Displaying items by tag: 2014 conference

The Buzz from the Medical Tracks

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We love hearing from you in the pregnancy help medical community.

Here's a sampling of what attendees said about the 2014 Heartbeat International Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. The Conference featured 78 workshops, including six each in the Medical Matters and Ultrasound Advancement tracks, in addition to two medically focused in-depth all-day workshop sessions and a special keynote from John Bruchalski, M.D., founder of Tepeyac Family Center & Divine Mercy Center.

1. "I feel much more confident after these workshops and webinars. Thank you!"
Jo-Ellen O'Keefe, Pregnancy Help and Information Center (Ectopic Pregnancy, Audrey Stout RDMS)

2. "Very interesting and groundbreaking information – this will change things!"
Reagan Nielson, Vitae Foundation (Update on Abortion Pill Reversal, Dr. Delgado)

3. "Dr. Delgado's presentation was so very exciting! It was interest peaking, informative and empowering. I'm grateful for his work and research regarding the APR. (Abortion Pill Reversal)"
Jamie Koser, Heartline Pregnancy Center (Update on Abortion Pill Reversal, Dr. Delgado)

4. "Very creative teaching! Lots of light bulbs went off!"
Cheryl Didrekson, Kimberly Home, Inc. (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)

5. Amazing presentation! I have been scanning for 12 years and finally understood the anatomy of the uterus on U/S! Thank you!"
Jennifer Snowden, New Beginnings Women's Center (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)

6. "Super excellent."
Katherine Niemiec, Family Life Services Clinic and Pregnancy Center (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)

7. "Thank you! This was the most enlightening session of the week and worth the entire trip to learn these nuggets."
Patti White, New Beginnings (Flipping Uterus, Roxanne Ertel RDMS)


What a Conference! What a Calling.

If the many of the workshop sessions at the 2014 Heartbeat International Annual Conference felt a bit cozier than in years past, it’s because this year’s conference was the best-attended event in Heartbeat’s 43-year history.

Close to 1,000 registrants, exhibitors, speakers and guests were on site in Charleston, South Carolina for the event, which was kick-started by a rousing performance from Charleston’s own Plantation Singers, who serenaded attendees gathering for the first general session of the conference Wednesday afternoon.

Included in the conference were representatives from 17 countries outside the United States, several of whom traveled back with Heartbeat staff to Heartbeat headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, for an additional week of training and encouragement following the conference.

“It was wonderful to be with other warriors in this pro-life movement,” one attendee said. “As this was my first experience at a conference, I was so excited with what happens in PRCs around the country and the world! What a joy it was to assist someone else with new ideas to make her center better.”

While opportunities to connect and fellowship with pregnancy help servants around the world abounded, so did opportunities to hear from the roster of excellent keynote and workshop speakers, who emphasized over and over the theme that Love is Our Language.

The workshop slate was made up of an all-time high 78 sessions divided into 13 tracks—not including 10 all-day in-depth day opportunities—equipping leaders to better serve women and families in locales the world over.

Headlined by noted Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias, keynotes were also delivered by:

  • Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., President of Heartbeat International
  • Dr. John Bruchalski, Founder of Tepeyac Family Center, LLC
  • Fr. Agustino Torres, Founder of Corazon Puro
  • Terri Green, Author of Simple Acts of Kindness
  • Evie Lastra West, Author of Revolving Choices: Playing Roulette with Life
  • Kirk Walden, Founder of LifeTrends
  • Barbara Gilliard, Pastor in Charleston

Thank you so much for making this year’s conference truly special, and please don’t miss the opportunity to join us April 7-10, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri for next year’s conference.

Sparse Workshop Yields Bountiful Harvest

Preparing for her workshop on mergers and strategic partnerships at the 2013 Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, Vivan Koob was hoping her hard work would pay off in the encouragement and equipping of her fellow pregnancy help leaders.

When it came time for her to present, however, the room didn’t quite fill up as she’d hoped.

But that initial disappointment was long-gone by the time the calendar flipped to 2014, as Vivian’s pregnancy help organization, Elizabeth’s New Life Center in Dayton, Ohio, was in the process of reaping a bountiful harvest from the meagerly attended workshop.

As it turned out, the presentation Vivan was so busy preparing—and the fact that she presented it at Heartbeat’s conference—was the perfect fit for a strategic grant from the Dayton Foundation.

“It really was helpful to have given that talk at the conference,” Vivian said. “The grant itself is not a large grant, and it isn’t the first we’ve received from the Dayton Foundation, but it is going to go a long way to help us develop strategic alliances that will help us become less grant-reliant in the future.”

