10 Sep Caring for Women | Piedmont Women’s Center
“You know, free pregnancy care is available elsewhere. What we’re really offering is the hope of the Gospel.” While this might not be obvious to every woman as soon as she enters the door at Piedmont Women’s Center, you can be sure she won’t leave without being given the option of hearing this hope.
“Many women come to us thinking that we are the women’s clinic next door,” says Michele Reeves. Nervous, confused, and emotional, women from all walks of life come in thinking that abortion is the only option. There are three women’s clinics offering abortions in our state, and one of them is here in Greenville. The local clinic performs 2,500 abortions each year, averaging about 40 abortions each week.
Caring for Women
The Piedmont Women’s Center is strategically located next door to this women’s clinic. Their goal is to reach clients who are thinking about an abortion or are in crisis. “We’re very upfront with women who come through our doors,” Michelle tells us. “We say right away, ‘Your appointment isn’t here.’ But we’re also clear about what we do. We give free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds; plus, we offer peer-to-peer counseling. We provide a safe place to talk through the decisions they’re facing.”
Michelle is the Director of Training for Piedmont Women’s Center. Her story is one that makes abortion something personal. “I was born three months early,” she shares. “The doctors were concerned that I would be born with extreme health challenges, and my mother experienced health difficulties herself while she was carrying me. She received recommendations by some doctors to abort me on two different occasions during her pregnancy.” When Michelle first began her job, she was unaware of her mother’s experience with abortion; she was drawn to the job by her passion to care for the unborn. Now that her mother has shared about the pressure she felt to abort, Michelle feels a deepened desire to reach out to the women who come to the center.
Whenever possible, the hope at PWC is to prevent an abortion. While a major component of their ministry is geared towards post-abortion recovery, their desire is to see each woman avoid the bondage of abortion altogether. When we look past the lies our culture tells us about abortion, we realize that instead of freedom of choice, abortion actually takes away a piece of a woman’s femininity and replaces it with guilt and shame. “We long for women to be liberated, not as a feminist like our culture would tell us, but freed through the work of Christ. As a society, we should do better than offering death as the best solution.”
Our Part – How You Can Help
At Grace Church, we are not in denial about these issues and know that they touch many within our church and even more within our community. We take this responsibility seriously, and we view Piedmont Women’s Center as a key partner in our in efforts to care for our church body. Construction for a new Grove Road facility is beginning this fall to accommodate the growing need in Greenville for accessible women’s prenatal care. Through this year’s OneFund budget, Grace Church is covering the cost of one of the four counseling rooms with a gift of $15,000.
Fundraising for this facility is ongoing. Along with funding for construction, Piedmont Women’s Center is looking for professional volunteer services, groups, and individuals willing to help furnish a room, and the donation of construction or building supplies (such as paint or light fixtures).
In addition, PWC is run primarily through volunteer hours. They are always in need of manpower to jump in and to help them care for those who come through their doors. Groups of any size can come to do yard work, simple maintenance, and organizational projects. Medical professionals can become certified to provide ultrasounds at the center.
Individuals who want to really make an investment can complete PWC’s training to become a Client Advocate or a group leader for their post-abortion recovery studies. These individuals work closely with clients at the center by helping to provide peer-to-peer counseling, the daily admin work, and client follow-ups. Piedmont Women’s Center is beginning to see more and more Spanish-speaking clients; volunteers who are fluent in Spanish can help with client care and with medical document translation.
One of the most critical volunteer gaps for PWC is male volunteers. As young fathers and boyfriends are coming in and out of the facility, they are in need of healthy male role models.
A Broken World
Like many things in life, abortion isn’t a “one and done” type of decision. Each of us struggles as we live in the realities of a broken world. Our own sin becomes cycles of brokenness that numb us. We are tempted to keep our hurts secret from those who know us best. We seek relief and hope in things or people and fearfully seek to control. Freedom and recovery from our sin cycles come only through Christ and His work.
Piedmont Women’s Center offers studies for both men and women that are geared towards post-abortion recovery. The studies last 13 weeks, are split by gender, and are small and confidential. “We truly believe that recovery can only come through Christ,” Michelle says. The studies begin by diving into the character of God and His forgiveness. And by the end, participants are exploring our responsibility to receive Christ’s forgiveness, to accept the love of our Father, and to extend love and forgiveness to others impacted in our lives.
Culture has given us a mold to fit ourselves into – the image of a woman whose power comes from her ability to be affected by no one and to conquer every challenge alone. Instead, we must choose to believe that our identity is found in Christ, and not in the image of the modern woman. We are created to be in community with one another, to bear one another’s burdens, and, when we stumble, to allow someone else to help us up.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
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Megan is spending her 20’s doing as much travel as her job at Grace Church will allow. She is incapable of letting a day go by without a physical challenge, is terrified of being stuck in an airport without a good book, and holds a particular bitterness towards hikes that don’t lead to waterfalls. Megan attends our Downtown campus.