The front door creaked as we walked inside and switched on the lights. I surveyed the modest room: A few chairs, some potted plants, an end table or two and a coffee table stacked with magazines. It was cozy, warm and inviting, and I was eager to get to work. My aunt Sandra was the director at the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Titusville, Florida. My adolescent mind did not understand her responsibilities and the role she played in helping women; however, I knew it was important work and I wanted to help.
She tasked me with various chores such as vacuuming the waiting area, straightening the magazines, dusting, and organizing the brochures. As I browsed, my eyes fixated on a graphic picture of a fetus who had been aborted. The image haunted me.
A young woman came into the center. My aunt led her to a back room and spoke softly with her. I heard the muffled sounds of a videotape playing. The young woman was in need of a pregnancy test, and it would take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. While waiting for the test, Sandra encouraged her to watch the video about the importance of life.
I wanted to know more. By the end of the day I picked up some brochures and collected data on unwanted pregnancy, abortion, and adoption. I also added to my collection two plastic babies representing fetuses at 12 weeks. I armed myself with information to share with others in my circle. I left that day feeling satisfied that I not only helped maintain the center, but I had become a young advocate for life.
Twenty-one years have passed. Once again I find myself at the threshold of another pregnancy center in my community, the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities. I and my fellow MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Moms dust the furniture, sweep and mop the floors, vacuum the carpeted areas, and organize the brochures. I pass by the counseling rooms and reflect on helping my aunt that summer. The memories have dimmed, but the impact remains.
I understand how important a center like this can be to a young woman and the eternal value it holds for every woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. As I straighten the magazines on the coffee table, I think how this center, like the one from my childhood, strives to help each woman see God’s purpose for her life and the life of her unborn child. Through counseling, classes, and providing clothing and other baby supplies, the Center’s desire is to support each client throughout her entire pregnancy and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities, God is moving in the hearts of women in need of clean hearts.
This is my full-circle moment — cleaning a pregnancy center once again after all these years. I have participated in various projects and fundraisers for the Center, but I enjoy cleaning the best because I know that at any moment, a woman in need will walk through that door and find this place cozy, inviting and warm.
As published in the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities Newsletter, August 2012. Author: Melody Ross Hunter
Sandra’s comment: You never know who will be touched by what you do.