Pray Deeply

ANDREW WOOD

I’m Executive Director Andrew Wood of Hope Resource Center, a CSPC missions partner. We’re a cost-free healthcare center in Knoxville working to help women make informed, healthy reproductive decisions. Our 25th year of existence coincided with the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24th, and that’s caused me to do a lot of reflecting. I’m reflecting on the goodness of God over the past 25 years, through good times, bad times, recessions, pro-choice presidents, pro-life presidents, pro-choice courts, and pro-life courts. The constant amid that chaos has been the people of Hope Resource Center getting up day in and day out to serve others. Vulnerability to abortion doesn’t take a holiday for pandemics, court decisions, any of those things. So I’ve just been amazed at the graciousness of God in all that. The Lord’s been gracious in allowing our staff to serve, stay unified, and see babies and moms loved and taken care of. I was 30 years old when they hired me for this job, so I didn’t bring a wealth of experience. But the Lord has surrounded me and my family with all kinds of support from local pastors and churches. I was reminded of that on June 24th when pastor after pastor was sending me emails, texts, and calls saying, ‘Hey, we’re praying for you. We know today’s a big day.’ When Knox News ran an article about the overturning of Roe and my face was on the front page, people reached out, said they were praying for me, and asked, ‘How’s your wife? How’s your family?’ I’ve been in this ministry for 7 years now and have been blown away by how God has been orchestrating those steps and blessing me and Hope Resource Center with really, really good people, pastors, and churches who don’t just say, ‘How can we help?’, but, when they say that, legitimately mean ‘We want to help.’ What God has done for me in my time at Hope is solidify my confidence in His goodness and graciousness by encircling me with people who love and care well.

Pro-life folks have been longing for this day for 50 years- it didn’t happen in a vacuum. So our ministry was prepared- we’d already added services and nurse practitioners. What we’re trying to do now is just be available, understanding that we’ll see a lot of people who would’ve never come here before. Now there’s not really another option, so they’re going to find their way to us for ultrasounds, parenting support, and other needs. Our model doesn’t change. We still provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing and treatment, well-woman care, parenting education for new moms and even prospective dads now. Our phones, soon after Roe fell, were ringing off the hook. Here’s where I’d ask for prayers: What comes with that, probably, are more difficult and heavy cases. It’s a very tough scenario for some of these moms in difficult situations- some seeing their babies on an ultrasound for the first time. How do we love them well? That’s a heavy position to be in, so pray for wisdom and grace for our nurses and nurse practitioners. Pray also about the anxiety this moment brings for all of us involved in this work. Pregnancy centers have literally been under attack all across the country, including in fairly close cities like Nashville and Asheville. We have security in place, but there’s still some uneasiness among our staff and families. Be praying for safety and for the anxiety to calm down. Finally, the dads’ class -which we just started this year- could use prayer, too. The dads are eager for community. We’ve always known they play a huge role, but haven’t done much to engage them in the past, so now we are. I had a dad call me just last week and ask, ‘When’s the next meeting?’ They’re eager for and excited about this class, and that’s been cool to see. Pray it continues and grows.

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