Jolene Naugle is a member of LifeSpring Christian Church in Greensburg, PA (River of Life Conference). Her parents serve the senior community while Jolene supports mothers and has continue to do so for over 10 years.
Jolene herself was a mom to older children because she had done the opposite of what most women, especially teachers, do: she chose to work while her children were younger believing that they would need her more when they were older. When she began her group, she was a full-time teacher, so they met on Saturdays.
Like many educators, she gave more to her students than to her own family which resulted in overwhelming feelings and dramatic health issues. Her “presence” did not mean she was present. At the same time, the moms’ group seemed more work than it was worth, and she considered stopping it altogether.
It was then that God gave Jolene a “thump” and asked her, “Why are you doing this? For Me or for you?” She realized her obedience was needed regardless of whether anyone showed up or not, and it changed her entire perspective.
She re-evaluated her heart and her meeting times: creating two seasonal 8-week sessions instead of weekly meetings resulting in much higher and better involvement. The impact of these seasonal sessions is especially obvious when 60%-70% of the women participating do not even attend Jolene’s church. This ministry is meant to help all women, no matter where they go to church.
Through this group, Jolene’s love of Women’s Ministries is personified. She has a “huge heart to walk through the mud of life with them [mothers]” while remaining church-focused and kingdom-minded. Women’s Ministries Director Whitney Davis shares, “It has been a joy to get to know Jolene over the last few years. She exemplifies faithfulness for the long haul. Jolene’s ministry to women and the Church is the result of saying “yes” and obeying the Lord over and over again. Many small acts of obedience have resulted in tremendous impact in the Kingdom. Jolene is a discipler, and she is a great example of what it looks like to pass down faith to the next generation. We celebrate Jolene!”
In 2018-2019, Jolene was drawn into the Women’s Conference and became a co-leader. The organization hosted a fundraising banquet for Life Choices Organization, a nonprofit, pro-life organization in four Pennsylvania counties that offers educational curriculum and medical clinics for women. At this time, Jolene wondered what else could be done to help support these women. It was then that she learned of Embrace Grace in Texas, a 12-week, nonprofit, faith-based support program for women who are single mothers or single expectant mothers.
The next question was how to bring this successful Texas program all the way north to Pennsylvania, and the answer was Jolene completing the required training on her own. This allowed her to create a small Embrace Grace team to minister to these women who were very apparently coming from difficult situations including prison, abuse, prostitution, and more.
This program allowed these single mothers to be served and opened Jolene up to help others in her church. Through her work, Jolene became the first safe, non-judgmental person whom post-abortive women could turn to. “1/4 of women in church and 1/3 of women worldwide are post-abortive,” Jolene shares.
Being a haven for these women truly touched Jolene’s heart. Her impact continued when, in December 2022, Jolene felt that God was telling her to put together an event for Sanctity of Life Month (January). She was not sure how it would all come together, but the Lord made it happen. She was able to rent a venue, secure a caterer, and schedule close to 30 resource vendors! Jolene reminds us: “God equips us.”
Over 100 people attended the event including politicians, teachers, and pastors. It was a life-affirming event that brought people together. “The unity was palpable, and it could not have been done except Christ and the Holy Spirit made it happen,” Jolene remembers.
Since the event, more pieces have fallen into place for Jolene. The Executive Director of Life Choices approached Jolene with a job offer: one created just for her. As the Area Doner Relations and Development Director, Jolene has the unique opportunity of connecting with pastors and people to serve women in their churches and in their communities.
These ‘divine appointments’ have led Jolene exactly where God wants her to be. She reveals, “God called me to missions. He said, ‘I’m preparing your mission field, and it’s going to be your community’”. Through Jolene’s work, she hopes to empower women, remind them of who they are in Jesus, affirm life, and help bring healing to those who need it most.
The Connections for Life Event will be taking place again this year on Thursday, January 25, from 5-7 PM at the Garden Civic Center in Greensburg, PA. For additional information, you can reach Jolene at Jolene@yourlifechoicesinfo.com.