Beverly Kline was living the feminist lifestyle of the 1970s in California when she experienced two unplanned pregnancies in two years. Her career was taking off, and the man she lived with had years of college ahead of him. Abortion had been legalized, so both inconvenient pregnancies were terminated.
The second abortion caused a painful breakup between Kline and her boyfriend, and her misery accelerated her immoral lifestyle. In contrast, her ex-boyfriend sought spiritual help for the guilt he felt from the aborting of the two babies.
As a result, he became a Christian and confronted Kline with her own need for Jesus. She listened and surrendered to God. After Kline had given her life to Christ, the couple started dating again, made moral changes and attended church regularly.
The new spiritual environment convinced Kline that she wanted a life of ministry. When it became clear she was alone in that desire, God told her to walk away from the man she loved.
"My heart broke as I saw the deception I'd lived in," Kline admits. "God showed me how I had sacrificed my children on the altar of convenience. I felt exposed and vulnerable, but Jesus touched me with His love and forgiveness."
Her enrollment in Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School relocated her to Lindale, Texas. Emotional healing increased as the Holy Spirit made Himself real to her.
Kline was able to receive from God and begin ministering to others who were as love-starved as she had been.
Pregnant With Purpose
Kline has spent many years and much of her own resources trying to combat abortion, which has been legal in the United States since 1973. Her method has been self-sacrifice, however, not political activism. She has rescued lives one at a time by starting a crisis pregnancy center, an adoption agency and a maternity home, as well as an aftercare program and other ministries.
Her efforts began in 1982 while directing a YWAM home for troubled girls. One of the young women confided in Kline that she might be pregnant. After being unable to find a free clinic nearby, Kline contacted the health department in Tyler, Texas.
Pregnancy tests were not offered at the facility but Kline was given a toll-free number to call for further help. She made the call for the girl. A friendly woman answered the phone and described the services she could provide if the test result was "bad news."
"Honey, have your boyfriend give you $500 dollars and drive into Dallas on Saturday," she told Kline. "We'll take care of your problems."
When Kline realized she'd been directed to an abortion clinic, she drove to the health department, handed staff members her personal phone number and announced: "Tyler now has free pregnancy tests."
They agreed to give Kline's number to anyone who needed help. Soon afterward, Kline's Living Alternatives Ministries began.
Kline gave pregnancy tests in her home and offered women what she wished someone had given her--life-affirming support in facing a crisis pregnancy. Housing was needed for some who chose life for their babies. They crowded into Kline's personal quarters until another residence had been secured with donations.
Volunteers transformed the newly acquired structure, gutted by fire, into Kline's first official maternity home. Six young women moved into the Tyler facility, and it remained at full capacity for the next 10 years.
In 1993, God provided the ministry with a new property--40 acres in the country with a 7,800-square-foot home that was licensed to house 16 residents.
"We named it Fatherheart," Kline says, "because each precious baby and mother who passes through our doors is a miraculous demonstration of the Father's love."
Part of Kline's ministry philosophy has included reaching out to the fathers of the children and to both extended families of the couple so that all may come to repentance and restoration.
"I call our approach 'pro-value'--though the mother is the primary focus," Kline says. "If we offer her God's love and forgiveness, along with practical and spiritual help, then we enter into a co-labor with God in helping her choose life for her child."
As Kline's method bore fruit, other ministries developed under the umbrella of Living Alternatives. Crisis Pregnancy Center was one; Fatherheart Maternity Home was another. She also established Loving Alternatives Adoption Agency and Eagle Charter School, in addition to her aftercare program.
The Loving Alternatives Adoption Agency helps young women arrange a Christian adoption for their babies. In the last 13 years, the agency has placed more than 120 babies with loving parents. Each set of adopted parents establishes a relationship with the birth mother and encourages her with prayer and with letters and pictures of her child.
"We don't pressure them to place their babies for adoption,"
Kline says. "They can study creative scrapbooks prepared by prospective Christian couples to assist them in their decision. It's a very emotional process. We pray with them and offer loving support, but the decision is theirs.
"It's hard for them to understand that God can use this difficult time in their lives to reveal His love to them," Kline adds, "but I've seen His powerful love transform me, and I have such hope for their future."
Spurred by the results of the adoption agency, Kline established Eagle Charter School, where the girls spend mornings in a state-accredited school located on the countryside property. Afternoons are devoted to the extensive Life Skills and Discipleship program.
