I am often asked to promote a variety of organizations and ministries that are doing a world of good. For my readers’ sake, I generally decline these requests. Most of the time, even if I agree with the mission and the ministry, I realize that I simply can’t point readers to every good ministry out there and maintain the consistency of this blog.
Still, there are rare occasions when I want to promote a ministry, and since these occasions are so rare, my support should be interpreted as very, very strong. That brings me to Heartbeat International and their ministry and their pregnancy support ministry. Let me introduce you to John Ensor – a man who has the mission of Heartbeat at his heart.
Trevin Wax: Welcome to Kingdom People, John. Tell us a little about Heartbeat International.
John Ensor: Heartbeat serves as the leadership supply-line for other pregnancy help ministries. There are 2000 plus pregnancy help ministries established now across the USA and Canada. They consist mostly of pregnancy help centers, (about half of which are now ultrasound-equipped medical clinics) and maternity homes, started, funded and staffed by the Christian community. With rare exception, none of these existed 40 years ago.
Trevin Wax: How does Heartbeat serve the pregnancy support movement and how did you become involved with this ministry?
John Ensor: Nearly 40 years ago, legalized abortion became the accelerant used to burn down the moral structures designed by our pluralistic society to protect women, children, marriage and family. In response, the pregnancy help movement emerged as a fire line: a winsome, life-saving and life-changing work of crisis intervention.
I consider this movement to be the underground railroad of our time. It is everyday Christians focusing on rescuing individuals and couples, promoting life, sexual integrity, family and faith in Christ in their neighborhood, while praying for the truth to work it’s way into the conscience our of country. Heartbeat’s role has been to keep this movement growing effectively and broadly.
For example, in 1992, when I lived in Boston, a number of churches recognized that by working together, in spite of remaining differences, and pooling resources, we could stop the killing and make dramatic changes in the lives of those in pregnancy distress. We turned to Heartbeat for training, resources, mentors and counsel.
- Over the next 12 years we established six pregnancy help medical clinics.
- We saw six abortion businesses close during that time.
- The state abortion rate dropped from 40,000 a year to about 26,000 a year.
While a variety of factors contributed to that downturn, one was certainly the cumulative impact of hundreds of Christians actively befriending, mentoring, evangelizing and helping thousands of women and couples who otherwise would have turned to an abortionist as their savior.
It fell to me to lead that effort. At the time, I was lamenting the discovery that probably 30% of the women in my church had already suffered an abortion (or three). An similar percentage of men confessed to pushing for and paying for abortions in their personal history. I was shocked. Then I was deeply disturbed at my own pastoral leadership as I read how clearly and plainly the Bible calls us stop the shedding of innocent blood (Dt 21:1-9, Psm 82:3-4; Lk 10:25-37 to name a few).
I turned to Heartbeat to learn how to take this biblical call and convert it into a practical local ministry. They taught me and our team how to save lives and how to do it in a personal and loving way so that the Gospel flowed freely from us to those we served. Now, at Heartbeat, I am working to turn the local pregnancy help ministry into a true global missions movement.
Trevin Wax: How can we get involved in helping Heartbeat move forward?
John Ensor: Start with a visit to our website. It was developed for Christians who are hungry and eager to make a difference in this, the preeminent injustice of our time.
We call the work before us, “cross-bearing for the child-bearing.” That reflects both the method and the message fueling the pregnancy help movement. It certainly reflects the sacrifice required.
This cross is taken up simply by taking up a small piece of the work. Decide which piece by reviewing our five initiatives. Then join that community of like-minded friends and supporters working with Heartbeat along those lines.
On the home page, take up the challenge: “$2 Answers this Call!” We designed this so that anyone and everyone can directly engage in the life-saving work of the pregnancy help movement. So buy a few calls and then sign up for the updates so you can learn who and how lives were saved through your support.
And tell the kids! Kids and teenagers recoil at the abhorrence of abortion. As soon as they learn of it, they want to stop it. Can you imagine what it would mean if the ninth graders in your church for example, each paid for a phone call that helped a mother choose life and then used their FaceBook or texted a few friends to follow? They would never forget it.
Giving stimulates passion; or as Jesus said it, “where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21). They may be active and supportive in the cause of life for the next 50 years. And should they or their friends ever need pregnancy help, they would know that help is a phone call away. That is our thinking behind the Answer the Call effort.
So if you want to advance the pregnancy help movement, visit Heartbeat International, feed your interest, invest a few dollars, follow your thirst!
Tomorrow, I’ll ask John about the recent campaign in Georgia that seeks to communicate the racial component of abortion-on-demand.