What Hath God Wrought!
Are We Missing Something Here?
Does our community need a pregnancy center? That was the question on Lisa Keeler’s mind in 2010, as she observed the ministry of a pregnancy center 50 miles away. She saw that women had a place to go for free pregnancy tests, limited ultrasound exams, instruction in prenatal care, infant care, parenting, and most of all, a godly perspective of life. Did a ministry like that exist in our community? Lisa started doing research. While there were government health offices, and some food pantries and charitable thrift stores, there was no ministry that offered the services that a pregnancy center provides .
So, did she start a pregnancy center? No, she prayed. She asked her husband to pray. She asked her pastor to pray. Soon many friends were praying with Lisa about what God would have them to do.
A steering committee was established to determine the need in our community. This committee was comprised of Lisa and many of her praying friends, but the Lord began to bring others into this committee as well. They shared a concern about abortion rates, teen pregnancy rates, dysfunctional family relationships, and abstinence training. Several local pastors joined the committee. People from different churches, walks of life, and age groups took part. Prayer was a large part of every meeting, and God began to work in a mighty way.
They found that the pregnancy rate in Marshfield High School had tripled in the span of a year; that school counselors were overwhelmed with the need for prenatal instruction and infant care; that the reported abortion rate in our county was too high; that pastors recognized the need for families to be encouraged and taught, and welcomed the help.
Lisa enlisted the help of Marsha Middleton, of Alliance for Life. This is a coalition that offers encouragement and resources to Missouri pregnancy centers, and Marsha came to give council and step-by-step instruction. Board members were elected from the steering committee, and they enrolled in a training course to help them understand their roles. God had brought together a group of servant-hearted people, including Lisa, a treasurer with an accounting background, a nurse, a teacher, a young mother, and a pastor’s wife who became our Executive Director.
The first annual fundraising banquet was held in September, 2012, to raise the money to open the Center. With the affirmation and blessing of our Christian community, we found a suitable location and opened Choices Pregnancy Center with a prayer meeting on the sidewalk in front of the Center, on October 25, 2012.
The decision to choose life is often made when a pregnant woman sees her baby during an ultrasound exam. Therefore, it behooves us to offer this as part of the ministry. Ultrasound machines are expensive--$30,000—and we could not afford to purchase one immediately, but knew the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and that $30,000 is nothing to Him. So we prayed. A generous donor offered to match funds if we could raise $10,000. A grant from Webster Electric Cooperative offered $10,000 more. We set to work immediately after our opening, to raise the $10,000, and by God’s grace, we were able to do it early in 2013. The nurse on our board became our first technician, and others were trained and certified. God provided a pro-life obstetrician to oversee this ministry, with complete permission and encouragement from her large healthcare organization.
Because God has favored this ministry and honored the desire of Lisa’s heart to save babies from abortion, we have seen many souls saved, have rescued babies from a horrific death, have encouraged and equipped families for successful, godly life, and now have many graduates of our program. Do you believe it? Some of our first clients are now in elementary school!
Our prayer is that donors will recognize the hand of God on this ministry, and want to be a part of His work here, whether it is by financial donations, volunteer work, or effectual prayer.
"Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. Psalm 90:16-17"