We’d be the first to tell you; we never intended to be business owners, we did not have a life long dream of Pelavida. It was not on our family’s imaginary “future ambitions” board. Giulia was perfectly content with finishing her degree and eventually working as a civil engineer in some capacity, but focusing on being a Mom. I was prepared to complete 20+ years in the Army and retire, to then find some busy work. That changed in the fall of 2022.
Earlier in the year, Roe v Wade was overturned in June of 2022, sending shockwaves throughout the country over the “right to an abortion.” As states took back the right that was wrongfully taken from them so many years ago and banned abortion, companies began to offer financial packages or increased medical coverage for women to travel for abortion, often cleverly guised as “allowed to travel to find a doctor if your medical requirement is not covered within XX miles of your home”. Phrasing it like this allowed companies to hide their true intentions from their conservative customers, but gave them an option to pay their employees to travel for abortion if that employees home state banned it.
Once Giulia and I realized what was going on with these companies, we knew we had enough. We had been aware of some that were openly supportive of the murder of the unborn, and had abstained from doing business with those companies already. But once we caught on to how others were using this tactic and we realized we were inadvertently funding abortion with our purchases, we stopped supporting those companies as well. This was not easy, as some of these companies had a pretty “prime” hold on our lives, if you catch my hint. So, as we’ve learned to do, we turned to our greatest resource: prayer. Little did we know God had already been laying the ground work for us and preparing our hearts and minds for the task ahead.
Pelavida comes from the Portuguese words “Pela” meaning “for” and “Vida” meaning “life” and is a result of Giulia’s Brazilian background.
Over the previous year, I had considered potentially leaving the Army. In the process, I spoke with a lot of small business owners and interviewed with companies. I asked a lot of questions about their operation and such, which at the time seemed to be purely from an “employee” perspective, but what I now can recognize was actually God getting my mind right for the work that goes into running a business. Concurrently, God was working on Giulia and preparing her for the fight ahead to be an advocate for life by engaging her in intense discussion and showing her lots of pro-life companies on social media, of which we would try and support but would get frustrated we couldn’t check out easily or keep track of which ones provided what we needed.
It was on our drive home from Thanksgiving that we were talking about that very frustration when the idea occurred to us: what if there was a “pro-life marketplace” with one check out. Wouldn’t that be great? It was purely God aligning us with His will when I offered “Well, we could do that.” I am not one to create additional work for myself (intentionally). Nor am I one to put myself into a position where I could be exposed to conflict (that’s much more Giulia’s thing). But here I am suggesting we undertake a venture that I knew we could not enter half-heartedly or with any reservation. And after Giulia began researching how one does this, and after one more prayer, we answered God’s direction to be an active participate in changing the “culture of death” that had manifested in our country.
On December 3rd, Pelavida LLC was formed. Pelavida comes from the Portuguese words “Pela” meaning “for” and “Vida” meaning “life” and is a result of Giulia’s Brazilian background. That same day, we purchased the domain to shoppelavida.com and set out on our journey to create the first dedicated pro-life marketplace that dedicates a percentage of profits to pro-life organizations and causes.
In subsequent posts, I will outline key events for the company since that time and ways that God both said “Yes” and said “Not now” – teaching us all kinds of incredible lessons on being patient, steadfast, and confident that His way, is the best way. We are so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. We pray with earnest that God watch over everyone associated with Pelavida and the pro-life movement, and to give us all the courage to stand strong in the fight for life.