Shelly and Alex (names changed) came to Care Net together. Alex wanted her to have the baby but believed she was leaning toward abortion. As Alex meets with our men’s Peer Counselor, he shares of a painful past but a desire to be a good dad, and even the chance to BE a dad to this child. Shelly is scared to death to tell her own father she is pregnant because he will be angry. Her pregnancy test is positive and the ultrasound confirms an 11 week 2 day old baby. The audible heartbeat resounding through the ultrasound room brought this young mother to tears. Clearly she struggles.
Our men’s Peer Counselor shared the Gospel with the Dad and invited him to bring Shelly and come to church that Sunday. On Sunday, they showed up! Even better, they signed up for small groups and Shelly prayed to receive Christ during the first group session she attended! Not only do they continue to come, but they have chosen life for their child and are learning how to be the kind of parents this baby should have.
As you can imagine, this story excites us a great deal. We began this year with a new focus on Fathers, the MEN of our pregnant clients. The Board and Staff are convinced that as we search through the many to find the few READY for a paradigm shift into new ways of responding to life, their greatest needs are new life in Christ as well and DISCIPLESHIP! In order for that to take place, the local church will need to play a larger role. As God would have it, two of our men’s Peer Counselors are pastors in local churches. These are churches that are totally solid in their approach to lifestyle and Godly living. (We encourage all of our volunteers to feel free to invite clients to their churches—what better way for them to make a church connection!)
What takes place within the walls of our two Centers on the Treasure Coast is never meant to be an end but a beginning for our clients. We can even begin this discipleship process through our “Earn While You Learn” Parenting Program. The new parents choose relevant topics from pregnancy, to home safety, to a birth plan, to sibling rivalry. They are able to literally plan out what they want to learn and when. They watch a DVD and then progress through a worksheet with their Peer Counselor or Mommy Mentor, answering questions and guiding discussion. On at least one occasion last year, one of our Mommy Mentors had the great privilege of leading a new mom to Christ during the class.
However, even at our very best, we have a short timespan with our new parents. Without connecting them with the local church, change and help will not bring about the paradigm shift. Discipleship goes beyond that! But, with the local church connecting with and coming alongside these parents, married or single, we have the great privilege of building up the Body of Christ and impacting our culture for Christ.
At Care Net, we believe in making a difference, one life at a time.