One never knows what a week might hold at the Pregnancy Resource Centre.
As I write this update, our Client Services Director Heather is providing support to a client in early labour in the meeting room next to mine. In the past month we have provided care to 22 new clients, including several teens and young women who are facing unplanned pregnancy while they also deal with really significant losses (such as the death of an immediate family member or partner and grieving the loss of a stillborn baby in a past pregnancy). We have supported women in their 20’s and 40’s who found out they were pregnant shortly after their relationships with long-term partners finally dissolved. Several young women came to the Centre completely overwhelmed because their boyfriends and family members were encouraging them to terminate their pregnancies, but in their hearts they wanted to have their babies. With the support of the Centre these women are facing difficult circumstances and continuing their pregnancies.
Sometimes people ask who our typical client is. We do see a lot of women in their 20’s. But our youngest client was 13 years old and our oldest clients have been in their late 40’s. Some of our clients have been homeless. And some have been university graduates in professional careers. Some of the teens and women we serve are in relationships, some are even married. Some are in “friends with benefits” situations or on-and-off relationships. Some are not in relationships at all. About a third of our clients come for pregnancy tests, more than half of which are negative tests. I often think about three teen girls who came together to the centre for pregnancy tests. They looked like your average “nice kid” teens ... the kind of girl you might want to have babysit your kids. As we met with each of them, they individually disclosed that they had each been active with the same male; this seemed normal in their peer group experience. When we met with these young ladies, we had an opportunity to talk to them about lifestyle choices, and more importantly, about their value and worth. A message they had not really heard before.
Quite a number of our clients have had abortions in previous pregnancies. Sometimes this makes it easier for them to choose abortion again. Sometimes this makes them more determined to continue a pregnancy. We have seen an increase in the number of male clients visiting with their female partners. Often these males say they will support their girlfriends/friends “no matter what”, but then they say that abortion would be the best solution. Several have talked about not feeling like they were able to be good fathers, because they weren’t in a position to be financial providers or because they didn’t have fathers in their own lives as role models. We have also served several international students of various faith backgrounds over the past year. What an opportunity this is to show grace to young people who only know strict and unforgiving religion.
Every time we meet with a client, an opportunity is provided to share hope and truth in Christ. Some clients are not interested in discussing spiritual matters. But many are very open to hearing about God and his care for them. In the past year and a half, eight clients have accepted Christ!
We are having more of these opportunities to share Christ’s love in tangible ways, because the Centre is growing! During the first year that we opened, we provided support to 40 clients in 68 visits. Last year we met with 119 new clients in more than 300 visits. This year we are continuing to grow and between January and May have already met with 76 new clients in 150 visits! Hear the stories of two of our clients on this video:
We are so grateful to God for Harvest for the leadership provided to the Centre, through Pastor Todd who serves as our board chairman and other Harvest members serving in various capacities. We are grateful to God for his provision through Harvest’s regular support and through the baby bottle campaign. Thank you to each of you for your support. And thank you for your regular prayer for our clients and our team. Because we never know what a week will hold!
Barrie Pregnancy Resource Centre