EDITORS’ NOTE: The following five stories amplify the Jan. 16 observance of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. To learn more about how The Sanctity of Human Life Culture Response Kit can be used in this convention-wide emphasis, visit www.faithandfamily.com, a ministry of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (BP)–“I’m sorry. I can’t use this machine,” the sonographer said when shown the sonogram machine at the Women’s Resource Center in New Albany, Ind.
Steve Faith, chairman of the center’s board, was taken aback. The machine, provided by the Psalm 139 Project, was to be a vital part of the new center’s ministry. And the sonographer, an experienced medical professional, had been highly recommended.
“Why can’t you use it?” he asked. “Is it broken?”
“No, it’s not that,” she replied. “It’s just that it’s newer than any machine I’ve ever used.”
Such are the blessings of the Psalm 139 Project.
When Steve Faith, ministry evangelism director for the Southeastern Indiana Baptist Association, asked himself in December 2003 if there was a need for a pregnancy center in New Albany, just across the river from Louisville, Ky., he had no idea that the Lord would answer so quickly or provide so abundantly.
“Two high schools in our Tri-County area seem to always have a number of pregnant teens, and there are two places to get an abortion in Louisville, which is just a few minutes away,” he said. “I just wondered what our ministry role might be in those circumstances.
“I started making calls and sharing my heart for hurting women and girls and my vision for a pregnancy center. I found eight physicians who would be willing to work with a center as referring physicians…. I kept praying and asking people if they’d be willing to help. By March our board was in place — 14 people including pastors, doctors, lawyers and other professionals.”
God continued to carefully put the pieces together with more provisions.
“Our director, Rose Condra, had been working full-time at one of our local churches, but she felt God calling her to work with women in crisis pregnancies. She had worked in a maternity home and two different pregnancy centers in Louisville,” Faith said. “Rose has a heart for Jesus, for these mothers, for evangelism. The board knew immediately that she was God’s appointed person for this job.
“We held a banquet in April and raised $14,000. Lori Devillez from the Heidi Group trained the director, the board members, and 28 volunteers in August, and we had our grand opening Sept. 1,” he said. “We were able to rent a beautiful building, and every piece of furniture and equipment in it has been donated — everything! And we have an ultrasound machine provided by the Psalm 139 Project. The Lord surely has blessed us!”
Sandi Butler, the center’s sonographer, said the experiences she has while intervening in troubled pregnancies are priceless.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and the look on a mother’s face when she sees the reality of her baby still is hard for me to describe,” she said. “Sharing my skills in situations like these and trying to help these ladies make the proper decision is worth its weight in gold to me.”
Condra also is seeing God’s grace firsthand.
“An older woman had a young friend whom she knew had made an appointment for an abortion. The woman asked her friend to put it off one day until they could talk to me,” Contra said. “The older woman and her husband brought their young friend to the center. We talked at some length about the life choices she had made and the hope that she could have by trusting Jesus. She accepted the Lord and decided to keep her baby that day. She came in with a dark cloud and left with the joy of the Lord.”
For more information about the value of ultrasound technology in crisis pregnancy situations and how you can help place sonogram machines in pregnancy centers, visit www.psalm139project.org. For more information about the work of Carol Everett and the Heidi Group, visit www.heidigroup.org.