Riverside Vision for Life
At Riverside we are enthusiastically pro-life. Human life is made in the image of God and life begins at conception. Once those truths are embraced, then we find there to be no other option.
But to be pro-life because we see humanity as divine image-bearers requires of us to be more than one-issue Christians. In terms of abortion, do we oppose it? Yes! And we also oppose homelessness, sickness, malnutrition and what seems to be an endless list of human misery and suffering.
But let’s go back to the abortion thing for a moment, because even here our love of human life drives us to see the gospel display the glory of God in the lives of all who are involved. In other words, this is not only about stopping abortion. We desire to see God’s grace applied to the unborn child, the mother, and beyond. And how is that grace applied? How is God’s glory displayed? In a word, mercy!
God is glorified when his mercy is extended. And so our mission begins by extending mercy to the unborn child and to the expectant mother. We seek to lead abortion-minded women to choose life. Many women who choose abortion do so because they believe they are trapped; ironically they believe they have no choice. But they do, and choosing life is a merciful choice for themselves as well as for the babies.
In order to accomplish our mission we have partnered with Hope Women’s Centers. This wonderful ministry presently operates 3 full-time centers in Broward County. These centers offer free pregnancy testing and free sonograms and are designed to connect with the abortion-minded woman. The success is amazing. Statistics show that 89% of abortion minded women choose to give birth after seeing their child through the technology of sonograms.
And Hope assists in one more very important demonstration of mercy. We seek to not only show God’s mercy to the unborn, to abortion-minded women, but also to the post-abortive. So many lives have been traumatized by this tragedy. But there is healing in the good news of Jesus Christ. Hope leads groups and recovery ministry for both women and men throughout the county.
Right now our partnership with Hope involves several areas. In terms of financial assistance, we donate rental space in our retail space for one of Hope’s 3 centers and a second space for Hope’s administrative offices. This space is valued at approximately $36,000 annually. In addition to spontaneous gifts throughout the year, we recently committed to give one dollar a month to Hope for every Riverside member. As of April 2012 we are giving $313 monthly to Hope.
But this problem will not be solved with money alone. We are serving. We encourage our church family to volunteer at Hope. I have the privilege of serving the Hope Board as the president for this season. We are serving; we are volunteering.
Ultimately we are indeed at God’s mercy and this struggle for life will only be won in prayer. We encourage you to bombard heaven for God to move. God will, we believe, give grace for his people to extend his mercy to his hurting creation.