Hospitality Extends Beyond the Home

Hospitality Extends Beyond the Home
Hospitality Extends Beyond the Home

“Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.” Jesus, a resting place for the needy, overworked, lonely people of this world, is the ultimate example of hospitality. While, yes, He walked on this earth during a time where hospitality was highly valued in society, this calling didn’t end with His ascension. However, it seems as time has stretched on, the culture we live in doesn’t always hold hospitality in high regard.

Caring Network is a pro-life organization based in DuPage County that has been providing free pregnancy services since 1981. Our six centers offer women facing unexpected pregnancies a place to turn for assistance, compassion, and care. We believe hospitality is a calling that can be lived out not only at home and with friends but also at work!

 To find out how you can get involved with us in being hospitable beyond your home, give us a call.

What is Hospitality?

When we consider Biblical hospitality, what comes to mind? Perhaps we think of the story of Mary and Martha—how they opened their home to Jesus and provided a place for Him to rest and to eat. Maybe we consider the countless times people and families provided sustenance to weary travelers and soldiers throughout the Old Testament. Or even our first thought about hospitality may be the opening of our homes and offering a meal to others. What exactly is hospitality? And does it consist of aspects outside of the home?

If we correlate hospitality with having a home, we might not be able to connect the dots. Looking at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of hospitable, we see:

  • Given to generous and cordial reception of guests
  • Promising or suggesting a generous and friendly welcome
  • Offering a pleasant or sustaining environment

When considering the word ‘guest’ we might only correlate that to somebody entering our home.  However, one of the definitions of guest is: “a person to whom hospitality is extended.”

Jesus on Hospitality

Let’s take some time to look specifically at the life of Jesus. Many of the stories we have about His life are during the years of His public ministry—seemingly, life on the road.

Is it possible to extend hospitality to a ‘guest’ outside of the home? The life of Jesus says yes, absolutely. In His days of ministry, Jesus offered the home of His heart to both stranger and alien, to injured and broken, to woman and child alike.

Being human Himself, Jesus knew how much people yearned for space to be themselves and to not pretend anymore—how they wished they could drop the mask and have somebody really just be with them. How often do we crave that authentic connection and a truly listening ear? Jesus offered that wherever He went. He was welcoming in and of Himself. It wasn’t just His abode or a special meal (although He definitely did feed people!) that made people feel cared for and loved. The personhood of Jesus exuded (and still exudes) the art of hospitality.

How Do We Practice Hospitality?

So, as 21st-century followers of Christ, what does this mean for us? How do we practice hospitality beyond our homes? If we draw on the life of Jesus and on stories from the Bible, we can come up with a few ways to be a hospitable people:

  • Be present through doing “nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
  • Active listening by being “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
  • Have encouraging conversations and “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
  • Meet physical needs, for “what good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
  • Go the extra mile and “give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42).

Pro-Life Hospitality

When we practice hospitality as a spiritual discipline, we show people that they matter and that they are not alone. This is an extraordinarily pro-life way to live!

We know that Jesus set the perfect example to follow in loving others. We desire to mold our lives, our homes, and our workplace around his value of life and display of hospitality. Partnering with organizations like Caring Network who are on the front lines of championing life is a great way to practice hospitality. At Caring Network, we have needs and openings for prayer partners, volunteers, and various other support roles.

You can find out more by contacting us today!



Pro-Life Legislation Updates!

Pro-Life Legislation Updates!

Pro-Life Legislation Updates

Living in the state of Illinois, it is easy to feel discouraged as there is a lack of pro-life legislation. We continue to watch the state of California, as attempts are made to expand the scope of abortion and restrict the influence of pro-life organizations. But in several other States, this is not the case. There is significant progress on the pro-life front to be recognized and celebrated.

