The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 18 with Melissa Heiland | Pregnancy Help Clinic Missionary

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 18 with Melissa Heiland | Pregnancy Help Clinic Missionary
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Listen to Melissa talk about how her group serves women on the mission field with pregnancy help organization services.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and on a recent episode of the Pro-Life Team Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Melissa Heiland from Beautiful Feet International. We delved into the vital work of international pregnancy clinic ministry in 17 countries. Melissa shared insights about her journey, starting from her personal experiences to her leadership role in Beautiful Feet International, a mission focused on establishing pregnancy centers globally.

Our discussion revealed the critical nature of this work in various countries, including Togo, West Africa. Melissa highlighted the challenges and triumphs of spreading the pro-life message in regions where abortion is rampant yet often hidden due to legal and cultural constraints. She emphasized the importance of Biblical teachings in educating communities about the sanctity of life, noting that many church leaders and members, even in evangelical circles, lack awareness of what the Bible says about life and abortion.

Melissa shared powerful stories from Togo, demonstrating God’s hand in their work. Despite logistical hurdles like COVID-19 restrictions and travel difficulties, their team successfully conducted women’s conferences, touching nearly a thousand lives. These conferences, primarily focused on the value of life in Christ, also served to inform women about the available support services for unexpected pregnancies.

The podcast highlighted the disparity in funding and resources between pro-life efforts in the U.S. and those in developing countries. Melissa urged listeners, especially those in leadership positions in pregnancy clinics, to consider the global need for pro-life work. She emphasized the transformative impact of extending support beyond local communities to a global scale.

In closing, Melissa encouraged those in the pregnancy ministry to continue their vital work and not lose heart amidst challenges. The podcast serves as a call to expand our pro-life vision, considering how we can contribute to the global fight for life.

#ProLifeGlobal, #BeautifulFeetInternational, #TogoLifeMinistry, #PregnancyClinicMission, #BiblicalProLife, #GlobalProLifeOutreach, #ProLifeEducation, #InternationalProLifeWork, #FaithInAction, #MissionaryWorkInProLife, #EmpoweringWomenWorldwide, #UpliftingLifeEverywhere, #ProLifePodcastInspiration.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast. I am here with Melissa and she’s with Beautiful Feet International and you can also find her website at beautiful feet international dot com and we’re going to talk about international focused, pricey clinic ministry work, you know in 17 different countries. We’re going to talk about how how God is calling us to how God is calling us as a group to help women across the globe when it comes to unplanned pregnancies and the needs that they may have. Melissa, thank you for joining us in the pro-life Team podcast. Would you please introduce yourself as if you were talking to a room full of Prancy Clinic Directors and Prancy Clinic Leadership people?

Melissa Heiland :

Sure thank you. My name is Melissa Hyland. I am a wife, been married 37 years. I’m a mother of six, grandmother of six with two on the way. I’ve been in the pregnancy health movement since 1985 I am the founder and president of Beautiful People International and we start International Pregnancy Ministries.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome so you’re you’re sort of like part of the the the educational arm of the pro-life world it sounds like. Or that the educational arm and like the empowering arm or the helping new new groups get started kind of space like you’re in a unique role when it comes to helping those helping people get started with a new clinic, helping them learn how to do things so I think we’re going to have a really good conversation about sort of like how that plays into different ideas in this pro-life world that we’re in. So tell me generally, what kind of things do you provide to clinics? Like what what what do you normally find yourself doing and helping clinics do, such as helping them get started or helping them be better equipped?

