A cell phone, a facebook post, technology is helping Presbyterians Pro-Life mobilize ministry to women and babies.
It came, not "upon a midnight clear" but it was the early dark of winter and I was anxious to be on my way home. It was not "that glorious song of old" but the ringing of the telephone that changed my plans. I'd like to think there were "angels bending near the earth" and "goodwill to men" (or in this case a woman and a baby) that played out across 2,400 miles. It was one of those wholly undeserved, yet holy moments when you find yourself smack dab in the middle of what God is doing in someone's life.
She called at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, 18 years old, 8 months pregnant, unmarried, unchurched, and in need of a crib and baby clothes. She found PPL's website on the internet. Could we help? I couldn't help but think of Mary and Joseph, no room in the inn, swaddling clothes, and a manger! How could I not do everything in my power to help?
Presbyterians Pro-Life is not designed to be a direct care ministry. We have no funding for gifts of money and no stockpiles of baby clothing. What we do have, however, is connections with thousands of caring Presbyterians. Usually, when a request of this type comes in I go to our database in search of pro-life churches near the woman in need. In this case, sadly, I found none. I checked the PCUSA website for churches. There were three in proximity to this young mother, but none that had a relationship with PPL. Would they be a congregation that would introduce her to Jesus? Or, would they refer her to an abortion clinic? I had no way to be sure.
I went to PPL's Facebook page and our contacts in other social networks that have grown out of PPL's work with commissioners at General Assembly. I placed a simple post on Facebook making known this need for a crib and baby clothing in her zip code area. A Pennsylvania pastor with friends in her West Coast city asked if he could share the need with them. Of course! Within hours a woman he contacted sent me an email offering a crib and some other baby items. I facilitated a connection between her and the young woman.
Then a good brother in Pittsburgh offered a monetary gift. God moved just the right number of people and within the week provided her with a crib, a baby stroller, a gift certificate for baby clothing and most importantly a tangible expression of God's love shown through the generosity and care of His people!
Her immediate material needs have been met. I hope you will pray with me for her to know Jesus and to find the support of a loving church family. I can hardly wait to see a picture of the baby—so precious to God—that he moved his people through Facebook to acts of love in Jesus' name!