A Texas-based non-profit organization hosted a baby shower for 52 teenage girls to honor them for embracing their pregnancies and their decision to not undergo abortion procedures.
Embrace Grace is the ministry behind the massive event that was held last month after the girls attended a series of classes led by organizers who provide emotional, practical and spiritual support for the young women during their unplanned pregnancies.
"Several of the girls in all of our classes are sometimes on the fence regarding abortion, but once they come to one of our classes and see the support that there is, that their immediate needs for the baby are covered and that they don't have to walk this road alone, they usually change their mind and keep their baby," said Amy Ford, founder of Embrace Grace, to the Christian Post.
Each year since 2008, the organization has thrown babyshowers for young women, and this year 70 percent of the 52 girls were single teenage moms, 25 percent were single and in their twenties, and the rest were in their thirties. In addition to the party, the ministry also offered 'Embrace Mercy' classes for the parents of the young women who attended to support and cheer them on for choosing life.
"The reaction of the girls is always fun to see," said Ford. "They know they get a baby shower, that's usually the reason why they come to our program in the first place, but they have no idea how over the top it really is. They are blown away that women that have never met them before, prayed and shopped for their baby and took time out of their schedules to watch them open their gifts."
Most of the girls who get involved with Embrace Grace are not church-going teenagers at first. However, Ford says many commit their lives to God the night of the baby shower after they experience the blessing of strangers pouring love into them.
Ford, who began the organization after realizing she wanted to help young, pregnant and hopeless women because she was in the same position at 19, says the ministry is the first stop for these girls in having their lives changed. Thier mission is to also empower churches across the nation to be the first safe and non-judgemental place for girls to run to when they find out that they are pregnant, instead of their last resort because of shame and guilt.
"We provide a curriculum and resources for the church to implement the program as well as offer sponsorship for the churches that may not be able to afford the expenses involved with helping young women with crisis pregnancies," said Ford. "If the church, the body of Christ, would join together to support these girls that choose life, young moms will be more open to not abort their baby."
Ford admits Embrace Grace cannot fix every single problem that pregnant teenagers face but as the ministry leader, she says she has a "front-row seat" to the life changing process that the girls have an opportunity to experience.
"They go from carrying shame and being heavy hearted, to smiling and dreaming again, knowing their life isn't over and that even though their baby was unplanned by them, the child was planned by God," said Ford.
She adds, "God is such an amazing God that when He wants to get someone's attention and woo a girl closer to Him, He might just use a baby to do it. He might just bless them with the sweetest face they've ever laid eyes on, so they can finally get a tiny glimpse, of just how big God's love is for each one of us."