Tenth Press: Together We Bless Philadelphia’s “Diamonds”

by Karen Hess January 12, 2014

I recently happened upon William Penn’s Prayer for Philadelphia posted in the City Hall courtyard. Undoubtedly, Philadelphia continues to be sustained by the prayers of the faithful. The final sentence of the prayer reads: “My soul prays to God for thee that thou mayest stand in the day of trial, that thy children may be blest of the Lord and thy people saved by His power.“
Although evil continues to influence many lives and outcomes in this city, by the grace of God and with the sustaining provision of his people, Alpha most definitely contributes to the blessing of God’s children and guides many into the everlasting arms that they might be saved by his power.
Alpha’s call was reaffirmed as our board developed a Strategic Plan for the next several years. We began by updating our Mission, Vision and Purpose.
The goals we developed ended up being somewhat of a surprise. We expected the goals to include ultrasound services and perhaps a men’s ministry, but apparently the Lord has other priorities for us. Our four major goals are:

  1. Continue to serve pregnant urban women who struggle with low-incomes, inadequate education, and living in sub-standard housing.
  2. Provide comprehensive Abortion Recovery opportunities. The publicity of the Gosnell trial seemed to make women more willing to acknowledge their personal difficulties in coming to terms with past abortions. 
  3. Publicize Alpha on local campuses to reach undergrads and students in professional programs who may benefit from our services. 
  4. Engage more volunteers in Alpha’s work.

We believe we are on the right track, the Lord’s track, because:

  • The Lord seems to be drawing new folks to Alpha, who are offering to volunteer, provide financial support, and/or open doors. 
  • After years of financial uncertainty, we are grateful to have new monthly supporters, new churches, and new foundations that have contributed to Alpha’s increasing financial stability. In addition, we have been granted a 50% exemption on our real estate taxes.
  • I am pleased to announce that Brianna Swihart, a recent Temple graduate, has just joined our staff as a full-time social worker. Hiring Brianna represents the fulfillment of a three-and-a half year goal.
  • I am constantly reminded that whatever project we undertake, unless the Lord does the building, we labor in vain. My thanks go out to all of you at Tenth who have labored to create the Volunteer Center in Alpha’s basement. The project has been completed. What a blessing to have a clean, dry, organized space to store our material goods. We also greatly appreciate your sustaining financial support, steady supply of gently-used baby items, and your faithful prayers. 

With your help, moms like Diamond are finding their way. For a while she was fully convinced that abortion was the only answer to the “trouble” she was in. A judge granted her a judicial by-pass so that her mom wouldn’t need to sign for her or even find out about the pregnancy. By God’s grace, on her way into the clinic for the procedure, a kindly, older gentleman reached out to her. She declined his help but took the brochure he offered. Just before starting the abortion, an ultrasound was conducted. When Diamond saw her baby within her, she summoned the courage to walk out and face whatever trials were to come. The brochure led Diamond to Alpha, and we have walked with this mother and child for the past three plus years. Their trials didn’t end when the abortion was avoided. But just as William Penn hoped and prayed, with your support, we have been able to bless Diamond and her child and nearly 12,000 other Philadelphians as well.


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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Karen Hess. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org