When they came to Haggai, Marco and Carmen Saavedra didn’t expect they’d be working together to help vulnerable women. God had other ideas.
Haggai leaders and international training specialists Marco and Carmen Saavedra found their work taking a new direction after the Haggai Leader Experience.
Says Marco, “We realized we needed to extend the Gospel to women and children who need a safe place to go when the world has abandoned them.”
Marco and Carmen are respectively chair and board member for Centro de Vida (“Center for Life”), a place for pregnant women who are lost and have nowhere to go to seek the love of Christ.
“God confirmed in me the mission of working with hurt and rejected women, and, after that, God extended this mission to defend human life,” says Carmen.
It took Marco four months to realize that God was leading him in the same direction.
“I struggled in my mind as to how a man can be working in a women-oriented ministry,” he says, “but God told me that it was His purpose, so I said, ‘Yes, Lord. Here I am, send us where You want us to go.’”
Marco and Carmen facilitate training at the center on topics that include The Journey of a Life-Giver, Biblical Sexuality, Pregnancy Crisis Counseling, and Post- Abortion Restoration. They lead workshops and retreats on Biblical principles regarding pregnancy and life.
“These workshops,” says Marco, “bring us the opportunity to encourage women to speak about salvation and how Jesus can lead them to freedom.”
Eventually, Marco and Carmen would like to build a “Refuge House” – a safe place for pregnant women to stay when their partners or parents abandon them and the babies’ lives may be in danger.
Both of them point to their training at the Haggai Leader Experience as the event that made them recognize their calling – and their need to act on it.
“Before Haggai, I served the Lord in many ways for almost 20 years, but I didn’t feel that I was accomplishing the plans and purposes of God for my life,” says Carmen. “At the Haggai Leader Experience, God brought to my heart the call that He made to me when I first became a Christian, to work with hurt and rejected women.”
Marco and Carmen estimate that they have trained over 200 people in different conferences, workshops, and retreats that they have led with Centro de Vida and LIFE International. “We feel very privileged and grateful to be leaders of influence in our country,” says Carmen, “and we are doing our best to spread the Gospel more effectively.”