This is part 4 of 4 in a series of posts about the staff members and volunteers of If Not for Grace, a Lee’s Summit based organization that ministers to the abortion-wounded. You can also read the stories of the If Not for Grace founder, Lori Driggs; Director of Ministry Services, Jama Edlund; or Linda Burgess, member of the Community Awareness team.
“Right now, it’s hard to imagine how I would replicate the richness of this experience,” Mindy Beyer said. “I couldn’t imagine life without this…what would I do? Watch American Idol? I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have If Not for Grace.”
Mindy, the Donor Relations Coordinator for If Not for Grace, doesn’t have the story many would expect of a volunteer at a ministry for the abortion-wounded. She never had an abortion, and when she started volunteering at If Not for Grace, she couldn’t even name someone she knew who had had an abortion.
“Well…what are you doing here then?” Lori Driggs, ministry founder, asked Mindy when they first met.
“I feel like the Holy Spirit wanted me to call and offer to facilitate one of your classes,” Mindy replied honestly.
Mindy had been searching out opportunities to serve for years, having grown up in the church and in relationship with Jesus. She asked Jesus to come into her heart at eight years old and has continued to walk through life with Him ever since.
“That has been the greatest blessing ever. It has really kept me from developing a life of regret,” she said.
When she was 16, she co-led a mission trip to inner-city Philadelphia and saw poverty for the first time. Later that year, she went on another mission trip to Mexico and again witnessed devastating poverty. Those two trips birthed in her a burden for people living in poverty and for living a life of service.
In college, Mindy majored in social work and minored in biblical studies. As life went on, she worked with the mentally ill homeless, drug addicts, and people on dialysis. She got married and continued attending and serving at the same church where she had first accepted Jesus. There, at different times, she coordinated small groups, served on the worship team and pastoral prayer team, watched toddlers on Wednesday nights, and planned church social events.
“All the things I was doing, while good things, weren’t really stretching things. They didn’t require sacrifice,” she said. God had been pointing out this fact to her for about a month when several members of If Not for Grace stood up on a Sunday morning to share their stories.
“They kept using this word ‘post-abortion,’” Mindy said. “And I thought, ‘Okay, I’m an intelligent person. I can figure this out. ‘Post-abortion,’ after abortion…oh, these people have all had abortions. And they’re talking about it as though we should be able to relate to that…which means people in my congregation have probably had abortions too.”
Mindy couldn’t recall ever having heard the word abortion from the pulpit before, but as she listened that day, she felt God prompting her, saying, “I would love for you to call Lori and offer to help facilitate the Her Choice to Heal classes.”
So, that’s what Mindy did.
Since then, she has served as a facilitator of several Her Choice to Heal classes and has helped at all but two or three of the Reconciliation Weekends that have occurred since she joined If Not for Grace. She served as a board member for six years, wrote articles for newsletters, and helped coordinate fundraisers. Then, when her term on the board ended, she became the Donor Relations Coordinator.
Along the way to becoming Donor Relations Coordinator, Mindy took several classes through the National Christian Foundation, which have transformed the way she approaches topics like money and giving. Today, she has a large stack of books that have each played a special role in teaching her about generosity. She has learned to invest time in the causes she gives to, to view everything she has as belonging to God, and to think honestly about how much money she needs to save vs. give. As a result of this journey, she even decided to include If Not for Grace in her will.
All of this learning has dramatically affected the way she fulfills her role as Donor Relations Coordinator.
“We don’t want our donors to feel like ATM machines,” she said. “We want them to grow in their faith when they give. We want them to feel like they’re investing in God’s kingdom – that they’re being a good steward by giving, and that we will steward that gift well when they give it.”
Today, after nearly eight years of serving with If Not for Grace, Mindy can’t imagine her life without it.
“When you hear about God being a healer and redeemer, it’s one thing to know that in your mind and another to see it in life after life after life…it’s highly addicting,” she said. “Being eyewitness to seeing God’s work is worth any amount of time given in service.”