Friday, January 27, 2017

Kandi's Story

According to Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director, "The term 'pro-choice' is a myth. Women don't walk into abortion facilities proudly touting their 'right to choose.' Women have abortions because they feel like they have no other choice." You will see this clearly illustrated in Kandi's story below.

Kandi was stubborn. She readily admitted it. She didn't like the idea of anyone telling her what to do--she just didn't. It was the way she was wired. Perhaps this had something to do with her upbringing; being raised by a single-father, who worked long hours, contributed to Kandi's independence and strong will.

Her biological mother wasn't in the picture, having left the family when Kandi was just a baby. God still had his hand on Kandi. When her father approached one of Kandi's teachers about watching Kandi on weekends, the teacher agreed and took a very strong interest in her. Kandi spent many hours and overnights in the godly teacher's home. They grew quite close. Her teacher regularly took her to church and taught her about God. Kandi grew up knowing that God had a plan for her life, but she had drifted.

Kandi was sitting in an abortion clinic waiting room. An abortion would be the solution to her problem. 

Her boyfriend, Chris, had begged her not to leave him, and certainly not to rid herself of their child. Again, Kandi was stubborn, even hardheaded. She already had two children, and though her boyfriend had made certain promises to her, Kandi did not like the idea of living under the thumb of a man. Submission was out of the question. She wanted to make her own decisions, to live her own life.

So, here she sat. Waiting. Three months pregnant, she knew exactly what having an abortion meant. With this prayer, Kandi headed into the abortion clinic:

"Lord, I am just going to ask you to forgive
me for what I am going to do...God I am about to do something I know that I am ashamed of. If you're going to stop me, it's going to have to be a miracle. I know you do miracles, but I am still going and I am on my way."

Arriving at the clinic, Kandi signed in and sat down. Her boyfriend, Chris had no idea that she was having an abortion that day. As she sat waiting to have the abortion, she received a text from Chris. He begged her not to have the abortion. Kandi ignored the text. Her phone went off again. When she reached for her phone, Kandi inadvertently triggered her toddler's noisy play toy that was tucked away in her purse. The sound of the toy triggered doubt deep within Kandi's heart.

Forcing down the doubt, she sat there waiting to be called back for a sonogram, to view the baby she knew she wouldn't birth.

In the sonogram room she received a second text. The text included a telephone number given to Chris by a childhood friend who was now a local pastor. The number was a place where Kandi could find real help. Overwhelmed by her physical and financial circumstances, Kandi still resisted.

Kandi was lead into what she describes as, "a cold room", where a technician placed cold gel on her stomach. There wasn't anything warm about the encounter; nothing like sonograms she had received in the past. No sound was emitted from the machine, not even a whoosh of the baby's heart beat. She began to cry.

Paying for the sonogram, Kandi was told that she was further along in her pregnancy than previously thought. For this reason it would be necessary for her to have a two-day procedure, something she desperately did not want.

Tears continue to streak down Kandi's cheeks. 

The sonogram experience affected her in a way that she hadn't expected and didn't have the words to explain.

"No, I can't do this, I cannot do this, " Kandi finally pronounced.

The lady with whom Kandi was speaking insisted that if money was the problem, there was  funding available. The lady was very intent on altering Kandi's decision and did everything she could to keep her from leaving. Kandi hurried from the office, still not sure of what she would do, but she knew she couldn't go through with the abortion, at least in the way that it was presented to her that day.

Kandi felt lost, but she knew that God had stopped her from having an abortion. 

She remembered from her earlier years, that believers were supposed to give their problems to God. She would put her mess into His hands.

Kandi and Chris met that day, and got back together. Kandi went from almost having an abortion, to having a crisis pregnancy. Together they called First Care, the number that Chris had texted her while in the abortion clinic.

The experience at First Care was in stark contrast to Kandi's cold experience at the abortion clinic. Everyone at First Care was warm and positive. The support they received at First Care gave Kandi the confidence to know that she could do this. 

Sitting in the counseling room at First Care, Kandi made her final decision to choose life for her baby and put abortion behind her forever. 

Six months later, God gave Kandi and Chris a beautiful and healthy, 7lb., 12oz., baby girl named Autumn. Chris and Kandi are now married and have since had another baby. They are attending church, raising happy and healthy kids, and Kandi is stubbornly pro-life!

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Heart Healed, A Heart Saved

By Lauren Preusz

Selena was two weeks past her expected period date when she really started to worry. Her husband had made it very clear to her that having a child would throw off their plans.  He had dreams of starting his own business and giving them a “cozy, comfortable” life. While Selena agreed that sounded nice, she had dreams too. She had dreamt of the day she would be called “Mommy” since she was a little girl. After three years of marriage, the nurturing part of her womanhood started to ache with a longing for a child.

