The Pregnancy Resource Center Shane & I helped start opened its doors 7 years ago today. What a story!
In 1999, 27 year old Shane felt called to ministry, but he only knew it was NOT preaching. As the year went on, the Lord refined the calling to show Shane the ministry related to children. I was 23 years old and a few weeks from college graduation when I went on a Walk to Emmaus retreat in August of that year. At that retreat, God allowed me to meet Marianne, who was grieving the loss of her miscarried child. God touched her on that retreat and showed her he was holding that little baby. I was so moved and touched by that, but also so heartbroken for the women who had lost children through miscarriage or early infant death that I knew God wanted us to minister to those women.
I came home so excited that God had shown me more, then as the weeks went on and we prayed about it, God showed us the ministry was to be a PRC. Y'all, my Grandma volunteered for a PRC. I told God I didn't want to do my Grandma's ministry. Surprisingly, he really didn't care and we carried on.
God lovingly nurtured us and confirmed the calling right and left. We had planned to contact Andrea about the ministry, since we'd talked for some time with her about the need for a PRC in the area (and she was already doing the ministry out of her car, essentially). But before we could call her, she called us and told us the Lord showed her we were supposed to start the ministry. Our church offered a spiritual gifts class and we found out my gift was encouragement and on the list of good ministry fits for me was....a crisis center!
So, in the late fall, we started speaking in churches to get the word out about our plans. We spoke first in a little group that was meeting in a feed store, we were so new at this and nervous. A train went through and we couldn't even be heard, but the Lord worked; we gathered our first board member there.
Throughout 2000, Shane, Andrea, Brian and myself met 2-3 times a month to discuss the details and tasks to opening a non-profit. I still vividly remember sitting on our second hand couch (it was UGLY!) nervously dialing the IRS asking questions about the mile high non-profit status paperwork. Oh, and I was pregnant with Hope this year and Marianne was pregnant with Katie-a miracle.
We found a building, it actually belonged to the church that was meeting in the feed store. They allowed us to rent-to-own it for $500 a month. They also gave us $500 a month as a donation. We raised the money and by Thanksgiving and paid cash for the $100,000 building. Who but the Lord could do that?
We remodeled just a little, painted-Mr. T painted 150 miles of trim! We were given most of our furniture. Its really nice when rich people decide their 4 year old furniture is "worn out".
On April 2, 2001 just a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday, I went to work as the Director of the PRC on it's first day to be open. I wore khaki pants and a green and khaki button down short sleeved shirt--green for life, I told myself.
Before we opened, we had a Yellow Page ad and a phone in our pastor's office. Through this arrangement, Tina had contacted us. She was pregnant and the father of the baby was in jail. We helped her find a maternity home, which she agreed was better than her mother's idea to abort. Bobby got out of jail and Tina left the maternity home--where she'd found out she was having twins. She delivered on our opening day. We felt that was the Lord saying he was going to doubly bless our center.
And he has! When someone important has toured our building, like a consultant for PRCs or a national trainer, they always told us we had the space, funding, and ideas of a center 20 years old. We added sonography services two years ago, we bought a property across the street for expansion, we have 6 or 7 paid staff, and God has provided much financially. So much that this PRC has been able to help support another center in Bolivia.
I've not been involved in the day to day running of that center in several years (that's why it's going so well!), but Shane and I will always be involved with PRCs, on way or another. It's one of the most rewarding ministries out there!
Oh, and just for fun-the church that met in the feed store is now our church. And yesterday I officially met Jan, who's training to be a new sonographer with us. She said she remembered when we came to the feed store and shared our vision; she was there, but had never imagined she'd be at the center over 8 years later. God is good and can do big things! (Especially when he uses people too young to know better!).