Togo (MNN) — From learning Sunday school lessons on wooden pews, to taking communion at Catholic mass, “church” can encompass a wide variety of facilities and experiences.
You probably wouldn’t put a pregnancy center in the “church” category. But, for the team at Beautiful Feet International, it’s a natural fit.
“We have found them to be a wonderful way to get the Gospel out,” says Beautiful Feet President and Founder, Melissa Heiland.
“There are a lot of people that would not come into a church. But, when they find themselves in a pregnancy–an unplanned pregnancy, then they start to look for help, and they start to look for answers.”
Pregnancy centers: the Beautiful Feet way
At a Beautiful Feet pregnancy center, moms-to-be don’t just learn how to care for babies. They learn about Christ, too.
“Almost all of the girls who come in [to our pregnancy centers] end up trusting Christ as Savior,” shares Heiland.
Initially, girls and young women suddenly faced with an unexpected pregnancy come to Beautiful Feet seeking answers and facts. Through free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and pro-life curriculum, new moms learn about their growing baby and meet him or her for the first time.
As time passes and relationships develop, doors open for Beautiful Feet partners that staff the pregnancy center to answer deeper questions.
“When people are in crisis, many times they’re open to hear the News of the Gospel in a way that they never have been before.”
Since 2012, Beautiful Feet has started six Christ-centered pregnancy centers in Costa Rica and Mexico. Later this month, Heiland says, Beautiful Feet is making its first expansion to West Africa.
Pregnancy Center #7: Togo
Earlier this year, a Togolese woman trained by Beautiful Feet began “laying the foundation” for a pregnancy center in Lomé, Togo’s capital city.
Beautiful Feet and their partner have been informing churches about the pregnancy center and their approach to unborn life, letting the Body of Christ know what’s “in the works.”
As a result, “People have been sending us girls, one at a time, even though our center has not opened yet.”
One of them was *Abeni, a 16-year-old mom-to-be. She accepted Christ as her Savior after meeting with local believers and hearing the Gospel. The transformation didn’t stop there, though.
Abeni’s grandmother, who accompanied Abeni when she met with the team, loved to worship Satan and practice voodoo.
“She actually has tattoos on her arms and on her face that were ‘marking’ her for Satan,” says Heiland.
“Now, she is a believer in Christ, and she is being discipled through our pregnancy center.”
Beautiful Feet will be sharing more updates and stories with MNN in the days to come. For now, Heiland shares some needs that you can help meet.
“We need prayer for volunteers that will continue to work there,” shares Heiland. She just returned from a volunteer training session in Lomé, where she helped prepare 26 volunteers for pro-life ministry at the pregnancy center.
“We need people that can come alongside us financially. We need prayer for protection for people that are in the ministry, as well as for the clients, because this is a country that has…a very strong Muslim influence.”