After confirming her pregnancy, Selena had a rollercoaster of emotions. While she was thrilled on the one hand that this meant she would have a baby to hold, she was also terrified because of what her husband might say and do. After all, this wasn’t the first and only threat he had made to her. She lived her life in fear over disappointing him, as he had a track record of leaving physical traces of his anger behind, and unfortunately her body was the main recipient of it.

Selena didn’t believe she had an option. She believed she had to abort her baby or else it would mean a devastating outcome for her and her child. She thought she would be doing the wiser thing by terminating its life now, rather than subjecting him or her to severe emotional and physical damage down the road. This fear led Selena to do something she never did: pray.  She got down on her knees, and begged God to send her a sign. She asked if there was any way she could keep this child and that they could be okay, that He would make it very clear.

The next day Selena was grabbing donuts at a local shop to bring to her office.  She planned on heading straight to Planned Parenthood when the workday was over, to “get it over with,” and try not to think about it ever again. As she was walking out of the shop, she quite literally ran into a woman holding her son’s hand and spilled the donuts all over the floor. The woman quickly bent down to help her pick them up and introduced herself as Sarah. While they were both washing their hands in the bathroom, Sarah unexpectedly said: “Selena, I can’t really explain it, but I have a strong sense from God that I am supposed to invite you to an event I’m going to tonight. It’s a benefit dinner for a place where I volunteer called First Care.  It’s a pro-life women’s clinic that serves women across Palm Beach County. Would you want to go with me?”

Selena’s jaw about hit the floor. She was filled at once with an overwhelming sensation, once that she describes as nothing other than God’s love. In fact, this was something she had been running away from her entire life, believing it did not apply to her.  Suddenly, she knew this was the “sign” from God she had so clearly requested.  Selena felt her mouth telling Sarah, “ Yes!” before she could register what was happening. Indeed, that very night, Selena’s life was transformed.

Selena learned not only about First Care and the heart it has for the unborn, but also the heart it has for hurting women in the community who feel they have no support, nowhere to turn for understanding. She connected immediately with a woman at her table that just happened to be what’s called a Client Advocate at the Boca Raton clinic location. This woman encouraged Selena and provided her hope that there really could be a way out of the decision to terminate her pregnancy. In fact, there seemed to be a way to experience healing and restoration. By the grace of God, Selena began seeing a counselor at First Care, was given relevant resources to help her during the challenging journey, and ultimately received something inexpressibly profound: the gift of a being able to celebrate new life with her baby. In her own words:

“I never thought spilling donuts on the floor would be the most pivotal moment in my life, changing its trajectory entirely. At that dinner, I learned about what abortion really looks like and the emotional and physical scars it leaves. I learned about alternative options and found hope and peace in a new relationship with Christ. I learned it really is possible to first and foremost get help in my marriage for my own safety, as well as receive help and support for carrying and parenting my child.  My daughter is the reason my heart beats, and if it weren’t for First Care I would have never known a love like this.”

If you'd like to learn more about First Care Women's Clinic and/or financially support the ministry, click here now.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Stumbling Into Life: Sarah's Story

By Lauren Preusz

Sarah, a young and scared 14-year-old girl, stumbled into FirstCare by accident. She was actually trying to find the abortion clinic, as she was told it was in the same location. Upon walking in, she was warmly greeted by the First Care receptionist. She was asked what she needed. Sarah said that she had taken a positive pregnancy test at home and was looking to get an abortion. Although the receptionist told her they do not perform or refer for abortions, she also mentioned that First Care offers free proof of pregnancy and sonograms. Both of these are required for an abortion.

Sarah said that something inside of her was telling her to stay. She agreed to get the proof of pregnancy and sonogram at First Care, but only if they could see her right away. There had just been a cancellation ten minutes prior and one of our trained client advocates was free to see her right then.

Sarah was timid as she walked into the room, but the warmth and kindness shown to her by the client advocate quickly ameliorated her concerns. Sarah opened up, sharing that she became pregnant by her boyfriend and that he wanted nothing to do with raising a kid. She had just started her freshman year in high school and did not think she was able to care for a baby.

After quite some time of talking about Sarah’s concerns together, they also discussed possible solutions. If she were to parent, she could attend parenting classes and receive assistance with getting resources for her and her baby. If she decided not to parent, but to keep the baby, there were plenty of people with loving homes that would adopt.

