Teacher Impacted -
The Education Program team presented the message of abstinence in an 8th grade classroom in Loveland. It was the first time presenting in this particular teacher’s classroom. Throughout the presentation, the teacher was taking notes. After class the teacher said she had learned so much from the presentation. She admitted that during the discussion over the difference between love and infatuation, she realized that she has been in a lot of infatuation relationships. She never realized it until now. She expressed that the material presented was extremely applicable to her life and she appreciated the benefit that the curriculum would have not only on her students but also on her life as well. It is so neat to see God working in everyone in the classrooms, even the teachers!
At the end of the 2008 school year, an 8th grade student named Lucy showed up at our Longmont center after experiencing a Life Choices Education Program Presentation in her class. Lucy brought two of her friends into the center for pregnancy tests. When she was asked if she needed a pregnancy test too, she said, “Oh no, I’m waiting until I’m married.” Her two friends both expressed how proud they were of her for making that decision. When the two friends went into their rooms for their pregnancy tests, we applauded Lucy for the wise decision she had made. She told us that she had two other good friends who heard the Life Choices Education Presentation in their class and needed to come in for pregnancy tests as well. Lucy said she had been telling them to come to Life Choices. We encouraged her to keep standing up for the truth. Her friends would eventually see the freedom that she had chosen by waiting to have sex. We are so blessed that God used this mature 13 year-old girl to stand up for what she believes in and be a positive influence on her friends. God is working even when we don’t know it. We are so grateful that Life Choices serves as such a valuable resource to the young people in this community.
Abortion Minded -
Recently at Life Choices we had two abortion minded clients. One client had already scheduled her abortion. We began to share with her the love of Jesus Christ and how much He values her. We were able to share about procedures, but most of all how the choices we make will affect our hearts. Sometimes those choices make a positive impact upon our lives and hearts. But, sometimes those choices can bring in doubt and unbelief, and change us in a way we may never have thought about. Our choices also affect those around us in our lives: boyfriends, loved ones, and children. Both of these clients were scheduled for an ultrasound, neither one showed up. The one with the abortion already scheduled changed her mind and is going to keep her baby! She shared her good news and was happy with her decision to give life. The second client has not been heard from. Please pray for God to bring others into her life that will speak truth, love, and grace in a way that she will receive. Please pray for her heart. Also, rejoice with us the two lives saved, for mom and her baby. Giving praise and Thanksgiving to Our Lord.
Our Loveland Center was recently very blessed. The Center Director was contacted by the women from Project Love Brush Correctional Facility to receive a large donation of baby clothes. The last thing that we were expecting to receive from these women was hand knitted outfits, but that’s what we received. These women had donated over 30 beautifully hand knitted outfits as well as hand knitted stuffed animals. They had prayed as a group and felt lead to send all these wonderful baby clothes to the Loveland center. These are some of the most beautiful clothes that anyone could hope to receive. They were crafted by hand, through love.
7th Grade Player -
Written by Karen Olson, Education Program Coordinator
On my second to last day in a 7th grade classroom, a male student came up to me after class and asked if we could talk. He told me that he needed information on where to get tested for STIs/STDs. He looked at the ground when he told me he had had sex. He said he has had many partners, all of them high school girls. He had a scare over the summer that he had gotten a 15 year old pregnant. He informed me that a lot of the high school girls have thrown themselves at him; and that the high school guys think he is a major player and stud for getting high school girls. He is invited to all of the high school parties and tempted with alcohol and drugs constantly. He expressed that he doesn’t feel that people like him for WHO he is, but only because he’s popular and athletic. He said the sex is not fulfilling him. He wants to have a good, healthy relationship, but he doesn’t know how. He also shared that he wants to go to college and play football. He brought up God and said that he wasn’t a good Christian because he was involved in this stuff. He wanted to tell his parents that he was sexually active, but was scared of what their reaction would be, specifically because they were so religious. We talked about how he could tell them. I asked him if he thought that they loved him and wanted what was best for him, and he said yes. I told him to focus on that more than his fears of how they would respond. I told him they would appreciate his willingness to be honest with them and would want to help him. We also talked about his choices and the people he was choosing to hang around. We talked about the consequences of him saying no to all of the things he had previously been involved with and how others would treat him because of it. He expressed concern over how others would view him and how that would affect his popularity. I asked him a few times if he wanted to stop having sex and he wholeheartedly said yes. I told him that he has the opportunity to change now before he gets to high school and that if he continues down this path in high school he is not going to reach his goals. I told him I would be praying for him and that he could come into Life Choices and get help anytime he wanted. Please pray for him that God would place good role models in his life. Pray that God would continue to act on his heart. Pray against the pressure that all students feel to fit in and be cool. Pray that this student would use his natural gifting as a leader to influence others for good and not bad. On his survey that we give the students at the end of our presentations, he wrote on the bottom, “This information saved my life.”
