Displaying items by tag: history

Celebrating Anne Pierson

imagejpeg 1Anne Pierson is a memorable soul – A pioneer. A founder. An author. A mentor. A mother & friend. Surrounded by housing peers, this noteworthy woman was awarded a Lifetime Legacy award on October 28 from the National Maternity Housing Coalition. “Anne has always been one of my role models since the moment I met her,” Peggy Hartshorn, Board President of Heartbeat International described, “I admire her both as an individual and as an example of ministry as a couple.”

Anne loves singing, puzzles, and striking up conversations wherever she goes. Her love takes the form of being able to focus deeply on the individual in front of her and speak to their heart. She gives “words” as a spiritual ministry to encourage and direct. She has lived a rich life of relationship, having touched many lives with her expertise and genuine love.

As an only child, Anne longed for the large extended families she saw in her childhood neighborhood. Her husband Jimmy had a deep yearning to be a father even as a youth. Both of these desires were realized in the unique extended family they created together. They wed when Anne was 18 years old and together, they had two daughters, Holly and Shelly. As youth ministers early in their marriage, Anne and Jimmy encountered a young woman who was pregnant due to rape. This encounter began a lifetime journey of service to women and children.

Anne and Jimmy welcomed over 200 pregnant women into the context of their personal home, opening their doors to women in need of support. The family life that was shared together is the source of many of Anne’s great stories and insights and Anne has stayed in touch with many of these families for years and years. Their personal efforts became formalized in the founding of a nonprofit, House of His Creation, in 1972. Following many years of direct service, the Pierson’s were publicly recognized in a speech made by President Reagan. This prompted other individuals and ministries needing help to reach out and eventually, led to the development of a new ministry.

Praying Over Anne

Anne began writing materials and in 1984, founded Loving & Caring, an international ministry to provide resources, materials, and practical tools for those in the pregnancy help movement. The My Baby and Me workbook series remains a valuable tool in the pro-life movement, especially in supporting the exploration of adoption. Anne played a key role in the establishment of the National Christian Housing Conference.

As a speaker, she has brought the pro-life message to a variety of settings including conferences, churches, and retreats. A natural storyteller, Anne brings a spark of humor and light-heartedness, illustrating her teachings with tales from her life. She is passionate about the impact of fatherlessness, the beauty of adoption, and the model of family.

“Anne’s years and years of service have shaped the maternity housing community in profound ways,” Mary Peterson, facilitator of the National Maternity Housing Coalition, noted. “She introduced and gave shape to a new model of ministry which inspired many to take up the work. Her work continues in the leaders she has formed who continue to serve with great conviction and passion.”

Over the course of their service, Jim and Anne received Heartbeat’s inaugural Servant Leader Award in 1996. Years later, they also received a 2011 Legacy Award, part of a very small community of those who have been honored with both. Following Jim’s passing in 2012, Heartbeat established a scholarship in his name to support a housing organization in attending the conference.

In recent months, Pierson has announced that the next season of her ministry will be closer to home. A resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Anne is involved with ministries and churches in that community. She has a rich family life including 3 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Speaking with conviction, Hartshorn summed up Anne’s legacy in this way, “Anne is an incredibly wise woman – versed in human nature, able to see what women really need, and willing to pour herself out with genuine love.”

As the Lifetime Legacy award noted, Anne Pierson has indeed “fought the good fight and finished the race.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Pregnancy Center Volunteers Honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (9/19/08) – The President’s Volunteer Service Award was conferred on 32 Heartbeat International affiliated pregnancy resource centers and 55 volunteers who serve Heartbeat affiliated centers on September 19, 2008. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Joxel Garcia, M.D., M.B.A., bestowed the honors on Heartbeat’s affiliates and volunteers for the significant contributions they have made to their communities.

“Heartbeat International is an effective network of more than 1,000 faith-based community organizations aided by more than 25,000 volunteers. We are thrilled to see our volunteers honored by the Administration,” said Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. “We are very proud to carry on the American tradition of volunteerism and community service especially in a way that helps women and strengthens families.”

