When I (Nicki) reflect back over the last few months since returning from our furlough in the UK I am thrilled at the answers to many prayers. Just before our furlough in the summer the leadership of “Alternatives”, the pregnancy crisis centre was handed over to a team of four of us. I am coordinating the team. It had never been my intention to take on such a responsibility, especially given the pressures of family life, but over the summer God did an amazing thing in my heart as He confirmed that He was with me and would equip me for the role. Over those few months my perspective changed from feeling overwhelmed, to feeling out of my comfort zone but knowing God is with me. I was so encouraged by the rest of the leadership team and feel supported by them. We are increasingly working well as a team and carrying the load together.
Since returning it has been amazing to see how many women God has brought to the centre especially through the Mothers and Babies ministry. Over 60 women have come to one or more of the meetings since September, participated in group discussions on such topics as “Showing love and honour to other” and then left with baby clothes, baby equipment such as cots or buggies, and toys. We continue to be amazed as more women come through the door! However, it does come with some challenges. Many are refugees or have very little income and it can sometimes be hard to make sure those with most need are helped whilst also trying to be fair. We’ve had women fight over buggies and shoes for their children. There is a particular clash of cultures between the many Moroccan women and those from central Africa. We would value your prayers for wisdom in how we can best serve these women without showing favouritism.
Over the last five months, Brigid and I have counselled one client using the post-abortion programme called “The Journey”. At the beginning of the process her answer to what her hopes were for the course was “to be free from guilt”. It has not always been an easy path for her but we are thrilled that God is indeed leading her to a place of freedom. She will finish in just a few more sessions but please pray for her (I will call her E) that she continues to have a deeper understanding of the God of incredible grace and compassion.
In Belgium alone last year there were 19,000 abortions, we are aware that other women including many in the wider church, are carrying guilt and shame and do not find a safe and secure environment to talk about it. We are aiming to start a post-abortion counselling group in the new year so please pray for us as we set this up, that God leads the right women to us.
The one weak area of the ministry at the moment has been the decline in appointments for pregnancy tests. Consequently we have worked hard on rethinking our publicity strategy. We fresh ideas for where to advertise and have new designs for our posters and fliers which we have distributed to clinics, schools, other organisation. In January we will have 160 adverts in the metro stations throughout the city. Kevin is also working on a new web site design for us. Please pray that women are drawn to the new publicity and our appointments rise again. When you consider the statistics we are so aware we are just touching the surface of the issue here and we feel God has always called us to go much deeper.
Until next time,
Nicki, Kevin, Sam,Ellie, Josh and Luc
- November 6-8: Kevin on retreat in Kent
- November 27: YWAM Board meeting – extraordinary to approve building renovation re-mortgage.