Compassionate Care for Women

Faith Today Magazine May/June 2017 issue

Compassionate Care for Women

Dr. Laura Lewis is the executive director of the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS).

What is the mission of CAPSS?

We are a Christ-centred national ministry dedicated to providing support for life and sexual health by partnering with pregnancy care centres across Canada. We are a best-practice affiliation helping to establish, equip, and encourage local pregnancy care centres, so that every person in Canada impacted by an unintended pregnancy has access to the help and support they need.

What role does CAPSS play in the Canadian Church?

Pregnancy care centres serve a local mission field. They are an expression of the church in action – the hands and feet of Jesus in service to those facing an unplanned pregnancy, either presently or in the past.

These centres are parachurch organizations and provide a meeting place for different denominations to connect. For example, at our local centre on any given day there will be 3-4 local churches represented amongst our volunteers and staff, all sharing the same desire to help support vulnerable individuals and families in our community. It’s an incredible blending of Canadian churches all coming together to serve in love!

CAPSS serves behind the scenes by providing leadership support and resources to equip local centres to do their work with excellence. CAPSS provides information and resources to local churches. We want to help equip the local church to compassionately care for women, men, and families in their community impacted by unplanned pregnancy.

What are the most important ministry lessons you have learned?

So often when we serve others, that is when we learn and grow the most. I’ve learned that it’s not about me and it’s not up to me. Ministry is a manifestation of the Body in action and not about a person or title.

Sanctification and transformation never end and sometimes the process is painful and messy. We need to surround ourselves with people we trust, who hold us accountable, and who complement our giftings.

I’ve learned that we need to be honest about the fruit of our work and recognize when we have forgotten the greatest command, which is to love.

What is your leadership advice to emerging leaders?

Leadership is about serving others. If the Lord entrusts you with a position of leadership, use it well to help and to release those around you into their unique God-given destinies.

What is the biggest misconception about crisis pregnancy centres?

That a pregnancy care centre takes away a woman’s choice. It is very much the opposite! Pregnancy care centres empower a woman and give her the opportunity to make a real choice – one based on practical help, compassionate support, and truth.

A pregnancy care centre is not about an ideology but it’s about compassionate help and truly making a difference in someone’s life – it is unconditional love, Christianity in action.

When a woman comes to a centre she knows that the staff and volunteers care not only about her baby but also about her. We know that both have a God-given destiny.

It is our desire that every community in Canada would have access to the unconditional love, support, and education that a pregnancy care centre provides.

CAPSS is an affiliate of the EFC