Louisiana and Mississippi Pass Pro-life Legislation

Louisiana SB534 is a bill protecting a pregnant woman from coerced abortion and defining coerced abortion as a crime of violence. It was approved by both the Louisiana state Senate and House. This bill prohibits any form of physical coercion or threat of coercion, including withholding financial support from a minor.  Violations could warrant fines up to $5,000 and imprisonment up to five years.  In addition, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed Senate Bill 181 into law, effectively banning abortions after 15 weeks. The law will only take effect if a similar law in Mississippi is upheld by a federal court.  In March, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the abortion ban, House Bill 1510, into law.  The next day a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order on behalf of Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion facility in Mississippi.

Iowa Passes Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Ban

In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a fetal heartbeat bill into law, effectively banning abortion after the point at which a heartbeat can be detected.  In many cases, this could prevent abortion after about six weeks of gestation. The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and represents the most significant restriction on abortion passed since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in 1973. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Iowa branch filed a suit against the state of Iowa in May.  In early June, Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert said that he would grant a temporary injunction against the law, while the lawsuit challenging its constitutionality is settled. The injunction will prevent the law from being enforced during the process of litigation.

Caring Network Illinois Provides Practical Help & Saves Lives

While pro-life advocates work to advance the case for life, Caring Network Illinois focuses on providing compassionate and practical help to anyone impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. In spite of the legal status of abortion in Illinois and how it may change over time, Caring Network is committed to providing this critical support. Many women who seek support at Caring Network have pressing fears and require resources to meet vital needs. Caring Network Illinois partners with hundreds of local organizations, and can provide or refer for assistance with housing, food, baby supplies, and more.  Get involved with us!

Why YOU Should Attend Our 2018 Walk for Caring Network

Why YOU Should Attend Our 2018 Walk for Caring Network

Each year, Caring Network puts on our annual Walk for Caring Network. The Walk takes place in multiple locations around DuPage County. On June 16, the day before Father’s Day, we will have three Walk locations. What a great way to celebrate family together! Each Walk begins at a local church. The locations are: Grace for Life Bible Church in Naperville, St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, and Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wood Dale.

The Walk Includes Breakfast, Prizes, and Activities

Our Walks are a wonderful family-friendly event to attend. If you ask us, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a Saturday morning spent outside with family and friends, surrounded by your community, enjoying a fresh, complementary breakfast (as well as a cup of life-giving I Have A Bean coffee at our Wheaton location), and going for a Walk…all to support a great cause–empowering women and saving lives! What’s holding you back from joining old friends and new for a bright morning of encouragement on June 16th? We begin with a quick ministry update, a few uplifting stories, and a prayer for the women and families we are serving that week. We continue with a neighborhood walk to demonstrate support for life, and support for Caring Network Pregnancy Services of DuPage. Additionally, for every $100 you fundraise, you will be entered into a drawing for several great prizes, including dinner packages or a pair of Cubs tickets for a date in July. Or, if you are feeling a bit more competitive, attend the fun run at our Naperville site for a chance to win another great prize! At the Naperville run site, prizes will be awarded to the top man, woman and youth runners.

Help Raise Awareness As Well As Funds

The purpose of our Walk is to raise awareness in the community, to spend time with our amazing supporters, and to raise funds, so that Caring Network Illinois can continue to make birthdays happen by strengthening families and saving innocent lives. Our goal is to raise $65,000 through Walk 2018, to support all of the free services that Caring Network provides: counseling services, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, ongoing practical support and resource liaising, so that women are empowered to choose life and families are enabled to be strong and healthy.

Join the Walk in Person or Online

Will you join us on June 16th from 9:00am–11:00am at one of our three Walk locations? Check-in and breakfast begin at 8am, so come early if you’d like to share food and fellowship before the program starts. There will also be activities for the kids. Visit for all the details.

Busy on June 16th? Fear not, you can still walk virtually by joining the online event, going on now through the end of June. Set up a social fundraising page and invite your friends and family to sponsor or join you. To learn more about the quick and easy setup of a social fundraising page, visit: To learn more about how social fundraising works, we have outlined that in another post.

Abortion as Liberty

Is This Justice for All?

