My First Care Net Conference Experience
September 19th 2018
Shelby Paul (Amnion’s Development Coordinator) and Melanie Parks (Amnion’s Executive Director)
on the last night of Care Net Conference.
On September 4th, I boarded a plane to Atlanta, Georgia for my first Care Net conference. I was filled with excitement, curiosity, and if I’m honest, a little bit of nervousness. I had no idea that the next three days would be filled with encouragement, new knowledge, personal growth, and the best kind of exhaustion! For those of you who don’t know, Amnion is affiliated with a national organization called Care Net that supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America. Every year they hold a national conference to equip and encourage the pregnancy centers in their network (See exactly who Care Net is here: https://www.care-net.org/about). Between large group sessions with phenomenal speakers passionate about abundant life, and breakout sessions that helped me to hone my skills as a Development Coordinator, I found myself being filled up spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally at Care Net Conference.
Have you ever been in a room with over 1,000 men and women who not only love Christ, but have been called to the same mission as you? It’s an experience that is hard to describe. Sometimes ministry to those facing unplanned pregnancy and sexual brokenness can be heartbreaking, harrowing, and exhausting. It feels like an uphill battle and the only things that keep you climbing are the deep love you have for your clients and the Lord carrying you when your strength doesn’t seem to be enough. Being in a room with people who live this every day just like all of us at Amnion, who fight for every person to know their worth and that there is hope, is so uplifting.
I took many new professional skills away from Care Net conference and all of these new skills will allow Amnion to better serve our clients. This was a huge blessing! But I think that the greatest blessing that came from Care Net conference was seeing that there are thousands of men and women who want to spread a message of hope, love, and worth to families facing unplanned pregnancy and individuals facing sexual brokenness. The theme for the conference was “Each One, Reach One”, speaking to our hope to each reach at least one woman, one man, one child, one church, to bring about a transformed life through Christ. I believe that through the partnership of pregnancy centers and churches, this vision will be reality. Being at Care Net conference showed me that Amnion and its supporters are not alone in being the hands and feet of Christ in this area. Through His people, God is bringing freedom and abundant life! Whether you’re a pregnancy center employee, a pastor of a supporting church, a consistent volunteer, or a faithful donor, you are helping to bring abundant life and spread the good news of the Gospel, and together we can transform lives for the better.
Amnion Pregnancy Center