Our 2020 Reflections newsletter (“Unmasking Jesus’ Compassion”) has launched! Please click here to download it or simply view the interactive preview below.

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Wearing masks, both metaphorical and physical, can be a hindrance for building relationships. While masks have become a new fashion statement and a signal of caring for your neighbor, they’ve created social barriers in public for some. I can’t tell if someone is smiling or wincing in pain as I pass by them. We have new appreciation for how our facial expressions play an important part in our interpersonal connections.

And now it’s just one of the challenges that our Centers have needed to handle as we continue providing our essential services to masked and anxious women during this pandemic. One of our directors said, “With a mask on, you can’t see their emotions very well; they can’t see my emotions…I can’t sit next to them. I had a gal get a positive pregnancy test result, and she began crying… I just felt like a jerk, because I couldn’t comfort her. I felt so limited in how I can help and comfort and counsel.”

Yet, Jesus’ compassion has not been and cannot be veiled to these women and their babies, thanks to the compassionate generosity of our giving partners, and the courage and care of our staff.

Since the beginning of COVID-19, we’ve met with over 1,500 women and performed over 250 ultrasounds.

These encounters, masks and all, have increasingly unveiled the love of Christ for women who otherwise would not receive the kind of care and resources that give them every opportunity to pursue life-affirming decision and direction for themselves and their children.

God continues to extend His grace even as the virus has spread. God has granted wisdom and provision so we can keep unleashing his love to those threatened by abortion.

God has sustained First Image financially through this extraordinary season. Experts have been counseling non-profits to budget for a 20–40% drop in support due to the pandemic’s impact on unemployment and the economy. Yet, through July, God’s people continue to sacrificially give so mothers and their babies receive the help and hope they need.

We’ve also cut overhead costs by moving our hq offices to the Hinson Church Annex (see article on our website: first-image.org/moving).

Our staff has learned how to stay connected and productive even when we can only meet remotely, virtually via online video meetings. We’re learning how to better serve our diverse community as we listen, lament, and become more Christ-like in our response to people of color being impacted by our community’s distress.

We’re learning how to engage with you, our partners, through virtual events (Steps for Life and the upcoming Gala).

Looking ahead, women will have greater access to our services because we have launched telehealth, increased our online marketing, and our post-abortion recovery Heart groups are now meeting online for the time being.

We look forward to welcoming our volunteers back to serve in the centers as soon as we’re able.

Be sure to watch for our new website which is coming soon to better engage and equip you and our ministry partners to impact more lives in our community.

Love finds a way through restrictions, opposition, and challenges. Together with you, we continue to shine the light of Jesus for our neighbors who need his grace and truth.

Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(II Cor. 3:18, NCV).

Thank you so much for partnering with us in this lifesaving, heart-transforming work!

In His Image,
Larry Gadbaugh, First Image CEO