Heartbeat’s Annual Conference, for all intents and purposes, is a weeklong event for Heartbeat staff, if you include planning, raising funds to attend, jetlag, the whirl of conference keynotes and workshops, more jetlag, recovery, and then bringing all that learning and understanding into your centers. It is hard, tiring, refreshing, and exhilarating work all at once. But, of course, we all feel it is worth it, or else we would not undertake the planning (or the jetlag).
Every Tribe. Every Nation.
For me, hands down, the best moment is watching the Parade of Nations, when every nation represented in the Heartbeat family bears their nation’s flag in the grand ballroom of the hotel. I do not participate in the parade, but I get to watch it from the back of the room. Almost always, through tears, I observe as nation after nation is called forth – from Albania to Zimbabwe – and ninety-one nations in between are called forth: Burundi, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Norway, Sweden, Tanzania, and Uganda. It evokes tears around a room of 1200-1400 people, most of whom may never have the opportunity to visit most of their pregnancy help family members around the world. It is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, and humbling moment. Take a moment and click on the link to watch the 2023 Parade of Nations at the Breakthrough Conference in Louisville.
Why does a 6–7-minute parade of nations stimulate such a strong reaction from our affiliates, both USA based and internationally based? For me, I am responding to the unspoken but demonstrated reality that our God is on the move – He is up to something big. We all get to be a part of this movement of God, a movement that is so much bigger than any one person or nation, and best of all, God is at the head of the Parade. He is the one who leads us in a sure and certain triumph. The Parade is to display the splendor of His work, His character, and His glory.
An Unexpected Opportunity
Some opportunities are more unexpected than others. And we are excited about some opportunities more than others. Last March, Heartbeat was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the United Nations (UN). We were not expecting the opportunity, and as one of the two persons who participated, I must confess my feelings of hesitation, anxiety, and, at the same time, the honor I felt to speak at the UN on behalf of Heartbeat. The UN is not known for its willingness to embrace the pro-life movement, or for having a pro-life stance.
Unfortunately, it is often a forum for promoting and financially supporting abortion and anti-family values and initiatives; it may be said that the United Nations is a hostile environment for individuals and nations with pro-life positions. Heartbeat was given nine minutes to speak on the heart and work of the pregnancy help movement in Latin America, buttressing the thesis of the panel: pregnancy support and resources for women in unplanned pregnancies is women’s health care that all women need and deserve, which is the clarion call of the Geneva Consensus Declaration .
‘Yes to Life’ Showcased at United Nations
Following remarks by H.E. Ms. Carla Maria Rodríguez Mancia, Representative, from the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations, Valerie Huber, Director of the Institute for Women’s Health, and other pro-family organizations based in Central America and Guatemala, Heartbeat was able to showcase the work of Centro Ayuda Para de la Mujer (CAM), and specifically of its affiliate in Guatemala, Si a la Vida (Yes to Life). Guatemala is a small Central American country with a population of approximately 17 million people, and just one pregnancy help center to serve its population.
For Si a la Vida, a CAM/Heartbeat affiliate, that has meant serving and resourcing over 3,000 women who received free gynecological care, over 2,500 who received mental health help, and 743 women who were helped with post-abortion trauma care. If we are talking about aftercare for the woman and the family, it looked like 232,660 packages of diapers distributed free of charge, and 928 baby kits. It also looked like pregnancy tests and food resources; all of this was accomplished through a team of volunteers and over the years, resulting in the lives of 6,668 babies blessing their mothers and families. Click here to listen to Heartbeat’s presentation. If you are Spanish speaking, click here for the entire panel discussion.
It was an honor to represent Heartbeat, and to represent, not only CAM and Si a la Vida, but all of you in the Heartbeat family of affiliates. Thank you for being part of the opportunity to showcase the display of God’s splendor in what you do every day in the public square of your communities, villages, cities, and nations. For CAM, that has meant serving tens of thousands of women in unplanned pregnancies, offering resources and essentials for every woman to be able to make a choice for life through its network of 71 National CAMs and 135 International CAMs in 20 countries, having a total of 206 CAM centers. You yourselves know what pregnancy help has looked like in your country.
Every Moment You Serve, You Proclaim
As much of an honor as it is, let’s be honest. It is difficult, scary, challenging, and humbling to be in the public square waving a pro-life flag. Maybe you are not waving a literal flag, but you are waving a flag in every action, every moment you serve a woman in an unplanned pregnancy, every time you choose to take the counter-cultural step of reaching and rescuing the woman in an unplanned pregnancy. Every can of formula you deliver, every alternative to abortion you offer, every time you open the doors to your center or maternity home, every ultrasound you offer, and every minute you spend listening to her fears and obstacles to carrying her baby to term, you are waving a flag that proclaims to your nation, “I am here for the mothers and daughters of my country.”