The pro-abortion movement redefines abortion as “reproductive rights,” and celebrates the autonomy of the individual through that choice. Hard core proponents believe that there can be no flexibility in this position. In response to the news that congressional Democrats are willing to fund pro-life Democratic candidates, feminist author Lindy West wrote, “This issue represents everything Democrats purpose to stand for . . . . To be anti-choice on a policy level is absolutely indefensible from an economic justice, racial justice, gender justice and human rights standpoint.” She continues, “Abortion is not a fringe issue. Abortion is liberty.” This philosophy is driven by the ability of the strong (those who succeed in coming into the world) to control and eliminate the weak (unborn children). This “liberty” is only procured for one group, at the expense of the other, and is in conflict with the concept of “liberty and justice for all.” Abortion continues to be sold as a force for social good. Yet at Caring Network, we see the devastation that abortion causes to women and to entire families. And what about the effect on a society willing to tolerate the elimination of 60 million unique humans? Let’s be clear. Abortion is both a personal and a national tragedy. Rather than celebrate it, our country should be united in working to help women who feel they have no other choice.

Beth Rockouski

Actions Speak Louder

The Traditionalism of Many Progressives

It has been reported that Millennials are very socially progressive. According to a 2017 Pew Research survey, most Millennials support liberal views on abortion, sex, the death penalty and other issues. However their personal actions indicate a desire for other traditional paradigms. At Brown University, 75% of students said they wanted to be in a committed, monogamous relationship. Only 12% of Brown students were regularly hooking up with more than one partner. The same was true at Stanford, where 86% of students wanted to be in a committed relationship. Among affluent Americans, marriage is still desired. College-educated women and men marry at traditional rates, and divorce at half the rate of people without a degree. The most elite circles of American life are the most critical of traditional living; yet they are some of the most traditional in their own life choices. Affluent women have resources that help them make good life choices. But many women need help because of lack of support from family or significant others. Caring Network is here to help them with emotional support and solutions to real life problems. All women deserve an opportunity to experience God’s plan for a flourishing life. Caring Network exists to help women and their families do just that.



Dunkirk, the Movie

Dunkirk, the Power of Prayer

The blockbuster movie of the summer appears to be Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk”.  The WWII story of the rescue by sea of an entire British army facing annihilation by the Nazis has captured the hearts of many Americans.  The facts are simple.  On May 10th, 1940, Hitler ordered a military onslaught on France and Belgium that resulted in the British Army and other Allied soldiers having their backs to the sea and being surrounded by German troops.  Facing certain death, the order was given to attempt an evacuation by sea.  Eight Hundred ships sailed to the coast of France and rescued 338,000 soldiers from the beaches, returning them to Britain.  It is less well known that a week before the rescue, King George VI requested that the following Sunday be observed as a National Day of Prayer, as the country was dealing with the upcoming annihilation of so many troops.  Photographs confirm that many people went to church and congregations and cathedrals were filled with people beseeching God for the deliverance of these troops.  Their prayers were answered, and later that week the miracle of rescue occurred.  What do we learn from this story?  Certainly, the Dunkirk story encourages Christians to pray to our God of rescue.  Caring Network is a ministry devoted to the power of prayer.  Our staff prays for one another, for those we serve, for strength and for wisdom. We know that it is only God who can change a heart bent on abortion. What a blessing to serve in his mission to rescue children and empower moms.



Simon’s Law

Haven’t Heard of It

In the wake of the Charlie Gard case, the Federalist posted an article on the need for states to implement “Simon’s Law,” to prevent such a case from occurring in the US. At issue is parental authority—who makes the decision for life or death in such tragic circumstances. The article talks about an infant, Simon Crosier, and his family. Simon, like Charlie, was born with a serious congenital illness that required life-sustaining medical treatment. His condition was quickly labeled “incompatible with life” by the medical personnel treating him and, unknown to his parents, a DNR order was placed in his medical chart. The parents were hoping that as he grew, Simon would be eligible for corrective heart surgery. This did not happen. Instead, after Simon’s death, his parents learned that only “comfort feeds” had been authorized, thus ensuring his death. Simon’s Law, passed by the state of Kansas, sought primarily to combat the trend of medical providers secretly placing DNR orders on the medical charts of seriously ill infants. In Simon’s case, the medical personnel made the decision that Simon’s life was not worth living, and that any further medical treatment was futile. Many times in our culture, people make the judgment that the child of an unplanned pregnancy will suffer from abuse or other hardship. This belief is often used as a reason for tolerating abortion. But just as in the cases of Charlie and Simon, all life should be given a chance. Our culture will be judged in future generations by how we treated those among us who were the most vulnerable. Certainly, we who follow Christ have a duty to protect “the least of these.” God bless you for your witness.



