...Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Seven-year-old Faith sat on the edge of her seat, listening intently to her mom as she read testimonies from the book she had received from a pregnancy care center. She was mesmerized by what she heard, the contrast between the two women’s stories forming a dramatic impression on her young, developing mind: One abortion-vulnerable woman had chosen life for her baby, a decision followed by unexpected blessing and hope. The other had chosen abortion and reaped years of intense shame and sorrow until she discovered the forgiveness of Christ. “I didn’t fully understand abortion, but I understood about killing a child,” Faith remembers. “As the second oldest of my other siblings, I had witnessed my mom’s pregnancies and the resulting brothers and sisters I got to enjoy. Even then it pained my heart to think that babies were allowed to be killed like that.”
As she grew older, Faith and her sister, along with some friends, joined her mom at their local pregnancy center (PC). “We’d help with the events by setting up for fundraiser dinners, publicizing them, and even setting up a Walk and 5-K Run. We were intent on doing whatever we could as a family to support the PC,” she explained. “We were all about saving the babies.”
But as Faith neared adulthood, her perspective grew to encompass more than just the preborn lives at stake. “It was like suddenly I began thinking about the young mom in the situation,” she reflects. “What if it was me or a close friend in the same situation? How would I be feeling and thinking? What would I say or do to encourage and help my friend?” She knew she was a confident advocate for the baby, but she hungered for better ways to connect with and help the women.
Last year during the pandemic, nineteen-year-old Faith discovered Care Net’s Making Life Disciples online training course. “I was so excited to have found it!” she exclaimed. “I immediately asked one of my friends from my young adults Bible study if she’d join me in taking it. Then she got excited, too, and contacted some of her friends. Before we knew it, we had a great group of like-minded people our age ready to go through the online course together, including girls from as far away as Oklahoma! That’s the great advantage to Internet-based training,” she affirmed. “We’d just go through each section individually, and then meet weekly online to go over it.”
About the content, Faith reflects, “It has changed my perspective so much! For starters, it really opened my eyes to what abortion actually is and even how it is performed. While the topic is definitely a tough one, it’s so essential that we be as educated about it as possible. After all, if you don’t know the truth, how can you combat the lies?” she queried.
“But beyond just the abortion issue, I also learned so many practical principles that could be used in any kind of counseling ministry.“ She adds, “I think people in my age group have lost the art of listening and true conversation, which makes it more difficult to relate to other people and really hear and see where they are coming from. Making Life Disciples provides some concrete tools to help us learn a better way of communicating with others so that we can effectively share the gospel with truth and grace.”
For Faith, helping abortion-vulnerable families as well as the post-abortive to find hope and healing flows naturally from her desire to obey the Great Commission. “It’s really the church’s calling, not just something unique to me,” she believes. “If we are serious about wanting to obey the great commission, we as the church need to stop being passive and comfortable in our Christianity. Instead, we must obey and actually go to the hurting and live out the love Jesus showed us so well. I believe that as we not only stand against what offends God and stand for the truth He declares in His Word, we’ll begin to see a real shift happen in the church today. It’s the catalyst for change. We need to be fearless about sharing the gospel.”
**Note: If you would like to become equipped by taking the Making Life Disciples online course like Faith, please go to the video of Care Net’s President and VP found on the left side of the middle of the page here. Under the still for the video is a link and coupon code where you can take the course for free.