The grant covers the cost of a consultant whose role is to build strategic alliances with community entities, and promises to open the door to potential partnerships Elizabeth’s New Life Center may never have had the chance to approach otherwise.

Throughout the process, Vivan has also been invited by the Dayton Foundation to share her expertise on mergers with other nonprofits in the area, again setting the table for future partnerships that otherwise may not have been realized.

“This was an exciting grant for us to have received,” Vivian said. “Being able to say that we’d gone through three mergers and presented on the topic at Heartbeat’s conference really helped us to make our case.”

With two representatives from the development team at Elizabeth’s New Life Center slated to lead workshops at the 2014 Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Charleston, S.C., Vivian is hoping for the bountiful harvest to continue.

Hopefully, this year, the harvest won’t come at the cost of a sparse crowd.

Check out the workshops from the development team at Elizabeth’s New Life Center:

Panning for Gold in the Grant Funding Stream, Kima Jude

Development Bootcamp, Debbie Nieport LAS


The All-Controlling Love of Christ

"For the love of Christ controls us..." -2 Cor. 5:14

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Do you feel the weight of this simple, yet other-worldly profound phrase from the Apostle Paul?

As someone who's neck-deep in the difficulties, sorrows, and burdens of others on a day-in, day-out basis for the sake of the gift and the Giver of life, you certainly know something of this weight.

But what keeps you going? Why take on this weight?

Why immerse yourself in a work that promises to be exhausting, confounding, and--at least sometimes--totally deflating?

Because, as Paul says, "the love of Christ controls us." We get a better picture of what this dynamic phrase means as the Apostle unpacks its meaning in the words that follow:

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (2 Cor. 5:14-15)

Why continue laboring in this field? Because the very love Christ had for lost sinners like us when he submitted himself to death for our sake is on full and glorious display when you sit across the table from a newly expectant mother who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Love--more specifically, the love of Christ--is your language as you come alongside a woman who's mind, as one center director put it, "was only abortion." Love is your language as you take the time to help her slow down and truly consider her options, as well as the ramifications any choice she makes could have on her long-term physical, mental, and even spiritual health.

Why continue to hope--against all odds, it seems--that your words and very demeanor could change somebody's world and literally make the difference between life and death? Because the love of Christ controls us, and you no longer live for yourself, but for the sake of him who was raised.

Love is your language as you hope in Jesus, the ultimate Victor over sin, Satan, and death in all its forms. Love is your language as you communicate the unbelievably good news of peace and restoration with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus in a thousand ways to each client and family your center serves.

Love is your language when God gives you a glimpse of His ultimate triumph over death, as a family embraces a child they otherwise may have lacked courage to welcome, if not for you.

Take heart. The sacrificial, triumphant love of Christ is ours by faith. Ours to receive, and ours to extend.

by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant

Get on the Right (Medical) Track at Heartbeat's Conference



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Heartbeat International's 2014 Annual Conference );">is loaded with great opportunities for pregnancy help ministers serving in a medical capacity. The Conference features two pre-conference in-depth day opportunities (each of which offer six continuing education contact hours), 12 conference workshops (including 11 that offer 1.25 continuing education contact hours, and one that offers 1 continuing education contact hour), and a conference keynote address from Dr. John Bruchalski, Founder of Tepeyac Family Center & Divine Mercy Center.

);">Contact Hours Information For Nurses

Heartbeat International will provide continuing education contact hours to all nurses who attend a In-Depth Day Medical training and the Medical Matters and Ultrasound track workshops upon successful completion of the course.

Criteria for successful completion include attendance at the entire event, and submission of a completed evaluation form. Please note: All nurses MUST provide their nursing license number to receive their contact hours. There is no commercial support or sponsorship for this event.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 16061 for 1.25 contact hours for the workshops (unless otherwise noted) and 6 contact hours for the in-depth day training.

);">Conference Keynote: John Bruchalski, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., OB/GYN -Wednesday, March 26


 Dr. John Bruchalski received his M.D. degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, AL, in 1987. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical Center and the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia in 1991. He received board certification in 1993.

Dr. Bruchalski founded Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, VA in 1994, with the mission of establishing an obstetrical and gynecological facility that combines the best of modern medicine with the healing presence of Jesus Christ—providing affordable healthcare to women, in particular, those with crisis pregnancies. In 2000, he founded Divine Mercy Care, a non-profit organization performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia and is currently the Chairman of its Board of Directors.

In 2005, Tepeyac Family Center became a part of Divine Mercy Care and currently operates as the first Catholic healthcare facility in the Diocese of Arlington.