In the end, Sarah decided to keep her baby, but to place the child for adoption. When asked what it was that led her to change her mind, she replied:

“I had no intentions of keeping my baby that day. I saw my pregnancy as a problem that could be quickly solved. After stumbling into First Care, which ended up being a total miracle that I did, I learned something new. I learned that there is a God out there and that He truly loves me. He makes no mistakes. If I’m not a mistake, then neither is my baby. Although I did not feel that I could personally care for the baby, nor was I ready, I wanted to give him or her a chance at a good life. I learned that ending the life of my baby was no solution; in fact, it would likely just cause more problems. I already felt so much guilt that morning heading to the abortion clinic, and I cannot imagine how I would feel if I were to have ended my baby’s life. Because of First Care I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who was named Samuel. He is now learning to walk.

Young women like Sarah are daily reminders for us at First Care that the difference between choosing life or not is profoundly fragile. You can imagine what may have happened if she had not "stumbled into" First Care, but rather into an abortion clinic. Can you also imagine what would happen if First Care was not even available to help people like this young teenager? We'd like to ask for your support as another year comes to a close. Your financial gift will help provide women with a safe place for them and their unborn babies, where they are valued, cared for, and protected. What could be more important?

Click here to give now! We can't thank you enough  advance for your love, prayers, and support to celebrate, defend, and save life in Palm Beach County!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Narrow Line: Laney's Story

We want to share a story with you that demonstrates just how narrow the line between life and death can be.

“I’m here to have an abortion,” Laney announced as she walked through our door. The receptionist gently informed her that while First Care doesn’t perform abortions, a nurse would be able to confirm her pregnancy and perform a free ultrasound, and a counselor would be available to talk through her options.

Laney looked at the floor as she gave her reasons for wanting an abortion: She couldn’t afford a baby.  She was no longer with the baby’s father. She couldn’t imagine placing a child for adoption. 

Tears welled in Laney’s eyes as the ultrasound showed that her pregnancy was 19 weeks along and she realized that she had been feeling the baby kick.  When she learned that babies at this age can feel pain she changed her mind about abortion forever. “No,” she said, “I don’t think I can do that.”  

Had Laney walked into an abortion clinic she almost certainly would have had an abortion. Laney’s baby is alive today because someone provided a caring place for her to go in her time of crisis.  

Are you willing to make a lifetime of difference for women experiencing  crisis pregnancies?  You can save the next 135 babies by helping First Care meet our end-of-year goal of raising $160,000. Please make your most generous gift by clicking here!

Your gift will give women a safe place where they and their unborn babies are valued, cared for, and protected. What could be more important?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"I Have to Kill It!"

"I have to kill it!" Those were the piercing words heard through the halls despite the closed door to the counseling room. Jane was one of the first clients to come in for our medical services and her pregnancy test came up positive. As we walked her through the intense emotions of the moment, we were surprised to learn that Jane was homeless and living as a prostitute to survive. Her life was a genuine mess.

Staff and volunteers were able able to care for Jane, give her a sonogram, and provide testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as treatment. Jane heard for the first time that God loves her and has a plan for her life, even in the midst of the chaos, pain, and uncertainty! When Jane left the clinic that day, something had changed. She came in feeling like her only choice was to "kill" her baby, but she left feeling hope that there was a better way.

THIS is the redemptive work of God that we see every day at our First Care clinic locations across Palm Beach County. As we enter the fall months, and holiday season, funding for First Care is a top priority, particularly as we consider what's to come in 2017. To ensure that we do not lose any momentum, we are asking if you will consider a special gift to support the ministry. Will you pray about whether you can give $25 or $50 this week to support the pro-life movement in our community?

Thank you for considering this urgent call. Your love, prayers, and financial support are what keep so many of us encouraged and motivated at First Care. Each of us doing just a little bit truly can make all the difference in the world, to people just like Jane. Click the donate button to give now. You can also click here.

Friday, July 1, 2016

“We’re Looking for the Abortion Pill” Was Their Initial Request

Miranda is married with a three-year-old already at home. Due to difficulties in dealing with their current child, she and her husband came to First Care after discovering they were pregnant again. They shared that they were leaning towards aborting by using the abortion pill.

Miranda had already made a separate appointment with a local affiliate of the largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood, but it had been rescheduled. As a result, they decided to come to First Care.

During their session with a trained counselor, Miranda was very interested in exactly how far along she was and when the baby's heart would start beating.  She expressed that whether or not she went through with an abortion would be determined by when the baby's heart starts beating.