Who Gets to Choose?

Parents or Government?

The recent case of little Briton Charlie Gard, whose parents fought to provide him with experimental medical treatment to correct a congenital defect, has raised some interesting questions. In this case, the English courts ruled over the pleas of the parents that Charlie’s breathing tube should be removed so he could “die with dignity”. Charlie’s parents wanted to give him every chance they could at life, but were overruled by the courts. Questions have been raised about the decision-making capacity of parents. Who should make these decisions over life and death, parents or government? In certain cults, members do not believe in using medicine; yet a court may come in and force parents to seek medical treatment for their children. In the abortion debate, it has long been argued that abortion is an absolute right of parents and that government has no place in limiting the ability of the mother to choose that outcome for her child. Our culture has largely accepted mothers choosing abortion. Yet Caring Network exists to challenge that choice. Through compassion and resourcing, with love, we challenge moms to reexamine their decision and empower them to choose life. Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy believe abortion is their only choice, because they just can’t do it alone. Caring Network gives them hope and says, “Yes you can. We are here to help.” It is a privilege to serve in a life-affirming ministry that has given hope to so many.



Media Cover-Up?

Happy with Motherhood!

In June it was reported that a young Irish woman who was almost 25 weeks pregnant had requested an abortion, claiming that the pregnancy made her suicidal.  The Irish 2013 Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act allows abortion when the woman is deemed to be suicidal or at risk of loss of life from physical illness.  Her request was denied, because her psychiatrist ruled that abortion was not the solution to her problems.  The Irish press ran the young girl’s story implying that the reason that the abortion was denied was that the psychiatrist did not approve of the procedure and obviously the law should be changed to allow a woman to make that choice for herself.  Subsequently, a panel of experts overrode the psychiatrist and ruled that the pregnant woman could have the abortion.  But good news:  after developing a strong bond with her doctor, the young woman chose to carry her child.  She and her baby are now living happily with her family.  Of course, the media has not covered this part of the story.  This story reflects the work of Caring Network.  When vulnerable pregnant women are given caring support, decisions change and babies are born.  This scene is found every day in Caring Network’s counseling rooms.  Thank you for helping to make that possible.



A Baby is Born

Another Miracle Clothed in Flesh

In a recent article in the Federalist, Daniel Payne commented on witnessing the birth of his son.  He had seen the ultrasound, thoroughly grasped the biology, and been by his wife’s side through labor, but he was not prepared for what he saw.  “The one second there was nothing in my wife’s arms, the next here was a baby boy, pink and healthy and beautiful and priceless.  For one of the few times in my life I was rendered speechless, and properly so.  What do you say, after all, when you witness a miracle.”  Payne is amazed that simple nutrients, enzymes, lipids and nucleic acids can produce a baby boy.  “A few months ago I packed my wife an egg salad sandwich for lunch, and her body used that egg salad to help create our beautiful baby boy.  What is a miracle, if not that?”  Caring Network counselors shine light into dark places, helping women understand that what they have inside of them is not just a clump of cells, but another miracle clothed in flesh.  Caring Network’s medical team helps a woman visualize her child, seeing a heartbeat and watching her little miracle move and dance.  No woman who chose to carry her pregnancy has ever come back to say what a mistake it was.  However, many women who chose abortion have expressed their regrets.  Life is a miracle designed by God.  Let us treasure this great gift.