Melissa Heiland :

Yes so we provide educational education and training and then the materials that they need to get started and keep going so we have kind of a whole system in place now. We have our initial training, which is called Speak Life, and it is a training where we take them through what does the Bible say about sanctity of human life? We train. Church leaders around the world, we train them what the Bible says about the sanctity of human life and what we found is that most do not know what the Bible says about that. And then when their eyes are open, then we say, OK, well, now that you know what the Bible says, what are you going to do about it what is our responsibility to the unborn? How do we protect the unborn we protect the unborn by protecting their moms. And then we teach them. We teach them lay counseling skills we teach them practical things about how to work with these women, how to take care of these women. And then we provide. We have a whole curriculum called Growing Together, and we have devotionals for them. Quite a lot of materials for getting started and then we do ongoing training with all of our pregnancy ministries.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome so yeah, you guys are providing a lot of information essentially to help someone go from desiring to get started to actually being equipped to to to run a clinic, it sounds like yes, exactly. So, So and it sounds like you’re also international like can you explain sort of like the the, the, the geographic space that you help people start clinics?

Melissa Heiland :

Ok, so. It has really just grown organically we never targeted a certain area or anything it came to us sort of dropped in our lap and then we’ve been growing so we are actually right now in 17 countries would you like me to list the countries?

Jacob Barr :

Or rather, just Sure. Yeah, actually, yeah, that’s or that’d be. That ‘d be fun to hear actually.

Melissa Heiland :

Ok. So we currently have ministries in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico. Togo, West Africa, Liberia, West Africa, Tanzania, East Africa, Zambia, Africa, Chile, Haiti, Kenya, Cuba, Uganda, Dominican Republic, Malawi, South Africa, Ethiopia and Colombia. And I have a training coming up later this month where we will also be training people from Guatemala and India as well as some of these other countries.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so my first thought is, is I’m, I’m guessing that you’re you’re providing these services at no charge because some of the some of those countries are very impoverished and I don’t expect they would be able to afford a consultant to come in and help with educational pieces.

Melissa Heiland :

Yeah there’s never a charge for any of our services.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so that’s. So that speaks highly to your team living on faith and to your donors paying the bills. That’s really that’s a that’s a story of encouragement right there. So do you have a strong donor base or how does you know are you, how are you able to, how are you able to perform work in these countries, which I’m do you fly to these countries and work in person sometimes or is it remote? How does that work?

Melissa Heiland :

Ok, well, like everybody else, since the pandemic has come, things have changed. Prior to the pandemic, I did everything. Face to face flying to these countries occasionally I would have people that would come to the United States, but it was all face to face and primarily me going now like everybody else there’s been a little bit of a reshuffling, Not that I don’t go, but I don’t do it all through going some of the trainings we do via Zoom now a year and a half ago I didn’t know what Zoom was. Now it’s my middle name, you know. So actually I would say that that’s kind of been. A blessing, if I can say that of COVID.

Jacob Barr :

Not that I think COVID overall is, but the remote, yeah, working remotely has made it so it’s you’re more accessible and you’re more able to be you know you’re you’re you know accessible when it comes to, you know timeliness and geographically unbound I suppose.

Melissa Heiland :

And and one of the things that’s been a blessing about it is I’ve been able to train a lot of people from different places at the same time. So number one, I can train a lot more people that way but number two now they are really interconnected, whereas before they were isolated not that I purposely was isolating them, it just worked that way. But now our team of international directors, and it is all nationals that run the ministries, they’re all interconnected. We do trainings together, not only initial trainings but follow up trainings. And we have WhatsApp groups where we’re just doing stuff together. As a team, something we hadn’t done before.

Jacob Barr :

Wow that’s. Yeah so that’s that’s good wow so, so, so essentially but it sounds like you’re still not charging for these services and so is this like a, is this an offer that you have limited number of spots available for clinics to to to take advantage of this training and help and assistance or do you have a finite number that you’re able to to do like what does that look like?

Melissa Heiland :

Well, so we have been. I looked at making this up as we go along, but I what I would say is that I have requests that come in to me from around the world on a weekly basis. And so I have a sort of a screening process now for dealing with these inquiries. And so the answer is, to date, I have never said no to anyone based on money. Sometimes we have said no based on their goals and desires. And what we do not being a match. But as far as every time those things lined up, I have just said yes and just prayed for God to provide. And I will tell you that we opened our first pregnancy set, International Pregnancy Center in 2013 thinking there would only be one and eight years later we have. 52 International Pregnancy Center The thing is, is that God’s calling these people, I’m talking about, you know, people in Ethiopia and people in India god’s calling those people separate from you and separate from me. And, you know, it’s just through a divine connection that I can. Equip them to do the work that God’s called them to do i’m not. I’m not giving him that call. I’m not even giving him the idea God is calling them, and I’m just equipping them to do what God’s told them to do. So it’s awesome.

