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Each One Reach One, The Care Net National Conference 2018
Having just returned from the National Care Net Conference in Atlanta the staff and I began to unpack all the information we received. And a multitude of information it was…somewhat overwhelming to say the least!! It is so exhilarating to recognize we are part of this Pro-Live Movement and part of something so much bigger than ourselves. I was very excited to be in Anne Pierson’s Leadership class and I was prepared to hear about the latest strategies, techniques to be the most up-dated leader ever…(maybe trying to be “the cool director” I don’t know maybe not so much). It was so lovely as Anne shared stories from her remarkable time as a leader in the pro-life movement. Anne and her late husband Jim founded the House of His Creation in 1973, a home for pregnant women. They personally lived and worked with over 200 women and birth fathers. Anne truly lived out her message to us that day, to love others above yourself, to put others before yourself….I really began to contemplate that seemingly simple command from Jesus. And then I remembered something a dear friend told me, Love is a choice.
My next workshop was taught by Tom Glessner, the President of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a public interest law firm founded in 1993 and committed to legal counsel and training for Pregnancy Resource Centers. NIFLA represents more than 1,350 Pregnancy Resource Centers across the country. He was also president of the Christian Action Council now Care Net from 1987 to 1992. In addition to some very interesting history about our founding fathers and the Constitution he talked about the suit NIFLA filed against the “California 2015 Reproductive Fact Act” which required Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers to post a sign in 22 point font advertising the availability of abortion as a state funded service with a phone number to schedule an abortion consultation. In essence turning pregnancy centers into abortion referral centers. The motion for preliminary injunction was denied by the trial court and the Court of Appeals. So, the journey began for the appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. The appeal hearing was granted. NIFLA vs. Becerra would decide whether pregnancy center ministry as we know it would end. Pregnancy Center Directors across this nation held their collective breath and fell to their knees in prayer beseeching God that this could not stand. On March 20, 2018 history was made when SCOTUS gave victory to pregnancy centers. Justice Clarence Thomas writes the opinion in a 5-4 decision joined by Justices Roberts, Kennedy, Alito, and Gorsuch. The majority opinion said that “California’s Reproductive Fact Act” is compelled speech and as such is an unconstitutional violation of the free speech rights of pregnancy centers. The most poignant moment of this workshop came when I heard someone sitting behind me softly crying. She thanked Mr. Glessner through her quiet tears for his efforts and as I reached out to her she explained, “ I am a California Pregnancy Center Director and my staff would daily beg me to break the law and not post the signs.” She continued through tears, “You don’t know how hard that time was and how conflicted I was but I had to trust God.” As you can imagine my heart went out to her in a huge way. I had to ask myself, what would I have done…Could I have trusted God enough and would I have chosen to love others more than myself…One thing I do know we came very close 5-4… And I know my God is an AWESOME GOD!! Praise be to God for the victory was won on a cross over 2000 years ago!
“ …I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Words spoken by Jesus, John 10:10
OH, The PLACES YOU’LL GO!
This time of year most people are thinking about graduations...children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends are getting ready to take that next step in life after turning the tassel. The famous book by Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go is a common theme (and gift by the way) for graduates and was also the theme of this year’s fundraising banquet! When reflecting on the past 18 years with Care Net that theme continues to ring true. It’s like being on a speeding horse and hanging on for dear life! As followers of Christ we are called to a life of servanthood and sacrifice. Could anyone but God make servanthood and sacrifice more exciting with great anticipation for the next amazing adventure! And just when we’ve turned the tassel in one phase of life God calls us to take the next step...calling us to grow in Him, and walk ever so surely by faith. We are called now more than ever, like Peter, to get out of the boat, keep our eyes on Jesus and take those steps. And when we do how beautiful is the character of God revealed right before our very eyes! God never stops calling this ministry to grow and trust in Him as we strive to reach widows and orphans with the good news of Jesus Christ! Care Net is very excited to be in the beginning phase of a new project to go mobile enabling us to reach more clients by expanding our services and becoming more accessible to clients in remote areas. The vision of the Love in Action project is to operate a Sprinter equipped to do not only pregnancy tests but include medical ultrasounds, and full STD testing. This is a big undertaking and I have to admit I was completely overwhelmed when considering all of the challenges. And then I began to see the biggest challenge was whether or not I would trust Him with ALL things. So, even though I still get wet a lot I’m going to keep getting out of the boat and reaching for the precious hand of my Savior!
Kate Erickson, Executive Director
As I reflect on Mother’s Day one of the greatest joys in my life has been the opportunity to serve mothers. Specifically, teen mothers! It is more than a calling it is a command as James, chapter 1 verse 27 says “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after the orphans and widows in their distress…” Care Net views today’s teen mothers and their children as our modern day widows and orphans. These young families often have no one to encourage them or advocate for them. It is my belief that everyone that considers himself a Christian has a responsibility to serve teen mothers and their children using his/her own gifts and abilities.
A teen mother is extremely unique. Specifically, she will play five major roles in the course of a day. She is a teenager, she thinks and acts like a teenager. But, she is not a typical teenager because she is a mother. She is a mother who wants to be a good parent and provide the best for her child but often lacks the knowledge and resources to make that happen. She is not a typical mother because she is a teenager. She is a student, probably still in high school and has a lot to learn in every area of her life. She is not a typical student because she is a teen mother. She is an employee needing to find some way of supporting herself as well as her child in the future. She is not a typical employee because she is a teen mother. She is a person like every other person, in desperate need of a Savior, she is in need of Jesus Christ.
In order to truly be the hands and feet of Christ to teen mothers we need to balance truth and grace in our ministry. “For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” We demonstrate grace and truth in this way, by showing the compassion and love of Jesus Christ and by holding them accountable to do what is right. There is no better way to demonstrate Christ’s love than to offer help where it is needed most. By responding to her the way Jesus would is what sets Care Net apart from secular organizations. Through the assistance of caring Christian volunteers young mothers will see the love of Jesus Christ demonstrated in the lives and actions of others.
Please pray for the teen mothers in your life and give them a great big Happy Mother’s Day and please pray for the ministry of Care Net!
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