When counseling women with an unwanted pregnancy, we as churches and as Christian ministry leaders generally stand strong in advising them not to abort, but when asked, “How do you specifically help unwed mothers who follow your advice to choose life?” we tend to struggle for a response.
Many pro life advocates grow silent when asked about concrete action.
It is much easier to oppose abortion with our words and hand-held signs than to support life with action and time. So how can we, the Body of Christ, help minister to pregnant women with an unplanned pregnancy?
Jeannine Floores is a person who helps.
Jeannine is the founder and executive director of Breath of Life Maternity Ministries. She came to Austin Graduate School of Theology to speak at our RoundTable lunch session April 13 and shared the joys and difficulties of her ministry to women in tough circumstances.
She began by sharing her own story, which is essential for understanding her devotion to her work. She was a preacher’s daughter who, about to go into ministry herself, became pregnant by her boyfriend and, as a result, was asked to leave by her family. She was not ready to marry or to raise a child as a single parent, so she did the most loving thing she could for her child—she gave her daughter up for adoption to a loving family that had the ability and will to care for her.
Knowing first-hand the plight of the unwed, pregnant young woman, Jeannine is committed to helping those in similar unplanned pregnancy situations. Having reconciled with her family, married, and started a happy family of her own, Jeannine has been ministering to pregnant women in need for more than 25 years.
She began Breath of Life Maternity Ministries, a Christian organization devoted to supporting the physical and emotional needs of pregnant women. They provide counseling and ongoing mentoring as well as find housing and work training for those who need it (88% were homeless before they came to Breath of Life). They function as one of the adoption agencies in Texas for those who want to find a loving, Christian family for their child and as a support agency for those who want to raise their own child as a single mother. Whatever the needs, Breath of Life helps them get back on their feet.
Jeannine has found over the years that the women eventually come around to asking what benefit the helpers and volunteers receive from their work. Why do the workers do what they do for these women? If the opportunity has not already come earlier, the door is now open to share the gospel of Christ with these young women who need good news. And—no surprise, given the love that has been shown to them—the great majority of them report either accepting Christ or progressing in their relationship with Christ.
More than simply verbalizing opposition to elective abortion, how can we minister to unwed mothers and truly be pro life?
If you and your church struggle to answer this question, why not consider helping Breath of Life Maternity Ministries or another organization like it?
These women need someone to walk alongside them. Breath of Life Maternity Ministries’ organizational reach extends beyond the Central Texas area, so don’t let geography restrain you. Go to their website and contact Jeannine to see what you and your church can do to give life—both physical and spiritual.
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Austin Graduate School of Theology is an Austin theological seminary offering B.A. and M.A. ministry degrees, and Austin Grad is accredited by the same agency that accredits Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, The University of Texas, and others. Austin Grad– one of the top Christian colleges in Texas and among the top seminaries in Texas —is affiliated with the Church of Christ and is in conversation with all who confess Jesus as Lord. Austin Grad promotes faith seeking understanding and is committed to providing a high quality education for those who desire to be equipped to expand the Kingdom of God.