After receiving education on fetal development and abortionprocedures, she then asked for a sonogram, which turned out to be inconclusive. Another sonogram was scheduled for a later date and Miranda left the clinic, with her husband, undecided that day.

After leaving, Miranda called Planned Parenthood to schedule an appointment to receive the abortion pill. During that phone call, she was told that she could not take the pill until she was over five weeks pregnant.

In the meantime, the couple returned to First Care for the second sonogram. Upon seeing the heartbeat of their unborn child in the sonogram, the couple decided to carry and parent their child. Their baby boy was born in June of this year.

We share this personal and powerful story because it symbolizes so many of the real lives we encounter in our First Care clinics. So much can happen in such a short amount of time. More often than not, the difference between a saved life and one that is aborted often comes down to seeming minutia.

Of course, in reality, we know that Almighty God is in the midst of every person’s crisis. We have seen countless lives experience the supernatural power of God to move through incredible circumstances to speak into the hearts and minds of people struggling to make the right decisions.

Will you join us in praying for individuals like Miranda and her husband, who we encounter daily in our clinic locations across Palm Beach County? Will you also consider a summer financial gift to support the ministry of First Care? Every gift – large or small – is a blessing beyond measure and goes directly toward saving and changing lives in our community. Simply click on the donate button to give now. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A 17-Year-Old Faces Her Fears

A 17 year-old recently visited our Lake Worth Clinic to get some advice about her pregnancy. This woman -- really, just a girl -- was hiding her pregnancy from her parents. She knew that if her mom or dad found out that she was pregnant, that they would try to force her to have an abortion; something that she knew in her heart was wrong.
She feared going to her normal doctor because she was still on her parents' insurance policy and was afraid they would get a bill and find out her secret.  She went online to see if she could find a free clinic and found First Care.
At First Care, she met kind and loving women who were able to provide her with a free ultrasound, medical advice and Godly counsel.  She set an appointment to meet with First Care's staff physician for a free OB consult the following week. She found the support that she needed to choose life for her unborn child.
Stories like this make me feel blessed to be a part of the ministry of First Care. While I have never personally counseled a client, performed an ultrasound, or administered a pregnancy test, I know that we can all still play a part in saving babies.  You too, have a lifesaving role to play and a job to do. For you, that may be volunteering, praying, or donating money. No matter what your role, I encourage you to embrace it and do it to the glory of God!

Monday, June 6, 2016

What If My Baby Had Been Adopted Instead of Aborted?

Melissa had an abortion in June. She didn't realize how much it would affect her. She told our counselor, "The children you abort haunt you." She hadn't received counseling before her abortion. Sadly, 67% of women considering an abortion receive no counseling before the procedure.

With this pregnancy she asked, "Do I have to have an abortion? I think if I could get help, maybe I could keep my baby or maybe someone would want to adopt her. I don't think I could go through with another abortion."

Through First Care, Melissa found a safe place to learn about the life growing inside of her, the many avenues of adoption, and an entire system of support available to help her choose life for her child.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"How Can I Make Him Be A Father?"

Elaina came in for information about abortion. She had never been pregnant before and was excited to be pregnant. But she knew her boyfriend didn't want to be a father. She didn't want to lay a burden of fatherhood on him that he didn't want to bear, so she resigned herself to accepting that an abortion was really the only choice she could make. Statistics show that as many as 64% of women feel somewhat or extremely pressured by the baby's father to abort. Thankfully, Elaina found First Care and found the support she needed to walk through this difficult moment. Through the care and education she and her boyfriend received, they decided to protect their baby's life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hands Trembling, Sasha Whispered

Gazing at the glossy, freshly-printed ultrasound picture held in her trembling hands Sasha whispered, “It’s a boy.”
Sasha was terrified. She was already fifteen weeks pregnant, but this 17-year-old hadn’t told a soul. She knew, KNEW, in her heart that if her father found out he would drive her straight to an abortion clinic; abortions up to 24 weeks can be readily obtained in Palm Beach County.
Together, Sasha and her First Care advocate dialed Sasha’s mother on speaker. Together, they broke the news that Sasha was pregnant and that she wanted to keep the baby. Together, they made a plan for how they would approach Sasha’s father and then they prayed.
Through First Care, Sasha found medical care and advice about her pregnancy. She found an ear to listen and arms to support. But perhaps the most important thing she found was the simple truth that she was not alone.
Typically giving slows down as we enter the summer months, but the number of women in crisis does not. Will you prayerfully consider a special gift to First Care? This will help women like Sasha choose life for their babies this summer.