A Moment of Hope is an evangelical, Christian outreach to women arriving at Columbia’s abortion facility, Planned Parenthood.
We train, equip, and mobilize Christian believers to be peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding messengers of gospel-centered hope and practical help. Additionally, we actively encourage the abortion workers to find God-honoring employment and offer resume help, networking, introductions, and practical transition assistance.
By the grace of God, this winsome and compassionate sidewalk counseling has resulted in the saving of many lives for the Lord’s glory!
How it Began
In 2012, founder Mark Baumgartner was challenged by a friend to consider doing sidewalk counseling in Columbia as he had done years prior at an Orlando facility. The first day he went a woman who had scheduled an abortion stopped to accept his personal business card, his only materials at the time. On the back was written: “It’s not too late to change your mind. There are caring people that want to help you.”
She drove away, but just before her car was out of sight, she stopped and turned around. Tearfully she asked, “Can you really help me?” He connected her with the local pregnancy center and stayed in touch. Less than a week later she texted to say: “I’m not going to end my pregnancy. I want to thank you for giving me a moment of hope so that I could reflect.”
Six months later she sent a picture of her newborn with the words: “Hello Mark, I wanted to share with you the beautiful blessing that God gave my family. This is [my baby]. I want to thank you for being at the end of that driveway that day to just give me a sense of hope in my situation.”
Convinced God was at work, a ministry was born – being named by the very first mother to choose life – with these goals:
- To train and organize volunteers to be present outside of Planned Parenthood every hour they are open.
- To rescue the preborn from death by loving and caring for their mothers and families so they are no longer tempted by the lie of abortion.
- To mentor and evangelize mothers who choose life, enfolding them into a local church.
- To direct all business from Planned Parenthood to qualified, non-abortion health care providers.
- To share the gospel that many might be made new in Christ.
- To befriend, encourage, and assist Planned Parenthood workers to find employment in God-honoring industries.
- To provide an avenue for churches and individuals to be involved in this life-saving and redemptive work.
- To faithfully serve until, in God’s time, abortion in Columbia comes to an end.
A Moment of Hope is a fully recognized 501(c)(3) public charity.
SC Charity ID: P24476
Victories by the Grace of God
- Planned Parenthood’s weekly hours have declined from 44 to 28 per week
- Two Planned Parenthood workers have quit to begin employment in a new industry
- The average number of weekly abortions has declined from 38 to 32, according to DHEC reports
- Families who chose life have stayed in the gospel-centered churches to which they were directed
Board of Directors & Non-Profit Status
A Moment of Hope is overseen by a ten-member Board of Directors.
How Does This Ministry Do Its Work?
In two ways primarily: sidewalk counseling and coordinating follow up care through Pregnancy Care Teams.
Sidewalk counseling is not “anti-abortion activism,” but a caring, compassionate, Christian presence in front of the abortion facility. We are peaceful, prayerful, and law-abiding. Trained volunteers respectfully seek to start a conversation to persuade mothers to choose life by given away literature and gift bags.
If a client is seeking an abortion, our objectives are: to let them know people care and they are not alone; to present solutions to the concerns that brought them; to inform them about baby development and the abortion procedure; and to be a voice for their unborn child (Prov 31:8-9).
If a client is seeking healthcare, our objectives are: to redirect them to alternative, non-abortion health care offices providing free or cheaper high quality services, to let them know that Christians care, and to educate them that this facility performs abortions and encourage them to give their business to non-abortion providers.
With all, we seek opportunities to share the life-changing message of the gospel.
A Moment of Hope does not use graphic signs depicting bloody or gory abortions at the abortion facility. In this context, they can be perceived as threatening and condemning and we have found their usage diminishes our effectiveness. Our methods of interaction are chosen to be warm, approachable and safe. If you see graphic signs, they do not belong to A Moment of Hope or to our volunteers.
Follow Up Care: Pregnancy Care Teams
Follow up care – assisting a mother to find the resources she needs – is a natural extension of gospel-driven sidewalk counseling. Having seen the beauty of collaboration to accomplish this goal, the opportunities it presents to share the hope of the gospel, and recognizing the local church is both called and best equipped to minister to practical and spiritual needs over the long term, a model was developed to bridge women who have chosen life to them: Pregnancy Care Teams.
Pregnancy Care Teams
Two or more women (or couples) from a local church who team up to be paired with a mother who has chosen life to:
- host a baby shower
- befriend and mentor
- evangelize and disciple
- assist her practically as needed
Teams will complete training and an approval process which includes:
- affirmation of statement of faith
- Pastoral reference
- background check
The Vision for Pregnancy Care Teams:
- Local churches become known as places of refuge and help for women making pregnancy decisions.
- The preborn are rescued from death because their mothers receive love and care and are no longer tempted by the lie of abortion.
- Lives and legacies are transformed by the gospel.