News from the Worldwide Pregnancy Help Movement

Displaying items by tag: News from the Worldwide Pregnancy Help Movement

Excellence in Communication: Pro Femina

by Carrie Beliles, International Relations SpecialistPro Femina

Kristijan Aufiero is a breath of fresh air and quickly becoming one of the most powerful communicators and effective organizers for the pro-life movement in Europe. Based out of Heidelberg, the pro-life organization he leads is called Pro Femina ("For the Woman") and has been in existence since 1986.

However, it has grown exponentially under Kristijan's leaderhip in the last five years. It was named Pro Femina in response to the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Germany which is called Pro Familia ("For the Family"). Aufiero says "If they are for the family, then we are for the woman!"

An affiliate of Heartbeat International, Pro Femina is an uncompromising grassroots organization that now runs 320 baby bottle drives at churches across Germany with grassroots volunteers and collected 15,000 bottles last year. They grew this drive from only 28 baby bottle drives in 2010.

Mr. Aufiero's excellence in google analytics and fundraising has caused the organization to grow tremendously through its own organic fundraising, and its websites draw in German speakers in Germany, Austria, and Swizterland and elsewhere around the world who type in keywords related to abortion and unplanned pregnancy. When German speakers type in these terms, Pro Femina's subtle but excellent website is often first or second on the google hits. They receive 30,000 views a month on their webpage from German speakers, 360,000 approximately per year and growing.

This website leads abortion-vulnerable women to often chat about these issues in a forum, and email or speak on the phone with one of the 16 full-time, professionally trained, pro-life counselors based out of the Pro Femina Heidelberg office. They also see clients face-to-face in that office, although since they counsel clients across Germany and the German-speaking world, the phone is their primary method of communication. They counseled 2,200 women last year alone.

Since they are growing by leaps and bounds, they are expanding by opening a new pregnancy help center this September in Munich, one of the largest cities in Germany, and also where Aufiero was born and raised by Italian and Croatian parents.

As a German with Italian and Croatian parents, Aufiero is particularly well-suited to speaking to this issue to Europeans of all kinds. An unapologetic pro-lifer, his counselors do not provide the documentation that would enables their clients to go to obtain abortion in Germany.

In Germany, counseling before an abortion is still mandatory and has been ever since abortion was formally legalized in the first trimester in 1991 when Germany was reunified. Prior to 1991, abortion had technically been illegal for all trimesters, although a doctor's note that the woman was undergoing undue stress or psychological problems from the pregnancy would allow a woman to receive an abortion in the first trimester. When West Germany reunified with East Germany in 1991, East Germany had typically liberal Soviet bloc laws on abortion and the current framework was a compromise between the two systems.

Aufiero's counselors do not provide this document of counseling to their clients because they feel they would then be participating in or facilitating in an abortion and thus participants in this act.

When my husband, Ben, and I visited Aufiero in his Heidelberg office this April, he explained that he feared that the laws in Germany were moving toward an even more pro-choice and anti-life position in the near future. But he also affirmed that they would keep fighting for every unborn child's life in the meantime.

A devout Catholic, Aufiero's organization has both Catholic and Protestant employees and is a wonderful example of Catholics and Protestants working together in the name of Christ to end abortion.

Tweet this! Pro Femina is an example of Catholics and Protestants working together in the name of Christ to end abortion.

Aufiero has also created a wonderful communication method for spreading the positive message of life. He calls it "German words" and it consists of postcards printed by Pro Femina which have pictures of beautiful little newborns in entertaining outfits with catchy, positive messages of children on them such as "World Cup Champions 2034," "The Future Chancellor of Germany 2067," and other cute messages that highlight that children are the future and must be preserved and appreciated.

This is all the more important in a country such as Germany where the birth rate is 1.3 children per woman, well below replacement rate.

Over a million of these pithy postcards have been mailed throughout Germany by supporters of the organization - and others who just find them charming. In so doing, the pro-life message has been spread throughout Germany without spending a cent. Supporters buy these postcards for small donations and use them as stationery for their messages. It is a brilliant, low-cost method of propagating the pro-life message that has quickly become well-known throughout the English-speaking world and needs to be utilized in other languages and countries.

We are confident Aufiero will soon be crafting new and better ways of communicating the pro-life message.

