My name is Tiera May. And I’m the executive director of our center. Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to think of something to say to our donors and supporters. I’ve rattled my brain for numbers and statistics that would make us gasp, numbers that would prove to you that we are doing something important with your money. I laugh because we spent time gathering numbers for you. And some of those numbers are already wrong. On Tuesday, February 27th we counted 79 client visits in 2018 so far. Today, March 1st we surpassed 100. Already in just 2 months. Life change and transformation is happening here. And I couldn’t be more excited. Over the last year, Justin and I had been working hard making sure that I would be confident enough to transition into this role. So tonight is a different feeling. I put a lot of heart into this center over the last year and to see you all here in support of those dreams means the world to me and literally means everything to our clients. So thank you!
June 21, 1994 I was born into struggle. From birth I was labeled “Abortion Vulnerable”. To most of you that makes no sense. But in the “pregnancy center world” we use 3 labels:
- Abortion minded means the client has stated “I can’t do this” or “I’m considering an abortion.”
- Likely to carry means they have stated “I’m so excited.” Or “finally, we’ve waited for so long.”
- Abortion Vulnerable. Means the parent may not have the most ideal situation, the father isn’t in the picture; she was raised in a single parent home, she may not have a steady job or a solid support system.
This was me. And if you know my story then you might say that I’m different. An anomaly to the culture I was raised in. My circumstances could have never guessed that I would be here. Growing up, my world was wild. It was unstable. It was broken, It was confusing and in my world, our sleep was dreamless. BUT, there were people who were bold enough to enter my world and offer hope. There were people in my life that were bold enough to break down the walls around my world to see me set free with potential and transformation. Because I have been set free, I’ve been able to enter into so many different worlds so that I might be able to offer the same hope. Tonight we are talking from this phrase “my world needs you” and I want YOU to be so crazy that you would identify your world. We all come from different places. Your world might be perfect. Or maybe your world looks crazy. And at the end of each day you don’t know how you and your spouse survived. Maybe your world is painful and you didn’t make it into 2018 with your spouse. Might I add that some of our worlds are painful? Dark. Broken. I’m saying this because over the course of the last year I experienced real heartache on the frontlines of my job. I’ve said it every year because unfortunately it happens more often then I want it to, but I’ve held broken parents in my arms as they have wept over the loss of their baby. In the last year I had to make phone calls to the funeral home to make arrangements for a 5 month old baby and a 1 year old baby. I’ve had to make phone calls to CPS to report child neglect. I’ve had to sit in a court room to listen to dozens of police officers stand up and be a voice for babies who aren’t being taken care of. And at the end of the day every single one of these scenarios would cry out and say “my world needs you”
But what are we to do? We can’t adopt every child that enters the system through our local agencies. That would mean you would have 63 children in your home that comes from our local CASA office.
Last night as I was sitting in this big empty room, I just decided to pray. And I invited some friends to come pray with me. And as I was praying, I heard this in my heart “passions, dreams, goals, ideas for ministry, that’s all great, but if YOU aren’t taken care of first, you’ll never make it to the rest.” If I’m not committed to always return to the place that I am refreshed and changed from the inside out, then how will I ever be able to recognize the blessing in my life? How will I ever be bold enough to pray for someone else? If I’m not taken care of, how will I ever be brave enough to join someone else on their journey? WE’RE ALL GOING UP THE SAME MOUNTAIN OF LIFE, would I even be able to notice the people that I passed on the way if I’m not in a good place. Will I ever really go after those dreams that were placed in my heart years ago if I don’t ever return to the place that I am strengthened and encouraged? Last night as I began to pray for the people that would fill these seats I just started to pray that you guys would be strengthened and encouraged. I started to pray that you would receive confirmation in your heart for those dreams you’ve been holding on to. Or maybe fear and doubt made you leave those dreams and ideas on the street corner, be brave enough to pick them back up. Every year we talk about what we’re doing. We give you stats and numbers, new programs and even new directors. But this year I just wanted to say that we are healthy, and we are moving forward. I’m casting vison for the future. I want to be here in 10 years or 15 years from now. I want to be able to see the children of my clients flip the entire script because we put in the work to see it happen! Tonight this is the only future plan that I am laying out there. We are going to do it. But in order for that to happen I need YOU to survive. I need you to make it. I need you to never forget your place of rest and restoration. I’ve been so committed to praying for you and our community because we all need each other. We are all on the same walk of life, I’m believing that Dalhart is going to band together in unity to take care of each other. I say that my goal here at the center is to go until we’ve created a culture that is so committed to taking care of each other that our doors have to shut down because there is no longer a need for us. And at our center we give out more than diapers, we are handing our hope, love and acceptance. It is my prayer that you identity your world, take yourself back to a place of restoration and prepare yourself for battle. Outside your slumber, above your blankets not under, there’s a real world with a real hunger. I challenge you to wake up. Stay educated, stay plugged in. Make sure that you are prepared for what will pop up in your path.
In closing, we as a center want to thank YOU for allowing us to be your ministry.
Last year we had 150 parents in our system who made 789 appointments at our center. We are committed to educating our local parents so that their children are eligible for a better future. So far we have been able to impact 383 children from our community because their parents are choosing education.
To our donors, supporters, volunteers, prayer partners, church leaders, and members of our community; thank you for choosing life. Thank you for taking care of our community. Thank you for carrying us as a ministry. Thank you for changing our community one life at a time.