The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 7 with Martha Avilla with Heartbeat of Miami | Opening Pregnancy Medical Clinics on Old Abortion Clinic Grounds

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast | Episode 7 with Martha Avilla with Heartbeat of Miami | Opening Pregnancy Medical Clinics on Old Abortion Clinic Grounds
Loading
/

The Inspiring Story of Heartbeat of Miami: Saving Lives and Bringing Hope

Martha Avilla with Heartbeat of Miami shares shares the story of opening life-giving pregnancy medical clinics where abortion clinics were previously located.

Summary:

As Jacob Barr, I would summarize this episode of the Pro-Life Team Podcast where I spoke with Martha Avilla, the President and Co-Founder of Heartbeat of Miami Pregnancy Health Medical Clinics. Our conversation centered around Martha’s experiences in transforming former abortion clinic locations into pro-life pregnancy health clinics. Martha shared how these transformations were guided by faith, prayer, and divine intervention. She recounted the profound emotional and spiritual impact of these transitions on her team, the community, and the women they serve. Her stories highlighted instances of spiritual warfare, the power of prayer and fasting, and the importance of obedience to God’s calling. Martha’s journey, marked by faith-driven dedication and remarkable coincidences, emphasizes the transformation of spaces of despair into ones of hope and life.

For this content, relevant hashtags could be:
#ProLifePodcast, #HeartbeatOfMiami, #FaithInAction, #SpiritualWarfare, #PregnancyClinics, #HopeAndHealing, #TransformationStories, #PrayerPower, #ChooseLife, #DivineIntervention.

Transcript:

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to episode seven of the pro-life Team Podcast. Today we’ll be talking with Martha Avilla with Heartbeat of Miami let’s go ahead and just get started would you mind introducing yourself? You know, You know how? However, you might introduce yourself to a group of, you know, Prancy Help Clinic directors.

Martha Avilla :

Hi, my name is Martha Avila and I am President and Co Founder of Heartbeat of Miami Pregnancy Health Medical Clinics.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome so, so Martha, I am so glad to have you on this podcast. Whenever I interact with you, I always get the opportunity to like see God’s heart in with like I don’t know i just see like the softness and the caring and the the love of God’s heart and I don’t know how else to say it, but that’s it’s just amazing to have the chance to spend time with you and to work with you. And the topic we’re about ready to talk about is phenomenal like the idea that you you have one or two locations that used to be abortion clinic locations i would love for you to share the story. You know, start with one location and just sort of share like how did God work through your team and how did you see, where did you see God’s fingerprints when it came to that location? You know what it was and what it is today.

Martha Avilla :

