As I sit looking out the window at the bare trees on this wintry day, my mind keeps wandering to the Christmas activities that my family and I are already planning for this year. And, as my thoughts turn to Christmas, they return to the wonder of how God sent His only begotten Son as a babe into the world.
I cannot help but imagine some of the experiences that Mary encountered as she carried the Child within her womb. She was likely confused and processed many emotions. What would her betrothed husband think of her pregnancy? Would she have anyone to walk with her through this new and uncharted territory?
As we provide full-service maternity care to the many women that the Morning Center serves in Memphis, we hear these kinds of questions time and time again. As some of the Morning Center’s first patients enter the holiday season, their feelings of uncertainty and expectation are intensified as they prepare to deliver their babies in the New Year. At this time, it is particularly important for us to walk with them.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to share the story of the Gospel with everyone who God brings our way. We want to assure them that the God Who created them, and knows them, has experienced and understands the depths of our pain and suffering. We have the privilege of showing them God’s love and His faithfulness.
These are new and exciting times at the Morning Center. I asked Angela, our new Administrative Assistant in Memphis, to share a little bit about one of our new patients:
“Greetings, Morning Center supporters! At this time of year, I am reminded of Jesus’ birth and the redemption He gives for our lives. As I work with patients at the Memphis Morning Center, I realize this is more than a job. This is my passion. I am blessed to see the miracle of birth throughout the whole year.
One of our patients, “Tasha,” has made me think of some of the struggles Mary must have faced as she brought Jesus into the world.
Tasha is a beautiful 16-year-old girl. The first time I met with her, she was accompanied by one of her relatives. We sat down, and I began to gather the necessary information to fill out a chart for Tasha. I also wanted to get her story and learn how she came to the Morning Center. Tasha was still in high school, and she explained to me that her mother had wanted her to have an abortion and that the baby’s father was not in the picture. But, Tasha told me that she wanted to keep her baby. As I listened, I was reminded of the Scripture that tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
At Tasha’s second appointment, I learned that she was an avid reader and her dream was to attend the University of Memphis. I asked her if her plans had changed since she learned she was pregnant. She replied, “No, ma’am. I will simply go to community college first, but I will reach my goal.” Even though she had a goal and determination, she was still faced with fears about where she would live and how she and her baby would survive.
As a Christian woman, I know that God has the solutions, but at the age of 16, that was hard for Tasha to see. So, I did the greatest thing I could do for her – I prayed.
God sent angels and a husband to Mary. He cared for her and watched over her. The Morning Center is a community of love, support, and prayer for pregnant women who are afraid, have little hope, or have no answers about how to proceed with life and a baby.
I am happy to say that Tasha’s mom had a change of heart and came to Tasha’s latest appointment with her. God answers our prayers!”
Please pray for the staff, the patients, and all of the little miracles we will see at the Morning Center in the coming year.
As our first patients near the end of their pregnancies, it means that we will be able to interact with them more often as the frequency of their third trimester prenatal appointments increase. We get a chance to build a deeper relationship based on trust with them, and as our relationship with each patient gets deeper, so do the opportunities to share God’s love.
Please pray with us for the women that the Morning Center serves as they face this new season of bringing a new baby into the world. We are praying that the Holy Spirit will awaken their hearts to the image of God in their newborn babies.
It is not just our words but our actions that prove we are pro-life. I have been challenged to remember that being the hands and feet of Jesus is much more than an idea – it is a lifestyle. One opportunity to live our lives as Jesus’ ambassadors is by supporting organizations like the Morning Center, whose mission is to bring life and hope. I know that our job is to share the love of Jesus and trust Him to provide the resources to fulfill our mission. I also know that people like you, as you support the Morning Center, are the answers to our prayers.
I would encourage you to consider giving an end-of-year donation to ensure that we can continue to provide these women with quality, Christ-honoring maternity care that does not compromise on the sanctity of life.
Also, as we continue to seek a balance between future ministry expansion and financial sustainability, one method of giving that greatly helps us is when supporters make a commitment to give a monthly, recurring gift to the Morning Center. Large or small, this kind of consistent giving from a lot of people greatly helps our leadership and board make important ministry decisions.
There are currently 139 Morning Center supporters who have generously committed to monthly, recurring gifts online that give a total of $3,584 each month to help provide maternity care services to our clients. This does not cover all of the monthly expenses for providing prenatal and delivery care services for the mothers that we serve, but it is a start! My goal for 2014 is to see these numbers at least triple. Would you consider setting up a monthly donation this year?
As you prayerfully consider this opportunity to join with us, my prayer is that Jesus, God incarnate, will make Himself real to you this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
For True Charity,
National Director, Morning Center
P.S. While we are waiting to get final numbers on how much our first few client’s complete maternity care packages will cost (should start seeing final numbers in February/March after January/February births) we currently estimate that to provide quality prenatal through postpartum care for each client will cost about $3,700 (including delivery care.) I would encourage all of us to get together with friends and family this holiday season and consider “adopting” a mom this coming year. If you spread $3,700 out over 12 months, it is $308 per month. Do you think that you could recruit 10 people to $30.80 each month? It’s audacious, but it is doable!