What friends say makes a difference

Helen was 28 when I met her over coffee after a Sunday service at my church. We discovered a mutual interest in the performing arts. I gave her my card and said that we must meet up again.

Two months later, she was into the third month of a relationship with her boyfriend and pregnant.

Helen had always wanted to have children. She even worked as a part-time nanny to be near them.

Her mother was horrified and threatened to withdraw all support unless she had an abortion. “You are just a child. You are not ready to have children!”

In fact, Helen’s mother rang every day to reinforce the message. Helen’s boyfriend also thought that an abortion seemed a good idea and attempted to set up appointments.

Helen was torn this way and that, until she opened her handbag one day and my card fell out. She rang me straight away. I counselled her to slow down a bit and think. I would help her and get a network of friends to pray for her and the baby.

Also, there were helping agencies available and I would personally drive her to them.

We went into the city to Pregnancy Help, who could offer all sorts of practical assistance and support. Family Life International arranged for one of their doctors to see her.

However, Mum and the boyfriend (30) were adamant that an abortion was the only solution. They talked Helen into counselling and a booking for the abortion was made.

The day before, Helen rang up and cancelled. The boyfriend was very upset and poured out his troubles to an older married couple, who were family friends.

The listened carefully and delivered their verdict. He was 30, and it was time to grow up and accept responsibility. Helen was a lovely woman, he was very lucky and should take the plunge and marry her.

The boyfriend was appalled and decided to go down to Queenstown for a holiday and a break from all his troubles. He took a plunge of sorts by bungy jumping.

As he plunged downwards, it was if God spoke to him. A lightbulb went off in his brain. Marry Helen and be a father? Yes! Yes!

Back in Auckland, Helen was seven months pregnant. Her boyfriend returned – a changed man. Even Mum had a change of heart.

Mum became a doting grandmother to Helen’s daughter in early 2003. The boyfriend and Helen are still together and very contented. For the first two months after the birth, Helen was on the phone to me every day – and all because I gave her my card.