From an Advocate's Point of View: Answering the Question, "What Do You Do?"

As a Client Advocate people are often asking me, "So Donna, what do you do over at that place?" Wow, what a difficult question to answer.  Well, it is kind of simple, if you mean to say that we offer free pregnancy tests, pass out donated diapers, wipes, clothing, strollers, cribs, bouncers, breast pumps and many other things for pregnant mamas or new babies.  I could mention that we also give out layettes we make, Mama Comfort Baskets and Bibles. Or that we offer all kinds of informational resources and that we plug women into the resources they need may it involve safety, education, housing, transportation and so forth.  To many it may sound mundane. But, I can assure you, it is anything but that.    

I do not have any great stories to tell.  I have been an Advocate for a short time.  It reminds me of when I was a Paramedic; most of the time we had routine calls that could be handled right in the home, or perhaps a quick drive to the hospital with some oxygen support and an IV.  When I was an ER Nurse, my entire shift would consist of ear aches, asthma or a twisted ankle.  Not very dramatic for a Cardiac, Pulmonary, Neuro and Trauma Nurse.  Yet, all of those thing are important to the person who is unable to get through them alone.  In fact they are frightening. But, are those the reasons I became a Nurse or a Paramedic?  I came to know purpose in sharing whatever it is I have become in my idiosyncrasies coupled with education and life experience, through this I could bring real change of love and of God into the lives of others.  What better place to do that then when someone is in need?  

It is similar as a Client Advocate, as we pass out diapers and baby wipes with love and a smile, we see what our client really needs; to recognize His embrace.  These actions may not take hold or be remembered until long after the person has passed from our life and it may not be for us to know how her story ends in our own lifetime. Our calling is to act on His behalf.   

So what is it we really do down at that place?  We reach out to every single soul we can and in some way, though actions as well as words we say, "You are the most important thing to me right now. There is no one else who has my attention at this moment.  It is all for you.  You are valuable.  You are what matters now.  There is no place else I want to be but right here with you.  Let me show you how important you are."  During those moments the Lord, through His only Son, with the power of the Holy Spirit is there speaking and acting.  Most the time, it is hard to remember what I said and what they said, or who cried first; or if we just laughed with joy.  

All I reach for is that when someone knows she is loved and valued, her life and purpose will take a different direction.  Her life may be no less difficult but, she will proceed on her path in a spirit of joy and confidence in knowing love for the first time and that she will never be alone again.  What do we do?  We change the substance and purpose of lives.  Or, more correctly we watch as Christ does this and we are humbled in Love's Presence. The miraculous thing that happens is that after we explain all this to the inquirer, the second question is, "How can I help?"   

Donna Golder  
Client Advocate, Stanton Mountain PRC