Saturday, October 3, 2009

Helping pregnant women and single mothers

In August a single mother walked into the lobby of New Life Family Services. She thought she might be pregnant, but didn't want to be alone when she found out.

The young woman had already had two abortions, and each time she hated herself for it and said "I'll never do this again." She had one child already, was single, and simply couldn't imagine how she would manage to take care of another baby.

But now it seemed she might be pregnant again. She had remembered seeing the New Life sign and that is why she came here wondering if they had any hope to offer. The pregnancy test was positive, and she broke down into tears crying, "I can't have another baby, I can't have another baby."

New Life's social worker sat and comforted her and assured her that they could help; there are people ready to walk alongside her during pregnancy; when the baby is born New Life has baby clothes, diapers, car seats and other things to give her. But the young woman was undeterred and simply said, "I promised myself I wouldn't have another abortion, but I can't have another baby."

After talking some more the social worker asked if she would like to have an ultrasound and see if the baby was visible. Yes, she was interested so they went into the room next door and a nurse began the ultrasound.

The image of her baby appeared clearly on the screen in front of her and the nurse pointed out its face, heart, and budding arms. The young woman was still crying, but this time she said "I know God brought me here," but how am I going to make it?

She left New Life that day resigned to having a baby, even though she wasn't excited about it yet. In the months ahead New Life's social worker will continue to help her prepare for the birth and consider different options for her baby's future.

Another life was saved and a young woman spared from the added heartbreak of another abortion that day because New Life was there. But the challenges for this young woman remain in place -- providing for children by herself, caring for a newborn and trying to keep up with a toddler, and figuring out how to get a job that pays well enough to feed her kids plus pay for childcare.

Last year New Life helped single mothers like this woman 5,243 times. And they gave them more than just diapers and baby supplies, they helped them by also providing parenting education and counseling resources.

A lot of people wish that abortion would go away in the US. And right now the way to make that happen is to help young mothers like the one who came to New Life in August. She didn't want to have an abortion, but she would have if New Life wasn't responding with help.

If we want to save more babies and spare mothers from the heartbreak of abortion New Life needs more people to help young women like this.

In two weeks New Life is holding its annual fund raising dinner at the Hyatt-Minneapolis. At the dinner you are going to meet another young woman named Kelsey. Last November Kelsey found out she was pregnant. Faced with the same devastating news she too decided to have her baby, and she chose adoption for her baby. On October 23 Kelsey will tell her story and introduce you to her 3-month old baby and the baby's adoptive family.

GMAE is one of the major sponsors of the fund raising dinner, and we invite you to come and help provide real solutions for pregnant women whose only other option is to have an abortion.

Last year NLFS provided ultrasound services to 301 women. 96% of them changed their mind and gave birth to their baby.

You can make a reservation online at or by calling
612-866-7643 ext.141.

Friday, October 23rd, 2009
6:00 p.m. Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Dinner & Program

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

RSVP by October 14th

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The American Church in Crisis

What can we do about this - together?

David Olson's presentation today convinced us that the situation is urgent in the American Church. I am primarily struck by our need to learn how to minister in a new world (post-Christian, post-modern and multi-ethnic), but just as challenging seems to be telling the message and mission of Jesus in a way that people actually get to know who Jesus is - rather than everyone talking about him as if everyone already knows who he is when in fact many have never met him.

We don't need any more programs to fill our busy schedules, but when the situation is urgent we don't have the luxury of not helping each other out. My question to any of you who attended is, How could GMAE help pastors help each other?

A couple areas of focus have already emerged-what do you think?
  1. Church planting - together with denominational church planting leaders lets offer two to three resource and equipping consultations that will accelerate new church planting and network current efforts with each other.
  2. Established churches & Community Development - It is suggested that we need to learn how to be "externally focused" so that we get to know our communities again, and learn how to share both the message (the good news) and the mission (the good deeds) of Jesus. There are business leaders who may be willing to support a pilot collaborative of churches-working-with-churches to meet the needs of their community.
  3. Multi cultural & multi racial churches: GMAE is sponsoring a pastors leadership conference on October 17 to provide resources for this issue. Efrem Smith, Jin S. Kim and Darrell Geddes are participating, and Michael Emerson and Cheryl Sanders will be keynote speakers.
  4. Prayer - Already there are prayer network leaders fanning the flames of revival; I suggest that we still need to find ways to connect their networks to church leaders and people in the pews.

Please add your comments and give me your ideas.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Who are Evangelicals?

Evangelicals believe in Jesus Christ and take the Bible seriously. This may be a simplistic statement, but for broader public it defines who we are focused on and what our core beliefs are.

More specifically the Evangelical
Statement of Faith, first adopted by the NAE over 60 years ago, has become the definitive statement around which thousands of para church ministries, mission agencies and local or regional associations have identified themselves.

This statement proclaims our belief in the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, the complete work and fullness of Jesus Christ, regeneration by and continued ministry of the Holy Spirit, resurrection to either eternal life or eternal damnation, and in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The NAE website offers these two helpful explanations about evangelical beliefs: Why evangelicals believe Jesus is God and What do evangelicals believe about God and the Bible?

How Many Evangelicals Are There in the US?

40% of Americans consider themselves 'born-again' or 'Evangelical' Christians.

American Evangelicals are a varied and diverse group of people. (Read this helpful summary). For 30 years the Gallup polling organization has asked people "Would you describe yourself as a 'born-again' or 'Evangelical' Christian?" Since 1976 polls show that around 40% of Americans identify themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.

In Barna Group studies they have found similar results; In 2006 there were 101 million born-again Chrisitains in the US (45%). But when using a more narrow definition of professing Evangelicals who say faith is important in their daily life, only 8% of Americans fit this definition of Evangelical.