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A message of hope with Grace Partner Lisa Stalford

stories Aug 01, 2023

Lisa Stalford of Plano, TX, discovered ProGrace through Angela Weszely’s appearance on Phil Vicsher’s (now The Holy Post) podcast. She had tension around how she felt about the Christian response to abortion but didn’t know how to put it into words.

The ProGrace approach instantly relieved the tension she felt. Her experience compelled her to become part of our Grace Partner community through prayer and financial support. Lisa took Transform, ProGrace’s online course to enhance her journey to help her think, talk, and engage with others. Now she is more confident in sharing her beliefs and can share God’s grace with those who need it. Here’s her story in her own words.

I was raised in the church and was always involved in everything church. However, I have been trying to be more purposeful in my Christian walk for the last fifteen years. For me, this started with Bible study. I had always been in various Bible studies, usually through women’s ministry. Still, I committed to a multi-year study that would give me a more in-depth understanding of the Bible. I wanted to apply this understanding of the nature and character of God and our purpose as His people to critical global issues. I sought to decide where I stood on important controversial issues from a biblical lens. This also led me to question the church’s response to social problems, feeling disconnected between Jesus’ example and how we relate to people as the Church. I discovered that some churches are unsafe places, and people cannot be honest with their pain, get help, and need to replace judgment with grace. But I knew that just as the problem was in the church, the answer could also be in the church. The local church could offer help with grace, the same grace God gives each of us. This was my mindset on many controversial issues, but I had no solutions. I felt overwhelmed by the complexity and staggering number of problems today. I stumbled upon a six-year-old Phil Vischer podcast with Angie Weszely as the featured guest. She was interviewed about a third-option approach to the abortion issue. I felt I had found “the answer” to one of life’s most divisive issues: abortion.

What a beautiful name, ProGrace! I was introduced to a Kingdom perspective based on how Jesus would respond, equal love for the woman and the child. ProGrace understands how we can move conversations to help us to think, talk, and act differently-- as individuals and as the Church. We must love the woman as God loves her. Placing shame solely upon her and offering no real support for her to be able to care for and raise a child leaves us complicit in her decision. We can do better. We are called to do better.

ProGrace offers practical training and resources for churches, pregnancy organizations, and community-based organizations that serve those experiencing or have experienced unintended pregnancy and abortion. Can you imagine a world where a woman finds herself pregnant and scared, has no financial or emotional support, and thinks I know where I can get help, down the street to the corner church! For the Church to make a difference in women’s lives is truly Jesus’ response in action. I fully agree with everything ProGrace. In fact, "agree" is an understatement because I wanted to support Angela’s work financially. It’s been a couple of years, and ProGrace continues growing. The podcast is an exciting new tool to reach out and let everyone know we do not have to rely on politics. We do not have to be at war with each other over choosing the woman or the child. We can come together.

I am not Pro-Life.

I am not Pro-Choice.

I am ProGrace!

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