There’s a new ministry in town, Dodge City Pregnancy Support

Special to the Globe

The mission of Dodge City Pregnancy Support is to give alternatives to abortion so women don’t feel that they have no other option.

Its goal is to accomplish this while also providing a saving knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ at every visit.

Each year, between 50-60 women from Ford County go to Wichita or Oklahoma to have an abortion.

Many of these women don’t necessarily want an abortion but feel that the barriers to raising a child are too tough to overcome with their own resources. Some feel that they can’t raise a child while attending school or working, etc.

Some women just feel that they are too young and inexperienced. Our job is to support those women while providing them with a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The flagship of our program will be an “Earn While You Learn” teaching program. Lesson topics can range from routine baby care, budgeting, to appropriate discipline but will all have one thing in common; each visit will also provide a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and support for a Bibilical view of sexuality.

Dodge City Pregnancy Support doesn't just want to prevent an abortion, it wants to change hearts and minds and save souls in the process. By encouraging this Biblical view, it wants to help mothers avoid the same situation again by teaching the fact that sex should only be within marriage.

Also, by imparting this knowledge, Dodge City Pregnancy Support hopes that the children can be raised in a Christian environment that will benefit the children even further as they grow.

As an incentive, when parents attend these educational sessions, they earn “baby bucks” which can then be used to purchase baby supplies from our boutique. These supplies can include car seats, cribs, diapers, formula, clothes and other things.

The ministry attempts to help with physical needs, emotional needs and spiritual needs and wants to let these mothers know that it is here to help in any way possible – by teaching baby care, providing supplies through the “Earn While You Learn” program or even facilitating the loving alternative of adoption.

Dodge City Pregnancy Support president Randolph Matthews, MD of Western Plains Pediatrics & Adolescent Care, said he brought on the project because, “I just moved to Dodge to open a pediatric practice in December 2020. Early on, a mother called the office where I work asking how to get an abortion. Of course, we don’t provide that service nor make referrals for abortion. However, I have been used to referring these people to a Christian pro-life ministry. With the recent closure of Birthright, I learned that there was no longer such a ministry available in this area.

"The need seemed to slap me in the face. I have been involved in pro-life work for decades including being a president and board member of other centers. I have also worked doing ultrasounds so mothers can actually see their baby. Many folks think a baby is just a blob of cells. Nothing corrects that misinformation better than allowing a mother to view their baby through a window to the womb. My ultimate vision for our center is to provide ultrasound and perhaps other medical capabilities.

"At this time the cost is prohibitive, but we are looking into options.”

Regarding the politics and protesting of abortion, Matthews went on to say that, "Those are important but that is not our mission. Our mission is more geared to the individual.

"Sometimes Christian pro-lifers are accused of only trying to stop an abortion but not caring about what happens otherwise. I have been asked ‘Why don’t you folks put half the effort into helping the mother and child after the baby is born?’

"The reason pro-lifer Christians don’t do half the effort to help children after birth is that we are too busy doing much more than half. Pro-life, evangelical Christians give much more to charities than non-evangelicals.

"Additionally pro-life evangelical Christians are significantly over represented as people that foster or adopt children. However, this type of ministry is just another way to put that false accusation to rest. When people ask me why I am involved in a pregnancy center, I tell them that I believe, if Jesus were in the flesh today, this would be the type of ministry in which he would be involved.”

Although Dodge City Pregnancy support is a ministry, it is not a church. We do not hold formal weekly services. Instead it encourages its clients to attend local services.

In fact its goal is to form a strong coalition with a variety of Christian churches. By reaching out to folks in a time of anxiety and need, people are often very open to hearing the gospel. Interestingly, studies have shown that per dollar donated, more folks are brought to conversion through pregnancy care centers than through evangelical churches. However, that is only the beginning. The local churches are essential to discipling these young converts afterwards.

“All folks involved in the pregnancy are welcome to share in our classes and ministry," Matthews said about fathers. "There are a lot of fathers out there that have been traumatized because the mother aborted their child against the father’s wishes. Both mothers and fathers often suffer grief and depression after an abortion. A trend in pregnancy support centers is to also include a ministry specifically to the fathers in that situation. We hope to include that type of ministry in the future but as a fledgling center that is beyond our capabilities at this time. I advise anyone suffering such trauma or grief to seek help through their church or mental health facilities.”

To learn about the ministry and how to help, there will be an educational meet and greet on Sunday June 13, at 3 p.m. at Casey’s Cowtown.

"We need someone willing to be a paid director, we need volunteers willing to be trained to be client advocates, and receptionists," said Matthews. "We will provide the training through an alliance with the wonderful CareNet pro-life ministry. Donations of supplies to stock our baby boutique are also welcome.

"Also we are willing to make a presentation and speak at churches or other group meetings."

If you would like to have a speaker, feel free to attend the meeting at Casey’s Cowtown after church on June 13.