Heartbeat International honored milestones in years of service to the pregnancy help movement at its Annual Pregnancy Help Conference this week, along with individual achievement in service and young leadership in the pregnancy help community.
Heartbeat’s 2020 Vision Annual Conference was held April 14-16, virtually, in place of the usual on-site event, due to nationwide prohibition of large gatherings and social distancing recommendations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pregnancy help awards started off the third and final day of the conference with Heartbeat President Jor-El Godsey expressing excitement at conferring the honors.
First among them were pregnancy help centers celebrating the 25th anniversary of their ministry.
“One of our traditions that we always do at Conference is we love to honor those that are reaching major milestones,” said Godsey. “We have lots of centers that have achieved this milestone, that have walked 25 years in ministry.”
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The milestone is very important, he said, because it reflects “the power of tenacity, certainly the provision of God, and the anointing upon those that have had it.”
Things looked very different in the early days of the pregnancy help movement, Godsey explained, adding that this group of centers opened their doors in 1990’s.
“So, we congratulate our 25th anniversaries,” Godsey stated, “those that have achieved that, we know that some of you were in those seats for all 25 years. And so, we’re grateful for that longevity.”
“It’s one of the things that I think is a hallmark of this ministry,” he said, “that although we are young in a sense as a movement, we are seeing some tremendous milestones being reached … So, we’re grateful for all our 25th anniversary folks.’
Pregnancy help centers that were honored at Heartbeat’s Annual Conference for marking their 25th anniversary were:
Family Life Center, FirstLook; Alternatives Medical Clinic; Life Options Clinic; Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center; Women’s Center – Kettering; Pregnancy Resource Center of SW Oklahoma; Hope Women’s Resource Clinic, Laurel County Life Center, Door of Hope, TLC Pregnancy Services; Tree Rivers Pregnancy Helpline Center; Pregnancy & Parenting Support Center; Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center; Tri-State Pregnancy Center; Women’s Pregnancy Center; Pregnancy Help Center; Life Care Pregnancy Center; Pregnancy Help Center – Lake of the Ozarks; Gabriel Network; Arkansas Valley Pregnancy Center.
Following the 25th anniversaries was the Servant Leader Award, which Godsey said began some 25 years ago.
“Servant Leader is the very term that describes fully what Jesus Himself is,” Godsey Said. “He is a servant and He is a leader, and He puts those in combination.”
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“He modeled the way for all of us to walk with that sense of – Lead, but do so with a servant’s heart,” Godsey continued.
Heartbeat has had a great time celebrating servant leaders in the movement, he said, “And there are many.”
There are so many to choose from that it’s always difficult to limit it to the four usually honored, said Godsey.
“I just want to celebrate with them,” Godsey said of this year’s honorees.
The first Servant Leader honored was Amy Scheuring, also a presenter at this year’s conference. Scheuring has more than 30 years in pregnancy help ministry, having helped establish Women’s Choice Network in Pittsburgh, PA.
She currently serves as executive director of WCN, a network of four medical clinics serving abortion-vulnerable women. The network also partners with community resources to deliver vital medical, material, and emotional tools to families experiencing unexpected pregnancies in some of Pittsburgh's most needy neighborhoods.
The WCN recently celebrated 30 years of ministry and has documented over 5,000 lives saved from abortion.
Scheuring is an author, speaker and a blogger. She wrote and created the Chastity Challenge abstinence education materials used in pregnancy centers across the U.S.
“We are blessed that Amy Scheuring is one of the 2020 Servant Leaders,” Godsey said.
Following Scheuring as a Servant Leader recipient was Kim Triller.
Triller has been the executive director of Care Net Pregnancy & Family Services of Puget Sound in Washington State since 1994.
Care Net of Puget Sound has helped more than 240,000 individuals through a variety of programs, services and referrals. Smart Programs, the community education arm of the ministry, has given presentations on healthy relationships and sex trafficking awareness to more than 180,000 students and adults.
In 2004, Triller began serving as a Regional Consultant for Care Net National, one of her center’s national affiliates, providing training for pregnancy centers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.
Godsey praised Triller’s leadership, wisdom and wit.
“Kim, we just appreciate your servant leadership,” Godsey said.
The third Servant Leader award was presented to Judy Vasquez, of Belize. Vasquez began serving at a Helping Hands Pregnancy Center in Belize 17 years ago, becoming executive director of the center, now named Seed of Life, in 2007. Vasquez opened another branch on San Pedro Island off Belize two months ago.
Although Belize is a poor country, Vasquez continues to find ways to provide aid to clients. Vasquez will celebrate 49 years of marriage this year, she is the mother of three daughters and three sons-in-law, grandmother of five granddaughters, and shows no sign of slowing down in her pro-life work.
“She is a tremendous example of dedication and passion for life,” Godsey said, lauding Vasquez for awards she’s received for her service in her home country.
“And she is a great representative of our many servant leaders who are internationals,” he said. “So, we’re excited for her.”
The final Servant Leader award for 2020 went to Robyn Chambers.
Chambers is executive director of Focus on the Family’s Advocacy for Children, director of its Sanctity of Life Department, and program director for the Focus’ Option Ultrasound program. She has served at Focus for more than 20 years, first in the ministry’s Family Help Center taking calls from people seeking help.
In her role with Option Ultrasound at Focus, Chambers oversees all aspects of the program, which provides ultrasound machines and sonography training to qualified medical clinics in high-abortion communities.
“She is a great friend to the pregnancy help movement, and a key leader at the national levels,” Godsey said of Chambers.
While Chambers’ name and face is not often out in the media, Godsey said, “She’s a tremendous driving force behind promoting the good work of pregnancy help organizations all across the U.S. and internationally as well.”
Also presented at the conference Thursday was the Heart of the Future award, announced by Heartbeat International’s Vice President of Ministry Services Betty McDowell.
The award acknowledges younger leaders serving in the pregnancy help community. It aims to honor one young person who represents all young leaders in the movement.
Among the criteria for the award is servant leadership qualities, teachability, passion, courage and humility, McDowell explained.
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This year’s recipient was Kamille Martindale from Barbados.
In 2015 at the age of 23, Martindale began working to help women in unplanned pregnancies and lower the abortion rate in Barbados. Shortly thereafter, she and some friends established a ministry named Unborn Justice. They began operating out of their homes, later opening an office 2017.
“They are the first and only pregnancy center in Barbados,” said McDowell.
McDowell, as part of a team from Heartbeat, traveled to Barbados to visit Martindale’s ministry last year.
“We had a chance to work and see firsthand how Kamille leads, how she is in action,” McDowell said. “We experienced her gentleness and her determined spirit.”
“She is truly teachable, she is a learner, she is passionate, and she is courageous,” she added. So, we want to say thank you, and congratulations to Kamille or being this year’s Heart of the Future recipient.”
Heartbeat’s Annual Conference ran from Tuesday through Thursday this week.
Editor's note: Pregnancy Help News is a project of Heartbeat International