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But God…..

By Chastity Ogburn

Avery CountyChastity Ogburn Anne Ministries Avery County


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

I recently took a deeper look at the phrase “but God”. What exactly does it mean? When we read this phrase throughout scripture, it often describes our gracious and compassionate God intervening in certain situations or circumstances. God rescues and He redeems. When all seems lost or broken there is a “but God”. God steps in and saves.

I remember the day I was sitting in my Pastor’s office in Sanford, NC,  almost thirty years ago. I was hopeless and broken. I was in my early twenties and married with two children at the time. My marriage was broken, and I was bound by the guilt and shame of my past sin. But God…praise Jesus there was a “but God”  He showed up that day with His grace, forgiveness, and mercy. I accepted all that Jesus had for me. I walked away a different person that day because of Jesus.

But God wasn’t finished!

That day led me to meet Helen Rogers, the director of Reach Out Crisis Pregnancy Center in Sanford. My Pastor arranged for the two of us to meet. I remember meeting Ms. Helen for the first time. She loved me and shared with me how much Jesus loved me. Ms. Helen helped me work through the  Bible study “Forgiven and Set Free” a Bible study for post-abortive women. At the very young age of 16, I had two abortions, and I thought I could never be forgiven by God or forgive myself for what I had done. But God sent Ms. Helen and she met with me each week to work through the Bible study.  She showed me the love of Christ and helped me on my healing journey. Many years passed and I lost touch with Ms. Helen. I had never forgotten how God had brought her into my life and the impact she had made by loving and accepting me with the love of Christ.

In 2018, God called me to begin Anne Ministries. I began offering Bible studies and reaching out to those in our community who had suffered loss from abortion, miscarriage, and stillbirth.  God put on my heart in 2021 to reach out to Ms. Helen because He was calling me to expand the ministry to offer pregnancy support services. Ms. Helen had over 40 years of experience in pregnancy support ministries and she was then operating three centers.  I was able to contact Ms. Helen by phone and we immediately connected again after so many years. It had been almost 25 years since we had talked or seen each other. But God… I know this was part of His plan years earlier. He knew one day we would talk again and how much I would need her.

Ms. Helen for over two years mentored me, prayed for the ministry, and was such an encouragement and support to not only me personally but to Anne Ministries. She did our first volunteer training when we opened the ministry.  Ms. Helen became sick with colon cancer in 2022. She had major surgery to remove the tumor just weeks before speaking at our Fall for Life banquet. I remember talking with her by phone before she came up for the banquet.  She was still recovering and healing but remained excited to come and share Jesus with everyone at the banquet. But God, she said, that’s my new phrase. He had healed her from her colon cancer and God was still using her to share her passion for life, babies, families and most importantly He was using her to share her Jesus.

A couple of months later my dear friend, Ms. Helen Rogers found out the cancer was back in her lungs and liver but she still praised God to the very end.  On February 4, my family and I went to Ms. Helen’s celebration of life service.  While I am saddened that she will be gone from this earth, I am so grateful to have known her and have her example to follow. The church was full of people who had been touched by the life of Ms. Helen Rogers. God used her to not only have an impact on my life as a young woman but also to have her be instrumental in my life many years later with the ministry. God used Ms. Helen in great ways to help Anne Ministries and her legacy of life will continue in Avery County and in the lives of all she touched.

Friend, what looks hopeless? Do you know my Jesus? That is what Ms. Helen would have asked you. Jesus can bring beauty from those ashes. He redeems and restores.

The enemy does not get the last word friend, he might try to destroy us but God always wins.

Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.


In 2018, the Lord put on my heart the calling to reach out to those hurting from loss. Anne Ministries began in September of 2018. Anne means “grace” and that is what this ministry is about, extending God’s grace and allowing Him to heal your deepest hurt. This ministry reaches out to those hurting from abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. The ministry expanded in 2021 offering pregnancy support services to those facing an unplanned pregnancy. Chastity and her family attend Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newland, NC. You can purchase her book, His Grace Covers All, on Amazon HERE.

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