Jacob Barr :

And and I bet you probably hear from these people you’re helping that, you know, you’re like an answer to prayer i bet that’s probably a very common thought, because they’re probably we’re asking for God’s help and then here you are, you know?

Melissa Heiland :

And and now that we’ve done so many, like I said, we’ve started over 50 centuries now. I mean, it’s taken a while, but we kind of really, I don’t want to say we have it down because there’s always more to learn, but we really do know like step by step this. This is what we do. This is how it’s done. And you know, you don’t have to, you know, they sometimes are afraid or skeptical and I can say, listen, it’s being done well they’ll say, well, this is Africa i said matter of fact, you know, half of our centers are in Africa so you know, and you can talk to, you know, other people, you know, who are doing it and they can answer your questions as Africans or, you know, as Indians or whatever. So it’s a lot different than just hearing it from me which is kind of like, OK, that’s. Sounds good, but do you really know what you’re talking about, white lady you know what I mean?

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, You’re not local. Yeah, our government’s a lot, probably more difficult or slower or I mean then again, every government seems that probably has its difficulties.

Melissa Heiland :

Yeah and I mean, and but the amazing thing is that even during this pandemic, centers are being started. We started 5 centers last year in 2020 You know, and then we’ve started more this year and I say we it’s God, you know, it’s all God.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that those were God’s fingerprints those are very large fingerprints being left. So it so, so when it comes to clinics and, well, let me be back up so where does your funding come from to pay for your team or for yourself and the resources that you need to support all of these clinics that you’re you’re essentially serving and helping?

Melissa Heiland :

So the funding just comes from the people that God has called and so we don’t have like a huge or deep donor base. I never really know exactly how it’s going to all work out on paper sometimes to the chagrin of my board but, but but God has always provided we once a year do a big. We call it a World Walk for Life as a fundraiser it’s actually this month. And then it’s we have a few churches that give and mostly just individual people that God speaks to them and says, hey, you know, join me here in this work and so it’s funded all through donations.

Jacob Barr :

Wow. So yeah, I think we should bring up a topic based on the money in the US So like what what What have you heard about how much money And you know when people donate generally you know for the Prancy clinic movement what % of the money is you know the, you know I think you were saying before the podcast 85 % of the abortions happen outside of the US And then and I think you said like 98 % of the of the money donated or you know being spent in the US on Tracy clinic work is being spent on work in the US And so it with that essentially that sort of what are your thoughts on those numbers or you know those that idea.

Melissa Heiland :

Well, it makes me sad. I mean, I’m a missionary, you know, And so God has called me to to the world and but I think that. You know, God has called all of us, right when we look at Matthew 2818 through 20 to He’s called us all to go and make disciples of all nations and certainly we know that God cares about the unborn in Africa or Haiti or Cuba as much as he cares about the unborn in Indianapolis or Florida or Texas or New York, right we know that. And I just think that sometimes it’s hard for people to give to things they don’t see. I mean, you know and I so I find that when I talk to churches or even individuals about the work we do, they’re always really excited and say that’s great i give to and they neither the local pregnancy center which we support local pregnancy centers too and I did that work for a long time and I of course, but these are local pregnancy centers, right. But they. But the people in the, you know, the villages in Africa can’t be supported completely by their own communities they just can’t, you know. And so I am, I’m always hopeful and prayerful that people will start to get a bigger vision not that they do any less for their local centers, but that they say let’s look beyond that and and also we have some. Pregnancy centers in the USA handful not a lot. A handful who support us monthly because they say, wait a minute, we care about the unborn, where we are and across the world. And what they tell me is that their donors love that too because their donors love the idea that they’re not only helping to protect life in their town, but that they are protecting life in India and Haiti.