Aufiero is willing to use the newest technologies and strategies to mold a pro-life message that will shape the next generation in Europe, a place without many strong pro-life voices and where most pro-life messages are marginalized and labeled extreme. Aufiero is a leader and Pro Femina is an organization that is growing and needs our support to answer the problems of abortion in Germany and Europe in the 21st Century.

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Heartbeat Welcomes New International Program Specialist

Welcome Carrie!

Heartbeat International welcomes Carrie Beliles as our new part-time International Program Specialist. Carrie will now be the primary liaison and consultant for Heartbeat'sInternational Program outreach.

Originally from the U.S.A., Carrie's travels and interests have taken her far and wide. From running a pregnancy help center in Rammstein, Germany to advocating against sex-trafficking in Asia, Carrie's passion for life-affirming ministry is evident. She has 5 kids (all under the age of 8) and now makes her home in Virginia with her husband, Ben.

Carrie joins the Ministry Services Team and takes over the role from Molly Hoepfner, who will now be more focused as Heartbeat's Event Planner, especially our Annual Conference.

 We are so excited to have Carrie on the team that we decided to do a quick interview so you could get to know her too.

Carrie can be reached via Heartbeat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
 

CAM Celebrates 25 Years of Lifesaving Ministry!

Heartbeat International congratulates CAM (Centro de Ayuda para la Mujer Latinoamericana, A. C.) on reaching 25 years of lifesaving ministry.

Heartbeat President, Peggy Hartshorn, was honored to celebrate this great achievement with CAM representative in Mexico City, Mexico, saying: 

 "Congratulations on this very important occasion of the 25th Anniversary of CAM. God certainly laid it on the hearts of your founders, Jorge and Magdalena, that it was essential that every woman with a difficult pregnancy, finding herself perhaps alone and afraid, could find help and hope and the courage she needed to carry her pregnancy to term.  This is because every person is made in the image and likeness of God, both the mother and the child!

Let us continue to lock arms around the world, pray for each other, strengthen and encourage each other, and recommit to the task ahead.  Our strength and power comes from the Lord.  We are responding to his call, Come follow Me.  We are running the race and fighting and good fight and we look forward to our reward in heaven where, like St. Paul, we hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

 

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Missionaries for Life Converge in Livingstone

As spring turned to summer, it was time for the annual Pan-African Conference, hosted by Association for Life of Africa (AFLA). This year's event was held in Livingstone, Zambia—a fitting place for trail-blazing missionaries to meet.

Heartbeat International was on site, standing alongside our brothers and sisters for life in every corner of the globe.

This year's conference, "Breaking New Grounds in the Kingdom of God," included missionaries for life from 12 countries and was keynoted by former Heartbeat International board member, Rev. John Tabor.

The represented countries were Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Ecuador, Brazil, and the U.S.

"It's an exciting time for AFLA as we continue to grow and adapt," AFLA President Barbra Nalavwe Mwanza said to open the five-day conference. "We must remain always adaptable, motivated, responsive, and client-focused."

Topics of focus for the conference included, "Where is the Church and the Theology of Life?", "Abortion in Africa," "Counseling Toolbox," "Healing the Wounds," "The Boardmanship," "How to Start a Centre," Natural Family Planning, Sexual Integrity, and Fundraising. But Africa, as Barbra pointed out to lead off the conference, could not hope to solve these problems without addressing the underlying life-and-death issue of the sanctity of human life.

Heartbeat International Director of Marketing and Communications Debora R. Myles brought her expertise to the conference, presenting a keynote entitled, "The ABCs of Marketing with Emphasis on Websites," and a workshop called "Fundraising Essentials."

In addition to Myles and Rev. Tabor, Lorraine Gariboldi, author and founding member of Heartbeat International affiliate Life Center of Long Island, spoke at the event, drawing from her leadership experience in a three-location setting.

Find out more about Heartbeat's International partners here.

 

Association For Life of Africa

 

afla logo 2016

Led by Barbra Mwanza, a long-time friend of Heartbeat International, Association For Life of Africa (AFLA) grew out of a ministry known as Silent Voices Zambia, and formed a partnership with Heartbeat in 2013. AFLA's vision includes the following: (1) Bring together the independent and autonomous Life Affirming/ Giving Organizations/Centres in Africa through Affiliation. (2) ALFA connects its Affiliates to local and overseas mentors and also matching the local and overseas resource to where they can be mostly utilized. (3) Equip and Coach new Directors & church leaders in Africa. (4) Spearhead the Bi-Annual Pan African For Life Equipping Conference. 

