Pastor Mike Fleishmann’s passion is to reach “none” adults with the Gospel. In order to find the best way to do that he identified believers that came to faith as adults and compared the faith experience of more than 3,000 of these believers from 31 states and a dozen denominations. He published the results of his study in a 2010 Christianity Today article entited, “How Outsiders Find Faith.” Some facts:
A majority of former “nones” who find faith say that it was a friend who influenced them toward faith. This friendship may have been for a lifetime or just a season, but it was the right person at the right time.
56% report coming to faith in the midst of a significant transition or crisis. Most often it’s family-related, marriage or parenting; and sometimes the crisis may relate to addiction or illness. A person’s circumstances are often the open window for the message of Christ to take root in a person’s life.
The women that come to CareNet are many times in a crisis. Pregnant, afraid, unsure, they are in need of a friend who will help them negotiate their pregnancy decision. As our CareNet counselors extend Christ’s compassion and love to these women, spiritual discussions take place, prayers are offered, the Gospel is shared, and women come to Christ. Through CareNet, God is using the opportunity of their crisis to let these women know that He loves them and desires for them to be saved. And CareNet counselors take advantage of this opportunity. In 2017, 48% of counselor discussion included a discussion of spiritual matters. What a blessing to be used by Christ to further His kingdom!
Our American culture is challenged by the increasing number of “nones”. What is a none? An individual who answers “none” when asked to describe their religious beliefs or affiliations. “Nones” can be either people who were raised in the faith but are no longer practicing or people who come from an unchurched background where they had no exposure to Christianity. How can we as concerned Christians reach the “nones” with the good news of the Gospel. According to Associate Professor of Philosophy Kaldoun Sweiss, a member of the faculty at Olive-Harvey College in Chicago, trying to reach “nones” is a four step process.
Engaging them in discussion about our secular culture
Listening and asking thoughtful questions to encourage them to think.
Being their friend when times are difficult.
Walking with them offering encouragement and help
It is well known that evangelism involves relationship. Most people who come to Christ do so with the help of a friend or mentor. This fact is significant for CareNet as our goal is to save lives now and for eternity. So looking for opportunities to lead women to Christ in the counseling room is a priority. Opening the discussion can be as simple as “Will you pray with me?” More on this in my next blog.
36 years ago CareNet began as a hotline ringing in a local business with calls being forwarded to the homes of its volunteers. The hotline was so successful that soon the need to actually have a counseling center was recognized and one did open on Roosevelt Road in Villa Park. Now a national prolife organization that specializes in reaching pregnant women through state of the art communication and then referring them to a pregnancy resource center for life-affirming help has recognized the excellence of CareNet’s hotline staff. Heroic Media plans to collaborate with CareNet in providing effective hotline training to other pregnancy resource centers. The training will include role playing, using scripts as well as observing and listening to sample hotline calls with CareNet staff. Over the years, God has provided CareNet with an excellent staff that has effectively reached many women who believed that abortion was their only choice. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our skills with other centers so that more families may benefit from their services and more lives will be saved.
After much searching, CareNet has identified a location for a new center on Roosevelt Road in West Chicago. More information will be forthcoming as we finalize a lease for this store front property. This new center will serve the communities of Bartlett, Batavia, Carol Stream, Geneva, Hanover Park, St. Charles, Warrenville, West Chicago and Winfield. Living in this 96 square mile area are 39,262 young women in the ages of 15-29. This key demographic of women represents the majority of women in whom unplanned pregnancy occurs. This area is also diversified racially and economically. This Roosevelt Road location will provide CareNet with the best opportunity to serve the women of this community. We are very excited to bring CareNet’s needed services to this location. More to follow,.
Restore, CareNet’s ministry to post abortive women, continues to make a profound difference in the lives of women as they seek to recover from the trauma of their abortion. One woman who experienced multiple abortions years ago has been meeting with a Restore volunteer for weeks as together they have explored God’s love and forgiveness. She has begun to realize that her excessive drinking is a reaction to the abortions and the anger she feels toward many people. She has learned that these people did not really intend to hurt her and she has been able to forgive them for their roles in her abortions. Christ has set an example for her with His words from the cross, “Forgive them Father, for they don’t know what they do.” Through her explorations of scripture, she has begun to feel that her identity is in Christ and not as a woman who has experienced abortion. If you or someone you know could benefit by speaking with a compassionate counselor specifically trained to help women recover from abortion, please call Holly at 630-599-0043 or Holly@restoreafterabortion.com
CareNet has been working hard to expand into the northwestern area of DuPage County. The perfect location for the new center is being actively sought in the general West Chicago area. This new regional center would provide access to CareNet services to approximately 39,000 women aged 15-34 who may be in need of help in an unplanned pregnancy. This new ministry center will join the other regional centers of Wood Dale, Glen Ellyn, and Naperville as well as CareNet’s Express Center in downtown Elmhurst. CareNet has long recognized this area as being underserved and is very excited to be able to more forward to reach vulnerable women in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties. I promise to keep you informed as plans solidify in the next few months. I deeply appreciate your prayer for this new center as we move ahead.
