When things don’t go as planned and unexpected problems come up, it can be hard to deal with. It’s normal to feel worried, confused, and maybe even scared. That’s where organisations like Pregnancy Help Australia can help.
Women are connected through Pregnancy Help Australia to a community that listens to them without judgement and offers a secure place for them to process their feelings. They also provide information and connect women to the appropriate local resources they need to get through this difficult time.
Lara Malin Wynyard is President of Pregnancy Help Australia, and she recently joined us 20Twenty to share about her own personal journey with an unexpected pregnancy. It was that experience that led her to work in a pregnancy crisis centre herself and help many more women.
‘That’s the most beautiful thing about the Lord,’ says Lara. ‘We’re not aware at the time of how He will use our story. I never would have thought that 12 years later, I would be asked to work in a pregnancy centre or how much that experience would become my future path in ministry.’
Lara says that Christians understand the term agape love, and that’s exactly what Pregnancy Help Australia offers. It’s unconditional, self-sacrificing and non-judgmental support. That love is something that will continue to be there regardless of a person’s situation and choices going forward.
‘When these women are calling,’ says Lara, ‘they’re not even thinking about their moral stance on abortion. They’re actually dealing with a very disruptive life change. When they come to the centre they have an opportunity to sit with someone and pour out their heart. That’s where the chance lies for them to make a good choice going forward.’
Love in Action
Lara’s passion is to create more pregnancy centres, which she calls ‘little hubs of love.’ She has seen first-hand the difference that impartial support can make when family and friends are dealing with the initial shock of a pregnancy.
Little Hubs of Love is a beautiful concept, but all the centres are about love in action. ‘We may not even mention Jesus,’ Lara says, ‘but all of our actions are coming through Him. As soon as someone enters, there’s hospitality, warmth, and an opportunity to share. It’s not even counselling because they’re being listened to.’
Once a woman has articulated all her fears, support workers can step in and speak to the situation. They are able to provide reassurance about the possibilities of how the future could look. There are those in the community that assume seeking help with a Christian organisation is somehow going to be met with condemnation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Importance of Community
‘There’s always been an attack from the pro-choice side,’ Lara says. ‘But even though our identity is Christian, our support is for everyone. We meet people where they’re at and we don’t proselytise. We meet them and we listen to them. The people at work in these centres are well trained on how to be impartial.’
The whole vision behind Pregnancy Help Australia is having somewhere local to access resources, because community is so important. Once a baby is born, there’s no point if the care can’t continue for that mother and father. They need community support in order to thrive as a family after going through a difficult pregnancy.
‘All of our volunteers have been called in one way or another by the Lord to stand up and make a difference,’ says Lara. ‘It’s something that every single one of us is passionate about.’