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Choose Life - Developing Pro-Life ministry in Odessa

Holly Friesen on May 20, 2012

I was so blessed this afternoon when I stopped to reflect on all the ways God is at work to establish a pro-life ministry here in Odessa. While things haven’t always moved as quickly as we had originally planned for the development of the ministry, God has been at work in ways we never could have imagined or planned! You can see this best when you take a look at the mission & purposes that we have outlined for the ministry. These were formed as a part of our current process of writing up a constitution and moving towards legal registration of our organization “Choose Life”.

Our mission is to teach people the value of life from conception to the grave despite life’s circumstances, and to proclaim God’s love and His gift of eternal life for all people.

Our Purposes:

1. To build up the body of Christ through outreach to the lost and through the training & equipping of believers for greater effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, and counseling.
2. To reach out to women and their families facing an unplanned pregnancy in tangible ways, providing them with support and counsel in order to demonstrate to them the value of human life in God’s eyes, and to point them to the hope of new life in Christ.
3. To provide assistance for women and families who have already experienced the devastating impact of abortion on their lives by directing them to God’s plan for their complete forgiveness and healing.
4. To increase awareness of the value of human life in God’s eyes from conception to natural death even in the face of terminal illness.
5. To explain God’s plan for sexual purity through a variety of educational methods.

In looking at the mission and purposes that we have established, I realized that we are already actively involved in fulfilling four out of the five purposes! While the opening of a pregnancy care center is still about 1 ½ years down the road, the Lord has graciously allowed us to begin making an impact in our community! How you may ask?

Purpose #1
This week I started teaching the course “Self Confrontation: A Biblical Manual for In Depth Discipleship”. I was first introduced to this material while working in the pro-life ministry in Peru. It has proven to be very effective in preparing believers to counsel others in how to deal with the problems of life in a Biblical manner. I had 14 people attend the first lesson. In the future we will provide training specific to counseling people against abortion, but this course will provide our volunteers with a broader foundation for counseling those who come in to our future center. We also have women taking the class who are further preparing to be leaders of the post abortion Bible studies. So we are involved in the training & equipping of believers for greater effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, and counseling.

Purpose #3
We currently have two groups of 3 ladies going through the “Forgiven & Set Free” Bible study for post abortion healing. These groups are being led by Ukrainian ladies who have gone through the training we hosted in the spring. Miriam & I have been coaching and encouraging these ladies as they launch into this ministry and it has been such a blessing to watch God work through them!

On Saturday we met with those ladies who have been through the “Forgiven & Set Free” group leader training and some other ministry leaders in order to present our plan for future development of the ministry and encourage those who are preparing to lead groups. It was a blessing to have some of the women who went through the study themselves and are now preparing to be leaders, voluntarily give testimony to the work that God did in their hearts through this study. We have several ladies that are excited about starting groups in the fall and are passionate about seeing God bring healing to more women. Praise God we are providing assistance for women and families who have already experienced the devastating impact of abortion on their lives by directing them to God’s plan for their complete forgiveness and healing.

Purpose #4
Part of the healing process for women post abortion is to face the fact that they aborted a child and did not value life. As they grow in their understanding of God’s forgiveness and cleansing, they no longer have to try to suppress the memory that they have another child, but they can instead look forward to someday being reunited with that child in heaven. They also become some of the strongest advocates for the sanctity of human life. So in the process of facilitating the healing process for women post abortion, we are increasing awareness of the value of human life in God’s eyes.

Purpose #5
A big part of our future plans is reaching out to young people with God’s plan for sexual purity. Last month I had the privilege of speaking on this topic to the girls in a local youth group. This summer we have Carmen Allen and Gina Sommer from one of my supporting churches in Maxwell, NE, coming to help us put on two purity retreats for teenage girls. I am working with two of our local youth pastors to organize these retreats and I am super excited about what God will do! So we are taking our first steps towards explaining God’s plan for sexual purity through a variety of educational methods.

Please continue to keep this developing ministry in your prayers. We need wisdom as we seek to lay a foundation that will enable it to endure and to be effective!