Family Decision -
At one of our centers we received an early morning phone call from a Father; his daughter was pregnant. They had an abortion scheduled for later in the week but had wanted some other information. Near tears, the Father stated he did not know what to do.... We asked if they could come by the center that afternoon as our Doctor would be there doing ultrasounds. The Father accepted the appointment. Later that day they came, Father, daughter, Mother and boyfriend. The Doctor performed the ultrasound; every one was moved as they discovered this baby was 10 weeks old. Then as a group we held a family meeting. Showing the fetal models (life size and anatomically correct) we discussed abortion, parenting and adoption. Emotions ran high. Every one was looking to each other to make this very difficult choice. They went around the circle telling each other the choice they felt most comfortable with, Mother and Father chose to "parent", boyfriend also chose "parent". Finally the client - quietly whispered, "I want my baby." The room erupted with emotion. "We are having a baby!" The pictures and models made it clear that it was a baby. The discussion and options counseling helped make the decision. We also had an opportunity to pray for this family. Faith was a part of their lives but they have no church family. We closed our meeting with prayer and opened doors for future visits. The family left saying they would cancel the appointment for the abortion. Pray for this family as they continue to deal with the challenges that the changes this new little life brings to the family.
A Change of Heart -
Jackie and her husband Adam have a 6 year old and an eight month old. Jackie found out she was pregnant. They came into the center wanting to find out about abortion procedures and costs. They were not planning on having another baby so soon. They were hoping to move into a house and did not feel ready financially for another baby. Jackie was fearful of how her family would respond to her getting pregnant again so soon. It wasn’t in their plans to have a baby right now. We discussed post abortion syndrome and the guilt and regret and sadness that can come even years after an abortion. We discussed how God had provided for their first two kids and how He would continue to provide for them with this child. We went over abortion procedures and possible physical complications. We looked at the baby models and they saw that their unborn baby had a heartbeat. We discussed how having an abortion could strain their relationship. We also talked about how ultimately they were the ones who would have to live with the decision they made. Jackie and Adam decided they weren’t going to tell anyone in their family about the pregnancy until they had made a decision of what to do. They knew they needed to decide quickly. They left the center heavy with what they had to think about. Prayer went up for them. Four days later we called to schedule an ultrasound. Jackie informed us that they had decided to keep the baby! The night they left the center they were both deep in thought. Jackie kept looking at the brochure of fetal development. She could not believe that her baby’s heart was already beating! The next day, Adam told her they needed to get money in place to pay for the abortion. He left for work and Jackie knew in her heart she did not want the abortion. When Adam arrived home from work that evening, he could tell Jackie had decided to keep the baby. He fully supported her and they immediately called their parents to inform them about the pregnancy. Both families responded positively and much better than Jackie had anticipated. Jackie expressed that as soon as she made the decision to keep her baby, she experienced relief and peace. Both she and Adam believe that God will provide for their financial needs. They are excited to utilize the resources available to them through Life Choices. God has heard and answered prayer!! Jackie and Adam will bring a beautiful new life into the world.
Transforming Love -
There is the power of God’s transforming love that is witnessed in the counseling rooms. The hardness of some of our young clients is profound. They walk through our door, often hiding behind a mask of make-up and dressed in the dark style of the world. Sometimes their hearts and minds seem so closed and guarded to the life that God has for them. We bring them back into a cozy room and set them down on a soft, pillowed sofa. There seems to be a window of opportunity that opens from heaven, to begin to love and encourage them that they are not alone and that they do have choices. Through the tough facade, you begin to see a hurting, and scared young girl appear before your eyes. Her face softens and tears begin to flow. Within 20 or 30 minutes you have been given the opportunity to witness a miracle. The time together ends with the privilege to pray, revealing her heart’s cry to a loving and caring God. What a gift it is to be able to serve in this life-changing ministry.
Transforming Lives of Service -
Most of these special moments are with our volunteer client advocates, women who give of their time and talent to touch the lives of others. Being a client advocate is just one of many ways that people serve at Life Choices. Longmont Center Director, Connie Weiskopf, describes the impact of one of her volunteers, Ruthie Hess. “From the moment someone walks in the door, our clients sense the love of Jesus,” Connie shares. “Ms. Ruthie (as she lovingly allows us to call her) is the first face most clients see as they enter the doors here. She is filled with joy and greets each client with HIS love and joy. Ruthie is willing to come in early and answer phones before hours, make calls, prepares Material Service bags for clients, and even will watch the clients’ children when they are in an appointment room. She extends the love and grace of our Father beyond a few hours a week.”
Cynthia, another Longmont volunteer, gives her time to train others in adoption and life. “Clients often come in scared and Cynthia has a way of bringing joy and peace into their lives,” Connie explains. “Her life experiences have equipped her to share her heart and the heart of our Father.” Still another volunteer, Cheryl Hill, has spent many hours behind the scenes creating invitations, flyers, and brochures with beautiful graphics. Her creativity and pursuit of excellence blesses Him and all of us as she shares her gifts and talents.
Volunteers make a difference in every area of Life Choices. Whether it’s in an appointment room, the classroom, or the clothing room, lives are being transformed. Last year, more than 120 volunteers contributed nearly 5,000 hours to touch the lives of others in our community in a positive way! With time, we have watched each of our volunteers bring a unique presence and style to their service. It’s as if each volunteer was created specifically to meet the needs and personalities of each individual client. Each day seems to bring a refreshing outpouring of God’s personal love for each of His creations. The diversity and depth of His caring heart is reflected in how He has prepared our volunteers through their own personal loss, hardships, and life experiences. Their commitment to let God get the glory shows as they reflect the love that He has poured into them!
We thank those volunteers who have so generously given of their time and talent and we look forward to meeting those new people who God has prepared to be a part of this ministry.