Right well, it was so God that if we were to replicate it, we there was just no way we could. So Reverend John answer came to Miami and there was a study that was done in 2005 I believe where Miami-Dade County was number one in abortions and abortion providers per capita. And Reverend John answer came in 2006 and I met him and he came to to our church by my pastor and then he also went to Jeannie Parnia’s church. And it so happened that when we were just starting this we were looking for a location. And Jeannie Parnia owned and operated an abortion business in Miami-Dade County in the area of Hialeah. And that abortion business had not been an abortion business for many years and she had never gone back to that corner. She would avoid that corner no matter what. And after obviously, she came to Christ and moved back to the Miami-Dade County area. And when she passed by that place, as we were looking for a location in the Hialeah area, she happened to go to that corner. And when she saw the four lease sign, she could not believe it because we were looking for a location in Hialeah. And it was right there and then that she picked up the phone and called me and she said, Martha, you’re not going to believe this, but right next to the location where I had the abortion, both locations are owned by the same person now, she says there’s a for lease sign. And so immediately we went over there and we rented the little house that was attached to that to that same parking lot, sharing the same parking lot and all that and. Jeannie, when we opened our clinics on July ninth two thousand and, seven, Jeannie would actually point to that place and said, I know the pain you will endure this is what she would tell the girls. Because right there I aborted my first baby and I saw many girls, many girls desperately aborting and I didn’t know any better and I used to help them. I used to help them i used to think that I was helping them. And these girls would not be, could not believe that this had happened and and then we went and opened our second clinic in North Miami area and that was in 2008 And then in 2013 that same place where Jeannie owned and operated the abortion business, the owner contacted us and said he already knew the story and he said the people that are there are leaving. So would you like to you know to take over the location? He gave us an incredible prize just so that we could enter that place. And immediately I remember walking into cause Jeannie had never wanted to go back inside, even though we were right next door. And I remember walking in with Jeannie, and she almost passed out because we entered through the same place where the abortions were being, you know, we’re done, ’cause we came through the back and and as Jeannie walked in. We had and one of our ultrasound technicians that came right behind us i was holding Jeannie and she said where there is sin, Grace, Grace goes in abundance. And I’m telling you this, and I get goosebumps just talking about it, because I remember how how when we went in that that word of God was allowing us to conquer that territory where so much blood had been shed and. Jacob, we went ahead and we signed the lease and I tell you it it was i went in blindly and then when I came back, after the lease was signed, the money was deposited that people had left. When I saw the the horrific place that it really was and all the work that we had to do, I just started to cry and I said, Lord, did I hear you right? And then I went ahead and and I just, you know, we started to pray and God sent people. Out of nowhere to fix the place up and make it what it is today. And then one of the one of the closets we said we were we’re going to do this a prayer closet and we’re going to, we’re going to dedicate this to all the babies that died including your son Jeannie that died in this place and we. Since then, all of our clinics now also have like a like a war room and we dedicated that place to the Lord, you know, in memory of all the children that had died and that’s where we go and do spiritual warfare every time we have these very drastic and difficult cases and you know that was in in 2013 then I mean it was like we could not believe it in 2015 towards the end of 2015 One of our, our ultrasound technicians, her husband is a realtor and he had this client that owned and operated this abortion business for 28 years. Again, this is in the Miami Does in the Little Havana area and he had this place that they had given him to lease And so the lady said that she was retiring they were no longer going to keep the abortion business open. And that she had several other clients that were abortionists that wanted the location and and so he was supposed to be dealing with these other abortionists that wanted that place. So he contacted me Jacob we had no money, we had no money whatsoever and we were in the towards doing our fundraising gala at that time. And and I said, Lord, what do I do you know, I called John and I said, John, we have no money to to open this location, but if not these abortionists are going to take over it. And so our gala was coming up, we had to you know he was negotiating the the rental price for the location and this location 28 years this place had been open doing abortions and we. By the grace of God we had our our gala. And right there on our gala, we spoke about this location that was available to us. And one of the people sitting, one of the couples sitting in on one of those tables at the gala called one of my employees and said, tell Martha that I will cover the rent for that location.

Jacob Barr :

Oh my goodness.

Martha Avilla :

We our gala was like the. Like the nineteenth of, september something like that and then on october thirty first we signed the lease. And that lease, Jacob, they did their last abortion at twelve PM and at two PM signed the lease to that place and then it was renovated and and we fixed it up and when the lady found out that we were different than what she thought we were because no one, I mean we just told her that we were a pregnancy clinic. We never said anything that it was, but I guess she started, you know, finding out she wanted to pull the lease because she said that we were lying to women. So but then the Lord touched her heart. This is the actually abortion business owner. The Lord touched her heart and she never pulled the lease and we’ve been there since because we we finally renovated everything and we opened our doors. On January 2016 and right there and then you know she we’re still there by the grace of God. We just signed another lease for another three years and and God has been touching her heart and who knows if one day she will accept Jesus through all of this that you know has allowed us to minister to her in what we do. So on that location, women kept coming back for a second and third abortions that they. Already had abortions there and they said, what did you do to this place did you renovate it? Why is it so different? And then God would rescue their baby that was going to be aborted as the other, the other siblings that had been aborted before. So that location, over 92 % of the women that walk in there are looking for a second or third abortion because they’ve already had abortions in that location i mean only God. So then we opened our fourth location in the Kendall Clinic. A church gave us their missionary home that they hadn’t been using, and we’ve been there since August. No, I’m sorry, since February of 2000 and and 16. And just like that we four locations serving God and two were a previous abortion business.

Jacob Barr :

What what is it like to do spiritual warfare? You know from from a a previously, you know from a from a location that used to be an abortion clinic what is what is that? How does that impact the the prayer life or the spiritual warfare aspect of that space?

