We’re so excited to share that we have some new directors on staff at our pregnancy centers! Today, we’re talking with Dione, our Beaverton director, and getting to know her a little bit:
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your story?
My first 18 years of life were spent in Cincinnati, OH with my Mama who raised me as a single mother. I am an only child and was the only grandchild for the first 13 years of my life.
My journey to the heart of God has been a ride filled with many highs and lows. I was introduced to Jesus at my grandmother’s church, a small African Methodist Episcopal Chapel. At the end of the sermon, the pastor asked if anyone wanted to give their lives to Jesus. To my surprise, I started walking to the altar with tears filling my eyes. When I look back at that 13-year-old girl, it no longer surprises me that I said yes to Jesus, as I was looking for love and acceptance in any form that I could get it. Growing up in the ‘70s without my father left me dancing with feelings of uncertainty and abandonment. My sweet Mama did her very best to fill in the gaps, yet nothing replaced the ache in my heart for my earthly father.
As the years moved on from that moment when I said yes to Jesus, I found myself then saying no to the poured-out life that God was calling me to. It was a road that encompassed two marriages and the birth of my son until I finally bowed my knee to Jesus. I can still recall that bittersweet day of brokenness that I cried out to him. At 33 years old, I was a single mother who didn’t know how to raise my two-year-old son without my husband and his father. You see, I never wanted to go it alone as my sweet Mama was faced to do with me. My Son and I weathered countless storms those seven years of being a single Mama. The body of Christ in Salt Lake City truly walked through those storms with us. Truly they were the hands and feet of Jesus to us. It was in those years that I grew deeply in the knowledge and understanding of the Holy One. His Word was truly my daily and moment-by-moment food. I saw God meet us in impossible situations.
In April 2011, my beloved and I were wed and after 16 months of marriage moved from Salt Lake City, UT to Coeur d’Alene, ID. It was a fresh start for each of us and we came to love the little town. It was an incredible place to raise my son, from ages 12 to 18 years old. After my son graduated from high school in 2019, we moved to Portland, OR.
I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two years of study toward a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling. Throughout my life, I’ve consistently had a passion to help people.
My work background is a mix of interest, necessity, then passion; I think it’s imperative to share my volunteer experiences. Each of my volunteer roles have shaped me into the professional I am today. In addition, it gives me a deeper appreciation for those who volunteer, and I believe our community is greatly impacted for the better when we get involved in it. I’ve volunteered in the following ways: Sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), room mom for my son’s preschool, children’s church teacher, women’s ministry board member at my local church, First Impression Team member at my local church, peer counselor at my local PRC, two terms as PTA President, two terms as high school lacrosse board member, and one term as a college lacrosse board member.
After a one year working as a Behavior Support Specialist, the opportunity to pursue my passion was presented and I seized the opportunity with great excitement! This was to be the Client Service Manager for the local PRC in Coeur d’Alene. I served in this capacity for three years. When I stepped down from this position to spend the last ten months soaking up my son prior to him launching for college, I thought I’d never serve again at a PRC. Little did I know what God had for me in the months ahead!
What is one of your favorite Bible verses?
Isaiah 41:10 has been a deep source of comfort to me through the years:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
How did the Lord lead you to serve at the Beaverton center?
I reached out to the Southeast PRC to get a few community referrals for a friend of a friend. While I was gathering these referrals, the conversation turned into an invitation to volunteer. While I was unable to accept the invitation to volunteer, God used it to put the PRC on my heart and in the forefront of my mind. When my pursuit of interior decorating didn’t pan out months later, the first place that came to mind for employment was the PRC. And as God would have it, there was an opening for an assistant director. I must share that part way through the interview process I bowed out, as I was confident this position was not the right fit for me. As you already know, the story doesn’t end there!
Weeks later I returned with a humble and open heart to how God wanted me to be part of His Kingdom work at the Beaverton PRC. After serving as the assistant director for a little over a year, the opportunity to apply for the director position became available. The journey through the application process was one of questioning and doubt, which led to me almost withdrawing multiple times, but God! Each time questions, doubt, and the desire to bow out came about, He would remind me of Proverb 3:5–6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.” He also would put people in my path that would gently nudge me to move forward in the process despite the fears and doubts that plagued my heart. Through the journey I learned at a deeper level what it means to live by faith. And here I sit as the new Center Director at the Beaverton PRC! Thank you, God!
What are some unique gifts/talents that you bring to your role and this ministry?
Compassionate, tender-hearted, a deep love for young women, and resolve.
What are some of the most meaningful aspects of working here?
Community is the most meaningful to me. I get to be part of a community with the body of Christ here at First Image and the Beaverton community.
What are some of the daily challenges you face in running a pregnancy center? What keeps you going when things are challenging?
I am faced with two pressing challenges. One is staffing: in the 17 months that I’ve been at the Beaverton center, we’ve been understaffed for 14 of those months. The other is COVID. These have created additional challenges of their own, however, through this season I often remind myself that I’ve been brought here for such a time as this.
Do you have any recent stories you can share about the clients you work with?
Wow there are so, so many client stories to tell. I could fill up so many pages sharing them, but we don’t have the time. I will share two that first come to mind.
One is a story of hope – Usually when a woman darkens our doorway, determined to abort the life within her, we often don’t see her again. Well this is not the case with a young woman whom I will call Lauren. Lauren came in to see us in early 2020 and afterward ended the life of her unborn child. Several months later she returned to our center pregnant once again, but this time stating, “it’s time to be Mom.” Despite the baby’s father being abusive and her not seeing a future with him, Lauren chose life for her baby. Throughout her pregnancy, she reached out to us for emotional support and material help. I still recall the glow on her face and sparkle in her eyes when she showed me her son for the first time. Lauren told me that she tells women about us every time she gets an opportunity as she is so thankful for all the ways we supported her through her pregnancy as well as after her son was born. I feel incredibly thankful that we got to be the hands and feet of Jesus to Lauren and now her son. Wow God! Thank you God!
One is a story of perseverance… This client and her husband have only had their daughter home for a few short days in the first several months of her life. The other days have been in a hospital where she and her parents fought for her to live. Their love for their daughter is apparent – they’ve not left her side in these months. This Mama and I have built a sweet relationship around frequent phone calls, center visits, and prayer. God has helped sustain this little one’s life against all the odds.
What are the biggest needs at your center, and how can people reading this get involved?
- Invite 1–2 people that have never heard of the PRC to our Gala on October 16.
- Volunteer at the Beaverton center as a Spanish Interpreter to help us communicate with our Latino clients.
- Give fall and winter maternity clothing, nursing bras, and mom baskets to the Centers. Also wipes and diapers: Sizes Newborn through 6 are always needed.
- Adopt a Single Mama that attends your local church – coming along side of women and their young children goes beyond the walls of the PRC. You are the faces she and her little one(s) see weekly and they need to be invited into your homes for – meals, fellowship, real conversations, holidays, laughter, tears, prayer and so much more. I was adopted by three families at my local church in Salt Lake City, UT. I don’t know what my son and I would have done without those families inviting us into their homes and hearts.
How can people pray for you and the staff/volunteers at Beaverton?
That we would be able to fill the staff position for an Administrative Assistant, and it would be amazing if this individual spoke Spanish as well.
In what ways do you feel that you’ve grown since working here?
Trusting the Lord at new heights has been the way I’ve grown the most since working here. Each day has been an opportunity to lean into him for everything I need in every way.