Jacob Barr :

And Liberia, yeah, yeah because those countries are, you know, just have they have a lot of need, but their financial resources there are consistently less. And so that it seems like that’s a that’s a very loving and caring option to, you know reach out to those faces and help people that are in those those great needs. And so I guess, you know the the idea within this podcast is for sorry, I’m in a middle school classroom. That’s why I I taught in a class last period and anyways all I have to say is that’s this is an authentic podcast. But yeah, so essentially I guess the call would be to encourage Tracy Clinic leadership to consider how they can adopt AA foreign mission field into into their vision so that they’re serving their local community, but they’re serving as part of this greater missionary, missionary like effort to to to help and whether they’re going through another organization or finding a way to reach and probably it needs to start with prayer, you know, praying for that community in a different country, praying for that community, praying for resources, praying for those people, praying for that, that mission in that space. And then hearing God’s voice on what they should do when it comes to supporting it or or what whatever God’s you know, essentially listening for God’s voice on that, on that idea and I think that would reach this authentic podcast is great. Aiden’s actually one of my students, so I I know exactly what they’re talking about on the loudspeaker anyway so but yeah, going back to, I think that that’s a new idea and I I would say a minority of clinics probably have an international mission and so I think that would be one of my the podcast essentially has three different ideas one is trying to amplify God’s fingerprints, trying to identify ideas that are not commonplace. Yet I think that’s what this is this is a non commonplace idea which would be to adopt A foreign mission field to help in this space of, you know, helping moms and babies and families who are at risk of choosing abortion. And then the third idea that we have in this podcast for this podcast is to provide encouragement to Prancy clinic leadership and I think you actually talking about the results of that foreign mission field work, I think we’re actually probably hitting all three of these at some level. And so my next question for you is, can you, can you tell me a story about one of your last experiences or tell me how you’ve seen God’s fingerprints and then one of the most, you know, one of the recent stories that come to mind with the work that you’ve been doing great.

Melissa Heiland :

Yeah, I have something very fresh in my mind because I just recently, just last month was in Togo, West Africa. And have you ever heard of Togo?

Jacob Barr :

Not necessarily i I I feel like I should have i feel like I memorized it in college and then it it has completely escaped my mind yeah.

Melissa Heiland :

I don’t mean to put you on the spot.

Jacob Barr :

No, it’s fine.

Melissa Heiland :

Because most people haven’t and when I first started, I am, I speak Spanish and when I first started, it came to me to start pregnancy work in Costa Rica it started someone actually just gave me a house out of the blue and I wasn’t looking for it, hadn’t thought about it. And we started our centers. We started a center there, thinking we’d be one and done. And then it started to grow organically within Costa Rica. And then people in Mexico reached out so we had centers in Costa Rica and Mexico which was a little bit comfortable for me because I speak Spanish. I had been a missionary in Costa Rica i had done a lot of mission work in Mexico and I was speaking at a conference in the United States in 2015 and someone came to me and said, would you start a pregnancy center in Togo? And I said to myself, where’s Togo? I’ve never even heard of it. But anyway, it’s in West Africa. I said yes, not knowing how I was going to do it right it’s a whole different language, completely different culture, everything different but I said yes. I say all this to say we went in 2015 for the first time to do a training. For a pregnancy center in Togo, West Africa now, six years later, we have 14 centers there and I just got back from there. We were supposed to go last year to do women’s conferences for our directors, our clients and beyond. Couldn’t go because 2020 right? So 2021 came and we said, OK, this year we’ll go. The person that was supposed to go with me just a few weeks before we were supposed to go said I can’t go, my health isn’t good enough. I need to wait till after COVID. I thought, Oh no, what’s after COVID? Is there life after COVID? And so I was going to contact our country director there and say we’ll do it via Zoom. I’m I know it’s not the same, but, you know, we’ll pay for the women to come. Before I was able to contact her, I met someone that I’d never met before. Was just telling her the story. Really the purpose of the meeting was not beautiful feet it was something totally different but I always talk about beautiful feet in any case, she said my dream has always been to go to Africa i said really, it’s very expensive, takes weeks. It’s difficult, but I can make your dreams come true. Well, we had many roadblocks along the way, so many COVID rules. We had to follow the rules of Togo, the United States and Belgium because we were going to be there for four hours changing planes. It didn’t work on paper we couldn’t make COVID, I mean Togo happy and Belgium happy. We just said OK, we’ll just pray and go on a wing and a prayer. I we couldn’t get visas because the embassy was closed due to COVID. So we said OK, well we’ll try to get visas when we get there. Never done that before. Then they said. Then they totaled us. Oh, I had to have two pages left in my passport i didn’t. You can’t send it in because of COVID there’s not enough time. All these things that did not work on paper. But we just said we just kept going and we kept going. The Lord opened the way for us, every step of the way. When we got there it was rainy season. The roads are not really roads, nothing we would call roads in the United States. So we prayed for God to help us because if it rained, the women wouldn’t be able to get there. They wouldn’t be able to get there. The Lord held off the reins until we did. We did conferences for a week. The last night of the conferences, After the conference was over, the heavens opened up and I think it must have been what the flood was like. We saw God providing every step of the way and I want to tell you, we did 3 conferences, 1 conference three times during this year of the pandemic in Togo, West Africa. We ministered to 970 women.

