Testimonies - Clients
Ann was a 22-year old single and pregnant woman who came to SLM for help. On her first visit, she was listened to and told of resources available to help her. She said it surprised her that someone prayed with her, and she wanted to come back and "try it again." Her second visit also included prayer and a ride home from a volunteer, who then invited her to church, where she met other single parents. The church had a baby shower for her and she said after that she "had everything and didn't need anything."
Because of her involvement with people from church and knowing why these people were helping her - "they had God in their lives - they had accepted that Jesus had died on the cross for them and that's what they taught me" - she prayed to receive Jesus into her heart and got involved in church and home group. For many months the church reached out to her in many ways, including giving her rides to church and other places. One young man was particularly attentive to her. After a time, he asked Ann to marry him, and now they have four children!
When asked what she is thankful for, Ann replied, "healthy children, my husband, good people around me, the Center, my church." Christ means love and acceptance to her, and indeed His people surrounded and embraced Ann and her children with love and acceptance.
Virginia was a 17-year old client who came to SLM for a pregnancy test. She was full of anxiety as she contemplated how her life would be changed if she carried her pregnancy to term.
Virginia's counselor talked with her about how God greatly loved her and was calling her to lean on Him during this difficult time. Virginia replied, "I know that God's punishing me by letting me get pregnant!"
Her counselor explained to her that God has given us guidelines for sex within a marriage relationship so that we might avoid the heartache that she finds herself facing. At the same time, the counselor continued, "He wants to help you and your little baby. In fact, He has a gift for you-the forgiveness of your sin and a new life, though Him."
Her counselor had the privilege of praying with her to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord. Virginia left the center that day with resources, hope and encouragement.
Maria came to the States through an Au Pair program. "Four months before I finished my contract, I figured out I was pregnant." Before long, she was feeling pain in her stomach. "I was so scared, and I needed to talk to somebody. I didn't know what I was going to do."
She looked on the Internet and found SLM. "That's how I met my counselor. And now we're very good friends."
On Maria's first visit, her counselor talked about God and how he could provide for her. Maria thought, "Oh no, now this is the church stuff." She said she really at that moment didn't want to know anything about church… I had a very bad experience with church. I thought if you are not a good girl, God will punish you."
But when her counselor ended their time with prayer and extended an invitation to her church, Maria found herself accepting because she didn't see how she could deal with her pregnancy by herself. She didn't have a job and felt lost. She thought God might be giving her an opportunity for help through this invitation.
God has provided much for her through church members prayers and counsel. She became involved in a weekly church care group where the members reached out in friendship to her. Because of the relationships she was building through the church she was attending, Maria decided to remain in the United States. "I thought, I want my baby to grow up in this environment. I want the best for me and my daughter." Now, Maria and her daughter are living with a couple from the church. In addition, through contacts at SLM, Maria is now working full-time for a business run by Christians.
Maria bears no resemblance to the desperate, angry girl she once was. "My point of view about God is very different than before. Now it's like: I need Him, I need to hear from Him. He's teaching me so many things. Now it's like my eyes are seeing different."