NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the International Mission Board (IMB) have partnered together for the first time to place an international ultrasound machine as part of the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project.

The ultrasound machine was placed this October in a clinic in Southeast Asia, located within a community where IMB personnel Jacob Stanley* serves.

“God continues to work in abundantly great ways as the Psalm 139 Project and ERLC provided a high-quality machine in a desperately needed area,” Stanley said.

The machine was donated to Eternal Peace Primary Care Clinic, which serves the Coffee People of Southeast Asia.

Although this placement marks the second international ultrasound machine donated and placed through the Psalm 139 Project, it is the first time the ERLC and the IMB have directly partnered together to place a machine in a community where IMB personnel is ministering.

“This partnership is a demonstration of the body of Christ working together,” Stanley said. “We are extremely grateful for the prayer and financial support. Please pray we can continue to share boldly about how Jesus can save lives, physically and spiritually. Our goal is to serve with the love of Christ.”

Along with the physical placement of the ultrasound machine, the ERLC also provides necessary training for operation of the equipment to staff at each pregnancy center.

This placement’s training was done on behalf of the ERLC by a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), who installed the machine on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The medical staff at Eternal Peace then scanned patients Thursday through Saturday (Oct. 26-28) but took a short break on Thursday for a worship service to celebrate the goodness of God.

The RDMS was blown away by the atmosphere at the clinic.

“I cannot express enough how grateful and welcoming the staff were,” he said. “Every day a group of pastors would come in, sing praise, and the doctor would thank me every moment he could, then eat a lot of prepared food from the staff.”

Some of the specific goals the clinic has for the ultrasound machine include:

  • Support precise and accurate clinical assessment for disease or pregnancy
  • Increase the knowledge and care of residents about health and pregnancy
  • Increase the motivation/understanding of pregnant women that the baby inside the womb is a precious life from God
  • Fulfill the basic healthcare service needs of people near the Eternal Peace Primary Care Clinic

Several of these goals are aligned with the reasons the Psalm 139 Project began back in 2001.

Research has shown that women are much more likely to continue their pregnancy if they are offered the option to view their baby’s ultrasound image in a supportive pregnancy center.

This led the ERLC to begin the program, which is designed to raise money to provide ultrasound equipment and necessary training to pregnancy resource centers. One hundred percent of all money donated toward the project goes to funding these ultrasound placements and subsequent trainings.

Since the project’s inception, it has funded two or three machine placements per year. This was until December 2020, when the ERLC outlined a goal to place 50 ultrasound machines in pregnancy centers by January of 2023.

As a result of these efforts, more than 85 ultrasound machines have been placed through the Psalm 139 Project to date. This year has seen 12 of these placements, including the one in Southeast Asia.

Rachel Wiles, ERLC deputy chief of staff and director of the Psalm 139 Project, said she hopes this milestone partnership with the IMB will ultimately lead to Gospel opportunities.

“As Southern Baptists, we are a people who are focused on supporting international missions and who stand for life,” Wiles said.

“With this first-ever Psalm 139 Project ultrasound machine placement to staff with the International Mission Board, these two Southern Baptist passions have come together in a beautiful way. Not only will women now see the life of their unborn child, but we also pray that this new access will provide more pathways to sharing the hope of the Gospel.”

More information about the Psalm 139 Project can be found here.

*named changed for security reasons