Heartbeat thanks you for waving the pregnancy help flag in your country, day after day, week after week, and year after year. It may look like a discussion at a table at the United Nations or look like carrying your national flag at our Annual Conference . It may look like pregnancy help centers going into the very halls of legislative bodies to present the good work that pregnancy help centers do every day. We know that every day looks like compassionate care: reaching and rescuing women in unplanned pregnancies, even in communities that oppose and oppress you. And every day, it looks like women being rescued, babies being saved, families being restored, and communities being renewed.
by Tracie Shellhouse, MCLC, LASVice President of Ministry Services, Heartbeat International
Remember early 2020? It was an uncertain time. We didn’t know what would happen next or how each of our local pregnancy centers would respond to the spread of COVID-19. At New Hope Pregnancy Care Center, we had three people planning to travel to the Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Seattle.
Then everything changed – each day seemed to bring new or different information, unprecedented circumstances, and hard decisions – and I had to figure out how to make things work best for my organization. Now what? Surely the Annual Conference would have to be canceled due to shutdowns and travel bans! I had no idea what Heartbeat International was working on and the amazing opportunity they were creating for my team.
When the Conference in Seattle changed to a Virtual one, I had the opportunity to (happily) make some new decisions. Suddenly, our entire paid staff was able to attend instead of just the three who were planning to travel. We were able to keep serving clients due to adjusted hours (remember, 2020), and our entire paid staff engaged and learned with co-laborers for life around the world.
It was amazing!
Some members of our team who attended the virtual conference would have never had the opportunity to be equipped by pregnancy help leaders outside the center. Our office manager always stayed in town to hold down the fort while others went to conferences. Thanks to COVID-19 (God works everything together for our good), she didn’t stay behind in 2020. Instead, she attended the Heartbeat Annual Conference! She was so excited and empowered by what she learned. The experience connected her to pregnancy help outside her immediate community. Today she serves women all over the world as an Option Line consultant.
Two of our interns attended the virtual conference, too. They were introduced to professional and robust training giving them insight into the power of pregnancy help and a deeper understanding of its impact on the world at large. Their virtual conference registration fees proved to be a great investment when their internships came to an end and they were added to the full-time paid staff.
As you may know, the 2023 Heartbeat International Annual Conference currently has a sellout crowd for the in-person experience. And yet, the Virtual Conference is still available and is as valuable today as it was in 2020 when we couldn’t meet in person.
Now, I’m no longer an Executive Director, but if I were going to “bring” my full staff to the Virtual Conference again in 2023, here are some strategies I’d use:
Most pregnancy help organizations can’t take everyone to conference in person, some of us must stay home and keep the centers open and running. Justifying the investments for travel, food, and lodging costs for staff members whose responsibilities and roles don’t clearly fit into particular workshop tracks can also be a challenge. There are still options! Providing training for your team with the virtual conference is a great way to re-inspire and re-ignite passion for the work they are doing. Affirming our teams in this way can transform our organizations.
Finally, when we participate in workshops presented by those within the movement, it affirms that God calls whomever He wants. Our experiences, backgrounds, and methods are not the same. Yet here we are, unified by our callings and commitment to the mission of pregnancy help, where we belong.
And that, perhaps more than anything, is the true value of participating in the Virtual Conference.
Find out more about the 2023 Heartbeat International Virtual Conference.
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Looking for the bird's eye view? Click here for a printable PDF of all Virtual Workshops!
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A big thank you to our Sponsors for helping keep Conference costs low for those working in pregnancy help.
Attention Medical Professionals working in pregnancy help medical clinics: an opportunity to advance your knowledge in pregnancy help, provided by Medical Professionals that are experts in their field, is available to you through the Medical Advancement tracks! The workshops this year offer education spanning a variety of topics with the most recent and updated information to strengthen your pregnancy help medical services.
Instructor: Karolyn Schrage, Life Choices
Instructors: Dr. Brent Boles, Medical Director of APRN, Heartbeat International Christa Brown, Director of Medical Impact, Heartbeat International Dr. George Delgado, Steno Institute Medical Impact Team, Heartbeat International
Instructor: Tracey Pike, Ascend
In person and virtual tracks available to provide education for the pregnancy help community. The workshop topics this year include incorporating STI testing to reach the next generation, tough abortion questions, safety considerations of medical abortion, caring for your ultrasound equipment, the LOVE approach method to scanning, incorporating medical services, chemical abortion in 2022 and much more!
Heartbeat International will offer continuing education nursing contact hour credit for nurses (approved by Heartbeat International). Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider Number 16061 for 1.00 contact hour for each qualifying medical workshop and 6.00 contact hours for each In-Depth Day. Medical Professionals ~ please bring your license number if applying for CEUs. Trainings that are approved are marked with an asterisk (*) in the Conference Schedule.
NURSES: To receive continuing education credit, please remember to fill in the appropriate boxes in the registration form online and bring your license number with you to conference!
All courses are also eligible for Life-Affirming Specialist credit hours.
We look forward to seeing you soon in Jacksonville, Florida!
by Andrea Trudden, Director of Communications and MarketingHeartbeat International
In this, our 50th birthday year, we reflected on the many accomplishments that the pregnancy help organization has witnessed. (And boy, were there some amazing things to celebrate!) We have grown into a worldwide movement that provides the timeless care and support that any woman facing an unexpected pregnancy needs in addition to new, innovative services to help combat the ever-changing needs of our clients.
It is awe-inspiring to look at how much this movement has grown and adapted since 1971.
