LifeFirst is a pro-life organization that wants to change the hearts and minds of people who consider abortion and euthanasia as a viable option. In fact, they want to make both unthinkable.
And in order to do that, it helps to reach people when they are still young and forming impressions. With that end in mind, LifeFirst is offering student contests that engage kids in conversation, teach them how to answer to pro-life objections, and yes, make some money along the way.
LifeFirst sponsors five pro-life student contests which span second grade through college. As students work through the contests, they come out the other side inspired and equipped with a ready answer, spoken in love about the value of life. They can then better share the message of life with people in their sphere of influence. And students don’t do the contests in a vacuum. Other family members such as parents, siblings and even grandparents take part in conversations generated by the contests and also get inspired and equipped to answer objections to pro-life.
Right now, students have an opportunity to compete in LifeFirst’s spring contests, which conclude at the end of February. The Fine Art Contest, the Video Contest and the Oratory Contest each offer a $1000 First Prize and a $500 Second Prize. Third place prizes vary per contest. “We encourage every family to make use of these important tools and conversation starters!” said Executive Director Teresa Strack. Information and on-line registration is available at lifefirst.org under the Student Activities tab.
LifeFirst launched officially on December 1, 2019, when the leadership team of LifeFirst realized that the pro-life movement needed more focus on a grassroots attitude shift. “We pray for and celebrate every pro-life law and judicial ruling that protects lives. However, until we get to a tipping point in society of people demanding that life be protected, we will continue to struggle to get pro-life laws and rulings in place and keep them in place. We know that this is true, historically. At the turn of the 1900s, abortion was illegal in every state. However, due to the Great Depression and the sexual revolution, we lost the attitudinal support for the value of life – for the value of children. We have got to build that foundation again. “It is essential if we are to achieve a permanent return to a respect for life,” said Strack.
To accomplish this work, LifeFirst pursues a three-pronged approach of prayer, education and direct care. Strack explained, “Prayer initiatives are a huge part of our efforts because in the end, it is only God that can change individual hearts and minds.” LifeFirst also does a lot of outreach in the area of education, including their student contests, pro-life college scholarships, a When Does Life Begin social media campaign, and monthly information meetings.
“The work of LifeFirst is important because respect for life is the moral and civic issue of our day,” explained Strack. “Morally there is no other issue with as much loss of life and suffering. Civically, our nation was built on the foundational principles of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All our rights as citizens start with the right to life. I love this quote from Thomas Jefferson: ‘The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.’ Our nation’s very character will be determined by this issue.”
Strack believes that her testimony and walk as a Christian demand that she speak up against abortion, which she sees not just as a violent assault upon women and unborn children, but also a repudiation of God himself. She said, “God is the author and giver of life. Our very testimony of who God is is muted when we do not stand for the value of life. Not only that, but we miss out on an opportunity to point people toward Him and His Son, Jesus.”
Strack points to James 1:27, which says, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” She added, “There are none more orphaned than the unborn. Oftentimes the young women seeking abortions have been abandoned by the fathers of their babies to deal with the crisis pregnancy alone. We must offer them help.”
LifeFirst can’t do it alone. They need people to pray, both privately and outside abortion facilities. Strack notes that the group prays peacefully as the last line of hope and offers the women information about area pregnancy care centers. This is important, she said, because “we need to be where the hurting people are and where the life and death decisions are being made.”
There are plenty of other ways to get involved. Those who are interested can participate in pro-life college scholarships, monthly meetings, or community booths, so they will be equipped to have important conversations with people in their sphere of influence. The new social media campaign, When Does Life Begin, is an opportunity for volunteers to promote the value of life from the comfort of their living room. Information about When Does Life Begin is available at lifefirst.org/when-does-life-begin/.
People can also partner with LifeFirst through giving. Like other non-profits, LifeFirst was forced to cancel their annual fundraising banquet due to COVID, so financial support is greatly needed.