Jacob Barr :

Wow. And these are women who were looking.

Melissa Heiland :

No, they were women who they never had women’s conferences in Togo before. So they were who were like, oh, a, a conference. People came from the United States to talk to us and they’re going to give us food and they’re going to teach us. They told us people came from as far as 200 miles away you have to realize these people do not have cars and the roads are hardly roads but it was an opportunity for us to talk about the work that we do, The love of the Lord, the love that God has for every woman and every child to almost a thousand women during a pandemic. And when we got home, it was days, not even a week later the country was closed due to COVID and if it could have easily happened the week before or even while we were there. But God. But God took care of all of that and waited until his work was done before the country closed.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so that’s that’s an amazing story when it comes to the time, the timeliness of the weather, the, you know, the shutdown, the just all those pieces. And then So what do you think the benefits might be or what do you think the results might be of all these women being becoming aware? Will you bring? It was the message of. You know, abstinence was that, you know, or the message of, you know, pregnancy clinic work, was that something that these women had not worked before?

Melissa Heiland :

This was essentially like novel or new to them, absolutely and we also brought 2 ultrasound machines there with us for our clinics we were also able to visit a number of our pregnancy centers and we actually we one while we were there. They called us well not us. They called our our director who lives there we don’t speak their language and said one of your clients has come in and she’s in trouble you know health wise and she has twins one of the babies is in trouble will you come and pray? And so our country director and the the local pregnancy center director and myself and my teammate, we went in and we prayed and actually the woman had twins and she didn’t know that she had twins because the ultrasounds cost 8$ and she didn’t have 8$ And so when the babies were born, actually one of them did not make it. And you know, we, I don’t, we don’t know for sure but if we had, if she had known that it was twins, they would have done things differently. Maybe that baby would have been able to have been saved. We couldn’t help her with that. But we brought an ultrasound machine to that clinic. So the neck all the next moms will be have that have that gift, right? And so she needed medicine she needed blood that it costs money. She didn’t have the money. One of the actually people that worked there donated their own blood, so we were able to pray with her. They actually asked us to go to the room next door because it’s a clinic that sees all kinds of people and then our pregnancy ministry works within that clinic. So there was a a a three-year old little boy in the next room who was unconscious they didn’t have any medicine for him we went in, we prayed for him, we prayed for his mom, we fervently prayed for them. And the next morning they called us from the clinic and they actually came to the house where we were staying and brought her a picture of that little boy jumping around. The Lord had healed him. He was fine. And so I mean, I’ve seen God’s fingerprints all over the place.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that’s a. That’s an amazing story when it comes to so essentially having, so what’s the result of it today? Is that you that there’s people there on your team working to serve and the message to these women was essentially sort of helping them understand the services available or the options Or you know, can you explain sort of like what you know, where they where they were and where you know and what what information was provided how would you summarize that idea?

