Parent Life Lubbock

Parent Life

Renee Morales

The Parent Life ministry was established in Lubbock in September of 2007. Area Director, Renee Morales, started the Parent Life ministry in Lubbock after learning of the extremely high teen pregnancy rate in the area. Statistics say the younger a parent is and the less resources available to them, the higher the likelihood of abuse and neglect occurring. God placed a strong desire in Renee's heart to reach out to these young moms and dads with support, encouragement, education, resources and most of all, the unconditional love of God. She became a strong advocate for the idea that being pro-life meant more than asking a girl to choose life for her baby. Rather, it meant that if that girl chose to give birth to her baby, then she would need a community of people to stand beside her and guide her as she raised that baby.

Parent Life Lubbock started with 5 teen moms at our first meeting in 2007.  Since then, hundreds of teen moms and dads and their children have found hope, love, grace, and a place to start over by walking through our doors. Parent Life has become a second home to our young families. The Parent Life ministry's holistic approach allows staff and volunteers to work towards meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of teen parents and their children.

Can you share with us a story of someone who has been changed by your ministry?

"We have been building authentic Christ sharing relationships with teen moms and teen dads in the Lubbock area for 13 years now. During that time we have had the privilege of walking through life and parenting with countless teen parents and their precious babies. There are so many stories that it’s hard to choose just one. One of the things we do regularly at Parent Life is host a baby shower 4 times a year for babies who are born or due to be born during that season. Many times over the years I have been asked by people why we have baby showers for teen parents. A lot of people feel that throwing a baby shower means that we support teen pregnancy. So I recently asked our teen parents to share with me in what ways their Parent Life baby shower most helped them. One of our girls, Haylee, had her son, Ben, very prematurely. He weighed a mere 1.7 pounds at birth! He had been in NICU for over 4 months before he was allowed to go home so we included Haylee and Ben in our summer baby shower after he was released from NICU at 4 months old. He had barely reached the size of a typical newborn! Haylee had been attending Parent Life’s weekly group throughout the time Ben was in NICU and although she attended faithfully, she was quiet and kept to herself. Based on her conversations in her small group and her posts I saw on facebook, I knew that Haylee was not religious and wasn’t too interested in knowing about Jesus. But she continued to come. And our mentors continued to love her and Ben unconditionally. And even though she wasn’t sure about the whole “Jesus stuff,” Haylee welcomed prayer for her son’s health and for herself as his mom. So when Haylee was the first one to send me a message in response to my question about what the baby showers meant to them, I was amazed at her response: “The Parent Life baby shower helped me. Not only because I didn’t really have anything for Ben due to having him so early, but because I didn’t have friends and not many family members supporting me. Parent Life is my second family. Y’all take care of me. I look forward to going every Tuesday. The baby shower wasn’t just about getting gifts for Ben. It meant so much more to me because you celebrated his life with me. Jennifer, my Parent Life mentor mom, prayed over him and it gave me strength and a sense of relief that I wasn’t by myself in this. All I needed was hope to continue praying that Ben would get better.”

God was already working in Haylee’s heart even when it seemed that she had a wall up! I look forward to watching what God continues to do in Haylee and Ben’s lives as we continue to do life with them and it truly is because of the faithful partnership with Aldersgate and our other supporters that we are able to have these life changing God moments with young moms and dads."

Please tell us how we can pray for your ministry?

"We are coming out of a very tough season in ministry filled with loss and disappointment.We recently had to let go of both of my staff due to some serious moral failure situations. This has caused a lot of pain and confusion for our teens who looked up to them and who don’t understand why things turned out this way. It has been a time of discouragement and grief for me as I was their mentor and friend for the last 12 years and I am not only grieving losing them as friends (not by my choice), but also the plans and dreams we had for the future of YFC and the Parent Life ministry in Lubbock. We are currently at an extreme low in funding as well, because the timing of this situation caused us to have to cancel our annual gala and we lost several donors. Please pray that God will continue to keep me emotionally and spiritually filled during this season and that he will continue to bring the resources, both in people and funding, to continue the ministry that He started here."

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