In concert with the White House USA Freedom Corps, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Public Health and Science honored 150 “exemplary volunteers” who serve pregnancy centers around the country along with 56 pregnancy resource centers at a White House ceremony on September 19, 2008. Pregnancy center representatives and volunteers participated in the White House awards ceremony from 10 am-noon in the Indian Treaty room of the Old Executive Office Building connected to the White House.

“Uplifting the lives of women and families around the world is Heartbeat’s mission. We are compassionate people and passionate for life. If you feel called to give back to your community and want to volunteer you can visit http://www.pregnancycenters.org/" data-mce-href="http://heartbeatinternational.org/eNewsletter/2008/enews_Annual_Review-4-08-full.htm">PregnancyCenters.org and use the center locator system to find your local pregnancy center,” said Hartshorn. “Pregnancy center volunteers include doctors, lawyers, nurses, concerned parents, social workers, educators, and many others. They provide healthy alternatives to abortion for girls and women faced with an untimely pregnancy. Many of our volunteers have had personal experience with an unplanned pregnancy, adoption, and abortion.”

“These volunteers have spent countless hours serving the most vulnerable among us. Their efforts deserve recognition and our deepest appreciation,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Joxel Garcia, M.D., M.P.H.. “Their services provide these women and their babies the opportunity for a healthier beginning.”

“Today, we recognize the service of these volunteers who are lifting lives and impacting their communities and our country for good,” said Alison Young, acting director of USA Freedom Corps, an initiative to help Americans connect with volunteer opportunities at home and abroad. “As they serve women in need, they spread the very best of the compassionate volunteer spirit that keeps America strong.”

For more information about the President’s Service Award, visit http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/" data-mce-href="http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/">PresidentialServiceAwards.gov.

Click here for interview with Dr. Ann Moell, Medical Director of Elizabeth’s New Life Center, Heartbeat affiliate in Dayton, Ohio. Ann was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fresh from Washington D.C.

Fresh from Washington D.C.

by Peggy Hartshorn, Heartbeat International, President
(from Take Heart Volume 2, Issue 2)

I’m excited to share with you our encouraging news “fresh from Washington, D.C.”! I spent almost a week in our nation’s capital for meetings with national pro-life leaders, for the annual March for Life, and for our Babies Go To Congress™ (BGTC) event. What a magnificent week! Click here for a quick picture album of our March for Life team.

First, our BGTC was full of glory. We took several Heartbeat affiliates and their clients with babies – five Heartbeat teams totaling 27 people – to meet with to key Congressional representatives in 23 offices. We delivered the message that “pregnancy centers are good for America.” And our mothers were able to tell their stories as well and present to their elected officials a copy of the powerful report A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life (researched by Family Research Council with the help of Heartbeat and other organizations in our movement). Walking the halls of Congress with our affiliates, mothers, and babies, was an honor and blessing for me personally.

Ripples, turning into currents, as a result of this trip will be many! Here are excerpts from a thank you letter to Heartbeat from just one of our mothers who came with her husband and baby:

“I wanted to thank you and Heartbeat International for the love and commitment to healthy babies and families you showed to me and every lady in attendance (and the thousands of others that benefit from all that Heartbeat does). I personally praise God for you!

Anthony and I experienced so much while in Washington, DC, I am still processing/taking all of it in… I am a counseling student and I will be obtaining my School Counselor Certification. After my professors heard of my pending trip and involvement in BGTC, they advised me to submit a proposal to present at this year's Illinois School Counselor Association Annual Conference… School Counselors in Chicago need to be able to "Connect the Dots" and know about community resources that their students may need.

I must share that before coming to Washington, DC I was not 100% committed to the pro-life movement. Although I do not believe in abortion and would never advise or financially back someone in their decision to get an abortion, I just was not comfortable in completely taking that right away from women either. However, I was challenged to really think about not only what I believe but WHO I believe in.”

I would estimate that about 350,000-400,000 people came to Washington for the March this year, probably the largest in recent history. Perhaps 50 percent of the Marchers were young people. A Washington Post columnist went to the March thinking he would see a “quaint” gathering with a hopeless cause. He admitted his surprise when he found otherwise! An excellent column by Cal Thomas (January 27), highlights the youth pro-life movement, and mentions TWICE the role of our pregnancy centers: “Thousands of pregnancy centers are winning a new generation to their views.”