Melissa Heiland :

There was a little bit of talk about that, but mostly we just talked to them about Jesus, their value in Christ, the freedom that they can have in Christ. And then we tell them, you know, this is what we do this so they then they become aware that this is available, you know, in this town in many towns so there may be people there there certainly will have been people there, almost a thousand women that are going to need those services that are going to tell somebody else that needs those services. And I’m sure also women there who are going to speak up and say, oh, I want to help with that, I want to help with ones that are existing or can you teach me how to start that in my village?

Jacob Barr :

So in the past, have there been Prancy clinics in Togo before or is this or what what what did that look like like what did the environment look like for having like Prancy help? Organizations in that in Togo.

Melissa Heiland :

So there was a man who had been a village chief, who was saved and is now a pastor. And then he had come to the United States, actually to Michigan, to a pro-life conference to learn about it. And he approached me and asked me would I be willing to start a pregnancy center in Togo. He told me there were none there. I don’t know if for sure somebody knows that you know what I mean according to him there were no pregnancy centers there i, you know, I don’t know about the, but in any case, so we are told that you know, ours are the only ones we started that one like I said in 2015 and we are at 14 now, so.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, so, so 14 and. Eight years. Six years. Sorry, Six years.

Melissa Heiland :

Six years wow and it it just grows organically we don’t have like a plan for it but what happens is people see it and they say we want this in our village, we need this in our village can you teach us? And so we pray and God works out the details and then we train and so I’ve been to Togo three times in twenty fifteen twenty eighteen i brought my oldest son with me who is a medical doctor and we brought an ultrasound machine and we have a total of four in the country now. And he trained midwives from all over the country how to do ultrasounds and how to incorporate that into the ministry and so it’s and then we have a country director who is Togo Lise who lives there and she does a tremendous amount of the training on a regular basis there. How many abortion clinics are in or near Togo or what does that look like for that, you know, for the opposition’s OK, so that’s a great question. So in Togo, as in much of the world, abortion is illegal. So there are not abortion clinics, however, abortion is illegal, but it is prevalent. All the girls know how to abort their babies. They have all kinds of like plants and roots and herbs and they all know how to do it. And they and so it’s it’s completely different than work in the United States they’re not going to tell you that, most likely because it is illegal, but it is something that is going on and in fact, in the hospitals they say that they see these kinds of problems all the time, women coming in because they have aborted their babies and they make all the health problems that they have. They talk about finding aborted babies like, you know, in the dirt, in the water. And so it is a huge problem. But abortion clinics? No, none that are advertised.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, wow, so that’s this is a very different environment trying to wrap my head around that kind of. But the need is obviously there and the need is there, and it’s just simply a different type of. Yeah, the the enemy looks a little bit different when it comes to using the, the, you know, the, the.

Melissa Heiland :

Well plants and the the diet to can I add something else too. And that is that something that I did not know and I’m just learning as I’m doing this is that abortion I stand out particularly is very common in church even among evangelical like going to do these teachings in the churches. I find that the church leaders, including the pastors and their wives, many of them have had abortions and multiple abortions and have referred their congregants to abortions. The reason is simple. Well, it’s twofold. One is the lack of teaching and then number, two. Poverty, they think well, I can’t take care of the kids I have. God wouldn’t want me to have another child. Nobody has taken the Scriptures and shown to them what the Bible says. And that’s one reason why this ministry is so transformative, because we’re talking to believers already these are already people that want to follow God their hearts are sincere. They haven’t had any teaching on this. And when they see it in the Bible, all of a sudden their eyes are open and they say, oh, this is we don’t want this, we we we want to change things instead of see massive transformation because they simply didn’t know.

Jacob Barr :

Wow so can you tell? So what does the Bible say about having children beyond budgetary concerns like what? How would you respond how? How would you, How would you summarize or describe that?

