Almost four years ago, when Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in her community, Ivette Rodriguez considered running a pregnancy center to reach out to the hearts and minds of women tempted to end their child’s life at to be born. This month, that vision becomes reality when the doors of Beyond the pregnancy care center finally opened in Kissimmee, Florida.
While the trip here had its bumps, Rodriguez’s faith got it through.
âIt’s an answer to prayer,â Rodriguez said. âI had times in the desert, I learned to rely on God, I heard his voice and listened to his instructionsâ¦ then I waited.
The opening of the Beyond Pregnancy Care Center has been extensively prepared. As previously reported in Pregnancy Help News, illness, hurricanes, and financial challenges all played a role in stopping and starting the start-up and operation of the pregnancy center.
But Rodriguez’s vast experience in the pregnancy assistance community always prepared her for this moment. Over the years, she has been a medical assistant to a pro-life physician, volunteering at the Osceola Pregnancy Center in Kissimmee, and led the JMJ Pregnancy Center office in Orlando. What was left for her if not to create her own pregnancy help center?
When Planned Parenthood opened an abortion center in their neighborhood in 2014, their opportunity presented itself.
It was then that Rodriguez started to wake up in the middle of the night. Ideas formulated and prayers started. At first, she believed her nightly awakenings were for her work at JMJ. But then she heard God speak, âThis is for your pregnancy center. ”
So, with her husband’s encouragement and trust in the Lord, she stepped down from her paid job and embarked on a new path: opening a pregnancy center and serving women in her Kissimmee area.
Find a home
Slowly but surely, Rodriguez began to rally a few churches and supporters around his new center. Thanks to a generous donor of International heartbeat, she was able to attend the Pregnancy Aid Institute scholarship holder, by participating in the one-week training course for new directors of pregnancy centers. She even left with a large donation of $ 5,000 from the same donor.
After renting a small office at home and doing more outreach in her community, Faith Harvest Ministries pastor William Kenna contacted her with an incredible opportunity.
âHe said, ‘I’ve been waiting for you for ten years,’â Rodriguez said. âI learned that the church has a three bedroom house and that God told it it should be used as a pregnancy center, but no one showed up to open one. So it was rented with the stipulation that if someone came to start a pregnancy center, the tenants should leave.
âThe house is being gutted and renovated for the pregnancy center,â Rodriguez continued. âIt’s wonderful! I want the girls to feel like coming home, to feel like we are their family and that they are loved.
Rodriguez shows the new home from its center halfway through renovations. | Photo Courtesy: Center for Care Beyond Pregnancy
Currently, Rodriguez meets women one-on-one at home, at home or elsewhere. She does not perform pregnancy tests or provide other medical services; it simply provides resources and a listening ear to already pregnant women and those with children.
âThese women need guidance and resources, someone to listen to them,â she said.
These types of services will not change when Beyond Pregnancy Care opens this month. What will change is that medical services will also be offered. Volunteer nurses will staff the facility, and an ultrasound machine is ready and waiting to be delivered, thanks to the local Knights of Columbus. A medical director joined us, as well as a nurse manager. All participants, including Rodriguez, are volunteers.
âFinances are always an issue,â she said. “I hope that will change as more and more people find out about the center and what we do.”
Faith Harvest Ministries has paid for all of the renovations to the house, and Rodriguez plans to meet with more area churches and their leaders to brief them on the services Beyond provides.
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Large opening of a vision
A grand opening celebration for Beyond Pregnancy Care Center is scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2019. A ribbon cutting, tours and a presentation of the new ultrasound machine by the Knights of columbus are provided. Significantly, the first opening day for customers is set for Tuesday, January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and National Day of the Sacredness of Human Life.
Tweet this: Vision and perseverance pay off: #Prolife Pregnancy Center to Open on Roe v. Wade.
With Planned Parenthood’s Kissimmee Abortion Center providing chemical and surgical abortions after 20 weeks gestation, Rodriguez is eager to join the Kissimmee pregnancy support community by offering women another way.
Going forward, she hopes Beyond will be open on Saturdays when Planned Parenthood is also open. She even hopes to take her pregnancy center beyond the Florida border to her home in Puerto Rico.
There, she plans to create a Beyond Pregnancy Care satellite center that can solve the problems of abortion and teenage pregnancy she has witnessed while helping those in need after Hurricane Maria.
“For a time like this”
As she prepares to move into the renovated home and provide medical services to women in her community, Rodriguez can look back and see God guiding her on her journey. Like Esther in the Old Testament (Esther 4:14), she believes he is preparing her for this season of her life. The road to opening the doors to Beyond Pregnancy Care Center has not been easy, but God has been faithful, she said.
âI had no idea how it was going to turn out, and there were many times God was silent,â she said. âBut that’s when my faith grew even more. The Lord told me at the beginning, ‘I want to see how you are going to use the little that is given to you, and later you will see an increase.’ I knew I had to be obedient to the Lord. It has been quite a journey.
Tweet this: “The Lord said to me at the beginning, ‘I want to see how you are going to use the little given, and later you will see an increase.'” #Prolife