Meet Tiffany and others from A Place of Refuge Ministries who remind women in crisis pregnancy situations that, as Tiffany knows, “there is hope.”
Sleepy baby blinks and cheeky, toothless grins: They’re the stuff Milwaukee-based A Place of Refuge Ministries is made of. Here, expectant mothers in crisis situations catch their breath, are shown mercy and love, and plot a healthy, safe way forward both for themselves and their children.
Meet Tiffany, Trish and Ronne. Together, they’re speaking up. By sharing their stories through the #eyesoflife campaign, they are giving voice to what millions of others believe as well: that all life, from conception to natural death, is sacred, valued and a gift from God.
At A Place of Refuge Ministries, “we offer the women and children we serve the Good News of Jesus Christ and the blessings of God’s Word and Sacrament,” explains Trish Kagerbauer, development director. “We know that the Holy Spirit has the power to heal those broken hearted by relationships … [or] held captive by the guilt and shame of abortion.”
And heal He does.
Ronne Murray, house manager, has been privileged to see similar situations. When a mother considering abortion called the ministry’s hotline, Ronne invited her to stay at the Refuge House and encouraged the woman to “see her little girl as a person and that she was a blessing from God,” she recalls, rather than an inconvenience or a lump of tissue. Through prayer and over time, Ronne watched the mother’s heart soften until she could see “her unborn child through the eyes of God and a mother,” ultimately choosing to save her child’s life.
The work isn’t always easy. Baby blinks and smiles don’t serve as magic wands to erase pain and guilt. But working with moms in tough situations has caused Trish to see things through a fresh set of eyes, witnessing “the courage and resilience of these mothers, who are willing to choose life for their babies in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Tiffany, Ronne and Trish are speaking up for life, for babies, for caring for one another in the midst of immense fear and great suffering. And as they do, Trish says, “We are filled with joy when the women we work with can look at themselves through the eyes of Jesus, the Lord of life.”
As for Tiffany, she knows it firsthand: “God is always with me.”