Several months ago I had the privilege of reading and reviewing Susanne Maynes’ first book, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn. You can read my review on Amazon. I was so impressed with Susanne’s devotional book that I bought copies to give to friends.
Susanne Maynes has the credentials for writing such a book. She has been involved in life-affirming ministry for ten years, is the Counseling Director at Life Choices Clinic, a pregnancy resource center in Lewiston, Idaho, and is certified as a Biblical Counselor by the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors. She has been married to Scott for 34 years, and they have three married sons and four delightful grandchildren (so far). Susanne blogs about church and culture, spiritual growth, and Christian parenting at susannemaynes.com, and regularly guest posts for Heartbeat International’s pregnancyhelpnews.com.
This interview is about her book, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn.
- What prompted you to start writing Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion?
Entering the world of pregnancy resource center ministry was eye-opening and life-changing for me. Although I considered myself pro-life, I was the sheltered church lady who didn’t have a clue about the issues surrounding most unplanned pregnancies. As my passion for this ministry grew, I began writing poems based on my conversations and interactions at the clinic.
A few years ago, my husband came home from a Great Turnaround training event with Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. As Scott described how Bruce had asked the group, “What does God want done?” I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Forty poems.”
I assembled the poems I was writing, along with some I’d already published, and wrote daily devotionals to go with them to create a 40-day journey toward pro-life ministry.
- They say an author should write their book for an audience of one. Who was the “audience” that inspired you to write this book?
One day years ago, a lady came to the clinic in hopes of volunteering with us. Each time I explained an area of ministry where she could help, her response was, “Oh, I don’t think I could do that.”
I could see that she had much to offer young people facing unplanned pregnancies, yet her fears prevented her from ministering. She never did join our team. I want to encourage others who’ve let intimidation hold them back. The field is white and the laborers few!
- Other books exist which explain the pro-life mission and invite people to join the cause. What makes this book unique?
I greatly appreciate, and have quoted, authors like Randy Alcorn (Why Prolife) and John Ensor (Answering the Call). Their material has been a great help to me. John gave me some personal tips for my manuscript, for which I am extremely grateful.
What makes my book unique is its format as an educational devotional. Each day’s poem serves as a word picture engaging the right side of the brain. Next comes the day’s reading, including relevant statistics and facts, and then a related Scripture verse. Last, there’s a journaling prompt so readers can process what they’ve read that day.
In this way, I take you, the reader, inside the four walls of a pregnancy enter so you can experience how this ministry works, how vital it is, and what it would look like to participate.
- In what ways is pregnancy center ministry a non-threatening yet highly effective way to do pro-life work?
Pregnancy center work is a great way to change our culture one conversation at a time. We tend to stay out of the political arena. There’s no need to hold up signs or be publically confrontational.
Offering compassion, hope and help during a pregnancy decision process is a very effective way to save lives and share the gospel, because lives change when people know you care.
- In what ways is pregnancy center ministry more challenging than other parachurch ministries?
We are very careful with confidentiality. The folks we serve are not proud of the fact that they are considering abortion (or have had one). It’s difficult to find those who are willing to let their stories be told.
Additionally, many whom we serve live in poverty and deal with other issues besides unplanned pregnancies. That means their lives aren’t necessarily made “all better” when they make a decision for life for their child.
This can be difficult for our supporters to understand, because they love to see a live baby at fundraising events, and hear a dramatic story of turnaround. Those kinds of live testimonies can be few and far between.
- You’ve been doing this ministry for ten years. What inspires you to keep going?
I love partnering with God in bringing the good news of the gospel into people’s lives. At the clinic, I’ve had far more opportunities than ever before to talk about Jesus, introduce people to him, pray for them, and ask them good questions to help them grow in their knowledge of God.
I’ve been richly blessed to participate in helping save the lives of people who may otherwise have died in the womb. I’ve experienced exponential growth in my understanding of culture and how to encourage people toward faith in Christ. I get to reflect both God’s justice and his mercy.
All this, and there’s an eternal reward coming as well!
- Any final encouraging words?
If I can do this, you can, too. There are women and men who need you to come alongside them. There are pre-born children whom you could help rescue from abortion. Maybe God has poured more into you than you realize. Maybe he’s prepared you for this ministry for such a time as this.
I hope and pray you’ll go on this 40-day journey to find out.