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St. Joseph Helpers host annual Legacy of Life dinner

‘War Room’ writer wants Christians to unite in prayer to save unborn children

Published: November 14, 2015      
Aprille Hanson
Filmmaker and pastor Alex Kendrick stands by the poster for his latest film “War Room,” with Nicole Lashbrook, executive director of the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center, at a Nov. 5 fundraiser for the center.

The Legacy of Life fundraiser to benefit Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center in Little Rock was a call to arms, with prayer strategy as the greatest force for change along with the “ammunition” of monetary donations.

“The church today needs to learn how to fight. They need to learn how to fight in prayer,” Alex Kendrick, a Christian filmmaker who served as the night’s guest speaker told the crowd of more than 500. “You and I have strategies for our kid’s education; we have strategies for our health … Some of you have financial strategies or retirement strategies. But how many of us have prayer strategies?”

The annual dinner and auction, held at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom in Little Rock Nov. 5, was hosted by St. Joseph’s Helpers, the ministry arm of the center. The event raises money for the annual operating budget of the center, a nonprofit that helps women in crisis who choose not to abort their baby. All care is free to clients.

Jennifer Gunderman, president of the St. Joseph Helpers board and member of Christ the King Church in Little Rock, said the center hoped to raise $175,000 from the event.

Having Alex Kendrick, a film writer, producer, director, actor and author, as this year’s guest speaker goes along with this year’s event theme of prayer strategy for families, Gunderman said.  

“I would say it’s a real honor to have him because of what he has done. He’s really a catalyst for such good,” Gunderman said. “He’s really a pastor at heart. He’s so authentic in his faith.” 

Kendrick, who runs Kendrick Brothers Productions with his two brothers, made his first film “Flywheel” in 2003 and gained notoriety for other Christian-based films released by Sony Pictures, including “Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008) and “Courageous” (2011). His fifth film, “War Room,” is about the power of prayer and how it turns a couple’s marriage and their family life around. 

While Kendrick’s speech was mostly jovial, he was firm in the belief that Christians need to go to battle for the unborn.

“I like doing these types of events because I believe in this cause. It’s interesting that in Nazi Germany we grieve over the Holocaust, the loss of six million lives when in America, we’re approaching 60 million abortions,” Kendrick said. “ … These are innocent lives and their blood calls out.”

At abortion clinics, Kendrick said there is a “spiritual battle” brewing, which has led his family to donate time and money to their local pregnancy resource centers. 

“So Christians, I love you. Followers of the Lord I love you, believers of Scripture I love you; we’ve got to do more,” Kendrick said. “So we need prayer, to fight in prayer, we need your volunteer help if you can and if you can’t, we need your ammunition and I’m talking about funds … Whoever wants the next generation the most, is going to get them.”

Aside from Kendrick’s presentation, a video was played showing women who have been helped by the center and each guest was given a prayer card with a woman’s name who has been helped to continue to pray for her and her family.

While Kendrick’s words moved the crowd to their feet, so did the testimony of Beryl Xu, a woman who said the center “changed my life.” As an international student from China, she became pregnant two years ago and was frightened after her now ex-boyfriend threatened her. He took her to the abortion clinic, but she prayed “really hard.”

“I said, ‘God I’m here, I need you. I really want to keep my baby but please give me a signal,’” and she saw a woman praying on the sidewalk and took her as the sign. She instead went to the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center and learned she was pregnant with twins.

“I cannot give up two lives because of a guy who threatened me,” Xu said, adding she’s found a support system from the workers at the center. “This is the first time I see all of you here who support this place. I really want to thank you, all of you; your support saved my life and my babies lives. Thank you.”

For more information about the center and how to volunteer or donate, visit

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