);">Pre-Conference In-Depth Day Opportunities - Monday, March 24 (9am-5pm)

Sonography in the PMC
Audrey Stout RDMS, Dotsy Davis RDMS, NIFLA
Participants in this interactive in-depth day will have the opportunity to bring a couple of sonography study image sets they have done in their PMC for review, critique and input for improvement, along with discussion of methods to safely scan. In the afternoon, there will be live scanning demonstrations with pregnant models to further practice skills improvement. 6 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Adding STI Testing for Today’s Client
Karolyn Schrage RN BSN, Life Choices Medical Clinics
Nurses/attendees will learn to identify the dynamics of providing sexual health medical services with a holistic nursing strategy. This in-depth course will review the blueprint steps needed to equip and empower nursing staff to blend high-tech medicine with high-touch delivery for positive prevention and intervention outcomes to increase healthy patient outcomes. 6 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

);">Workshop Tracks

  Medical Matters Ultrasound Advancement
Tues., March 25
Breast Cancer Risks of Induced Abortion and Hormonal Contraceptives*
Joel Brind, Ph.D.
Imaging & Inter-Professional Teams
Connie Ambrecht RDMS, CMB
Tues., March 25
STI Services and Beyond
Karolyn Schrage RN, BSN
Scanning Protocols and Improving Your Ultrasound Images
Audrey Stout RN, RDMS 
Wed., March 26
 Update on Abortion Pill Reversal
George Delgado, M.D.
Ectopic Pregnancy: The Greatest Medical and Legal Risks
Audrey Stout RN, RDMS 
Thurs., March 27
What's Up with HPV?
Barbara Eckstein RN, FNP 
Ultrasound Images: What Do We Submit to the Physician?
Kim Hardy RDMS 
Thurs., March 27
Understanding Perinatal Comfort Care
Kathy DeSanto RN 
Caring for Your Client Extends Beyond the Ultrasound
Karen Porter RN, RDMS 
Thurs., March 27
Medical Issues in Clients from Developing Nations
Flipping Uterus
Roxanne Ertel CNMT, RDMS 

*1 continuing education contact hour available

);">Breast Cancer Risks of Induced Abortion and Hormonal Contraceptives – Joel Brind, Ph.D.

Workshop Summary: In this course nurses/attendees will learn the epidemiological and biological evidence related to abortion and contraceptive steroids and the risk of breast cancer. This will provide nurses a basis on which to counsel patients re: screening based on reproductive history and other factors which affect their risk profile. 1 continuing education contact hour is available for this course.

Bio: Joel Brind, Ph.D., New York University (Biochemistry, Physiology, Immunology), studies blood levels of steroid compounds as indicators and predictors of human health. His work is published in journals such as Steroids and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a consultant to the Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science. His unusual versatility in subject areas, and his familiarity with both the academic and industrial worlds are a particular asset to this department. Recently, he has been studying and gathering the published evidence of a link between abortion and increased risk of breast cancer. 

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);">STI Services and Beyond – Karolyn Schrage RN, BSN

Workshop Summary: Learn how you can utilize STI testing to develop a proactive strategy to reach a generation facing an increasingly widespread sexual health crisis. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how the topics of abortion and sexual health affect one another, as well as an understanding of the steps involved in adding STI healthcare services. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Karolyn Schrage RN, BSN, serves as Executive Director for LifeChoices Medical Clinics, a three-location organization based in Joplin, Missouri. For 20 years, Karolyn served as a medical missionary in Kenya, where she helped establish rural primary healthcare clinics with an emphasis on women’s health. Karolyn has been married to Mike for 33 years, and they have three children and two grandchildren.

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);">Update on Abortion Pill Reversal – George Delgado, M.D.

Workshop Summary: Get up to speed on the background and latest developments surrounding the Abortion Pill Reversal process and network, while learning how you can pass along potentially life-saving information to a woman who has already taken Mifepristone (RU-486). 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: George Delgado, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., is Medical Director for Culture of Life Family Health Care in Escondido, California. He practices family medicine, as well as hospice and palliative medicine, and is an NFP Medical Consultant trained in NaPro technology. Dr. Delgado is board certified in family medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine, and also serves as Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor at University of California at San Diego. Dr. Delgado’s public speaking topics include abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, cloning, personhood, bioethics, abortion pill reversal, NaPro Technology and Natural Family Planning.

