August, 2013 was a monumental month for the Morning Center. One year ago our Memphis Morning Center staff opened the doors of our mobile clinic and saw a local mom & baby for the first time.
Memphis Morning Center Executive Director, Camille Clark, and CNM Davin Johnson prepare a clinic room to receive the Memphis Morning Center’s first patients!
Months and years of preparation were coming to fruition. In a way, it was as if all who had contributed to the vision of the Morning Center were “giving birth” as we launched this little experiment. In some ways the Morning Center is a radical experiment. As far as we know, there is no other organization like us in the United States. Certainly, there are many non-profit, pregnancy-centered organizations. But, one that offers maternity care through licensed medical professionals who are completely supported by private, grassroots funding, and is founded on gospel-centered principles of caring for the poor is rare indeed!
Meet the Courtney & Tiphanie Gladney Family.
The little guy’s hardworking mom, father, and Morning Center CNM Davin Johnson have beaming smiles! The first baby born in Memphis with the love and care of the Morning Center.
Since the moment that the Morning Center was an idea, our essential purpose has been to be the next step in the pro-life movement. God has provided many champions in the pro-life movement. From those who stand outside of abortion clinics praying every day, to volunteers who staff crisis pregnancy centers, to the staff manning mobile ultrasound units and offering pregnancy tests. But, a crucial link was missing. There weren’t enough nurses and OBs standing in the gap to provide prenatal through postpartum care, and those who were, had offices busting at the seams with people needing quality, charitable care. But not just any medical professional can stand in this gap. These people have to come alongside a woman, her baby, her family, and help be their support system for 9 months – oftentimes confronted with domestic problems that are not easily reconciled.
Memphis CNM Davin Johnson and volunteer Olivia during the first week of Memphis Morning Center patient visits. So happy to be hitting the streets sharing God’s love and care!
Memphis Morning Center Administrative Assistant Angela holding a precious new born baby.
Patients Alexis and Makiva were extra special blessings sent our way. I think we were as blessed to know and serve them as they were in receiving private charitable maternity care!
Why is this so essential? Because God calls us to be faithful in the little things. An entire culture who has been raised up thinking that abortion is normal is not going to be changed to a culture of life overnight. It will be a purposeful, gradual process. As we work arm in arm with other ministries such as churches, crisis pregnancy centers,mobile ultrasound units, and maternity homes, we are faithfully showing the love of Christ together and fulfilling the specific calling God has placed on the Church and Christians in our culture. We have been called to love and serve in all that we do.
Perhaps even more significant, God should receive the glory for every baby that is born. When a mom and baby have received maternity from the government, the state receives the glory when that baby is born, not God. What better way than to serve and love a woman, and her family, in the time of need than by being the hands and feet of Jesus and honoring God with the birth of the baby that He created and sustains?
Morning Center Memphis Patient Kaisha receives medical care for her and her precious unborn baby!
Memphis Morning Center Medical Director and OBGYN, Dr. Laura Engbretson holds a Morning Center baby at her postpartum visit – a baby delivered through the love and care of the Morning Center’s staff.
Memphis Morning Center Patient Rosa and her toddler son are all smiles even though Rosa’s husband had been deported. It was hard for her to walk through her pregnancy without him, but our staff made sure she and her son were not alone!
We are thankful for a year’s worth of giving God the glory for the lives of each baby born in Memphis.
Back to the monumental day one year ago. For me, after the excitement of preparation wore off and the gravity of our inaugural day hit us, we posted this on our Facebook page:
“Please pray for the Memphis Morning Center team seeing our first patients this week! May God guide & work through us. May He be our provider and source. And, may His Love be made real and powerful in the lives of our patients!”
I believe God has answered our prayer many times over in this past year. He has blessed us in more ways than we could ever imagine. In just one short year at our first location in Memphis we have helped to bring 17 healthy, beautiful babies in to the world. We have served 156 Memphis women, through 547 prenatal/postpartum appointments.
We fondly remember the day that we talked to this beautiful patient about how her job as an MMA fighter (ouch!) was changing because of her pregnancy status.
Meet Morning Center Memphis Patient Lakeitha and Cornelius!
Memphis Morning Center patient Tenesha is beautiful as always as she waits to welcome her baby girl. We are thankful to often see her family with her when she comes to appointments and especially enjoy her little one year old son. When she comes in she lights the room up with her glowing smile and sense of style!
We currently have 36 active patients (actually, 72 active patients when you count mom AND baby!)
So you might be wondering, “What’s next?”
Our favorite part of any day – when we get to see the precious babies that God gives us the opportunity to welcome in to the world! Our prayer is that this little one will grow up in the to love and know Jesus. Have you ever seen anything more precious?
As we grow and expand we want to make sure that we keep our focus steady.
We are planning for continued expansion and growth in Memphis. At a minimum we will need to double the number of staff as patient numbers continue to increase.
We also continue to explore expansion in to other cities, and covet your prayers as we work towards that expansion.
How can you help? First, you can pray for us. Pray that we would be faithful in the task that the Lord has given us to do, and that He would continue to pave the way for us. Second, you can support us as we support mothers and babies in need. A gift of just $20 a month from 28 people for 9 months would completely underwrite maternity care for a mom and her baby.
Memphis Morning Center staff from L – R. Camille Clark, Executive Director; Burt Stouffer, Communications; Angela Walker, Administrative Assistant; Davin Johnson, CNM; Dr. Laura Engbretson, OBGYN and Medical Director.
Feel free to explore our website to learn more, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in the loop in regards to our day to day happenings and needs.
Thanks for celebrating our birthday with us!
The @MorningCenter is the #NextStep in the LIFE and @PPact is the #LastStep in DEATH. ~ Walter Hoye II, Morning Center Board Member