Have you heard this before: “How hypocritical for Christians to want abortion to be criminalized, but are unwilling to take care of the unwanted babies after birth….Christians only care about the babies until they are born.”
Ouch, right? I don’t know about you, but this has a painful ring of truth for me. As one who has taken a few steps to fight for the lives of the unborn, I had never really focused on supporting the life of the mother and her baby after his/her birth–until about 3 years ago. That was when Stan and I got involved with Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center’s program, “Birth of a Family.” We met with many pregnant moms, and together we explored what they were up against: family dysfunction, joblessness, poverty and even homelessness, while watching their due dates draw near. So many challenges, in many cases exacerbated by their brave choice to keep their babies and move forward.
So, when all of this began to dawn on me, I realized I needed to get busy supporting both the baby and the mom, during and after pregnancy. That’s when I learned about Embrace Grace, a ministry that seeks to inspire the local church to provide a safe place for single women facing unplanned pregnancies, a place where they can share their challenges with other pregnant moms without fear of judgment or shame. At the same time, the host church has the opportunity to integrate the moms into the church family, where they and their children can learn about God’s Word, experience fellowship with Christians, and learn about God’s grace through a relationship with Jesus.
This ministry is carried out at GRC by two members hosting a series of 12 weekly meetings, while additional volunteers meet with the moms over coffee, at informal get-togethers, etc., in hopes of forming friendships with them. Last fall/winter, a dedicated group of eight GRC women sponsored GRC’s first session. Here are some of their reflections from our time with the “moms”:
“…It was a blessing to come along their [the moms’] side and witness their faith, motherhood and friendship grow over the weeks in Christ.”
“…During my time with Embrace Grace I took one of the moms with her one year old to a playground, bought her breakfast, prayed for her and the baby and encouraged her to find a church that she could attend.”
“…So many individuals benefited… It was a great witness for my own children to see us be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for the opportunity!!!”
“…through a relationship or perhaps a friendship, [we can] point them to our Savior who calls the weary and heavy laden to himself. Embrace Grace is a step towards building this type of relationship.”
The founder of Embrace Grace, Amy Ford, says: “We want the church to be the first place a girl runs to when she discovers she is pregnant, and not the last because of shame and guilt. We can’t fix all their problems, but we can point them to the One who does.”
Women of Grace Redeemer, Alina Samu and I would like to invite you to become part of this ministry. The meetings begin in mid-January, but we need your support and involvement now! If you have a heart for these moms who have chosen life for their babies, won’t you come alongside us to mentor and befriend them, and together learn how to embrace others with grace? Let’s make new “grace stories” together!
Interested? Have questions? See Betsy Tyvoll or Alina Samu at the table in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Betsy Tyvoll leads the Embrace Grace ministry at GRC.