I hope that each of you will experience in 2010 the personal “refreshment” I experienced during this intensely pro-pregnancy center week, feeling the Hand of God at work in the halls of Congress and at the March for Life. Clearly, our united labor, gifts, prayers, and strategic initiatives are winning our fellow Americans over to the truth and goodness of our Cause.

Learn more about BGTC at HeartbeatInternational.org.

Return to Take Heart Volume 2, Issue 2.

Reflections from Auschwitz

by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President

I have personally stared into the crematorium at Auschwitz.

It’s a somber and sobering experience even to begin to try to digest the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis a little more than six decades ago. There are distinct connections and eerie similarities between the inhumanity of the Holocaust history and the ravages of abortion in our day.  This is not an easy subject to share, but let me narrow it to three lessons that Auschwitz (and the other death camps like it) teaches us. 

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  1. The value of  life must be championed in every arena. We must lift up the value of life in the family, community, government, academia and the market place.  The obvious horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany upon “inferior” peoples didn’t spring up suddenly. The abominations took root over many years and in different environs.

    Ever heard of the Tiergarten 4 program? It was a 1930’s Nazi program to “deal with” the physically handicapped, disabled and mentally ill.  Nazi leadership determined that the resources necessary to maintain such life could be better used elsewhere to the betterment of the overall society. Sound familiar? (Google Tiergarten 4 for more understanding.) The outcomes of this relatively small program were instrumental in the implementation of the “Final Solution.”

  2. We need champions. We need individuals and groups who will stand for life in all the arenas of our society.  We need people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This German pastor sounded the warning as his fellow countrymen slipped into an idolatrous cult of the Führer (leader) and as two highly popular Nazi “ideals” joined forces: a militarized state and the deluded vision of a utopia peopled by the Aryan "super race." These two popular forces led to the murder of millions of people, brought about vast devastation upon a continent, and carved a deep, wide scar in our collective history. 

    As Nazi Germany and imperialistic Japan gained power, champions in various disciplines also rose to oppose these regimes.  Some stepped out willingly while others were thrust into leadership. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie Ten Boom, Winston Churchill, and Douglas McArthur are but a few well-known names. But countless others – from the underground and resistance forces to those in the ranks of the liberation armies – joined with the efforts of homebound citizens of many nationalities to defeat this worldwide scourge. 

  3. All are necessary to combat this evil. The confluence of social, politic, economic, legal, and militaristic forces precipitated the horrors of Auschwitz. Today only violence is, and should be, absent from the forces that we use to combat abortion.  We need progress on every front – expanding a culture of life, creating political and legislative gains, addressing economic realities, and intervening where lives are endangered.  We cannot abandon those who are in the valley of decision today and whose decision will not wait for the unfolding of big political and legal victories.

    “Divide and conquer,” attributed to the great Roman general Julius Caesar, is a well-known battle strategy.  The enemy of God has been using this tactic since the temptation in the Garden.  Unfortunately, he still uses this tactic every day and every way to divide God’s people. This is an unfortunate reality in the pro-life movement as well.

    Pro-life champions, whether on the stage, in public demonstrations or “in the trenches,” must recognize the necessity of standing together.  We must resist divisions of denomination or method. We must walk with respect for how others are called to address this single greatest evil of our time. “But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you" (1 Corinthians 12:24-25).

It’s also important to remember the Apostle Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” This man of God addressed paupers and princes, artists and academics, the weak and the wealthy, in his effort to advance the Gospel. Can we do any less in advancing the Gospel of Life?

As one of our champions, John Ensor says, “It’s our turn.” As other generations have arisen to combat the evil of their day, we do so against the evil of our generation – abortion. We, like Corrie Ten Boom in her day, are not alone. We have millions upon millions of like-minded, life-minded friends and partners worldwide dedicated to the advancing a culture of life. Most of all, we stand rightly on the side of the Giver of Life, also known as the Lord of Hosts!  In this, we can draw comfort, strength and even peace. In this, we can truly take heart!

 

Honoring Everyday Heroes

 

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Just like any other everyday hero, the quartet of life-savers honored as Servant Leaders at the 2013 Heartbeat International Annual Conference quietly go about their business with no expectation of being celebrated this side of heaven.

