I found the above ad in a magazine someone had dropped off at Hope House for our residents to leaf through when they had a quiet moment to themselves. I wasn't shocked - after all - sex sells! We all know this. The emotion rolling over me in waves was grief. This is the message our clients, residents, daughters, sisters and friends have broadcast at them ad nauseam: "intimacy creates understanding...and understanding creates love".
I know firsthand how backward and damaging this message is. Jumping into intimacy too soon causes less understanding, broken trust and many more difficulties in our life. Fortunately, Living Hope Centers is constantly broadcasting a different message in our pregnancy resource centers, at our maternity home, in our youth development programs and in our homes: "seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness, learn to love God, yourself and others then understanding will grow and intimacy will follow".
Recently, some of our mountain staff were working with Sherri at the Phoenix Center. While they were there, a high school girl came in for a pregnancy test. She brought 3 girlfriends with her and wanted all of them in the room when she received her test result. We shared information with all of them about sexually transmitted diseases, the benefits of abstinence and the reality that it is possible to start making healthy choices at any time.
One of the girlfriends came in several weeks later for a pregnancy test. She said when she was here before, she felt lectured and overwhelmed by all the information presented regarding sexually active teens. However, she had held on to the literature all that time. She started going to a local church and heard the same info from the leadership there. She said she now recognizes all the wrong decisions she has made and is sorry. Sherri talked with her at length about changing direction and God's forgiveness - assuring her that "God's not mad at you".
This student told Sherri how she talked with her boyfriend before coming into the center, showing him the literature she received, and together they made the decision to remain abstinent outside of marriage from that moment on, regardless of the test result. She stated that she wants to live right in every area of her life.
Praise God for using our materials, love, and support to touch hearts and change lives.
Don't forget about Walk for Life! Register by clicking here and get your pledges recorded! The money raised will support our efforts to reach more teens with the life-saving message of Christ.
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God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. - Hebrews 6:10 NIV