He is now a nationally known football player, but Tim Tebow wouldn't be alive if his mother had listened to her doctor.
In front of a packed house in the O'Neill High School gym on Wednesday night, Pam Tebow told the story of her "miracle baby" and how it has impacted people around the world.
The event, sponsored by Boyd-Holt Right to Life and Flame Women's Ministry, drew a crowd of about 1,000 people.
In the mid-1980s, she and her husband, Bob, were missionaries in the Philippines. Thinking about all of the babies who had been aborted in the U.S., Pam said her husband got down on his knees, wept and prayed that God would give them a son he could raise as a preacher. Although they already had four children and she was weak after recovering from amoebic dysentery, Pam agreed to conceive a son and name him "Timothy," which means "honoring God."
While she was pregnant with "Timmy," as Pam calls him, the doctor told her that there was no baby, just "cells of fetal tissue."
"I was told to abort him and I didn't," she said. "The doctor said I could lose my life if I didn't...It was a time when I had to trust the Lord."
In the video presentation, Tim talked about the way his older siblings felt at the time.
"Just to show you how supportive my brothers and sisters were....at the beginning of her pregnancy with me, they thought I was a tumor...they always called me Timmy the Tumor," he said with a chuckle.
Pam said she had a difficult pregnancy and thought she lost the baby "almost daily," but she trusted in God's plan.
"Timmy almost didn't make it into this world. When he was born, I thought, 'This is a miracle child...' he was a bit malnourished," she said. "We asked family and friends to pray that he would grow up big and strong...and he did."
Tim Tebow was the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and went on to play football in the NFL. Although he is not a preacher in the way most people associate the word, Pam said her son has found ways to spread his faith through the game of football, dating back to when he played for the University of Florida.
"You know the black stuff that football players wear under their eyes?" Pam asked. "Well, he decided to get a silver Sharpie and write 'Phil' on one side and '4:13' on the other side. At first, some people thought he had a friend named Phil and that was his number, but, of course, it was from the Bible: 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'"
The following year, he decided to change it up and wrote "John 3:16," which is "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"The TV cameras zoomed in on his face during the game," Pam said. "After that, John 3:16 was Goggled 94 million times. God just writes the best stories."
While in the NFL, Tim invited an ill or disabled child to his football games as his special guest. He talked about this special gesture during the video.
"Before a game, I can take off my helmet and run over there and spend a few moments with someone who is dealing with so much more than I've ever had to deal with," Tim said. "I know that whatever I do with that kid is more important than what I do in the next three hours in that game."
Another time, he asked a girl who was recovering from brain surgery to accompany him down the red carpet at a football awards show.
"Later, Tim sat down and said, 'Mom, I don't think I won an award tonight.' I told him, 'Oh, you did. You just have to wait until you get to heaven,'" Pam said.
Football has given him a platform for his faith, but she said it hasn't always been well-received.
Pam said after the pro-life Super Bowl commercial aired, a lot of Tim's sponsors dropped him, "because it was controversial. But it was worth it."
She and her husband have received numerous calls from pro-life groups to speak about their story and said "it has been rewarding."
Pam said a young lady came up to them after they spoke and said, "I remember you. You said, 'If you are considering having an abortion, don't do it. Well, I didn't.' And then she got out her phone and showed us a picture of her 4-year-old daughter," Pam said. "We have the privilege of being a voice for those babies who have none."
She also encouraged people, young and old, to look for ways to serve others. Pam said she has always had her children become involved in mission work.
"If you give, God will give you back so much more," she said.
Pam said volunteering, donating and praying for a new Pregnancy Resource Center in the area is one of the ways people can serve others and be a voice for the unborn.
The Pregnancy Center would offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasound, education and support for expectant mothers. Those wishing to help, are asked to request information or send donations (payable to Flame Ministry) at: Pregnancy Resource Center, P.O. Box 821, O'Neill, NE 68763.
"Life is valuable, that's why we're raising money," Pam said. "Because it's worth it."