 

Click here to visit Association For Life of Africa's website.

Guest Editorial: America Exports Death to Ethiopia

dinah 

I just returned from two weeks in Ethiopia, one of my many trips to that ancient, fascinating country. My time was spent working in the maternity home my husband and I founded five years ago.

The Ethiopian culture is made up of over 80 different ethnic groups and languages. It is diverse both in geography and culture. But there is a common thread ... it is the belief that abortion is wrong. In fact, in nearly all of these groups, abortion is anathema. There is an instinctive understanding that when a woman’s body swells with pregnancy, she has a life inside of her that is not to be cut short. They know this without the visual impact of ultrasound clearly showing a baby sucking his/her thumb, yawning, playing with his/her umbilical cord or sleeping. In their culture, they believe that abortion is a shameful thing.

The current pro-abortion leadership in America gives lip service to multiculturalism. Yet they are forcing abortion on this culture. In partnership with the U.N. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, they are using money, dangling at the end of a stick like a carrot, to “buy” the Ethiopian government’s acquiescence.

In October, the Third Global International Council on Family Planning was held in Addis Ababa. Bill and Melinda Gates are two of the underwriters of this event. Their goal is to make abortion available to every woman in Ethiopia. They want clinics across the landscape, in every city and town. They cannot get enough doctors to perform abortions so they plan to train nurses and midwives.

This is appalling. Nurses there are not like their American counterparts in schooling and ability. Midwives are even less qualified. Already many of the clinics are primitive. I can’t imagine the carnage on the women, much less the unborn babies, when this goes into effect. But to abortion peddlers, the women are simply collateral damage in their war on the unborn.

Dr. Seyoum and his wife, both Ethiopians, speak all over Africa. He quit his practice and together they have dedicated their lives and resources to educating people on the humanity of the unborn and the reality of abortion, hoping to stop this evil. We sat in on one of his speeches. Part of his PowerPoint presentation was photos of aborted babies and baby parts from dumpsters and waste buckets from American abortion clinics. I have seen these pictures many times here in the states, but they always shake me. That day in Ethiopia, I saw them through Ethiopian eyes. The horror, the recoil and then the tears. There is something horrific about tearing a baby limb from limb and wrenching it out of the mother’s womb. Or partially delivering a third trimester baby, who with one push could be born and live, and killing it in the most unspeakable way. Isn’t it ironic? America is forcing the most barbaric practice on Africa and Africans are recoiling in the face of it!

Millions are being poured into this bloody business. Imagine if that money was used instead to help better mothers’ lives in Third World countries. Train them. Educate them. Help them set up small businesses. It would revolutionize this continent! These women don’t want to kill their babies. They don’t want to go against their culture and their conscience. They don’t even want a handout. They want a hand up.

Obianuju Edeocha, an African woman, penned this statement in response to the ICFP Conference: “We are thirsty and they give us condoms! We are hungry and they offer us contraceptive pills! We are sick and they offer us the most modern techniques of abortion! We are naked and they lead us into the arms of sexual hedonism! We are imprisoned by poverty and they offer us sexual liberation! Silent tears roll down for Africa in a modern world that can neither see our pain nor hear our cry for help. We mourn deeply for the destructive seeds of sexual revolution which were sown last week in Addis Ababa.”

How tragic that America, once the exporter of progress and hope to Third World countries, is now the exporter of death.


Dinah Monahan is the founder and former executive director of Living Hope Women’s Centers in the White Mountains and a national pro-life speaker and author. She is currently involved in Living Hope Maternity Home in Adama, Ethiopia, in Africa, which she and her husband founded.

Originally published January 31, 2014 in the White Mountain Independent. Reprinted with permission.

 

President Signs Very First Pro-Life Law

by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President

Yes, you read that right. The President signed his very first pro-life law just last month. The administration actually said that the law is aimed at “protecting the health of the woman” from dangers associated with abortion. The President went so far as to make it illegal to promote abortion as a safe procedure.

