Texas Couple Wants to Build Huge Maternity Home to Help Pregnant Moms

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 8, 2022   |   12:27PM   |   Austin, Texas

Bryan and Aubrey Schlackman had no idea that most abortions would be banned in Texas when they started a new maternity home ministry in 2020.

They just wanted to help struggling moms.

Two years later, Texas is protecting most unborn babies by banning abortions once their heartbeats are detectable. And more pregnant mothers are finding help through ministries like the Schlackmans’ Blue Haven Ranch.

In an interview with WFAA News 8, the Schlackmans, of Argyle, said they felt called to help single moms after they began raising their own two children. Becoming parents themselves, they realized how difficult it is for a single parent to raise children on their own.

They began planning a new ministry, a ranch-based maternity home to provide shelter, financial assistance, educational classes, counseling and more for single pregnant mothers and their children.

In 2020, the Schlackmans incorporated Blue Haven Ranch and began parenting classes in their home. They also began to fundraise and recruit volunteers to help, according to the report.

Today, their ministry is housing mothers and children in apartments while providing financial assistance for groceries and bills, job training and educational classes, including gardening in the Schlackmans’ back yard. They raise chickens and collect eggs and grow fruit and vegetables in a greenhouse – all to help the families grow and thrive, the report continues.

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“That’s an extra source of income we can equip them with that’s practical and not a second job,” Aubrey told the news outlet.

Mothers also have more time to spend with their children, lessening the need for expensive day care, she continued.

Last year, their ministry caught the attention of the Washington Post and former Vice President Mike Pence, and with the added publicity came donations, the Schlackmans said. They used that money to pay for maternity leave for five mothers, including Gabby Gwynn, a 28-year-old mother of three.

Gwynn told the news outlet that she was struggling financially when she discovered she was pregnant with her third child, and she thought about having an abortion. Then, she found Blue Haven Ranch, and they supported her and her children through the toughest times.

“I actually was able to take eight weeks off,” Gwynn told the news outlet. “With my other two kids I didn’t get maternity leave.”

The ministry provides counseling and emotional support, too, because most of the mothers come from difficult or abusive situations.

Bryan said they are “unapologetically Christian and unapologetically pro-life.” But they do not force their beliefs on the women or judge them; they just show them Christ’s love.

“The moment you get in front of them you realize, ‘Oh man, I’m imperfect just like them,’” he said. “We’re no different. We’ve all made different mistakes or decisions that impacted our lives.”

Eventually, the Schlackmans said they want to buy land to build cottages, a barn and farm where single mothers and children can live and learn homesteading. Ultimately, their goal is to provide a safe haven for mothers and children to heal while offering long-term support and teaching them to become self-sufficient.

“We always want it to be when we finish this program with these women they are self-sufficient, and they don’t just have a good job now and good finances and a good place to live and healthy lifestyle – they have community,” Aubrey said. “That changes the mom’s life and her kids for the rest of their lives, and that makes me unbelievable happy.”