Martha Avilla :

Through a lot of prayer and fasting because we pierced the darkness every day jacob, that location, that second location that I was telling you about in the Little Havana area, I’m for people that don’t know this Miami-Dade County is known for a lot of cults like voodoo and brujaria Santeria a lot of a lot of spiritual. It’s just horrific, you know and. And they do sacrifices of animals and I mean you see a lot of stuff here and entering into that place i remember we entered I entered with my some of my board members and Jeannie of course. And as we entered the place, we actually saw blood on the switch where you turn on and off the light like if with they had touched it with gloves and I mean. It was just horrific, horrific what we saw it. I had never walked into an abortion business before that was actually operating and and I have pictures of the before and after and when when you walked in there, you felt this oppression, this this horrible, horrible feeling of darkness and and evil And anyone that has been to an abortion business or has walked the way that we walked in, you just see the the. The forces of evil there you you’re the Holy Spirit reveals to you of of what’s happening you know and and as we I mean it even makes me cry just thinking about this because when we walked in we just kept praying and and we started as I mean doing heavy duty spiritual warfare and there was a lot of opposition even when we were there and then. When we were fixing up the place, Jacob, we were the Lord had strict specifically told me not to leave anything there, even with scripture. You know, the Lord told me to not to take any of the spoils and to just dump everything that this woman had left behind to the point where we were taking down cabinets and there was a brand new cabinet there, right? And here I am questioning God and I was saying. Lord, but this is brand new. I mean to take it down you know how you have these conversations with God and and I was saying Lord, if I take it down this, this looks so good and we we don’t have any closet space. Lord, could we possibly just like take it down And there was somebody there that was helping us and she didn’t know what the Lord had specifically told me, you know, and that she just came up to me suddenly and she says. You know, that cabinet really looks good, but if you’re taking everything down, I don’t think you should leave that cabinet there. And I tell you, Jacob, I just felt, you know, that this was so God telling me this. And I said let’s, let’s remove it. And when we removed this brand new cabinet, right behind it there was witchcraft and fell right to the floor.

Jacob Barr :

Oh my goodness.

Martha Avilla :

Can you imagine if I had not been obedient to God and I would have left that there? And and we know it’s witchcraft because we I saw what it was you know it was all kinds of horrible things that that you just know you know it’s evident that it’s some you know it’s some Santeria thing that was back there and people that were there with us recognized it and we started just you know Lord you know help us and we take took all of that stuff and dumped it in the dumpster. It was right behind the. Between the wall and and the cabinet and so when we entered where the abortions were being done which it was going to be our ultrasound room, there was a look it actually looked like a like a some you know gas place or I mean I there was tile right. And the the Lord just put in our hearts to take that tile down that was on the walls and we started knocking all that tile. Down and then we had somebody come and just refinish it because when I had walked in there remember I told you that there had been blood. There was actually blood in those in that people just holding to the wall. You know, I, I it was just horrific. So we took all that tile down and I mean. I know that for people that are listening, they might sound like a Horror Story but this is exactly what took place in in our as we entered that dark place that today has rescued so many babies, so many babies. Because even though these women come in, you know, still looking for abortions, that they’ve, you know, they’ve had the services before, today they leave, I tell you. Jacob, even with accepting Jesus in their heart and these, these, these abortions businesses in Miami-Dade they go after the people that are immigrants that they don’t. They have no papers that they have. They think that they have no choice. And as we help them with everything that they need and we stand with them, you know, then they realize that that we are, you know, that choosing life was the most beautiful thing and you know, they come back just so grateful. For everything that we’ve done for them. So that’s our story miami-Dade County is on a league of its own when I tell you piercing the darkness, Jacob, you know that I’ve mentioned to you before that over 85 % of the women we serve here in Miami-Dade are abortion determined and abortion vulnerable.

Jacob Barr :

So I’m, I’m sort of, I’m trying to i’m trying i’m thinking about like there must be a really, you know, a spiritual benefit or or some. Maybe it’s just because of the traffic, the traffic that would go to that long term abortion clinic and you’re going to have clients who show up just because they know that that’s where it was before. But what what was your reasoning for not just doing this once of turning a previous abortion clinic into a place to find life and help and Jesus, but what was your reason for doing that twice and not, you know, not simply, you know, taking over, you know, a a a neutral territory but instead of trying to take over the enemy’s territory, what was, what’s what was your, you know, how has God worked through that decision it.

Martha Avilla :

Wasn’t even. We weren’t looking for it. That’s the whole thing. It wasn’t something that, oh, just open a third location that never we weren’t even ready for that. I mean if you add 2 and 2 – 4, we would have never been able to do that because there was no money, we had no funds, and it just so happened that God made it happen at the right time, in the right place and we were obedient. I mean, it was scary, but we have. We took a leap of faith, especially before signing that that lease that I was telling you about. In our in our gala for someone to say we would cover the rent.

Jacob Barr :

I mean, we knew that the Lord would provide every step of the way and He has, He has provided, even to the point of touching this woman’s heart, What? So when you took over the 1st place and the second place, you know, cleaning out all of the, you know, the tiles and the the cabinets, you know that it sounds like you’re obviously were you were listening to God’s voice in order to do that step, which may not have been natural to anybody or not not natural to most people perhaps. But it sounds like God honored that that choice, or you wanted you to do that because of, you know, the way things played out. And just it sounds very biblical to not keep any of the spoils of the enemy camp.

