I found LivingWell through Care Net’s online national directory of pregnancy resource centers. While I had come across a few centers that were located in Orange County, LivingWell stood out to me because it was one of the few that were Christian faith and gospel-focused, especially with their ministry and counseling services. As a born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ, it was important that I serve with an organization that not only aligned with my faith but also actively shared the gospel, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). I believe God used the events following the overturning of Roe v. Wade to impress upon my heart the desire to volunteer and serve alongside all at LivingWell to be the salt and light that we are when we are in Christ, in the midst of the darkness, and to be actively pursuing to share the gospel, which is what transforms minds, hearts, and ultimately, lives.
I had also been reflecting on how in my early childhood, I was blessed to have been taught about life in the womb beginning with conception and throughout all stages of pregnancy. I was 10 years old when my mother would take my sister and me, along with our church family, to hand out gospel tracts at a Planned Parenthood office in East L.A. on Saturday mornings. We would also hold up signs and posters and give out educational material that helped teach women and their families about life in the womb and the tragic reality of abortion. Fast forward more than 30 years later, I found myself desiring to become actively involved in helping other women and their families, born and pre-born. More importantly, I wanted to seek opportunities to share the saving and eternal life-giving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
LivingWell's outreach team is the perfect opportunity for me to engage directly with the community and with families from all walks of life and varying backgrounds, who may one day find themselves or someone they know in need of assistance during and even after pregnancy. When I learned that there was an immediate need for bilingual Spanish speakers, I knew this was the area I needed to serve and get involved in.
The outreach team was also the perfect way for me to jump right into ministry, while simultaneously learning more about LivingWell with help from all the amazing ladies who have been so gracious to me while getting me acquainted with all the resources, services, and support that are available here. I have met so many wonderful volunteers with beautiful hearts and I leave every event feeling so blessed and encouraged by each and every one of them. My favorite part is being able to engage with families and oftentimes, other community leaders and organizations who also support LivingWell’s mission and are proudly pro-life. It’s extremely rewarding when we see women, couples, fathers, grandparents, and entire families interested in learning more about LivingWell and expressing their appreciation when learning that we offer life-affirming resources and services. Many are happy to know that LivingWell is local and that most of the services are free of charge. I especially love seeing the children’s faces light up when they get to play a game for a prize and when they see the in-utero models displayed at our event tables and learn that they were once that size. It’s beautiful to see how many of the parents also enjoy showing these to their young children and allowing them to ask questions and interact with the models.
There have been many impactful moments, from mothers and fathers sharing about their miscarriage and the grief of their loss to others who have been deeply moved to stand up in support of life and have tearfully shared their own first-hand experiences and even persecution faced when helping save unborn lives and ministering to mothers considering abortion. I am reminded of the verse “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) I would like to encourage others to serve in this form of outreach or perhaps in the many other areas LivingWell has to offer.
With the words of Paul in Romans 12, verses 9 & 21, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It may not immediately be apparent or you may never see the fruit of your labor, but every interaction as a volunteer with LivingWell truly makes a difference. With the help of all who volunteer, LivingWell can continue to be a light and a source of hope and truth in our communities.
- Anna Hernandez (Outreach Volunteer)
Interested in becoming a volunteer? View our current volunteer opportunities here!