Benjamin and Kirsten Watson Donate Ultrasound Machine to Baptist Community Health Services in New Orleans

Benjamin and Kirsten Watson, shown with ERLC President Russell Moore (right), gave an ultrasound machine through the Psalm 139 Project to Baptist Community Health Services in New Orleans. Photo by Chandler McCall

Southern Baptists celebrated the power of partnership with a veteran National Football League player and his family in dedicating a new ultrasound machine in a New Orleans health center.

Benjamin and Kirsten Watson, along with their five children, joined in the dedication of the new addition to the ministry of Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS). The Watsons donated the ultrasound machine in the fall through the Psalm 139 Project, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s ministry to help place such technology in pregnancy resource centers across the country.

The machine serves women in crisis pregnancies as well as others with medical needs at BCHS’ Andrew P. Sanchez Center in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The nonprofit ministry provides health care through four centers in underserved areas of the city. The churches of the New Orleans Baptist Association, with the help of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, launched BCHS in 2014.

Speakers at the Feb. 10 ceremony at the Sanchez Center pointed to the cooperation demonstrated by the ultrasound machine’s placement.

“It’s been great to see how the Lord has used the passions of the Watson family being stirred by the Spirit of the Lord to find a partner who shares that same Spirit, linking resources, building networks all for the glory of God,” said Shawn Powers, BCHS’ chief executive officer.

ERLC President Russell Moore told the audience that included BCHS staff and board members that he is thankful “to partner with all of you and with the Watson family today.”

Watson, a tight end who retired at the close of this season after a 15-year career, told the BCHS community that his family is “very, very thankful to be a part of what you all are doing. We’re thankful that God placed us here for this time and made these connections, made these relationships…. We’re very humbled to play a role.”

Powers said BCHS’ partnership with the Psalm 139 Project “has been huge. It’s allowed us to feel somewhat like, ‘Yes, we’re a part of God’s Kingdom in a new way,’ being refreshed and encouraged.'”

Moore, in a written release before the dedication ceremony, said he is “excited to see how this machine will be used as a powerful instrument to help protect unborn children and mothers across the city of New Orleans. Ministries like BCHS play an indispensable role in advocating for human dignity, and I pray this placement would help them continue to flourish and serve” New Orleans.

The Watsons also collaborated with Psalm 139 earlier in 2018 when they largely funded an ultrasound machine for the Severna Park (Md.) Pregnancy Clinic outside Baltimore, where Benjamin played for the NFL’s Ravens the previous season. They made the donation — which resulted in the machine being installed in June — through the Evangelicals for Life (EFL) partnership of the ERLC and Focus on the Family.

Watson, who played the final season of his career with the New Orleans Saints, said the idea for donating ultrasound machines was birthed in his wife Kirsten a decade earlier when she was pregnant with their first child, Grace, now 10. Kirsten is now pregnant with twins.

The Watsons were visiting with the ERLC and Focus on the Family at the EFL conference in Washington, D.C., when they learned of the organizations’ collaboration in placing ultrasound machines. They realized, he said, “Why reinvent the wheel? This is our opportunity.

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Source: Baptist Press