Martha Avilla :

He said that with the Second Clinic interesting enough with the First Clinic, he didn’t. And that First Clinic had not been an abortion business for years. But he said that on the Second Clinic. I mean, it’s almost like so strange but that’s exactly what happened. I guess through the years. Nothing was really left from the first, you know, when it was an abortion business. As much as just recently being an abortion business.

Jacob Barr :

And then, OK, so the first one, it was an abortion clinic, but then it became something else. And then it became your clinic’s address but.

Martha Avilla :

It was like a landmark, if you will, because it was the first abortion business in that area. So people still, oh, they used to guys still do abortions i mean this is like years and years after, but in the in the other one it was so recent that. I I I’m just saying that perhaps that’s why the Lord had us do that.

Jacob Barr :

So what connected you to Jeannie or how did Jeannie you know, how did she find you? And heartbeat of Miami, You know, what does that story look like?

Martha Avilla :

Well, that like I said, Reverend John Ensor, he came from Boston and he had already opened six locations in the Boston area and where he was an executive director. And he through that study he was with Heartbeat International and that is how he came to Miami. And a few people said, you know, let’s do something about Miami miami is is a war zone there, which it is. It still is. And when he came down it was just amazing because he happened to meet my pastor and then someone introduced him to Jeannie’s pastor. So that is how he met Jeannie and me. And when Jeannie boldly he spoke at the and Jeannie at Jeannie’s church and when Jeannie boldly went up to him and said, you know, I probably my seed was probably the first one in that area that where where there are now so many abortion businesses and Jeannie told him the story and he told Jeannie, would you be willing to join us and and do this? And both Jeannie and I, we we left our good jobs and what we thought was was going to be our retirement. And we both, you know, said yes, we both answered the call and that’s why it’s so important the call of Proverbs 2411 Rescue those that are being taken away to death hold back those that are stumbling to the slaughter. And then at 12 it says you can say that you did not know this because he who knows that you knew right will check your heart and I, you know when when I saw that and I said this is it you know, I I I do believe that both Jeannie and I were born to do this even in our later years. I I really do believe today Jeannie is travelling all over with John, you know, helping women that have aborted and you know, doing amazing things all over and you know, and I’m here as the executive director of the president of Heartbeat and and I tell you that there’s no other place I would rather be than where I’m at and where I have been since 2007 And to add to those stories about abortion, our second clinic was right across the street from a Planned Parenthood in the North Miami area. And in 2013 that Planned Parenthood closed down to God’s glory. And I do believe that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and I believe with all my heart that when we claim the territory, I remember women because right outside we have signs that say pregnancy test free and confidential. And I believe with all my heart that the Lord would just make them look at the on the other side and not the, you know, where Planned Parenthood was because then these women would come in saying we have an appointment and I have an appointment here for the abortion pill or whatever the case may be. And of course there was no appointment they just, you know, came in and thinking it was the Planned Parenthood. Wow, that part of that, I guess i don’t know.

Jacob Barr :

Well, God is working through your location, That is for sure and, you know, helping women find life instead of death and that’s just, yeah, it’s such a blessing to those women to to have that mistake of going into the wrong location in order to find life amen so tell me about Doctor Lyle is tell me about his story and how he connects to your team.

Martha Avilla :

Well Doctor Lyle, I met him. I met Doctor Lyle through preborn who Preborn is an organization that has helped us tremendously through all of this with grants with ultrasound grants and and now we are part of the Arrow project with Preborn and I met him there. I also heard him speak at A at a one of our conferences one of the conferences and and it almost kind of like you know I loved what he does you know he’s called the pro-life doctor and so when my daughter moved to Pensacola and she was having her second baby I you know of course doctor lyle’s he serves here in Pensacola area so I told her, oh, you’ve got to have Doctor Lyle as your doctor and after hearing him speak several times and and just, you know, having the blessing that he is my daughter’s doctor and he will deliver now my my new granddaughter, my other granddaughter, I we just invited him if he would be our speaker. So I’m looking forward to it. Our our gala is going to be now September eighteenth. It’s going to be in person. And thank you, Jacob for the wonderful job that you did last year in our virtual gala i mean I don’t know how you pulled that one. I mean it was like so awesome, Jacob and I mean, who would have thought that we would have an amazing gala and raise funds in the middle of a horrific pandemic when people were not even. I mean, they were so unsure of what was happening and here you are with your amazing team. You did such a great job. I’m still in awe how God just turned that out and I talk about that because I saw God’s hand all over it and I I saw how working together with you and here I am I thought I was going to die from COVID I’m so I’ll and you guys still made it happen and and then I remember that you had said you had said Martha let’s let’s do it and you know person let’s do it life and and whatever and then suddenly you said you know maybe we should just pre record and and when we did the we would have done it live I would have not been able to do it because because you ended up getting sick and you were like bedridden on the days at the moment that the gala was going to take place that August fourteenth and just how when we were obedient to the Lord jake, I mean it just he just makes things happen, doesn’t he? And anyway, so I’m I will be forever grateful for the wonderful job that you and your team did.

