'It pays off for eternity'

"'It pays off for eternity'" Continued...

Issue: "The waiting game," March 22, 2008

She said her daughter's experience motivates her to volunteer: "I have a heart for little girls who find themselves in that situation. . . . I can love them no matter what and not be judgmental." Foss said she counseled a young woman "scared to death" she was pregnant and would have to abort her baby. The pregnancy test was negative, and Foss said, "She just cried and cried and she just kept saying over and over again, 'I didn't want to kill my baby. I didn't want to kill my baby.'" Foss cried with her: "She just made a mistake."

ACPC's goal is to fix the situation that makes a woman think she has no choice but to abort her baby. This means offering parenting classes and then giving participants credit at the "Mommy Store," a back room hung with maternity clothes, lined with plastic bins of baby clothes, and stuffed with toys. Eventually, Joslin wants to turn the center into a full medical clinic with volunteers providing prenatal care and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Schlauger said the center's biggest challenge is not just saving unborn babies: "We've got to help that mother change her lifestyle." ACPC volunteers teach abstinence in the local schools, but sometimes the center helps the same client through many pregnancies with many men. Schlauger said some women don't even change their sheets between partners, bringing predators into their homes and endangering their children. Since only Christ can help these women change, volunteers sign a statement of Christian faith and incorporate evangelism into their counseling.

Counselors and nurses aren't the only ones who keep the center going. The center receives all of its financial support from the local community. Schlauger said support came slowly at first since many local Christians were either pro-abortion by default, or apathetic. As the center has worked to educate the local Christian community, support has grown. Joslin recalled a man, wearing an old flannel shirt and carrying a checkbook, who stopped by the center. He asked Joslin about the center's needs, asked her the cost to meet those needs, and then wrote a check for the full amount: $50,000. He told a dumbfounded Joslin that God had blessed him and this was where he wanted to give.

Joslin compared her volunteers to the Egyptian midwives who disobeyed Pharaoh's order to kill the Hebrew children: "They're standing in the gap, literally, between someone and premeditated murder." Joslin said these women have chosen not easy work, but work that has eternal value: "Anytime you give away, give yourself away, pour yourself into someone else as these volunteers do, it pays off. It pays off for eternity. I think that's why they come here."


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