Kline explains: "My passion is to stop the corrupting source of sin in their lives. ... The afternoon classes produce many attitude and character changes.
"We also give them parent training," she adds. "Each girl spends 24 hours caring for a mechanical baby, programmed to duplicate the behavior of a newborn. The baby goes with Mom to class, stays near for household duties and interrupts her sleep for night feedings."
Kline extended the outreach at the Crisis Pregnancy Center by offering incentive programs. The ministry that began in her home relocated across the street from the local junior college. Today the pregnancy center is run by a team of devoted volunteers.
"An incentive counselor can help a woman evaluate her baby's needs if her test is positive," Kline says. A program called Building Blocks provides maternity clothes and baby items in exchange for attending a Bible study and Life Skills classes.
Women whose pregnancy tests turn out negative are offered the Fresh Start program. Abstinence and life skills are taught and the Bible is studied. Local patrons donate gift certificates as an incentive to attend.
Kline's helpers admire her ability to visualize the work God wants done and execute a plan that fills holes and connects dots. Yet it's her personal touch, not her administrative strength, that causes one house parent to observe: "Beverly models the role of a loving parent with these young women."
The girls are the proof. Lori, one of the first young women Kline ministered to, says: "Bev held me and my baby as I said my goodbyes in the final adoption process. She has always been there when I needed her."
Crystal, another one of many who needed Kline's nurturing, says: "Bev is strong and passionate about the Lord. She helped make beauty from the ashes of my life."
A missionary couple oversees the aftercare program. Currently three teens who placed their babies with families live in close quarters with a girl who is parenting her baby. They all interact with Kline in fun.
"She's the big boss," the girls tease.
Lacy, the extrovert of the group, puts an arm around Kline and proclaims: "Bev is a powerful lady. She gets things done--but not by ruling over you."
"Beverly says things from God," adds Talena, 16, who became pregnant by her youth pastor. "She never runs out of time for us."
The shy teen, whose first pregnancy--at age 11--brought her to Fatherheart, says softly, "She mothers us."
Kline pulls her near and explains: "Girls like Talena are why we started aftercare. She gave birth and placed her first baby for adoption when she was just a child herself. She went back into her environment and got pregnant again at 14."
The two glance at each other affectionately. "She knows Jesus now," Kline adds. Talena's hands cover her face--wiping a sudden flow of tears.
Kline comforts her; then continues. "Not long ago, Talena placed her second baby with another family, so Talena can stay here until she heals and is strong in the Lord."
Hugs are exchanged and routines resumed. As she walks outside, Kline says with passion: "That's the heartbeat of my life--redemption for these girls. I'm like the barren woman in Isaiah 54 who must enlarge her tents for the children God will bring."
She makes this comparison because in the almost 30 years since she had her own struggles with abortion, Kline has never married or had children.
"I'll see my two babies in heaven someday," Kline says. "Until then, God has many for me to care for."
How to Find Peace With God
Perhaps in reading this issue of Charisma you realized that you have never made a Christian commitment. Don't delay that decision! We encourage you to embrace God's love today and receive the salvation that only Jesus Christ gives. Here are five simple steps you can take to find assurance of salvation:
1. Recognize your need. The Bible tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23, NASB). All of us are sinners, and we must admit our need for a Savior.
2. Repent of your sins. Our sins create a wall that separates us from God. By confessing your sins and turning from them, you will find forgiveness. The Bible promises: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
3. Believe in Jesus. God wrought a miracle when He sent His only Son to die so that He could pay for all our sins. Put your faith in Him and believe in His power to save you. The Bible says, "'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life'" (John 3:16).
4. Receive His salvation. God has given us a great gift in His Son, but we must receive His gift. Thank Him for loving and forgiving you, and ask Him to live in your heart. His promise to us is clear: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).
5. Confess your faith. The Bible assures us: "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9). You have been born again and are now part of God's family. Tell someone else what Jesus has done in your life!
Freelance writer Jeanne Rogers lives with her husband in Keller, Texas.
Charisma is raising funds for Bev Kline's ministry. Send your tax deductible gifts to Christian Life Missions, P.O. Box 952248, Lake Mary, FL 32795-2248. You can call Living Alternatives at 800-447-2891.
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