This month marks 35 years of Embrace providing hope and support to women and men facing pregnancy decisions in our community. What started out as a prayer group in 1984 with a vision for the city of Wichita, has now developed into a thriving nonprofit that serves over 1700 people every year! On this anniversary, we wanted to honor God’s faithfulness by sharing stories from the many lives changed at Embrace through the years.
Embrace has been a safe-haven for many families throughout the years. Clients like Stacie remember coming into a small office and talking with a counselor at the original location on Douglas. Even years later, she remembers the impact that one volunteer made on her life, simply by listening and affirming her decision to choose life. “That day, what she gave me was hope. And it’s absolutely been the greatest joy of my life to be a mom.”
Leslie recalls her experience at Embrace as well. “I thought I was pregnant and was leaving an abusive relationship. I didn’t know what to do and was driving around Wichita when I saw the sign for the Pregnancy Crisis Center.” She already had the physical resources she needed, but that day she remembers the emotional support of someone who listened to her, offered a hug and unconditional love. Later, this experience led Leslie to return to Embrace as a volunteer and be a light for other women who were in the same situation.
“That day, what she gave me was hope. And it’s absolutely been the greatest joy of my life to be a mom.”Stacie
“My baby wasn’t the mistake. Keeping him saved my entire life.”Alicia
“Embrace has literally been with us from the very, very bottom of a pit, to the highest point in our lives.”Zaul
“I think God gave me the opportunity to learn how to love again. He [my son] is a huge blessing in our family, even on the hard days.”Courtney
“If I wouldn’t have come [to Embrace] I would’ve definitely made a decision that I was being pressured into."Kendra
Alicia also visited Embrace under the former name, PCC. She was 16 when she found out she was pregnant and heard about us from a friend. “I was so afraid of judgment and what people were going to think and how I was going to tell my parents.” Years later, what stands out about her experience at Embrace was the loving support and prayer offered by a volunteer. “My baby wasn’t the mistake. Keeping him saved my entire life.”
Sarah & Zaul’s Story
Although pregnancy is a major reason men and women find themselves at Embrace, your support made it possible to add other complementary services through the years. One of those was the addition of Marriage and Family Therapy in 2003. This proved to be critical for Sarah and Zaul as they were struggling early in their marriage and looking for help. “Without Embrace and without the counseling that we received there, we wouldn’t be married. It was God that saved our marriage, working through Embrace.” Later they discovered they were pregnant and came back to Embrace for parenting class and material support. “Embrace has literally been with us from the very, very bottom of a pit, to the highest point in our lives.”
Facing an unexpected pregnancy is difficult no matter what stage of life you’re in. Some women, like Courtney, have older children in the home already. She and her husband Jeremy were not planning to have more kids and were overwhelmed at the sight of that first positive pregnancy test. It wasn’t until several months in that they made the decision to parent. “I think God gave me the opportunity to learn how to love again. He [my son] is a huge blessing in our family, even on the hard days.” Her husband Jeremy is also appreciative, “During that time, my wife really needed the emotional support that Embrace offered. And I’m glad they’re a part of this community.”
Another population of women we see at Embrace are those feeling pressured into a certain decision. When Kendra first found out about her pregnancy, the father wanted her to get an abortion. Coming to Embrace gave her the clarification she needed to make a confident decision. “If I wouldn’t have come [to Embrace] I would’ve definitely made a decision that I was being pressured into. I know I made the right decision. All the stress I did have at the beginning was definitely worth it. I can’t imagine going forward without [my son].”
In 2018, Embrace added Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) services. This allows clients who regret their decision to reverse the effects of Mifepristone (the first of 2 drugs in medical abortion) and potentially save their child’s life. One of those client’s bravely shared her experience with APR in hopes of helping others in a similar position. “I’m now the mother to a beautiful, perfect, healthy baby girl. The situation that seemed scary at first turned into the biggest blessing for my family. I am forever grateful!”
The stories could go on. These are just a fraction of the lives saved through Embrace in the last 35 years. Thanks to faithful community support, clients receive pregnancy tests, sonograms, STD testing, material support, parenting education, and more at no cost. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many and Embrace seeks to provide the emotional, physical, and spiritual support needed during this major life transition.
Behind all that we do is a belief that every life, born and unborn, has value because of its creator and is worthy of protection. We make it our mission to treat all people with kindness and dignity as they make their pregnancy decision and believe every person deserves to hear the truth spoken in love.
If you want to get involved in what God is doing at Embrace there are three things you can do: share, pray, and give! Word of mouth is our #1 source of referrals. Most of the clients mentioned above came to Embrace because they heard about us from a friend. Sharing Embrace with your friends, family, and community members is a great way to increase awareness. God uses these simple conversations daily to save lives. Sharing about Embrace can be as simple as referring people on Instagram, Facebook, or encouraging them to look us up online at www.embracewichita.org.
Learn about specific ways to pray for clients and the Center by joining our monthly newsletter or private Facebook group. And give online to support the ministry financially. What will the future bring for Embrace? Your gifts and support help determine the impact to come! Thank you!