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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.”

 

Pregnancy Support Services of Asia

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

april-philCenters 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.

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.

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.lily-perez

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.”

Click here to learn more about PSSA

Pro-life Servants lead with their hearts to strengthen Pregnancy Help Movement

servant-leader-lily

Lily Perez has been involved with many organizations promoting life in the Philippines.  She and her husband, Rene, were Directors of Couples for Christ Family Enrichment Education Ministry for many years.  Currently, Lily leads Pregnancy Support Services of Asia.

Heartbeat staff met Lily for the first time at our 2001 annual conference that was in Glendale, California.  With her love for the Lord and for life, Lily began attending Heartbeat conferences, many times accompanied by family and co-workers.  Not only has Lily visited Heartbeat, but Heartbeat staff has also visited Lily in the Philippines on many occasions.

After attending Heartbeat’s annual conference in 2004, Lily was inspired to create an umbrella organization for pro-life pregnancy centers throughout Asia, originally called Heartbeat International Philippines Center, later named Pregnancy Support Services of Asia (PSSA).

Lily’s gentle spirit and strong leadership, gifts from the Lord, have helped her realize her dreams. She continues to be open to the Lord’s leading as she sees answered prayers of life-affirming services in the Philippines.  PSSA plans to form affiliated pregnancy help centers in Hong Kong, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and China by training individuals in these countries to establish and develop effective pregnancy centers.

 

 

Plenty in common: Sharing Sexual Integrity in the Philippines

 
by April Ponto, Ministry Services Specialist

When I arrived in the Philippines, just one day before the start of Heartbeat Asia’s annual conference, I was bombarded by a number of cultural differences.

While merely standing in the airport, people stared.

I became keenly aware of my comparatively pale skin and my head-and-shoulders height above most of the other people. As I left the airport, more differences emerged. Differences such as: roosters in the streets for cockfighting, disregard for traffic lights and signs, trees decorated with lights for no apparent reason, and an incredible number of people out walking around even though it was nearly midnight.

Eventually, though, my initial culture shock wore off and by the end of my time in the Philippines, I was able to see a greater number of similarities than differences.

The most recognizable similarity was our shared goal of bringing the message of Sexual Integrity to people in need.

Heartbeat Asia’s conference, “PureHeart,” was held in Manila and based on 1 Timothy 1:5, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

I had the honor of sharing with clergy, doctors, and volunteers from local parishes practical means to implement the message of Sexual Integrity in their lives and impart it to the people with whom they are working.

Prior to arriving in the Philippines, I was aware that Filipino Christians face unique challenges to implementing the message of Sexual Integrity, challenges different from ours in America, but I did not understand some of the specific obstacles engendered by their country.

Within a day of arriving, for example, I learned that some doctors are rewarded government money for inserting IUDs in women who had just given birth—without the patient’s consent or knowledge. Since abortion is illegal, herbal abortifacients are sold directly outside of church doors with the church having no recourse.

Most recently, though, the Senate of the Philippines passed the Reproductive Health, or “RH Bill,” allowing—among other things—government-funding of contraceptives and sex education classes. As a result, Heartbeat Asia has implemented the Sexual Integrity Program.

Sharing the four pillars of our sexuality with men and women as well as how to live and walk in health and wholeness circumvents some of the thorny reproductive issues we’re confronted with on a daily basis both nationally and internationally.

Amid all the troubling reproductive health issues surfacing in the Philippines and surrounding countries, there is hope. I met many women dedicated to teaching natural family planning by going door-to-door to reach those who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn. At the helm of support for these women teaching natural family planning is a very proactive and involved Catholic church.

Priests, laypersons, and medical professionals are all working together to promote Sexual Integrity and eliminate the need for government-funded contraceptives and sexual education.

During my short time there, the cultural differences that had hit me so hard when I arrived eventually gave way to understanding all the things that made us similar, in particular our desire to teach the message of Sexual Integrity. Although the Philippines faces an uphill battle with the passage of the RH Bill, Heartbeat Asia is proactively stepping in to help women and men before they are in crisis.

If given the opportunity to return, I’m certain that cultural differences such as cockfighting and erratic driving will still challenge my paradigms, but I’m equally certain that the message of Sexual Integrity will continue to provide hope for the people of the Philippines.