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The information in these articles is accurate as of the publication date of each one. We are working to keep our articles up-to-date as changes surrounding COVID-19 occur, and we encourage everyone to check the CDC, WHO and their local authorities as the situation is ever-evolving.
by Andrea Trudden, Director of Communications & MarketingHeartbeat International
One of our founding goals at Heartbeat International is to provide an annual training conference to properly equip the pregnancy help movement with the tools and concepts needed to empower women to choose life for their little ones.
Unfortunately, last year the pandemic caused us to dramatically shift from an in person conference to a virtual one and we missed the opportunity to be with you in-person. But God is so good! That conference ultimately resulted in us being able to train pregnancy help leaders in more than 30 nations worldwide and host the largest pregnancy help conference ever!
Little did we know at the time that our virtual conference would equip us with the technology and experience needed to continue providing key pregnancy help to centers worldwide when travel would remain restricted in many areas indefinitely.
Throughout this entire pandemic, pregnancy help organizations have continued to stay engaged in communities and in this network. We do this through our online trainings, our physical resources, and by staying connected by phone or Zoom. If this time reinforced anything, it is that relationships are vital!
Pregnancy help has remained an essential need through this past year and so as we plan ahead, we are committed to hosting an in-person conference in the spring. It is our 50th birthday celebration, and we want to share that time with you!
Understanding that there still will be some travel and health restrictions, we are creating a new path of learning so that anyone who wants to hear from experts in their field while receiving inspirational messages of hope has the ability to do so.
Therefore, we are preparing to host both an in-person conference and a virtual conference in tandem with one another.
This means, if you are in Columbus, Ohio with us this April 27-30, 2021, you will receive in-person training with more than 80 workshops from which to choose in addition to networking opportunities, keynote addresses, and in-depth training options. You will also have access to our virtual conference which will include an additional 50 workshops and more keynote addresses. You can then choose to binge watch the virtual conference at night or save it until you are back home.
We are working with the state and local government agencies as well as the hotel directly to ensure that all event safety guidelines are accounted for as your protection is of our utmost importance.
For those who choose to stay home for any reason, we understand, and we’ve got you covered.
Our Virtual Conference, April 28-30 will include nine different workshop tracks and six keynote addresses. Speakers will be available for Live Q&A at the end of their virtual workshop. Additionally, you will still have access to our amazing sponsors which provide products and services designed to advance the pregnancy help movement. You’ll also have the ability to network with other attendees and connect through our community board.
We know that this period in time will make the history books and we plan to make the most of it! Professional development is key in any profession and it is our goal to lead the way by creating a new tandem conference so that any and all who seek to provide pregnancy help have the ability to do so either in-person, virtually, or both!
Registration will be opening in the next few weeks with additional information. Keep an eye on your inbox or check our conference webpage for the latest information.
See (or “See”) you in April at our 50th Annual Conference!
by Betty McDowell, Vice President of Ministry ServicesHeartbeat International
Recently I came across the term “COVID Fatigue.” I am not talking about one of the many symptoms of coronavirus but rather a collective fatigue we all feel living through this pandemic. We are tired of lockdowns, masks, quarantines, social distancing, uncertainties, conflicting information, and many of us are feeling frustrated, isolated, fearful, restricted, and frazzled. Moreover, while many of us were hopeful in the spring, this has gone on longer than many of us have expected. At this point, many have given up saying, “when things get back to normal, we will …”
Woven into our COVID fatigue is the accumulation of loss. All of us have suffered loss through this time. Loss of incomes, jobs, vacations, family reunions, graduations, weddings, welcoming new babies, and for some of us the loss of relationships through death. During this time when funerals and gatherings are limited or postponed, even grief and closure can be put on hold. Let us be real, there have been moments when the temptation to slip into despair is difficult to overcome.
All that said, there are good things happening too. We don’t have to fall into, or even worse, live in despair. What we do need to do is find ways to live well today, and help our loved ones do the same.
Are you or someone you care about struggling today?
Below are some practical ways to address the struggle, mourn losses, and take steps to a better today:
Do not ignore the accumulative loss in your life. Take time to review your loss and bring these disappointments before God in prayer. Record loss in your journal where you can pour out your feelings and experiences – not only can this be therapeutic, but it can also provide a way to look back in your life to see how the Lord brought you through this difficult season.
Check your self-talk. If you find phrases in your self-talk like, “just give up,” “it’s not worth it,” “why bother,” “the best is over” or any other language in the despair category, BEWARE! We have a spiritual enemy who loves to take advantage of our fatigue and grief. Recognize that while we are in a pandemic we are also in a spiritual battle. Turn to God for strength, and do not surrender your heart.
Choose Gratitude. Gratitude and anxiety cannot co-exist. It’s true. Just try to be grateful and anxious at the same time – you cannot do it! Choose to kick out despair and live in gratitude. Focus on the blessings you have in the present moment and set your heart on the hope for a brighter future.
