Here’s Why 28 Michigan Churches Collected 29,015 Diapers4 min read

Rachel (not her real name) shoved her cell phone in her pocket, but continued to stare at the two telephone numbers scribbled on a piece of paper given to her by a classmate who found her crying in the girl’s bathroom at school. One number was to a local abortion clinic, the other to a pregnancy help line. She was totally uncertain as to which number to dial. The decision was hers, yet weighed so heavy on her heart that she was paralyzed by fear. She considered the odds against her: 17 years old, pregnant, and, besides her recently widowed father, she was completely alone. New home, new school, new everything, and now … this.

Filled with deep regret, she tried to pray, but the words just would not come. The guilt stopped her. She crumpled up the paper, as she knew one call would lead to death for her unborn child and the other to life. If she chose life, how would she ever be able to tell her father? He was already grieving the loss of her mother, his wife. Would he be angry? Would he make her put the baby up for adoption?

What if she chose death? The justifications raced through her mind. “How would I even be able to care for a child? Who would help me know what to do? How could I go through the excruciating pain of childbirth? Babies need diapers, formula, clothing … everything I would not be able to provide.”

She knew she had to make a decision. She retrieved the phone from her back pocket, smoothed the scrap of paper, and dialed. After two rings, a woman with a peaceful voice answered, “Pregnancy Helpline. How may I assist you?”

Rachel took a deep breath, and for the very first time thought, “Maybe, just maybe, I can do this,” and began to talk.

Help for Life

“It’s easy for us to say that we’re in favor of ‘Life,’” said Trinity, Sturgis member Amy Sarkkinen, “but if we don’t do anything to help those who are struggling with this issue, then we’re not helping.”

“I think a Diaper Shower could be a great way to take our beliefs and put them into action,” said Sarkkinen, who served as coordinator of the month-long “Diaper Shower” that Trinity threw to collect much-needed items for the local Pregnancy Helpline center.

Trinity, Sturgis member, Amy Sarkkinen, coordinated the congregation’s Lutherans For Life “Diaper Shower,” an annual event held to collect items for those in need who choose “Life!”
Trinity, Sturgis member, Amy Sarkkinen, coordinated the congregation’s Lutherans For Life “Diaper Shower,” an annual event held to collect items for those in need who choose “Life!”

Each year, Lutherans For Life of Michigan (LFLMI) sponsors an annual Statewide Diaper Shower event in an effort to raise both awareness and support for those who support life.

“It is a wonderful program,” said St. Joseph County Michigan Pregnancy Helpline Director, Vicky Strang. “We are extremely grateful for Trinity’s donations, which numbered hundreds of much-needed diapers this year along with other baby items. Their level of generosity directly impacts how much we can provide to our community. Like other pregnancy centers, our focus is not only assisting those who are expecting, but also those who are already parents.”

“We offer free pregnancy tests,” Strang continued, “but we also offer an incentive program that creates a way to earn points, which are given for completing study programs on various subjects including pregnancy, nutrition, religion, and childcare. The points are then used to purchase premium items at the center and the program is open to both expectant mothers and parents with children up to the age of two.”

Rev. Russell Peterson, Trinity’s administrative pastor, said that the Church is compelled by God’s Word to speak and act on behalf of those who are vulnerable and defenseless. “Taking part in a project such as this, one that puts our faith into action in our community, is not only a great way to express our beliefs, but also make a positive difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves.”

Trinity’s Diaper Shower ran from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day and collected hundreds of diapers and baby care products. The statewide total was 29,015 diapers reported by 28 congregations who held diaper showers for pregnancy crisis centers in their communities.

To learn more ways you can support Life, visit

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Lutherans For Life National Conference Coming to Michigan

The 2014 Lutherans For Life National Conference theme is Matters of the Heart and will take place October 24-25, 2014 at St. Matthew, Grand Rapids. Its aim is to help people better understand that LIFE issues are not political issues, but spiritual issues that have been politicized. These issues touch people’s very souls. They challenge their faith. Come and learn about effectively engaging the culture for LIFE with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. See the connection between this message of forgiveness and hope on issues like abortion and assisted suicide. The conference offers great speakers, wonderful workshops, and life-affirming fellowship. For more information, or to register visit

(main image via iStockPhoto)

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About the Author

Laura Kurella is an administrative assistant to the pastors at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis, Mich.

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