, so insignificant and small,
hang a bright picture of Your beautiful face.”
My heart's desire was also to glorify God and tell others about Jesus, but who could I tell when everyone I knew was already a Christian? As I thought of ways I could meet people who were not “church-minded,” the Pregnancy Care Center kept coming to mind. Although a sudden impulse drove me to walk in that particular day, God had been prodding me to do that very thing for months.
After a time of getting acquainted with the mostly volunteer staff, and having a short interview, I underwent training and began once-a-week volunteering, serving as a Girl Friday, doing simple office tasks, light cleaning, playing with clients' children, etc., After several months, it was time to take a new role. The Director assured me I was ready to become a peer mentor, meeting one-on-one with clients.
One of the first was a beautiful, pregnant teen who lived with her sometimes-abusive boyfriend and his mother. She was filled with anxiety and self-doubts, but after several months, she was doing much better. She told me that we were “like grandmothers” to her. After her baby was born, she enrolled in school and has made great progress in setting life-goals and working toward them.
PCC Training teaches us to try to form a bond of trust and uncover the client's hidden needs.
I had one client who was noticeable for her sloppy appearance and unpleasant body odor. I remember looking into her dull eyes and complimenting her on her pretty hair. I pray others can see past her outward appearance and know her as someone God loves.
Some clients were sad or angry; some had undergone years of abuse, broken families, lack of morals or spiritual values.....all need to feel loved and valued. In spite of my inadequacies and mistakes, God used me to share His love with them.
While I was a volunteer, I would lie awake the night before, thinking about the girls and praying for them, and on the days I mentored, the wakefulness would be repeated that night as I thought about all I had heard from them that day. So many needs! It was an amazing and fruitful time in my life, and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to touch hearts for Jesus.
"When Jesus saw her weeping.....
He was deeply moved in spirit
and troubled.....Jesus wept."
(John chapter 11:verses 33-35)
I saw the love of Jesus,
I felt His gentle grace,
as I poured my heart out to you,
recounting pain-filled days.
You didn't have to listen
there in that quiet space,
but the depth of your compassion
reflected in your gaze
touched my wounded spirit
to heal the hidden place
as I saw the tears of Jesus
glistening on your face.
by Connie Faust
This is dedicated to one particular counselor,
and to every counselor who fits the description.
A Godly counselor will reflect the love and compassion of Jesus.
© 2013 Connie M. Faust