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A Breakthrough season; Heartbeat Conference kicks off with encouragement for pregnancy help

by | Apr 27, 2023

By Lisa Bourne

The pregnancy help movement is in recurrent breakthrough mode beginning with its origins and through its continual development, the head of the world’s largest network of pregnancy help said to the striking down of Roe v. Wade. This also pertains to each new phase of pregnancy help ministry that comes about, Jor-El Godsey said, and each time a woman who previously had no hope begins to see a way forward.

Heartbeat International began its 52nd annual Pregnancy Help Conference Wednesday with Heartbeat President Godsey offering an update and figures reflecting the organization’s notable growth along with the varied premises for the 2023 Conference theme of Breakthrough. It was the first Conference post-Roe.

The statistics are highlighted in Heartbeat’s Life Trends 2023 Report which debuted at the event.

A sampling of Heartbeat growth offered by Godsey included an increase in affiliated locations from roughly 1,300 in 2012 to more than 3,300 in 2023, and Heartbeat’s online learning Academy enrollment more than doubling in its five years of existence to now approaching the 10,000 mark. 

And at the 24/7 pro-life contact center Option Line, with annual contacts growing from just under a half-million in 2018 when Heartbeat took over to now reaching nearly 2 million contacts.

With the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN), Godsey said “amazing things are happening.” 

The story should be better, he said, but the APRN has some people actively working against it. 

“I don’t understand why that’s the case, but even with Big Tech against us,” he said, citing when Google decided to censor APR ads in 2021. 

“And yet even with that happening, we’re still seeing record numbers and we will continue to see them,” he said.

In Jacksonville for Heartbeat’s 2022 Annual Conference there existed an energy, said Godsey, because the possibility of the Dobbs ruling was on the table.

“We knew the possibility; we knew the potential,” he said. “We knew that there could be amazing things happening.”

What was not known was that there would be a leak of the draft decision, he added, nor all the things that would flow from that.

“But we were excited, nonetheless,” said Godsey.

“And even with all of those things we have seen,” he said, referencing to the ongoing physical, verbal, and virtual threats on pregnancy help since Dobbs, “this year has been a year of breakthrough.”

“We know “breakthrough” from scripture,” Godsey said. “We know breakthrough like the covenants that were established with Abraham and Moses.”

“We know the breakthrough that was the parting of the Red Sea,” he said. “We know the breakthrough that when Jesus himself stepped out of heaven, He broke through into our world to bring His grace, His life, His loneliness, His righteousness, so that we can be participants with Him.”

“We know that the greatest breakthrough was accomplished through Calvary in the resurrection of our Lord,” Godsey said.

He then brought the breakthrough theme closer to home for the pregnancy help community.

Godsey referenced the time when the very first pregnancy center opened in 1968 as an example.

“That was a breakthrough,” he said. 

It was also in the first national affiliation group, then called at the time Alternatives to Abortion International, he said, now called Heartbeat International.

“That was a breakthrough in 1971,” said Godsey. 

It was a breakthrough when the tool of ultrasound was first used in a pregnancy center in 1984, he said, and when the number of pregnancy help centers finally exceeded the number of abortion clinics for the very first time.

“And when big abortion bullying in the form of a California 2015 law requiring pregnancy help centers to promote abortion was beaten in a vote at the Supreme Court,” Godsey continued. “That was a breakthrough.”

“And of course,” he said, noting the Dobbs decision overturning Roe, “there was the breakthrough last summer when the Supreme Court of the United States not only upheld law restricting abortion, but took the critical next step that we had longed for, that we had prayed for, and that we believed for.” 

The Heartbeat Conference is not just about that moment (overturning Roe) last summer, Godsey told the overflow crowd in Louisville, Ky. for the Conference. 

“We’ve showed breakthrough because we in the pregnancy help movement are in the business of breakthrough,” stated Godsey, “because it is a breakthrough when that woman who previously had no hope, could not see a path forward, suddenly realizes that she can do this. That is a breakthrough.” 

“When we guide young men to experience that sense of fatherhood, that we know that they have within them, when they suddenly awaken to that reality and step forward and say, I can help her do this. That is a breakthrough,” he continued. 

“These are the kind of breakthroughs that we have,” Godsey said. “These are the kind of breakthroughs that we know that we have when we break through a past abortion decision to healing and restoration.”

“Every time we open a new location, park a mobile unit, or place our feet in any spot to promote life-affirming alternatives, that is a breakthrough because we break through the veil of darkness too,” Godsey said. “And we bring the gospel of life and light to them.” 

“We are in the breakthrough business. You are in the breakthrough business,” said Godsey.

Some in attendance are at the Conference to break through some old patterns and legacy issues that may be holding things back, he said, and some are at the event who are “newly minted missionaries in the mission field created by abortion.”

“Welcome to the adventure,” Godsey told them.

Newcomers are at the Conference to “download and discern” the things that will help in having a breakthrough in their leadership and their stewardship, he said.

Some in the crowd “are limping into this week,” Godsey continued. “You don’t know how you even made it here with all you have been dealing with. You’ve been running on fumes for as long as you can remember.”

“And let me tell you,” Godsey emphasized, “God has appointed this time as a season of breakthrough for you.” 

Wherever we are, or come from, or see the Lord leading us, we are all set for breakthrough, Godsey concluded.

Heartbeat’s Conference ran from April 26-28, preceded by April 25 by an intensive training day and hosting the largest crowd of pregnancy help personnel to date.

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News where this first appeared. Reposted with permission.

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