Jacob Barr :

Well, and I I’m just so excited to to hear this story of, you know, the enemy’s territory in space being being vacant, vacated and then reclaimed and then used for for God’s glory and for for spiritual warfare and and the fact that it was so freshly the enemy’s territory that women would come there because they had gone there for previous. Abortion appointments And then here they are walking in thinking they’re going to get another one and then they’re presented with life and hope and Jesus and kindness and love and care and and and what a yeah, it’s just, you know, and that it was if you would have taken over a dental office, it it it wouldn’t have been, yeah, you wouldn’t have had anyone just walking in there because they’ve had a previous abortion appointment. And so that’s that’s just an amazing part of this story so many women’s lives were. Or were affected and their children’s lives were saved because you took over the enemy’s camp and people were coming back that to that camp too.

Martha Avilla :

Or that same place and the first clinic that I told you about. Look how interesting women come back there bringing their daughters. In other words, they had had an abortion so many years before and they bring their their they brought their daughters saying and then God has used us to help that that woman for abortion recovery and save the grandbaby that she was bringing to abort. I mean, how, how can this not be God? His footprints are all over our lives and all over, you know, his work amen.

Jacob Barr :

Amen. Well, I really appreciate you sharing these stories, Martha, and I am excited to to pass them along. And so would you mind closing this out in prayer as we wrap this this story up.

Martha Avilla :

Amen and I also want to I just want to tell the the executive directors that might be hearing this never ever give up. I know that it’s a long road and I know it’s it’s full of tears and struggles and you know, and how are we going to do this and but I tell you the Lord called you to do this. You know, don’t give up on him because he does not give up on us and he will continue to provide. You just have to be obedient and just listen carefully to His voice and you know do spiritual warfare with worship and with prayers and and just Pierce that darkness because he promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. So Heavenly Father, I just thank you for this time with my brother Jacob i thank you Father that you have brought us together for such time as this Lord to do warfare, Lord to to Lord just take away what the enemy has trying to has been trying to take possession of Lord. Lord You say in your word that what the enemy meant for bad, you turned it for good, for the saving of many lives and we have seen that Lord in our midst, God and and I just pray, Father, God, that you continue to use us. Lord, I thank you that you called us by name, that you called us to do this work, that you called Jacob, that you called the women that will be listening to this podcast lord you, you called them to be able to do Lord, exceeding the above and beyond what we could have ever imagined. I thank you that your Holy Spirit leads us to do your perfect will god. Lord, let let us listen to your voice clearly, God, Because Lord, you said that your sheep would know the voice of the shepherd, and you are the Good Shepherd. So, Father, I thank you i thank you for for calling me i thank you for for using US, Lord, to give you honor and to give you glory, because it is all about you and these preborn babies father, God are the dearest thing to your heart. So thank you for allowing us to rescue them, God. Lord, I pray for provisions for provisions for heartbeat of Miami, for provisions for eye rapture, for provisions, Lord, for every pregnancy clinic in our nation and in the world that is trying to rescue these babies father, thank you for allowing us to be the voice for the voiceless in Jesus holy Name, we pray.

Jacob Barr :

Amen. Well, thank you, Martha, so much for your time and just for your dedication to life and the Jesus and to and reflecting his heart throughout all these decisions and it’s just simply, it’s beautiful to see and to be, you know, to be able to to work with you on a few different projects and be able to share this story with other women who are also. You know in similar situations and facing similar trials and to offer them encouragement and hope and and a story of if how God has worked here will will help them find the story you know, help them find new stories down the road where God will be working in their their lives and their clinics.

Martha Avilla :

Amen thank you Jacob for having and this can be an encouragement to to those listening that when he called us he will equip us and he will provide for us in Jesus name.