By Keri Landeche, Northeast Regional Coordinator
As a Regional Coordinator, part of my job involves scheduling tabletop displays with students to engage their campus on a certain issue. Thus, I had been working with Concordia College Students for Life to schedule the Pregnant on Campus table top to promote pregnancy and parenting resources to students on their campus since January. We had scheduled two previous dates to table on campus with pregnancy resources but for some reason the dates did not end up working out. Naturally, we were all getting a little frustrated thinking the tabling would never happen, but finally we found a date that would suit everyone.
So on the cold morning of March 16th, the club members of Concordia College SFL and myself set up the tabletop display in the commons (school cafeteria). We decided to include a free speech board to engage students on how they thought Concordia could better help pregnant and parenting students in addition to the tabletop.
Immediately, the president of the club fearlessly started engaging people, getting them to participate in brainstorming how to better serve pregnant and parenting students. I wanted the club members to take ownership of the display so I was letting them do the majority of the talking.
However, spontaneously, I felt compelled to ask a particular student passing by with his earphones in if he would like to participate in our free speech board. He looked confused as to why I was interrupting him- clearly, he had his earphones in. So, I kindly explained what we were doing and asked if he had any ideas how to better serve pregnant and parenting students.
He looked at it intently and said, “Can I take a picture?” I was thinking to myself, “oh great he must be pro-choice and about to mock us all over social media.” But instead I said “Sure but can I you ask why you want a picture?”
He looked at me and said, “Well there is actually a situation.”
Immediately my demeanor changed from preparing for battle to compassion for this pregnant student I realized he was taking the picture for.
Thankfully, we had the Sisters of Life resources on hand that we were able to give him. I asked him to give the pamphlets to his friend and to give her my number.
About 20 minutes later, a young woman almost in tears came to look at our table. I didn’t want to assume she was pregnant so I asked her if her friend had just come by. Holding back her tears, she said yes and grabbed one of everything on our table. I asked her if she would like to talk in private and she agreed.
I was able to sit and listen with her for about an hour. She explained to me that she found out she was pregnant on Monday and has been freaking out ever since she got the news. She does not believe in abortion but she really does not know how she will be able to parent as a single student.
As she was venting and crying to me, I realized in that moment how providential it was that I had even met her.
Had the two other dates worked out to do the tabletop, she would not have even known she was pregnant at the time. It was providential that the tabletop kept getting pushed back and that I randomly interrupted a guy passing by with his earphones in.
It is hard to say what this young woman will decide. She is in a very vulnerable position, but she knows that she has the support of Concordia SFL and that there are random strangers that want to help her out.
Please pray for this student. .