Tell yourself the truth. This is not the end of things. You are not alone. The pursuit of life and joy is still possible. God is in control. God has a plan and a purpose for you during this time and beyond.
Exercise. Even a short walk can help reset mind, soul, and body. Exercise can help relieve stress and release endorphins helping you feel better and contribute to your overall health.
Talk with friends, listen to worshipful music, memorize scripture, read inspiring books. Find that thing that helps bring you out of despair and dive into it. Take advantage of extra time to find those things that fill your heart. We’re all having to pour out a lot right now, but that only works if you are filling up.
Purposely choose hope. Vietnam POW Ken Cordier shares how he and his fellow prisoners placed bets on when their imprisonment would end. Several of the men placed their bets on upcoming holidays or birthdays. When those dates came, and their release had not come they became distraught and did not fare well as prisoners. Ken Cordier chose a date several years away. He decided he would hold out hope for a future and put his trust in God to get him through one day at a time. Ken purposely chose hope and so can you. You see, hope isn’t about expecting everything to be back to normal tomorrow. Hope is about trusting that God will sort it all out in His time.
And make no mistake, He will. You can depend on it.
I’ll leave you today with Psalm 46, a psalm I spent time reflecting on in my prayer time recently. Perhaps you can take time to sit with it in prayer today. After all, now is a time of opportunity to “Be still and know” who God is and how He can work.
Psalm 46 (NIV) 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[d] with fire.10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
by Ellen Foell, Esq., International Program SpecialistHeartbeat International
Like most of the world right now, I am online much more than ever before. I recently came across the following:
نقش خودتان را ایفا کنید : کووید-19
COVID-19: Recommandations de la Santé Publique
Kajin Majōl (Marshallese)
MELELE KO KINCORONAVIRUS
CORONAVIRUS (ခိၣ်ရိၣ်နၣ်ဘဲရၢး) အဂ့ၢ်အကျိၤ
by Tony Gruber, ControllerHeartbeat International
The coronavirus is perceived by many as the largest challenge our world has faced in many decades. In answer to that challenge, the United States has enacted the largest aid package in the history of the country – with a $2.2 trillion estimated price tag. Help and aid is being offered to individuals, businesses and non-profits.
We’re going to unpack many of these benefits in a webinar next Tuesday. However, we’d like to quickly highlight one opportunity because it won’t last long!
by Jor-El Godsey, LAS, PresidentHeartbeat International
“Stay on target!” is a familiar line from the first Star Wars movie. The small band of intrepid rebels were being exhorted to keep focused on defeating the planet-killing Death Star. All while being attacked by Darth Vader and his Imperial cohorts.
During “normal” times the mission of pregnancy help is facing a Goliath-like giant in Big Abortion and its flagship, Planned Parenthood. Of course, these days impacted by COVID-19 (or at least the anxiety surrounding it) are far from normal. There is a very present need to reach and rescue as many lives as possible.
I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers, night and day. Longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, that I may be filled with joy. -- 2 Timothy 1:3-4
Suddenly the new phrase, “Social Distancing” is an integral part of our culture’s vocabulary, thanks to a pandemic none of us expected.
In a recent Heartbeat International staff meeting however, our staff was considering another way of thinking about this new catchphrase. Instead of saying, “social distancing,” we’re inviting ourselves to say, “Physical distancing and social connecting.”
by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
In journalism, reporters are taught, “Never bury the lede,” a reminder to focus first on the most important aspects of the story (defined as “the lede”) instead of spending several opening paragraphs on less vital details.
During this emergency, many pregnancy help organizations must close the doors of our offices. This is disappointing news, but this is not the “lede” to our story, for two reasons:
First, closing our offices is not news, because businesses everywhere are doing the same. Announcing to our supporters, “We’ve closed our offices for the foreseeable future” is, in journalistic terms, a “Dog Bites Man” story. There’s nothing “new” in our “news.”
We understand your concerns for staff and clients during this time of uncertainty during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and want you to know that Heartbeat International is praying for each of you, your clients, and all who support your centers. Because this is an ever-changing situation, we are also watching the global resources we have available through the government and would recommend centers do the same: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov), and the World Health Organization (WHO.int).
In addition, centers should have or create policy for infection prevention and hand-washing. For more information about what should be included in those policies, the OSHA COVID-19 website is helpful.
Clients may ask "If I have the virus or if I’ve been exposed should I get an abortion?"
We are called into a movement where relationships are so important. How do you maintain these relationships, though, when your doors are closed?
First and foremost, look at your organization's policies and procedures. What does it say about confidentiality? In all that we do, we must maintain the confidence from our clients that their private information stays that way. Before implementing any of the references below, ensure that you are mindful of the most appropriate means to maintain confidentiality.
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