Finding a Safe Place In a Tough World

SAFE PLACE.JPEGSave the Mother, Save her Child (SMSC) is a community ministry of EvanTell.  For about seven years we’ve been working beside the staffs and volunteers of faith-based pregnancy centers as they minister to women and men facing unexpected pregnancy.

Every family facing unexpected pregnancy needs to find a Safe Place to consider all the decisions they face.  They need a place where they will get wholesome, truthful help.

They need a place where no one will profit from their misery!  They need trustworthy counsel.  They need information not tainted by the profit motive of the culture.  They need serious answers to serious questions that will set their course for the rest of their lives.  They need people who will look at them like a whole person – a multi-dimensional person.

They need a safe place.  

SMSC knows where those safe places are.  We have worked with over 700 pregnancy centers and clinics where a woman, or couple, or entire family, can get help with the physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs they have.  She’ll know as soon as she walks in the door that she has found a SAFE PLACE – a place where no one will charge her a penny for the services she receives. .  

Our specialty is the spiritual aspect of life – the spiritual journey where so much of a person’s worldview is formed.  We teach people to listen to the spiritual needs of people who come to them for help.  We teach them to minister to the person right in front of them, not some mythical person!

We teach how to ask questions that help people think about the spiritual part of their lives.  And, we explain how to share the gospel with a person who is willing to hear it, in a clear, simple, relevant way.  Then the person can think about what it would mean to them to have a never-ending relationship with God who loves them.  They can hear about a relationship bought by Jesus through suffering and love, that offers them forgiveness, truth, and the power to live each day.  They’ll know, maybe for the first time, what it means to be loved unconditionally.  They can make their own decision.

Spend a little time on our website.  Take one of the online courses.  Start a trip through our Prepared for Action Bible study.  Read some blog posts!  And, you’ll find we are a Safe Place, too.

If you want to find a Save the Mother, Save her Child trained pregnancy center in your town, send an email to smsc@evantell.org.  Use that same email to ask us questions, or comment on this page.

 

4 Essentials for Follow-Up with New Believers

New believer

There are some wonderful blessings coming from the graceful way you share the gospel!  Many people are trusting Christ as their Savior!

Because you have new believers in Christ in your center all the time, SMSC is planning a special session in the Evangelism: Avenues of Grace track at the Care Net Conference in September.  In this session, we will be presenting ideas from women’s ministry directors in churches, leaders of parachurch ministries, EvanTell, and SMSC pregnancy centers.  We are focused on workable solutions to a very significant question:

How should new believers in Christ receive the discipleship needed for them to go on in maturity with the Lord?

We will present our research in talking with women’s ministry directors from around the country on how their churches respond with new believer discipleship.  We’ll present parachurch concepts that really work – Christian discipleship combined with community support for needy women.  And we’ll discuss together in our highly interactive session what many of you are doing.  Come and bring your ideas and questions.

If you want to make a contribution to our session, please either email us at smsc@evantell.org, or comment!  We’ll contact you!

Here are some ideas from a blog post published on the EvanTell blog site not long ago.  

When Paul left Thessalonica, he did not abandon the new believers but sent Timothy to establish and encourage them in the faith (1 Thess. 3:2). Once people trust Christ, don’t leave them alone! New believers who begin the Christian life are at a critical point. Leaving the old life behind isn’t easy. Though the Holy Spirit provides the power to live victoriously, old patterns, old habits, and old temptations are still there. New believers need mature believers to walk alongside them while they take their first steps on the road to maturity.

Here are four principles for assisting new believers in their initial growth. They take a very real commitment, but the results are eternal.

1.      A commitment to grace—Approach new believers with a gracious attitude born out of understanding where they are and what they need.

a.      New believers need parental attention. Paul considered the new believers as his own, not just God’s children. That attitude  helped him to extend abundant grace.

b.      New believers need a relationship more than materials. Excellent resources exist for new believers, but the most effective resource continues to be a friend. They need someone to help them with many of the simple, basic first steps.

c.       New believers need flexibility. All children grow at different rates. Paul conveyed in 1 Thessalonians 2:11 that he “exhorted, and comforted, and charged” them in the process of spiritual growth. Different personalities, circumstances, and needs require us to be flexible in our approach to discipleship.

