Protecting the most vulnerable . . .
A Ministry Minutes Interview
“. . . therefore choose life . . .” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Today, we are privileged to meet Joddi-Jay Babcock, a friend of mine who is the Director of Life Choices in Yakima, Washington. I met her when she and her husband attended our church for a time, then I volunteered at Life Choices as a mentor/teacher to expectant moms and dads. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and counted it an honor to serve the clients in my classes.
After I resigned my post at Life Choices, JJ and I connected again when she asked me to help her edit her dissertation. I was privileged once again to work with her. She mentions it later in this blog post.
A side note to my wonderful readers: This year, I plan to feature guest blog posts/interviews by local folks involved in ministry–especially ministry to families–which is my writing focus. I do hope you enjoy them.
Okay, I’ll get off the stage now and turn it over to Joddi-Jay.
Deb, I am so thankful you asked me to guest post on your blog.
Did you know that National Sanctity of Human Life Day is on January 23, 2022? It is commemorated either on the third Sunday of January or the Sunday closest to January 22, which is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton decisions that made abortion at any stage of pregnancy the law of the United States. The pregnancy help movement generally sets aside the entire month of January to share awareness that all life, from the moment of conception, is sacred.
Since abortion on demand was legalized in 1973 (49 years ago), over 63 million preborn babies’ lives have been lost. We remember these precious ones, along with the women and their families who have been impacted by those losses. All that to say, the timing of this guest blog post is perfect!
For the benefit of our audience, my name is Joddi-Jay Babcock. My first name is Joddi-Jay. It’s one name, a creative gift bestowed by my mom. My unique name embarrassed me until age 29 when I decided to embrace it. I have gone by Joddi-Jay or JJ ever since.
My life Scripture verse is Mark 12:29-31. When asked by one of the teachers of religious law to identify the greatest commandment, Jesus replied:
“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these’” (NLT).
Love for God and people has led me to serve in pastoral ministry for over 25 years, to serve as the executive director of Life Choices of Yakima (a pregnancy help center) for seven years, and to pursue graduate studies in leadership. I earned my Master of Organizational Leadership and my Doctor of Strategic Leadership.
I am also excited that my first book will be published in a matter of weeks–the one you, Deb, helped to edit. It’s called:
Keep the Light On: Leadership Lessons from the Pregnancy Help Movement
Thanks for the plug! I’ll keep you posted on its release.
As for family life, I have been married to my best-friend-turned-high-school-sweetheart for 36 years. We raised five children and have many sweet and heart-warming memories. Now in the grandparent stage, we thoroughly love our seven grandchildren, ranging in age from nine to one and a half, and spend as much time with each of them as we possibly can.
Life Choices of Yakima was founded in 1985 as Crisis Pregnancy Center of Yakima by a group of concerned citizens who believed in Jesus and were disturbed by the option of abortion to which young women—including Christian women—gravitated. They wanted people to know that the baby within was more than a blob of tissue, and that there were alternatives to abortion for the woman facing an unexpected pregnancy. Throughout the years, the ministry has encountered various challenges. But by the grace and blessings of the Lord, Life Choices has grown and is thriving.
As part of the pregnancy help movement, Life Choices’ concerns go beyond “saving babies.” We serve women and address the underlying reasons that abortion is often considered. For example, seventy-three percent of women contemplating abortion do so because of financial lack. By connecting them with community resources and providing tangible support, we help women see that choosing life for their preborn babies is possible.
We offer free medical, educational, and support services in a non-judgmental environment, and share the love of Christ in actions and words.
Our medical services include pregnancy testing, ultrasound confirmation, pregnancy options information, Abortion Pill Reversal, prenatal vitamins, and medical consultations–with STI testing, education, and treatment for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. We do not refer for or provide abortions.
Our Family Support Services consists of mentors, Bright Course classes for moms and dads, Baby Boutique, client coordinated care, adoption referrals, and community resource referrals.
Finally, our Think Twice Healthy Relationships program educates middle school and high school age students to make smart choices aimed at a better future. The focus is on teen pregnancy prevention and positive youth development.
Compassionate care for women and men facing pregnancy decisions, and education to encourage healthy relationships
Our theme for 2022 is “Love Them Both,” meaning we love both the woman and her baby in the womb. Our Scripture verse is 1 John 4:19 (NIV)—We love because he first loved us. We love God because he loved us first. We love others because God loves us.
It is such an honor to provide compassion, hope, and help so men and women can find win-win solutions.
If any of your readers would like to know more about Life Choices, they can visit www.friendsoflcy.com or check out our Friends of LCY Facebook page.