LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes rolled their new mobile pregnancy care resource center into the West Orlando area of Village Square last Saturday (May 14) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide pregnancy care services and information to young women in the area, which does not have a pregnancy care resource center.
The purpose was to reach out to women and families who may be in a crisis pregnancy and may not have access to a pregnancy care resource center in their area. The love and hope of Jesus Christ was shared with every woman served. This event, called Love Orlando, was a partnership project of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes’ Sanctity of Human Life program and the First Baptist Church of Orlando’s First Life Center for Pregnancy.
The mobile pregnancy care center, which is a converted camper trailer that was donated to the Children’s Homes last year, was designed to provide ultrasound screenings, counseling, and other services to women in areas struck by natural disasters. If the mobile center is not needed for natural disasters it will be utilized in various underserved communities across the state.
Mary Lou Hendry, director of Sanctity of Human Life for the Children’s Homes said a lot of people came by out of curiosity, but that a number of young women from the area came into the mobile pregnancy care center seeking information and assistance. “During the four hours that we were set up we provided free pregnancy tests, biblical counseling, as well as ultrasound screenings for women to confirm that they were indeed pregnant. It’s always an amazing moment when you are able to show them the new life that is living and growing inside their womb,” Hendry said.
“One young woman came by our mobile center who was 31 weeks along in her pregnancy and had not had any prenatal care. She was not able to qualify for Medicaid and does not have health insurance. “We provided her with her first ultrasound where she could see her fully developed baby, which will be born in the next several weeks. “We were able to connect her with a nurse midwife who will be able to help her get the help she needs through the remainder of her pregnancy and afterward to ensure her newborn receives all of the proper care that it needs in order to thrive. “In addition, the Gospel message was presented to seven women and two of those women received Jesus Christ as their Savior,” Hendry said.
Hendry says that the ultrasound machine, which was donated to them by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is an invaluable tool in helping to inform and educate women experiencing a crisis pregnancy about their unborn child. “It’s usually a very emotional moment when the woman sees her baby on the ultrasound for the first time. She can see her baby’s heart beating at the very earliest stages of pregnancy. The ultrasound machine has become such an important tool for our ministry. “It’s important to note that nearly 80% of all women considering abortion choose life when they see their unborn child on the ultrasound screen,” Hendry said.
Carmem Carmo, interim director for First Life Center for Pregnancy said that the Love Orlando project was a way to not only protect the unborn, but to also reach the lost with the love of Christ. “Our goal was to reach lost souls with the love of Jesus through this very unique pregnancy care ministry. We believe this project started in God’s heart, and we definitely felt His presence that day,” Carmo said.
Dwayne Hastings, vice president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said that they are very pleased that the first portable ultrasound unit placed by the Psalm 139 Project is going out as part of the Children’s Homes’ efforts to share Christ’s love with those facing a crisis pregnancy.
“We are confident that God will use this machine in mighty ways to save the lives of the unborn that may be threatened and to bring glory to Himself,” Hastings said.
Charlie Cox, vice president of programs for the Children’s Homes said that they will be looking for opportunities to partner with other churches and pregnancy centers across the state.“We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with First Life Pregnancy Center to provide this life saving ministry to underserved communities in the Orlando area. We are praying that other churches will join with us as we help reach the lost and protect the Sanctity of Human Life.”