CareNet’s bold vision is to eliminate the suffering from abortion in our community by providing life-affirming alternatives and support to women who experience an unplanned pregnancy. Since its inception in 1981, CareNet has expanded with additional locations that have provided easier access to women in need of CareNet’s excellent services. Where a woman goes for help with an unplanned pregnancy is critical to her decision regarding the pregnancy. Statistics have shown that the pregnant women who choose to go to Planned Parenthood will most certainly choose abortion. However, for the women who visit a CareNet center, the majority will choose to carry the pregnancy. Easier access to services combined with sophisticated internet advertising has brought more pregnant women than ever coming to CareNet who believe that abortion is their only choice. Now CareNet is poised to completing a new phase of our strategic plan – opening a new center in the northwest part of DuPage County. More information on this vital new ministry opportunity will be forthcoming in the next few months.
March 8th was International Women’s Day, a day when women around the world celebrated the existence of women and honored the many prominent women in their lives who had contributed so much to society. Unfortunately, there were some celebrants who took this opportunity to express their belief that easy access to abortion was the only way to truly empower women to enjoy a prosperous and meaningful future. Really? Is that what true empowerment is all about? Many young pro-life women don’t believe that. They believe that women are empowered when they can choose to pursue a career or education without being asked to sacrifice their motherhood and allow someone to end the live of their child. Their lives are not an either or, but a both and. CareNet exists to give women “both and” decision making capabilities. By providing answers to the problems women face in carrying their pregnancy, CareNet truly empowers women to choose a life with their child. CareNet does not believe that any woman should be required to sacrifice the life of her child to enjoy a meaningful future. We are glad that with your support thousands of women who came to CareNet for help have been empowered to choose life for their child.
Dr. Seuss had it right. In his famous book, Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss relates the tale of Horton the Elephant who discovers a tiny planet on a speck of dust entitled Whoville. Tiny microscopic creatures called Whos live there. Horton agrees to protect Whoville and courageously defends The Whos by proclaiming to the world, “A person is a person no matter how small.”
The same can be said for an unborn baby in the tiniest stage of human development, a blastocyst. According to an article by Ana Maria Duitru entitled, “Science, Embryonic Autonomy and the Questions of When Life Begins,” an unborn human exhibits all of the characteristics of a living person even at the blastocyst stage. How? Because a blastocyst in a Petri dish will automatically begin to divide and grow when stimulated in a Petri dish. It exhibits “embryonic autonomy” because it grows independent of a location within a mother. Why is this important? If a pregnancy is just a clump of cells and does not exhibit embryonic autonomy, the mother can choose to get rid of the cells as if they were a cancer. However, if these “clump of cells” exhibit autonomy and behave like a living organism, abortion would destroy an independent person.
These are good arguments in defending the right of even the littlest human being to live, but CareNet knows that women need more than just good arguments to encourage them to choose life for the littlest human being that is dividing and growing inside of them. They need love, compassion and real solutions to the many problems they may face in finding a way to give life to their child. Thanks for helping CareNet provide do just that!
In an article written by Moira Weigel, published in The Atlantic, the author asserts that the images seen on an ultrasound screen are no different from the “rapidly dividing cell mass” of early pregnancy. Any parent or grandparent who has seen ultrasound pictures of their unborn child or grandchild knows that this statement is false. The development of an unborn child as witnessed by viewing both an early pregnancy ultrasound and one in the last trimester is profound. The article entitled “How Ultrasound Advanced the Idea that a Fetus is a Person” asserts that ultrasound is being used to deceive women and convince them that the fetus is a human being. She even goes so far as to criticize expectant parents who post ultrasound images of their unborn children on Facebook or Instagram as participating in the “popular enthusiasm for fetal images.” There is no doubt that the advancements in ultrasound have made a huge positive difference in the work of pregnancy centers. At CareNet, a majority of women who see their unborn child on ultrasound, choose to carry their pregnancy. This advance in technology has given pregnant women the opportunity to see the miraculous miracle of life that is going on their bodies. Ultrasound is not political but reality.