Christian doctors, medical students undergo pregnancy crisis training

Heila Chapman (centre) with two members of a group of Christian medical students, doctors and nurses that she trained in pregnancy crisis counselling.
Heila Chapman (centre) with two members of a group of Christian medical students, doctors and nurses that she trained in pregnancy crisis counselling.

A group of  about 50 doctors, nursing staff and medical students from the Christian Medical Fellowship — mainly 4th and 5th year students from universities in Gauteng and Mpumalanga — recently requested and underwent training on how to be better equipped to deal with crisis pregnancies.

As Christians, the medical group wanted to have more than just academic information; they wanted to learn how to speak to a lady who is facing the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy with the possible intention to abort her baby, says Heila Chapman, who conducted the training at a weekend camp at Magaliesberg.

Chapman who heads up Procura Training Academy, which equips lay people with crisis counselling skills, was introduced to the medical group via Amato Counselling Centre, a Pretoria NGO that provides free information and counselling to women and families facing unwanted pregnancies. She is the official tutor for Amato whose service is based on unconditional acceptance, compassion, practical care and loving guidance, helping women to make informed decisions. 

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She says the group was very open and receptive to the training which included lectures on the profile of a woman wanting to abort, the crisis, pregnancy, the positive options available to someone who is in such a crisis, communication skills and how listening skills will enhance the doctor’s/sister/nurse’s interaction with the patient.

She says the group was blessed by the input of a woman who had chosen to have an abortion, hearing about her struggles and the healing and restoration that God brought to her and her family. Her testimony helped equip them to minister to other ladies who had chosen to abort in order to help them experience the healing of the Lord.

“They all had a look into their own lives as to how they can remind themselves to daily put on the armour of God and also check their attitudes with regards to respect, sincerity and empathy so that they could be a shining light to all whom they encounter,” she says. 

Chapman says she has great hope for South Africa with such a group of dedicated young people who are ready and willing to reach out to a broken and sick world. (He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8).

She and her husband Ben are both ordained ministers and many years back Heila heard God speak to her through Scripture, saying that she was going to be involved in a new harvest field that she had never worked in. She was invited to a tea where the statistics on abortion and adoption were shared. She felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit saying, “this is the field.” She has no medical training but has a fiery passion in her soul for young people. This is just the way God loves to work, so that He receives all the glory. She started compiling manuals from various sources to be able to train volunteers in this field of counselling women who find themselves facing an unplanned pregnancy.

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