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);">What’s Up with HPV? – Barbara Eckstein RN, FNP

Workshop Summary: There are over 100 strands of human papillomavirus (HPV), which constitutes the world’s most common STI, and it is estimated that at least 80 percent of the women who come into our pregnancy centers are either infected with HPV or carriers of the virus. Learn the latest information related to HPV, including cancer strains, pap tests, vaccines, treatments, and more. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Barbara Eckstein has served the last seven years as Nurse Manager at ZoeCare, a pregnancy medical clinic in Bozeman, Montana. She has experience in all areas of nursing, including med-surg, intensive care, emergency, out-patient psychiatry and post-partum, and family practice. Barbara served nine years in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She is married and has two grown daughters.

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);">Understanding Perinatal Comfort Care – Kathy DeSanto RN, CGC

Workshop Summary: Discover why families receiving a life-limiting diagnosis feel alone and abandoned, and learn how you can walk alongside them with your expertise, compassion, and support, helping to calm feelings of fear and confusion while empowering families to make meaningful decisions that validate the life of their baby. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: A registered nurse with over 30 years’ experience in labor and delivery, as well as high risk obstetrics, Kathy DeSanto is a Certified Grief Counselor, and began Perinatal Comfort Care of Tampa, an organization she then directed for three years.

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);">Medical Issues in Clients from Developing Nations 

Workshop Summary: Learn how early-age marriage and childhood pregnancy, female circumcision practices, and past sexual abuse and trauma can affect a client’s childbirth with morbidity/mortality, marriage, delivery and reactions/behavior regarding ultrasound exams. You’ll also learn to identify signs of possible human sex trafficking, post-traumatic stress and post-abortion stress disorders, as well as how differences in cultural habits, customs impact women’s decision making from undeveloped or developing nations. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

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);">Imaging and Inter-Professional Teams – Connie Ambrecht RDMS, CMB

Workshop Summary: What, exactly, is an inter-professional team, and how does the answer to that question inform your long-term plans for your organization, as well as your focus on patient care? You’ll learn the basics of building a better imaging team made up of multi-professionals with this informative workshop. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Connie Ambrecht RDMS, CMB, Co-Founder and President of Sonography Now, has served in the pregnancy medical clinic setting for over 12 years. Since 2002, Sonography Now has provided training to physicians, nurses, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, radiologic technologists, as well as cross-training other sonography specialists. Connie has been published in professional journals, has spoken at national conferences, and is always anticipating and watching for new approaches to serve their customers as well as their customers' patients.

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);">Scanning Protocols and Improving Your Ultrasound Images – Audrey Stout RN, RDMS

Workshop Summary: Understand why systematic scanning protocols are critical, learn to describe the protocols and documentation necessary for limited OB sonograms, and learn identify and describe anatomical landmarks for imaging protocols in this practical workshop that will leave you better equipped to deliver optimized images to reading physicians. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Involved with pregnancy help centers since 1987, Audrey Stout has served as a Nurse Manager in pregnancy medical clinics in both Georgia and Oregon, and worked in a high-risk obstetrician office before joining NIFLA as a Limited OB Ultrasound instructor in 2000. Audrey has trained RN’s and other medical professionals in over 100 PMCs, including one clinic in Ukraine. Audrey and her husband, Dave, have three grown adopted children, two of which live with disabilities, and they live in Lexington, Virginia.

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);">Ectopic Pregnancy: The Greatest Medical and Legal Risks – Audrey Stout RN, RDMS

Workshop Summary: Since ectopic pregnancy presents the greatest risk for patient complications and possible death, missing one in the pregnancy medical center could have catastrophic effects. This workshop covers ectopic pregnancy, including its etiology, locations, signs, symptoms, management, and more. Participants will review case studies of actual ectopics found in PMCs, as well as how to safely assess patients, scan to rule out ectopic, document intrauterine pregnancies, and develop protocols when ectopic is expected. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Involved with pregnancy help centers since 1987, Audrey Stout has served as a Nurse Manager in pregnancy medical clinics in both Georgia and Oregon, and worked in a high-risk obstetrician office before joining NIFLA as a Limited OB Ultrasound instructor in 2000. Audrey has trained RN’s and other medical professionals in over 100 PMCs, including one clinic in Ukraine. Audrey and her husband, Dave, have three grown adopted children, two of which live with disabilities, and they live in Lexington, Virginia.

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);">Ultrasound Images: What Do We Submit to the Physician? – Kim Hardy MA, RT(R), RDMS

Workshop Summary: Nurse sonographers often work without feedback on their images, so how can we know the correct ultrasound images are being taken to submit to the interpreting physician? If you have been performing ultrasounds in a pregnancy center and need a review, or, if you need to learn more about ultrasound imaging, this workshop is for you. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: Kim Hardy MA, RT(R), RDMS, is Co-Founder of Take A Peek Ultrasound Training, where she has served as an instructor since 2010. She has been in the sonography and radiology fields since 1977, and has been published in journals such as Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (January 2008), Journal of Translation Medicine (October 2008), and Heartbeat International’s Medical Matters (June, August 2012).