2.      A commitment to time and hard work—Walking alongside new believers in their first steps of spiritual growth takes time and hard work. As a bare minimum, new believers need discipleship a minimum of once a week for eight weeks. The first eight weeks are sometimes when new converts face their greatest adjustments, strongest temptations, and biggest doubts. To have a brother or sister in Christ meeting with them makes a marked difference.

3.      A commitment to maturity—The goal should not be merely to get them to church but for new believers to become like Jesus Christ, mature in their attitudes and actions; to serve Christ; and to help others know Him and grow in Him (see Col. 1:28–29).

4.      A commitment to care—The care and concern Paul had for new believers revealed itself in how he shared his very life with them.

When you follow-up with new believers, they are less concerned with how much you know and more concerned with how much you care.

Adapted from the Evangelism Study Bible®  

Ukraine: Refugee Update

Ukraine – Kharkov Pregnancy Assistance Center

6/8/2015 Possible escalation in Ukraine – latest news from the war zone in Ukraine from The Telegraph.  Remember, all donations received by EvanTell for Ukraine are sent directly to the SMSC pregnancy centers.  No money is retained by EvanTell.

Kharkov Pregnancy ASMSC donate button tealssistance Center Reports that a relationship with a local church to teach the Alpha course has deepened relationships with refugees.  Pregnant women and women with children under two years old are especially in need.  They are receiving diapers, food, hygiene items, baby necessities, and additional items needed by nursing mothers and small children.

Another church recently cooperated with the Kharkov center to host a concert called, “Heaven Sent,” where families were encouraged and received packages of materials that refugees need when they have to run for their lives.  This concert had special value for the people who attended.  Here’s a report from Lena Batina, center director, showing the effect of the program for one mother.:

According to statistics, 1/3 of displaced persons are children. What do they dream about? They dream about peace throughout the land, about happy families that have both a mother and a father, about a cozy home, where they can hear their mother’s song.  At the concert “Heaven Sent” the home-like atmosphere of warmth and acceptance, not only touched the hearts of the children, but also the older generation of mothers and grandmothers.

The post-Soviet countries brought forth a generation of mothers who never sang. This was not because the mothers did not love their children, but because they had to work to produce the communist state. Women were forced to place their children in daycare from the age of 3 months, and let the State educate them. It is amazing how the Lord knew in advance how this meeting would touch hearts that have been hardened and inconsolable. Through lullabies, the Lord has healed the people, in some cases opening floods of tears.

Tanya shared how her heart was touched: “These lullabies reminded me of the distant past. As she was cradling the baby, I felt that in her motherly arms she carried the whole life of her child.” Another woman was a grandmother, who cares for her young grandchildren. Her heart was touched by the gift given to her by these people she had never met.

Previous Ukraine Posts

Hukraines-war-zone-government-claims-new-advances-1-638elp SMSC Centers Serve Ukrainian Refugees Fleeing the War Zone

As the war in Ukraine intensifies, SMSC centers are responding by caring for hundreds of pregnant women, nursing women, and mothers with young children.  These families are fleeing the Donetsk area with almost nothing.  Many make their way to Kharkov, a city only about 4 hours northwest of the fighting.  UPDATE:  We made our first donation to the center on 3/23/15, and pray you will help us to complete another donation of $1,000 or more in a week.  Please do help!  100% of all funds donated go DIRECTLY to the center for immediate use with the refugees – no funds are retained by SMSC.

Ukraine_KharkovOur center partner has been serving refugee families with pregnant moms or infants and toddlers.  At first they saw 30-40 a month, then 30-40 families a week, and now 15 – 30 families a day!  Most refugees are passing through, heading for other locations – but they are hungry, frightened, and they believe the rest of the world has forgotten about them.  But God has not forgotten them.

