(Text and photo taken from AFLA newsletter)
This past August, Africa Cares for Life (ACFL) held its 13th Annual Conference in Illovo Beach, South Africa, welcoming 60 pregnancy help center directors, board members, staff and volunteers from around the nation to better equip themselves to serve women and families.
The theme, “Salt and Light,” highlighted the role of pregnancy help centers as individual lighthouses for their regions, providing clients with a place of hope and guidance by shining in the dark places.
While at the conference, attendees took part in praise and worship, networking with co-laborers in the life-saving mission and personal prayer ministry opportunities. The event incorporated keynote speakers and workshops with topics including:
Here are just a few examples of the feedback ACFL received from attendees:
“This was an opportunity to grow, be refreshed, network and refuel.”
“I loved how God used the speakers to meet my needs—especially spiritually.”
“I am writing to you with such an overwhelmingly grateful heart - to you guys for creating this truly wonderful conference … in this one God has really been dealing with me personally and highlighting a few things that I as a person should work on to become a better child of God and ultimately a better leader for my centre. So thank you (once again) for being obedient to God when He called you to this ministry.”
“[The conference] reminded us that we are not fighting this battle on our own.”
“[I] came away from those sessions feeling rejuvenated.”
In order to pour into the lives of others, pregnancy help center staff must themselves be filled to the brim. Whether through a speaker, workshop or simply spending quality time with others in the pregnancy help community, in-person gatherings like ACFL’s are specifically geared to “fill” pregnancy help workers to get back to the mission with a renewed sense of vision and purpose.
by Carrie Beliles, International Program Specialist
You know abortion is a worldwide epidemic that must be addressed by life-affirming pregnancy help wherever it exists. But, what can you and your center do to help advance life-affirming help on the other side of the world?
The answer may be simpler than you’d think. In fact, with Heartbeat International’s Life Reach Global, it’s only a couple of clicks away.
Connecting U.S.-based pregnancy help people with global friends, Life Reach Global is one way Heartbeat International’s network can push ahead in our shared hope of making abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations all over the world.
At Heartbeat International, we have long encouraged local organizations to connect with one another for ongoing partnerships during our Annual Conference, pairing U.S. organizations with their sister outreaches outside the States for mutual support and encouragement.
One example of this was at our 2014 Annual Conference, where attendees from all over the world pitched together to present our friend, “Lilli”, with a check to cover the first year’s operations at China’s first-ever Heartbeat affiliate. Now, partnering with life-saving efforts like Lilli’s is simpler than ever through Life Reach Global.
How Does Life Reach Global Work?
You start by selecting an life-saving affiliate of Heartbeat International, each of which Heartbeat has reviewed and approved to received funds through Life Reach Global.
After you give through Life Reach Global, Heartbeat International transfers your donation to the recipient organization. In most cases, your gift (less transaction fees) will reach the recipient organization in full, though in some cases, Heartbeat International will deduct no more than 1 percent for an affiliation or administration fee.
The recipient organization will receive the funds on at least a quarterly basis.
As a giver, your donation through Life Reach Global is tax-deductible because of Heartbeat International’s worldwide mission.
How Can We Receive Funds through Life Reach Global?
If your non-U.S. pregnancy help organization has been a Heartbeat International affiliate in good standing for at least the past 12 months, you can apply to receive funds through Life Reach Global.
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.
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.
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!”
Thirteen years ago, a woman came into the office seeking abortion. She was in deep pain. Hurt and at the crossroads. Her husband had abandoned her for another woman, leaving her with a pregnancy and four other children to take care of.
Now, with a fifth child in the womb, she saw only reasons to terminate her pregnancy. Besides that, she had no funds for rent or to send her kids to school. She was afraid to go through all these issues alone, without a husband. There seemed no way for her to survive, especially with one more mouth to feed.
Her mind was just abortion.
The woman was counseled, but still she left being abortion minded.
September 21, 2012, the woman called my number and asked if Silent Voices still existed. I told her we are still there and our offices are now at 33 Nsombo Street. She then said, “I would like to come to the office, and I am coming with my 12-year-old daughter who was saved in that same Center.”
She also said, “For many years, I have been talking to my daughter about that place, and I promised her that one day I would take her to meet her spiritual mom.”
Seven days later, the woman came in with a special gift—her daughter that was saved 13 years ago. Her daughter is named “Precious.” We all broke into tears of joy, danced and sang songs of joy.
Precious is in seventh grade now and she is about to write her seventh-grade exams. She is very good at speaking English and she is a leader at the church youth group. She told us she likes reading and going to church.
Precious’ mother is still single and very much committed to taking care of her children. Thank you so much, faithful friends and partners, for standing with us in many ways. Because of you, today we are able to witness God's faithfulness through the LIFE He brought to the Center today.
Your prayers and support are highly valued, be blessed always and rejoice with us always.
Continue to pray for both Precious and her mother as they work hard to pull through in life. Precious has five years to go before she finishes 12th grade and goes into college. Kindly pray with her.
This letter was originally sent to friends and donors by Barbara Mwanza, Executive Director of Silent Voices Zambia, one of over 300 non-U.S. Heartbeat International affiliates. It has been adapted for use at HeartbeatServices.org.
The pregnancy care efforts are growing on the continent of Africa! Africa Cares for Life now publishes a dynamic manual on how to start a pregnancy centre called “Fan Into Flame”. Gail Schreiner, President Africa Cares for Life, combined her personal experiences, insight and wisdom with the framework for Heartbeat’s own “A Vision for Your Organization” to author a manual that will equip and inspire others to establish strong efforts to help those in need. We are pleased to announce our joint affiliation agreement where affiliates in good standing of Africa Cares for Life automatically receive all the benefits of affiliation with Heartbeat International.
Click here to visit the Africa Cares for Life website.
Click here for news about Africa Cares for Life.
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