Melissa Heiland :

Well, I guess I don’t think the Bible specifically describes that it just talks about how every child is made in the image of God. And the Bible talks about, you know, that’s right away, right the first book of the Bible, Genesis, you know that people are created in the image of God and that it’s male and female, which is also a little bit of a new concept in many places, right? That the women also are made in the image of God it says that, right but they, like nobody’s ever mentioned that before, you know, and the image of God, and then that God has a plan you know, it talks about, you know, Jeremiah being called from the womb. We see the story of, you know, John the Baptist in the womb worshipping Jesus Christ in the womb. In the womb there’s worship so there’s clearly a soul that was a soul connecting to a soul that wasn’t just massive tissues, right. And so you know, and Psalm 39 right, that all my days were planned so all of these things that, you know, it is throughout the Bible, we go throughout the Bible, story after story, even talking about Hagar. That’s your first crisis pregnancy, really. Right hagar in the wilderness and there she is, right with this baby and you know what happens god sends an Angel to her to minister to her to talk about the value of her child and so all of these things, typically what I find is I start out by asking them, OK, what does the Bible say what are any stories, What’s anything you know about the when the Bible talks about a baby in the womb. And again, these are church leaders almost all the time, Blank stares and nobody says anything.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah so essentially what you’re saying is, is that we’re but you know, essentially by identifying how we’re made in the image of God and how we’re called to worship Jesus, you know, and and on the flip side, you know, being being overly concerned about having enough money or the budget or you know having a quality of life for the existing children essentially as a way of worshiping money or or things. And and not putting our faith in God and you know, and essentially honoring the reflection that each one of us has of our Creator. And so that seems to make a lot of sense.

Melissa Heiland :

He has a plan for every child. No. No child is an accident. And that’s, that’s the truth. We know, humanly speaking, lots of kids are accidents, right there are lots of unplanned pregnancies by people, but there are no unplanned pregnancies by God and I talk about that too. Where you look through the scripture, there’s verse after verse after verse. God opened her womb, God closed her room, God opened her womb, God closed her room we know that every time people are involved in that act, a pregnancy does not happen. It’s only when God opens the womb, and when he does that, it’s because he has a plan for that child.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s really good that that, that’s. Yeah, that’s that’s really good to say out loud and for people to hear that and to ponder it and think about it and share it, that’s really good. So when it comes to the the mass amount of abortion in and out of the church, everyone in that community, how is post abortion help being brought to that, to that world and space And.

Melissa Heiland :

And Togo, Yeah, thank you for asking that. So that is always a part of our initial training, especially because of that reason that I know that the people I’m talking to and that’s the same in the United States by the way. When I’m talking to people, church people, I realize that abortion is prevalent and so that’s part of what we talk about is OK right now we realize this or maybe you did realize it before whatever. So what does that mean for those of you that have had abortions because I know that that that’s the case out there of course, I never call anyone out or ask them, but what does that mean and so we talk about, we talk about forgiveness we talk about, you know that though your sins are a scarlet, they shall be as white as snow we talk about with how you know our God is the God of second and 3rd and fourth and a hundred, chances right it’s not. God has turned his back on you. And so then we also teach and incorporate post abortion Bible study in our ministry because it’s a huge part of it and honestly, in the United States as well as around the world, many people, you know, come to serve in pregnancy ministry because they have made that decision in their past and they we don’t want that for someone else so we know that God brings beauty from ashes and God can use all things for our good in his glory. All things.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, Beauty from Ashes, that that sounds like a song lyric to a song that needs to be written. That’s really, really good.