Lena B We have been asked by Lena Batina, the founder and executive director of the center located in Kharkov to help them help the refugees God is sending to them by raising funds for packages of basic necessities to give the families.   100% OF ALL FUNDS DONATED GO DIRECTLY TO THE UKRAINE!  

 See the List HERE 

SMSC donate button teal

Please help meet emergency needs and supply our SMSC-trained center as they deliver mercy, grace, and the gospel.  
Help us help your sisters and brothers in Ukraine provide bread to eat, and the Bread of Life, for desperate refugees.   Read more here….

Photos below are from a concert Monday, 9 March, 2015, Kharkov, Ukraine.  to encourage refugees with music, share the gospel, and provide package of necessities.  Sponsored by Kharkov Pregnancy Assistance center and local church.  The church will follow up with families, and the pregnancy center will enroll those staying in the area for a parenting class.

Mothers hear Gospel messageSinging Lullaby Songs

IMG_4814_ packages

Above left, Sharing the gospel with families
Above right, Trio of ladies singing lullaby songs
Left, packages of necessities distributed to refugee families after concert

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The Father Absence Crisis in Pregnancy

Guest Blog by Ryan Sanders, National Fatherhood Initiative

Parents and BabyAt National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), we talk a lot about the crisis of father absence. You, who serve in the pregnancy centers, see this crisis every day. A boy makes a baby and is unable or unwilling to be involved in his or her life. It is one thing to ensure the safety and health of the baby, but quite another task to make sure the child is raised by an involved, responsible, and committed father.

This is why NFI works with pregnancy centers to ensure that they have the tools and training they need to integrate fathers into their work, helping them build strong families. This is no small task. But, we know from research, when dad is involved, the child’s chances of success increase. We know that when a child grows up without his or her dad in the home, the child is:

– More likely to go to prison
– More likely to commit a crime
– Seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
– More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
– Two times more likely to drop out of high school

These are just a few of the odds stacked against a child when dad is not in his or her life . Imagine, with the over 1.8 million women who visit the over 2,500 pregnancy centers in the United States, each family that comes through your doors has a need for a focus on dad. That’s what our skill-building resource, 24/7 Dad® does. It gives the mom the help she needs. It gives the child the help he or she deserves. It builds strong families.

I know you are in the work of training and volunteering women and families so mothers in crisis get the opportunities and help they deserve. That is a most-worthy cause. And for this I thank you. I know you are also wake up in the morning to do your work of serving because you care about—not only the mom—but the child—and the entire family. You care about the next generation. I applaud your efforts to serve where and when it matters most. At such a critical time in the life of a child and mother, I think your goals, and NFI’s mission, are one in the same…to build strong families…right from the beginning. It really is all about that beautiful child created in the image of God.

NFI stands with you, ready to build strong families. God bless your work. If you wish, you may find details about our 24/7 Dad® Program by signing up for one of two free webinars coming up on January 20th and 21st. Visit here (http://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood/247-dad-third-edition-whats-new) for more details or to learn more about 24/7 Dad® visit here (http://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood/247-dad-third-edition-whats-new)

Ryan Sanders is Director of Marketing and Communications at National Fatherhood Initiative. He is married with two young daughters and lives in Washington, DC. Follow him on twitter @TheFatherFactor.

Marsha Middleton: Teaching SMSC Regional Training in Missouri – January 15, 2015

Marsha Middleton

Marsha Middleton, SMSC Master Instructor, and CEO of Alliance for Life, Missouri, will be conducting Save the Mother, Save her Child Regional Training in Lee’s Summit, Missouri on January 15, 2015.

Participate in the first SMSC Regional Training of 2015, at Rachel House Pregnancy Resource Center, Lee’s Summit, MO!

For registration and location details, click HERE.

SEMINAR TOPICS

  • What do we tell the non-Christian?
  • How to present the gospel
  • Overcoming Fear in Evangelism
  • In-Person Role Play
  • Turning a conversation to spiritual things
  • How to Create your Short Powerful Testimony
  • Handling Common Questions & Objections
  • How to use SMSC materials