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);">Caring for your Client Extends Beyond the Ultrasound – Karen Porter RN, RDMS

Workshop Summary: Designed for the new nurse just adapting to her role in the pregnancy medical clinic/center setting, this workshop will lead you step-by-step through what to expect in the ultrasound room. Using case studies, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities to minister to your client physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: As a registered nurse, Karen started the medical services for Charlotte (N.C.) Pregnancy Care Center in 1996. She served as Nurse Manager for 15 years and was privileged to introduce over 10,000 moms to their unborn babies through ultrasound. In 2011, Karen resigned her position to pursue her RDMS credentials. She now works with Innovative Imaging Technology and travels to pregnancy centers around the United States to train and equip nurses.

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);">Flipping Uterus – Roxanne Ertel CNMT, RDMS

Workshop Summary: Gain a better understanding of the uterus, and learn to describe, identify, and demonstrate uterine positions on ultrasound images in this highly practical workshop. You’ll walk out with a clearer, 3D understanding of the uterus, as well as how to better utilize your ultrasound probes in the pregnancy medical center. 1.25 continuing education contact hours are available for this course.

Bio: A professional with over 20 years of experience in medical imaging, including Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Magnetic Resonance both in private and hospital corporations, Roxanne Ertel is Founder and President of Forget Me Not Ultrasound LLC, which trains nurses to demonstrate life using ultrasound. Roxanne volunteers at her local pregnancy center in North Pole, Alaska, where she and her husband, Tom, live.

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Arguing as if Life Depended Upon it


Twenty-three years into pastoral ministry, Mike Spencer resigned.

But, a year after stepping away from the pulpit, Mike says it wasn’t the usual reasons that initiated his change of direction. What caused the change was a bit of unfinished business.

“When I resigned my position, it was a very difficult thing to do,” Mike says, “I wasn’t pushed out, bummed out, or burned out. I really loved my church and serving in the role God had called me to there.

“The reason I stepped away is I really think there’s a large portion of the church who have given up on the plight of the unborn. That’s why I do what I do today.”

Today, Mike serves as an educator with Life Training Institute, a pro-life organization started by Christian apologist Scott Klusendorf that focuses on training Christians and other pro-life advocates to save lives by presenting and defending the sanctity in the public square.

Mike, who will be leading a pre-conference in-depth day, “Making the Case for Life,” at the 2016 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, became an advocate for life in 1984. Having become a Christian just one year prior, Mike still held pro-choice views, until a viewing of The Silent Scream—hosted by his church—changed everything.

Thirty years of serving in the church—including 23 as a pastor—and active involvement in the pro-life movement throughout that time have convinced Mike of the need for more Christians to become equipped with strong arguments on behalf of the unborn, so he couldn’t resist the chance to say, “Yes” when he was given the opportunity to jump onboard with Life Training Institute.

“The value in learning the proper role of apologetics can’t be overstated,” Mike says. “One of the things I’ve experienced is when someone gains a certain amount of knowledge and can speak winsomely, the result is both confidence and engagement.

“The more engagement we can have—whether in a formal setting with a pro-choice advocate, or with your brother-in-law at a family get-together—the more natural we’re going to feel, and the more effect that will have in the long run.”


Maternity Home Provides Safe Harbor in Tanzania


This story was sent to Heartbeat from Josephine Shoo, Executive Director of Options Pregnancy Clinic of Tanzania.

This child (pictured left) is albino. She almost lost her life before she was born, because her mother didn't have a true commitment to her father, and her family tried to force her to abort.

Herocially, she completely refused to do so!

After her birth, the father was so happy because the baby was albino, he came and suggested to the mother that they could cut her fingers or hands and sell them, so they could become rich and live forever happily together.

This is a lie of the enemy that has been going on in our country for many years. The spirit of death and the Culture of Death have far too often prevailed. Thankfully, this mother--again, heroically!--refused, and ran to our maternity home for rescue.

As for this precious little child, her life was in danger before and after her birth. But, she is now a big girl, and she just joined our school this year.

Meet Jospehine at the 2014 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, March 24-27 in Charleston, S.C., where she is among 20 non-U.S. affiliate representatives who will attend, thanks to a scholarship provided by generous Heartbeat financial partners.