Melissa Heiland :

Beauty from Ashes, ’cause there’s so much Isaiah 61 and there’s a passage in Isaiah 61 verses one through 4 that talks about God, you know, binding the wounds of the broken hearted and I have always thought that that of course, I’m sure a lot of people do, but I’ve always thought that that ministry is for us in pregnancy ministry, that that passage is written specifically for us, that God has called us to set the captives free, to bind the wounds of the broken hearted and to exchange a a crown of beauty for ashes so read that.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that’s really good and there’s so many passages that speak to that same thought of, you know, essentially bringing life out of death because like, you know, here we, here we are, we’re dead in our sins. And it’s essentially. Jesus can breathe life into us and pull us out of death and like and he conquered death on the cross. So he went from death to life and then like we’re yeah, we’re like broken pots and then but you know they can’t hold water but yet he can remake us into something that yeah that’s that’s that’s good. So there’s there’s a lot there. And yeah, beauty from ashes, it’s it’s it’s that that just seems very poetic. And it is a beautiful.

Melissa Heiland :

Yeah, I didn’t write it that was Bob.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, so that was actually I I didn’t realize that was coming in from a certain verse. I didn’t at any. I don’t know.

Melissa Heiland :

Isaiah 61 So and you know, talk about it as the divine exchange, right? You know instead of, you know, the, you know garment of the praise instead of mourning and beauty from ashes and all of this. It’s the Divine Exchange like what you were talking about death and life.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s good. So what would you, You know, this podcast is primarily going out to pregnancy clinic leadership, executive directors, probably some board members, maybe some nurse managers. What would you like these people to hear based on your experience, based on your your passion and love for this group, what do you want them to hear? What messages would you like to share?

Melissa Heiland :

I guess just that you know. It’s no surprise that abortion is a problem around the world it’s not unique to anyone, culture or people, group or nation this is a a human problem and that, you know, I hope that they would, like you said, pray and see what is God telling them is there anything that they want to do? Beyond already what they’re doing as far as you know praying and giving and going.

Jacob Barr :

There are always opportunities to go yeah and and I feel like very often you know with my with with and I think we’re all guilty of this to a degree is that we’re often looking at what our life is like our head is down we’re focusing on what we’re doing and and and we don’t we don’t look around to see other people’s stories so much and because we’re focused on our own life our own circle our own sphere our own you know, where we work, where we go to church our family. But really, it sounds like what you’re calling people to do is to look up and and focus on someone else’s story and essentially out of sight, out of mind well, we got to bring these other areas like Togo, which was completely out of mind for everyone listening to this podcast, I can’t imagine anyone thinking about Togo, you know, this, you know, the morning before they listen to this because it wasn’t on anyone’s plate it wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t part of their morning routine. And so you know, think about Togo, think about India think about Pakistan think about these countries where there are impoverished people and they are you know life is hard in in impoverished countries I’m sure I would assume or think and so they need they need help and and at the US, in the US what we could you know, think about how can we export care how can we export love how can we export post abortion help and healing and advice and and ideas and and help support people there that feels like there’s a yeah a large amount of prayer needed and then and then listening for God’s direction and voice would give someone confidence to act in order to know what to do next. Well, I really appreciate your time Melissa i think this has been a good a good a good story for people to hear and I feel like I feel like the summary of it might be how can we how can we export pregnancy clinic styled love and care that reflects our passion for Jesus. How can we do that and I think it’s not really like an answer but it’s more of like a desire you know essentially for people to build that desire to then chase and figure out and think about. And it’s yeah, it’s it’s more of like a, a puzzle to ponder about and and then look for ways to to act based on what God whispers in there yeah then those quills diet, those still and quiet moments when we’re seeking God’s voice because yeah, it’s 85 % of abortions happening outside of the US while most of our funds stay in the US. We you know, it’s we all, we all know that to be true because of how we see things and so I think there’s obviously a need for us to export export charity as a as a good goal for or a good desire for us to have as a group here in the US who are exporting charity locally or trying to share the charity with our neighbors. Any final thoughts or words of wisdom before we we we before we wrap it up?

Melissa Heiland :

Nope just that I I love, I love people in pregnancy ministry i love pregnancy center directors so for all of you, the directors and volunteers that are that are listening to this, I just pray God’s greatest blessings on you. I know it’s I know it’s hard and just keep up the good work don’t get weary and well doing.


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