ProGrace provides pregnancy care center leader with hope and encouragementDec 07, 2023
My name is Andrea Capuyan, and I am the Executive Director of Laurel Pregnancy Center (LPC) in Laurel, Maryland, in the DC/Baltimore metro area. I am taking over ProGrace’s email to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how ProGrace helps centers like mine and what they can do to promote a grace approach to unintended pregnancy and abortion. Like you, I feel strongly that we should represent the love and grace of Christ in our interactions with others, and this desire has informed my work at the LPC.
Many years ago, I knew that the Laurel Pregnancy Center (LPC) had to operate differently from similar organizations. I wanted my work to be congruent with my faith, and as a part of that, I knew that we had to treat our clients the way that Jesus would. We emphasize listening to our clients and understanding their personalities, circumstances, and stories. Sometimes, that means meeting with a person in the most difficult and vulnerable place in her life and being the recipient of her story or the story of her trauma. It is heavy and emotional work to carry these stories within ourselves and love others the way we have been loved.
The ministry of pregnancy resource centers has been entangled with Pro-Life political activism and, specifically, the changing of laws, which has been part of our history. Oftentimes, leaders of these centers begin their journey into the pregnancy care center world focused on pregnancy decision outcomes without understanding the realities women are facing or what they need. Many have a set script for their employees to read from and push a highly political agenda. We set ourselves apart by listening to our clients and meeting them where they are rather than simply trying to influence their decisions. At LPC, we want to care equally for the woman and child, like God does.
When we found ProGrace, we were already on a journey of doing things differently. We were already wondering if our good intentions were interfering with our ability to see the needs of our clients. Our new mindset made us an outlier in the pregnancy resource field and began to put us on the outside of relationships with other centers. Finding ProGrace was a breath of fresh air. A heavy weight had been lifted from us. We felt comforted in the knowledge that we weren’t the only ones looking at this field of work and feeling that something was missing. It can be lonely to be different, and when you are doing something differently from your peers, you wonder if you made a misstep in the way you are living out what you read in the Bible. ProGrace has been encouraging and affirming that we follow God’s call and love His people.
"As a pregnancy care center leader, Pro-Grace provides me with hope and encouragement. I feel heard and understood after every conversation or interaction with Pro-Grace staff. Within ProGrace is an awareness of the hard places where we minister. It requires a ministry response that embraces nuance and complexity - no easy or pat answers exist. You welcome us to wrestle with hard questions and aim to provide safety and belonging for women who wonder if anyone cares. Thank you for helping us amplify - curiosity, humility, and empathy. Let the comfort we've received be the comfort we give to others.
-Andrea Capuyan, Executive Director, Laurel Pregnancy Center, Laurel, MD"
Our staff and volunteers come to us because they feel very strongly about unintended pregnancy and abortion, many of them having been personally impacted by it. We needed a way to train them in the LPC approach to align them with our language and values. The ProGrace Transform and Equip courses and community gave us the language to express our grace-centered approach in a way they can understand. It also fosters empathy and understanding, which our staff take into client relationships. Each exit survey in which a woman expresses that she felt seen, heard, understood, and respected reinforces the importance of our training, and I am grateful to ProGrace for giving us the language to express that. Consider partnering with ProGrace today. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of people like the staff and clientele of the LPC: people at their most vulnerable and broken, people who seek to serve others in a way that reflects their faith, and weary people who need peace. Our center is in a much better place because of the transformational message of grace from the ProGrace content, and I would like to see this message spread and more pregnancy centers and Christians adopt this mindset. We all deserve the peace and relief of knowing we have done well as faithful servants and that we are not alone.
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