 

It came as no surprise, then, when the first winner—Becky Coggin Hyde—stood speechless, even flabbergasted, as Heartbeat President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, PhD, announced the Arlington (TX) Pregnancy Centers director as the first of four recipients for Heartbeat’s most prestigious award.

Becky was joined by Beverly Kline, Ann Carruth, and Amy Jones, while Mary K. Tiller was tabbed as the inaugural “Heart of the Future Award” honoree for emerging leaders in the pregnancy help movement.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Becky became Director of Arlington Pregnancy Centers in 1987, and has served in that capacity ever since. In her 26 years, Becky has expanded the center—now called Arlington/Mansfield Pregnancy Centers—to four locations, along with a resale store that funds much of the ministry.

“Becky’s leadership skills are excellent,” one of her co-workers said. “When the Lord lays something on her heart and there is unanimous agreement with the Board, she moves expediently. She waits on the Lord, and she doesn’t move until she is sure He is in the midst of whatever project presents itself.”

Another of the award winners laboring in Texas, Beverly Kline, founded Living Alternatives in 1982 and still serves as executive director for the ministry that has served women and families with everything from pregnancy tests and living accommodations to life-skills training and adoption services in its 31-year history.

Originally based in Beverly’s one-bedroom apartment in Tyler, Texas, Living Alternatives now includes a pregnancy resource center, a resale ministry for teen foster girls (“Keeps Boutique”), a maternity home, and an adoption agency.

The third Texan recognized as a Heartbeat Servant Leader at her home-state Conference was Dallas-based Council for Life Founder Emeritus Ann Carruth.

One of 11 original founders of what was then known as Pregnancy Resource Council in 2001, Ms. Carruth’s vision to support a local pregnancy center began with a single banquet called “Celebrities Celebrating Life,” and has since raised $3.3 million.

Council for Life, who has partnered financially with Heartbeat, began a national affiliate program in 2011, encouraging other major pro-life donors in U.S. cities to unite for the cause of Life.

Amy Jones currently serves as Director of Servants for Life, an international ministry based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, which offers mentoring, coaching, counseling, and training to ministry leaders and boards. She began her life in ministry as a high schooler serving with Youth for Christ, and spent 22 years leading Christian Life Home, a housing ministry for young, pregnant girls.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship and as a consultant with Heartbeat International.

The founder and executive director for Expectant Heart Pregnancy Resource Center in Longview, Texas, Mary K. Tiller was given the first Heart of the Future award for younger leaders stepping into key roles in local pregnancy help organizations across the globe.

Mary K., who holds a master’s degree in Human Services, Marriage and Family from Liberty University, founded Expectant Heart in 2011, and the center began serving clients in November of 2012.

“Mary K. represents what a next-generation leader should be,” Heartbeat Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell, LAS, said. “We have witnessed firsthand that she is a servant leader and a learner, and because of that, it has been our delight to work with her.”

To view all Heartbeat Servant Leader award recipients, click here.

40 Years after Roe, God Reigns

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Forty years after a case originating in a Dallas courthouse was decided in the U.S. Supreme Court, Heartbeat International returned to the birthplace of Roe v. Wade April 2-5 with a simple message:

We serve the Giver of Life, and He Reigns.

Nothing, including political climates, cultural shifts, or even the unspeakable worldwide tragedy of abortion, can dethrone the God whose glory is set above the heavens.

This precious truth was woven throughout every aspect of the 2013 Annual Heartbeat International Conference, which included close to 1,000 friends of Heartbeat, including attendees, exhibitors, expert workshop presenters, inspiring keynote speakers, Heartbeat board members, and donors.

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…”

Fittingly, the centrality of prayer emerged as a major theme throughout the Conference, as 40 Days for Life National Director David Bereit helped set the tone for desperate dependence upon the living God as the keynote speaker during the Conference’s first evening session.

David was one of eight keynote speakers throughout the four-day event, which concluded with a closing banquet and address from Heartbeat International President Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, who is commemorating her 20th year of tireless service in that capacity, and her 40th year of active involvement in the pro-life movement.

Opportunities for prayer and worship were led in part by worship leader Greg Gober, while opportunities to participate in mass were led by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, who also keynoted at the Conference.

