Chinese Couple Finds Help at Akron Pregnancy Services
by Cynthia K. Berry
One child. That is the law in China. So, when 28-year-old Ming discovered she was pregnant with her second child, she felt she had no choice. She dared not tell the head of the school where she taught for fear of being punished and fined. Instead, she called off sick and went to the hospital, accompanied by her husband, for an abortion.
Less than two months later, Ming's husband left for the United States to study for his Master's Degree at the University of Akron. One year later, Ming and her 2-year-old son were finally able to join him in Akron.
The impact of Ming's abortion did not hit her until she and her husband decided they would like to have more children while residing in the United States. Now a family of five, Ming often finds herself thinking, "What about that one?"
"I feel regretful. I don't know anything about that child. Was it a boy or a girl? I will never know," Ming reflects.
Ming's pregnancy is what brought her to Akron Pregnancy Services (APS), a Christ-centered ministry that provides practical help to women dealing pregnancy-related issues.. Many of her Chinese friends at the university told her about what APS had to offer. As two full-time students with little money, Ming and her husband found the services at APS too good to be true. The Center provided the couple with maternity clothes, baby wear, formula and toys. Most important, however, is the life training they are receiving.
"My husband and I have attended the pregnancy classes and the parenting training together. There is free childcare while we are in our classes, which is very nice. By attending, we earn vouchers that we use in the boutique to get things that we need," Ming explains. "We feel very grateful for their help."
Ming is also in a Bible study where she says she is "comparing and searching." As a child, Ming was raised with communistic beliefs, but several of her Chinese friends have converted to Christianity since coming to APS and being involved in area churches.
"I feel happy when I meet the people at APS. I feel joyful in my heart. I know I don't have to be afraid of anything when I am there," Ming says with relief in her voice. "They give me support for my babies. I know I can come to them with any problem or difficulty I have. It is plain to see how nice they are to everyone who enters their door."
From layettes to ongoing Bible studies, Ming's life has been forever changed by APS. But, the influence of APS is even more far-reaching, according to Ming. "More and more Chinese students are going to APS. We love the people there."