And yet, there is still so much to do!
Now, we must look into the future to ensure we are following the path laid before us by God. We must remain laser-focused on the goal.
As we considered various themes for the 2022 Conference, we knew that we wanted to look forward at what God has in store while providing a comprehensive learning opportunity for each and every person working in pregnancy help. So we went to His word.
Keeping in mind that there are various types of organizations represented within the pregnancy help movement – pregnancy centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption agencies; serving cities and colleges, farms and suburbs – we all have a common vision: To make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations!
This common bond holds us together as a movement. We must navigate this path together toward this goal to truly advance a culture of life and also be encouraged in the task.
It is a journey. It is an adventure! And yet, those words didn’t represent what we wanted.
Future… Advancement… Press on… No. No. No.
And then a different word came to mind.
Onward (on·ward) - toward or at a point lying ahead in space or time
Interesting word. What does the Bible say about it?
Philippians 3:12 - Focused on the Goal
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
That’s it! A combination of persistence, of adventure, of following God’s mission toward a mighty goal.
That one word encompassed all that we strive to achieve at our 2022 Conference in Jacksonville, FL from March 30-April 1.
We hope you will join us for the education and inspiration we have planned as we come together to honor the past and plan for the future of the pregnancy help movement.
Together, we move onward!
Click here to learn more about the conference and all it has to offer.
Thank you for supporting this mighty mission! Being at the Heartbeat Conference either on-site or virtually allows you the opportunity to both reconnect with current customers and establish relationships with new ones! By participating in one of the largest pregnancy help conferences in the world, you expand your reach to equip those on the frontlines of pregnancy help. It is because of our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Marketing Partners that we are able to keep training costs low for those working directly with women so they can be as effective as possible within their ministries.
Exhibitors who have loyally exhibited at the last 5 consecutive conferences (at least!) are considered by Heartbeat as a Faithful Friend. As such, we provide exclusive opportunities for our Faithful Friends when registering to exhibit at the Heartbeat International Annual Conference.
If you would like to be notified when sponsorships and exhibit spaces become available, join the interest list by clicking the button below!
Heartbeat is the largest and most expansive network of pregnancy help in the world, serving over 2,800 pregnancy help locations on every inhabited continent, where abortion alternatives are provided.
Heartbeat loves our international affiliates and wants to bless you in your work! We have a special offer that is only for Heartbeat's 50th Annual Conference and only for international affiliates in good standing.
Any international life-affirming affiliate in good standing may register up to two (2) individuals for the price of one (1) registration - $199.00 (USD). Each person registered must have a unique email address and registration will be good only for that email address. Please note: One paid registration is required for your organization. Registrations without a fee selected for at least one attendee will be invalid and subject to cancellation.
As an international affiliate joining our Virtual Conference, there will be a full schedule available with more than 50 workshops at your fingertips and Live Q&A with presenters, and a virtual Exhibit Hall you'll be able to wander through to see what products and services are available for your pregnancy help ministry. You will receive this high-quality training from your computer. We have incorporated a variety of networking opportunities into our Conference platform to allow all attendees—in-person and virtual—to connect and converse about a variety of topics.
3 DAYS - Wednesday, Thursday & Friday Training Days (28, 29, 30-April-2021)
Your Virtual Conference registration includes 10 days access to workshops being presented in the virtual conference. Closer to the Virtual Conference you will receive detailed instruction on how to access the virtual platform at THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU PROVIDE TO US IN YOUR REGISTRATION. We encourage you to please check your spam/junk folder as well.
When is the Heartbeat International conference?
This year, Heartbeat is offering two conferences, a live, in-person conference April 27-30 in Columbus, Ohio and a virtual conference, accessible in the convenience of your home April 28-30. Internationals are invited to both. However, this year, because of the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, no scholarships are available for the live conference. Scholarships are available only for the virtual conference, April 28-30, 2021. The scholarship application window for this conference is now closed, but there is a deal available for Heartbeat affiliates. Current Heartbeat affiliates can register two participants for the price of one.
I can’t wait to attend! How do I take advantage of the affiliate deal?
Check to see if you are currently affiliated with Heartbeat directly, or with one of our Joint Affiliation Partners (JAP). Our JAPs are Pregnancy Help Network, Association for Life of Africa, Be’Ad Chaim, Pregnancy Care Canada, Centros de Ayuda para la Mujer, Movimento per la Vita, Pregnancy Help Australia, Pregnancy Support Services of Asia, and ProVida. You can check your affiliation status by asking your JAP leader, and if you are affiliated with Heartbeat directly you can log in to your account. If you find that your status is in grace or expired, you will need to reaffiliate in order to take advantage of the 2 for 1 affiliate deal. In that case, contact the JAP or click here to reaffiliate.
I checked and my affiliation is current, now what?
When does registration end?
Early Bird registration is available until 20 March. Until that day, your 2 for 1 price will be $199. From 21 March to 9 April, the price will be $249, and after 10 April, the cost rises to $299. That means for the best price, it is important to register before 20 March.
Who is the contact person for questions related to attending the 2021 Heartbeat Conference (In-Person or Virtual)?
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