Evangelicals for Life is pleased to announce that Hope House, a pregnancy crisis centre operating under the auspices of Pregnant Alternatives Incorporated, has just been opened. This has become possible, in the providence of God, through the closure of Sara’s Place in Surry Hills in late 2018, and the subsequent transfer of the business name of Pregnant Alternatives Inc. to those who remain the committee for EFL. The objects of this association are, in brief, to provide life-affirming counselling to women facing pregnancy in difficult circumstances and also practical assistance where possible.
Ashlie Stevenson has worked as a volunteer at Sara’s Place for some years, and was very disappointed when it closed. Nadia Rysko, who found this out through Ashlie’s regular newsletter, contacted her about trying to do something together, then EFL became involved as the umbrella organisation. This has enabled us to do something practical in this area. Abortion causes not only the pain and death of the most vulnerable in our world, but also often leads to lifelong trauma and guilt.
Ashlie and Nadia have long had a heart for this work and Hope House will be the outworking of their desire to serve God through encouraging women who are contemplating abortion to think about the alternatives. Nadia’s eyes were opened to the evil of abortion through a lecture at a Christian Democratic Party meeting some fourteen years ago, and since then she has been longing to work in this area. She found out how common abortion is – currently an estimated 70,000 – 80,000 each year in Australia, although the number is probably higher because of medical abortions – the ‘morning-after’ pill. She started to pray for women facing crisis pregnancies, and those facing post-abortion trauma. She had a longing to work with evangelical Christians, was introduced to Ashlie’s newsletter, and from their conversation, and with support from EFL, Hope House has just started.
They counsel women about abortion – its methods and pitfalls, assist with accommodation if necessary, help with domestic violence or coercive situations, support those who go to term, and counsel those who struggle with post-abortion grief. They are aware that most of the women they see will be abortion-minded and that to change that mindset can be difficult. They ask us to pray that God will work through them to save little lives from ignominious death, and that perhaps mothers will come to understand the love of God, including His gracious commandments.
Ashlie’s housemate, Alexandra Somlai, is doing the graphic design for all the resource material we need to advertise this venture – in doctors’ surgeries and other appropriate places. Through the generosity of Nadia and her husband, we have been provided with a building where this work will begin. The address is 20 Gerroa Place, Prestons NSW 2170, a suburb in south-western Sydney.
EFL is very thankful for the way the Lord has provided this opportunity for us to become more involved in this work, and for those who have assisted us by freely giving of their time and talents. If you would like to support this work financially, there are details provided overleaf, as well as phone and email contacts. A website is also being set up. And, again, please pray as you are led for us.
As we are now able to encourage this fledgling work we can have hope because “the light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it” (John1:5).
Ashlie Stevenson and Nadia Rysko, with editing by Pat Christian