And more than that, the New York Times reported the President’s wife taking an even bolder stand in this brand new pro-life effort. She’s gone so far as to launch a nationwide campaign called “Give Me Life!” as a “week against abortion.” How amazing that the First Couple has taken such unprecedented steps for the cause of life!

Now if only other leaders of nations besides Russia would gain the realization that they are allowing their future to be aborted.  But for now, we take heart that Scripture tells us, “The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1, NIV).

Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, was a keynote speaker at the recent Moscow Demographic Summit, hosted by World Congress of Families. Political and spiritual leaders alike aligned their interests to address the devastation that abortion has wrought on the future generations of Russians and thus Russia itself.

What were once statistical predictions of demographic trends have become a bleak, stark reality for countries such as Russia, Japan, and nearly all of Western Europe. We salute Mr. Dmitri A. Medvedev, President of Russia, and his wife, Svetlana, for this valiant redirection of law, public influence, and resources in the former Communist nation. Their actions and those of other leaders like them reveal a broader movement of the Holy Spirit in changing the hearts of leaders and laymen alike to renew a culture of life. We truly take heart in the Giver of Life and the Gift of Life.

You can read more about Peggy’s visit to Russia in the coming issue of Pulse. Watch for Pulse in your inbox later this month.

 

Surprised by God

When Mike and Dinah Monahan left for a Mission trip to Ethiopia, little did they know that God was starting them on an unimaginable journey.

Mike, who runs the family pro-life business, Heritage House 76, and Dinah, who had recently retired from her role of founding and leading Living Hope Women’s Centers and Hope House Maternity Home in Arizona, were headed to Ethiopia to visit orphanages and street children’s homes run by YWAM (Youth With a Mission.) They even questioned why they were going. But God knew.

After a difficult 15 hour journey through the interior of Ethiopia, their hearts were moved by the precious orphans they met, but they were shaken by the stories they heard of unwed mothers, many of whom were working as domestic servants and were raped by a stranger or their employer. In that culture, if a girl has a baby outside of marriage most likely no man will ever marry her.

Regardless of whether they are victims of rape or incest, they are often cast out of their homes and livelihood to survive on their own. Young women rarely attend school since schooling is neither free nor mandatory,

“There is a razor thin line between survival and starvation in this country,” says Dinah.

Confronted with all this misery, Dinah and Mike were convinced that God was calling them to action. But what? How? Then God began to open unexpected doors. By walking through them, in faith, they eventually realized they were called to open a maternity home in Ethiopia. Through the YWAM staff, they were introduced to Meseret Seyoum, a college educated Ethiopian Christian woman with years of experience Non-Government Organizations.

Two years earlier, Meseret began feeling called by God to start helping the women and children in her country. And now He provided this connection to the Monahans. Other key connections followed, Ebise Berri as accountant and Muluwork Tefera as nurse. Barbara Mwansa, Heartbeat affiliate in Zambia (Silent Voices), provided the training needed to start the home.

Just eight months later, Living Hope Ministries in Adama, Ethiopia opened as the first maternity home in Ethiopia. It offers security, shelter, love, education, healthy food, and training in job skills that the twenty residents will need to survive. Each woman learns jewelry making, sewing, and other skills that make it possible for her to start a small business and provide for herself and her child.

Says Dinah, “I am in awe of what God is doing here. We couldn’t have kicked the doors down that God has so graciously opened. This isn’t what I expected from retirement…it’s way better!”

Heartbeat and PSSA join hands to fill a tall order in the Philippines

The mountain that PSSA climbs

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines – for now – and the sanctity of life is vigorously defended within this largely Catholic society.

Unfortunately, the global abortion lobby has  aggressive plans underway  that include introducing birth control hormones – a precursor of abortion – to young people through youth-friendly sexual/reproductive “health care services” and peer-counseling programs where youths “raise each others’ awareness” about  sexual experimentation. The plan involves campaigns to desensitize the population to the dangers of abortion and to spread the false science of “population explosion.” Programs train medical providers with “post-abortion services and training,” a smoke screen for training doctors to perform abortions.

U.S. tax dollars and Planned Parenthood underwrite plans like this. In August 2010, the Philippine government announced a collaborative, USAID strategy to implement a comprehensive marketing and communications plan in favor of “family planning,” a smoke screen to support efforts to legalize abortion.

