DANVILLE — Life was celebrated in earnest Tuesday night at the Pine Barn Inn with 300 guests attending a special Guardians of Life fundraising banquet in support of Shamokin’s Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) Corner of Hope — a family resource center at the corner of Market and Pine Streets in Shamokin.

Among the large crowd of visitors were not only pastors and members of church congregations from a variety of denominations, but also average citizens with a desire to simply learn more about the PCC and help support its outreach in the community.

The official title of the event was “All In — Saving Babies and Women’s Lives” and featured a special guest speaker, Pam Tebow, a former missionary and mother of professional athlete and evangelist Tim Tebow.

Opening prayer

Pastor Sam Bellavia, of the Shamokin Christian Missionary Alliance Church, offered an opening word of prayer, thanking the Lord for the special gathering and asking His blessing upon the meal.

“We thank you Lord for the opportunity to be here tonight and give thanks for this ministry — what it’s already accomplished and what it will continue to do according to your will,” said Bellavia.

Director’s comments

Margie Conrad, executive director of the PCC Corner of Hope, shared her thoughts about the PCC’s outreach in the Shamokin area and beyond.

“This is our 14th year in Shamokin and our 10th annual banquet. This is a pro-life event and is our annual fall fundraiser which helps keep the doors of our center open as we don’t receive any state or federal grant money,” said Conrad.

“We’re the only free clinic in the Shamokin area, which provides free STD testing, ultrasound and mentoring. We also offer family resources and counseling services with regard to pregnancies. In short, we believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to death,” she stated.

Keynote speaker

The highlight of the night was listening to Pam Tebow, who simply shared her family’s story about how God gave them a miracle in saving her son Tim’s life as well as her own.

“I attend a lot of pro-life events and tonight is a God-given opportunity for us to reach out and speak on behalf of life and its value, said Tebow.

She then went on to share the compelling and miraculous story of the birth of her son.

“In 1985 my husband and I were called by God to the mission field in the Philippines. There were many challenges but God was a faithful master through it all. When I became pregnant with Tim I experienced serious bleeding problems and was advised by medical experts to abort him for my own life’s sake. When Tim was born, the doctor told us when Tim was born that he was the biggest miracle he’d ever seen. It takes a lot of faith muscle to do what the PCC does in supporting life. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 127 which states that children are a gift from the Lord. We must always remember that our greatest calling in life is to serve and help others rather than ourselves,” she concluded.

Closing thoughts

Jana Hollenbach, development director of PCC Corner of Hope, expressed her feelings toward the special event and the cause that it supports.

“This banquet is all about what the Lord is going to do with this ministry of reaching more families and people with the love of Christ and sharing with them God’s message regarding the sanctity and value of human life. Everyone asked how we got Pam to come and be our keynote speaker. The answer is through email and prayer. She is a busy lady, but had this date available and God lined everything up just right,” said Hollenbach.

She continued, “Psalm 139:16 in a children’s version of the Bible reads, ‘You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.’ When I read that Scripture, it aligns perfectly with the PCC’s message of the sanctity of life from beginning to end. But I also look at the fact that God knew all of the people who would be gathered here tonight for this purpose.”

Hollenbach also expressed her gratitude toward the local businesses that she said helped cover the majority of the costs associated with the banquet and that all of the donations received would go toward the daily operational costs of PCC.

“As the PCC continues to thrive and make a difference in Shamokin and the surrounding area, we ask the public if they would please consider making a donation or volunteering as we continue to strive toward protecting the sanctity of human life,” she added.

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