Conference participants were also given the opportunity to receive prayer during their time in Dallas, thanks to the generous involvement of Refuge House of Prayer and Breath of the Spirit, who volunteered their time to encourage and refresh those on the front-lines of the battle for Life.

“…let the many coastlands be glad!”

The glorious truth that God reigns carries along with it global implications, and this was also reflected at the Conference, where a total of 20 representatives from 11 non-U.S. countries gathered.

These friends served as a great reminder that God’s reign extends to all corners of the world—from the U.S. to Zambia, Australia to South Africa, Mexico to the Philippines, Costa Rica to Austria, Canada to Liberia, and from Germany to Ethiopia.

And these friends were just a sampling of the more than 300 Heartbeat affiliates outside of the United States in over 50 countries. Two of these friends, Pastors George and Sylvester from Liberia, shared an African proverb that became a theme unto itself for the Conference:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We hope you join us at next year’s Annual Conference, March 24-27 in Charleston, South Carolina!

RememberingRoe.com calls pro-life movement to reflect, repent, restore

By Virginia Cline

rr-web-adI remember my father’s tears on January 22, 1973. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry.

I was 11 years old when I found him crumpled up on the stairs, shuddering, with his folded hands pressed to his face as he sobbed. I will never forget how he was curled up in the fetal position as he wept. It took him no less than 10 minutes to choke out the fact that seven men on the U.S. Supreme Court had decided it should be legal for a mother to abort her baby.

On that particularly bleak Monday afternoon, he cried for the millions of babies he knew would die at the hand of Roe v. Wade.

How could we fail to acknowledge the more than 54 million children aborted in the United States alone since the insidious Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973—the most tragic and unforgettable date in U.S. history?

Since the upcoming presidential inauguration is planned for Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, the 40th annual March for Life was moved to Friday, Jan. 25, leaving the anniversary itself without acknowledgement. Heartbeat International and at least 10 other partnering pro-life organizations—including March for Life—did not want the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to pass by without a national day of prayer and fasting, so RememberingRoe.com was launched.

RememberingRoe.com promotes a day of remembrance and hosts a variety of interactive tools and includes an opportunity to sign up for a national hour of prayer via webcast, led by the National Pro-life Religious Council on Jan. 22, 2013, beginning at 3 p.m. EST.  

The site is also the vehicle for a national campaign that seeks to send 1.2 million red pro-life postcards to the president in honor of the 1.2 million victims of abortion in the U.S. each year. For a small donation, visitors can sign up for a red card—personalized with their name—to be delivered to the White House on Jan. 22, 2013, sending the leader of the free world a positive message about the sanctity of every human life from those he represents.

Forty years of destroying life in the womb is the battle that defines our society. The false “choice” of aborting a child has endangered our very civilization by attacking the dignity of human life and by denigrating motherhood. The escalating evil of abortion calls for a supernatural response, and so we challenge every pro-life individual to kneel together as one nation under God, and call upon Him as we remember, reflect, repent and plead for restoration on the anniversary of this disastrous turning point.

Prayer is the strongest weapon against the evil that is abortion. Our hope is that members of the pro-life movement call upon God—the Giver of Life—in prayer and fasting together as we fight for the sanctity of life in America. As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches, visitors are encouraged to post prayers on RememberingRoe.com, leading to greater unity among members of the pro-life community.

There’s also a place at the site to share your story of how you first heard about Roe v. Wade. Some of us are old enough to remember exactly where we were when we learned about the now-infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision.  Those born after Roe—rightly called “abortion survivors”—are also invited to share reflections on when and how they learned that the Supreme Court had declared it a “right” for every woman to choose to abort her baby.

My pro-life passion was ignited Jan. 22, 1973, after witnessing my father’s heartbreak and hearing his cries: “I could have done more. I should have done more to stop abortion.” 

Imagine if our stories listed online at RememberingRoe.com inspired Christians everywhere to do more to help each mother reject the “choice” to abort her child!

The goal of RememberingRoe.com—and the goal of Heartbeat International—is to make abortion unwanted now and unthinkable for future generations. The Holy Spirit has the power to kindle the fire of compassionate love within us, so that the pro-life movement can renew the face of the earth for LIFE. Let us unite so that we may never forget.