When most Arizona Southern Baptists think of New Life Pregnancy Center, a ministry of Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries, they think of supporting women during crisis pregnancies.
While that is true, there is so much more to the ministry.
When Desi Goodwin, center director for one of NLPC’s eight locations, first suggested offering the Bible study Forgiven and Set Free for women in her church who had been through an abortion, she wasn’t sure what the response would be.
“Many women have avoided the church as a place to find healing due to fear and shame,” Goodwin said.
When 10 women showed up for the Bible study, the need was obvious.
Before the age of 45, one out of four women will have chosen abortion as the solution to an unwanted pregnancy or pregnancies.
Considering this jarring statistic, Arizona Southern Baptists have a significant opportunity to offer hope and care to women who may be silently suffering from having made that decision.
Helping those who are struggling starts by building relationships through trust and respect. Pastors and other church leaders referring women to NLPC can offer the assurance that the care provided will be completely confidential.
“Everyone who comes to NLPC is treated with dignity, because we know that the redemptive power of God can take anyone’s worst day and use it for good,” said Raquel Williams, NLPC statewide director.
“For years, women may have held a secret, waiting to be able to talk to someone,” Williams said.
“Many women may have never known a safe person or had a safe place to share their story of pain or shame,” he said. “The first step toward healing is to be able to start talking about what has happened.”
No matter what has happened, the team at NLPC is committed to showing grace and love to those looking for healing.
Whether the wounds are physical, emotional or spiritual, NLPC has resources available to help with holistic healing.
Some of these resources are offered at the pregnancy center, such as the eight-week Bible study led by a trained leader like Goodwin.
“Through the Bible studies, Christ moves in the women’s lives and something inside changes completely,” Goodwin said.
“They are set free to share the healing that has happened to them,” she said. “From there, other women come to the studies and find healing as well.”
Other resources provided through NLPC include referrals to trained professionals, such as the services offered by New Life Counseling, another ministry of ABCS.
“Through hope and care, our desire is for women to live in freedom, freedom from shame, freedom in Christ,” Williams said.
— Make connections with the NLPC director nearest your church. Find out her name. Let your pastor know so that when referral opportunities arise, the connection to a center is more personal.
— Raise awareness on a consistent basis in your church of the services NLPC offers.
— Consider hosting a diaper or clothing drive or a Baby Bottle Campaign to support an NLPC location.
— Consider becoming a trained facilitator for one of the post-abortive support Bible studies.
— Learn more about New Life Pregnancy Center at newlifepregnancy.com.
*Name changed for security
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was originally written by Robin Talley and published by Arizona’s Portraits.