See Taking back the dignity of women, a story about the work cut out for pregnancy help centers in the face of population-control realities worldwide.

Centers affiliated with Pregnancy Support Services of Asia (PSSA) fill a tall order helping women and families. Asia is a region of the world where abortion and other population control tools are the order of the day. In fact, for baby girls throughout Asia, the mother’s womb has become a very dangerous place. The Philippines was sheltered by law from this storm of abortion and the undercurrent of birth control – until Planned Parenthood went to work on Philippine cultural values and began lobbying the Philippine legislature to make abortion legal.

PSSA, founded by Lily Perez and headquartered in Manila, takes on the daily challenge of pregnancy support, thanks to the grace-filled vision that God gave to Lily over a decade ago.

This past month, PSSA has joined hands with Heartbeat International in a joint-affiliation agreement that makes more life-saving services available to PSSA’s pregnancy help centers.

At Heartbeat, we welcome the expansion of international affiliates and the access to the expertise and cultural understanding of Asian society that PSSA offers through its network of pro-life ministries. Heartbeat is also pleased that the joint affiliation will allow PSSA affiliates to benefit from Heartbeat affiliates the world over, our experience, and our tools. For example, PSSA affiliates will gain access to Heartbeat online trainings around the world and around the clock through the Heartbeat International Academy.

The idea for PSSA began at Heartbeat International’s annual conference in October 2004.  Lily, a longtime pro-life advocate from the Philippines, attended the Heartbeat Conference and became inspired to create an umbrella organization for pro-life pregnancy centers throughout Asia.  Heartbeat and PSSA began working together to bring leadership training including board management, postabortion healing, hotline counseling, and The LOVE Approach™ to PSSA affiliates. For example, in 2006, Heartbeat had the privilege of helping PSSA build capacity and leadership among Asian pregnancy help ministries by cosponsoring the Heart to Love Conference in the Philippines with PSSA. Over 180 individuals seeking training for pregnancy center ministries attended the conference.

“The growing reach of PSSA’s helping arms is a dream come true and an answered prayer for me in my personal mission of promoting life-affirming services in my country,” said Lily. “I am forever grateful to Peggy Hartshorn (Heartbeat International President) and Heartbeat International for sharing their passion for this ministry.”

 

For the LOVE of Germany

ellenjorelgermany 

Did you hear the one about the lawyer who traveled overseas and taught a bunch of U.S. military families how to better serve women facing unexpected pregnancies?

Fair enough, there’s not much promise for a joke in that question, but you have to admit, the latest Heartbeat International international training does sound a bit peculiar when you first hear about it.

The story took place October 25, when Ellen Foell, Heartbeat’s legal counsel, taught a day-long session of The LOVE Approach™ to a group of 28 staff, volunteers, and potential volunteers at Heartbeat Crisis Pregnancy Center in Ramstein, Germany.

The center, under the direction of Carrie Beliles, primarily serves U.S. military personnel and their families stationed at Ramstein Air Base, home of the 86th Airlift Wing and headquarters of U.S. Air Forces Europe.

“It was the first time teaching this material, so I really didn’t quite know what to expect,” Foell, who has been with Heartbeat International since 2012, said. “God really put two things on my heart that I tried to express to the group: The first was to encourage them to embrace their unique, God-given giftedness, and the second was to allow themselves to be released to really exercise that giftedness as they sought to serve women coming to the center.”

“It really was great to watch this group wrestle through how to apply The LOVE Approach to the real situations involving real human beings they are dealing with every day.”

While the majority of attendees were Americans connected to the military community in Ramstein, one participant came from another part of Germany with the hope to launch a pregnancy help organization in another part of Germany.

According to Heartbeat International’s Worldwide Directory, there are currently 114 pregnancy help organizations in Germany, although Heartbeat Crisis Pregnancy Center is the only Heartbeat International affiliate.

“These servants learned how to handle a great tool, and that was encouraging to see,” Foell said. “I was really impressed by the cross-section of ages and generations, and thrilled to see the seeds of more pregnancy help organizations being planted in Germany.”

Foell was joined by Heartbeat International Vice President Jor-El Godsey, who keynoted the center’s annual banquet and facilitated a meeting with European pro-life leaders during a three-day span Oct. 24-26 in Ramstein.

 

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