by Ellen Foell, Esq., Heartbeat International Legal Counsel
Before I joined the Heartbeat International team, we entered into an agreement with Alliance Defending Freedom (then Alliance Defense Fund, “ADF”). Although I was not familiar with ADF, I soon learned about the valuable and critical place ADF holds on the beachhead of our legal and culture wars.
Led by Alan Sears, Alliance Defending Freedom is laser-focused on its three-fold mission: defending liberty, marriage and sanctity of life. It describes itself as follows:
[A]n alliance-building legal ministry encouraging Christians to come together to accomplish what none of us can do on our own: protect and defend the religious freedom that was bestowed upon us by God and secured in the U.S. Constitution. We are building an ever-stronger alliance of like-minded allies — attorneys, ministry leaders, pastors, Christian organizations, students, and other Christians — who value a life of faith lived freely and protected by just laws.
ADF has one of the most effective and efficient networks of attorneys to provide assistance to pregnancy help centers: their network of allied attorneys. An allied attorney is an attorney who has been trained at one of ADF’s outstanding annual academies in constitutional law so they can provide pro bono/dedicated service to the Body of Christ.
At the academy, attorneys are provided continuing legal education on all three core issues, brought up-to-date on the applicable law by ADF’s team of invested, experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.
ADF’s allied attorneys may practice corporate law, real estate law, civil litigation, or they may be general practitioners. The points of commonality are their commitment to ADF’s mission and a willingness to donate some of their legal time and expertise to those who find themselves in need of trusted legal services.
A week rarely goes by where I don’t ask ADF to refer an allied attorney to one of Heartbeat’s affiliated pregnancy help organizations. I’ve asked for allied attorney help on behalf of centers facing legislative assaults, seeking to open a satellite center in another state, and I’ve sought their help with questions about employment and center bylaws.
Whether you’re a board member or an executive director, if you find yourself in need of legal help for your pregnancy help organization, contact me, Heartbeat International’s legal counsel, and I’ll put you in touch with ADF and their team of dedicated allied attorneys.
The gospel of life in China is taking root. Lofty prayers are being answered!
Because of the nature and scope of this effort, Heartbeat International is releasing Executive Director of Global Advancement John Ensor to begin a new labor, called PassionLife Ministries. Though independent of Heartbeat, PassionLife will seek to work collaboratively with us in our life-saving mission when it officially launches Oct. 1, 2012.
PassionLife is a global missions initiative created to spread the gospel of life and expand the pregnancy help movement in especially difficult places and among people plagued by abortion, infanticide and gendercide. PassionLife will seek to use God’s Word to open the eyes of the Chinese people to the beauty of human life and the ugly truth of abortion.
All of us at Heartbeat are excited to be a part of what the Lord is doing as He expands His work in especially needy areas like China. When God's people respond with a desire to start a pregnancy help organization, Heartbeat’s goal is to provide leadership training and support to assist in equipping those that have been called. John has played an integral part in our movement for nearly 20 years, first as founder and president of a Heartbeat affiliate in Boston, then as a key member of the Heartbeat International Board. He served as a Heartbeat staff member for the past six years before being called to devote his time to bringing God's life-saving message to China.
It is our honor to help launch this new organization, and we greatly anticipate working closely with Chinese leaders who emerge, helping them plan and implement pregnancy help organizations in their own communities.
Please join us as we continue to pray for John's work, and for PassionLife.
May the Lord continue to bless this great and heroic outreach!
Check out PregnancyCareCanada.ca to see the good work and exciting initiatives of our friend Dr. Laura Lewis, Executive Director, and her team at Pregnancy Care Canada (formerly The Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services CAPSS) and the associated pregnancy centres. We also are excited about our joint affiliation agreement whereby all Pregnancy Care Canada affiliates gain affiliation with Heartbeat International for no additional cost.
Click here to visit the Pregnancy Care Canada website.
Heartbeat International congratulates our Australia affiliate network Pregnancy Help Australia (PHA), formerly known as the Australian Federation of Pregnancy Support Services (AFPSS), on their new leadership group and especially the new Executive Officer, Lynn Mabey. Pregnancy Help Australia is set to celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2009. The roots of this good work go back even further and intersect with the founding group that became Heartbeat International.
Click here to visit the PHA website.
The pregnancy care efforts are growing on the continent of Africa! Pregnancy Help Network now publishes a dynamic manual on how to start a pregnancy centre called “Fan Into Flame”. Gail Schreiner, President Africa Cares for Life, combined her personal experiences, insight and wisdom with the framework for Heartbeat’s own “A Vision for Your Organization” to author a manual that will equip and inspire others to establish strong efforts to help those in need. We are pleased to announce our joint affiliation agreement where affiliates in good standing of Pregnancy Help Network automatically receive all the benefits of affiliation with Heartbeat International.
Click here to access Pregnancy Help Network's website.
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