Tuesday, August 12, 2014

God's Prompting and Provision


Today is my birthday. I am thinking about babies who never make it to their birthday. Yesterday, I spent several hours in training with HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center. I was learning how to best counsel the women on the mobile ultrasound unit which parks in front of the abortion mill where I volunteer. As a sidewalk counselor with Cities4Life (see charlotte.cities4life.org), I have about fifteen seconds to convince the women to go on the HELP RV for an ultrasound. As an RV counselor, I will have at least half an hour to convince them to choose life. Every bit of training I can soak into my brain will be useful. Without the extra training, I was not allowed on the RV.  I can't wait to put my new knowledge into action!

I loved listening to the teacher, Tara, who has been counseling women through the pregnancy center for over two decades. The love, compassion, and empathy she holds for those abortion-determined women was so inspiring. At one point, I asked her advice about one of my "saves" - a woman who chose life that I have been continuing to counsel, help, and befriend for the past three months. I found out yesterday the family was so low on food that the young mama was having pains and cramping. There are many concerning aspects of the home situation. We actually have found resources to help this woman leave the home but she is hesitant to change the imperfect known for the potentially better but uncertain unknown. Tara answered eloquently. Much as we want to save these women from some very terrible situations, ultimately, all we can offer is our best suggestions, bring them Jesus, and then they must choose.

"And while they may not choose what you think is best," Tara said, "Maybe down the road they will, because you have planted a seed."

My eyes filled with tears as she spoke. She gazed sympathetically at me, and I felt grief wash over me. I don't know why I felt so overcome at that moment. I guess I was picturing the situation the little baby would grow up in if there were no heart changes in the mother or her circumstances. No, we can't force them to make wise choices or put their faith in God, and live with His protection and guidance. All we can do is offer options, and leave the results to God. The teacher smiled kindly at me, and the counselor next to me patted my shoulder. I tried not to blubber too long. I was glad to have such lovely people with such wisdom and experience on this difficult journey with me.

What I most love about this facility which works as a partner with Cities4Life is their focus on the Gospel. Like Cities4Life, they understand that to change the scourge of abortion in our nation, hearts must be inclined towards God. These young women in crisis must understand that there is a power greater than themselves and their circumstances. Actually, all of us need to understand that. Part of our counseling training is to help the women have a vision of who they are in Christ, how beloved, how precious, and of such infinite value.It is a natural leap to extend that sacred value and worth to the child they carry.

After my training, I ran into a friend who is also ardently pro-life and has prayed at the abortion mill sidewalks. As we were chatting about our experiences while standing in front of Walmart, the sidewalk filled with elderly people all around us. Most had walkers and canes. A bus pulled up alongside them, from a local nursing home and the elderly folk began filing on the bus. They shuffled slowly by us, while my friend and I kept talking passionately about our pro-life work. One man stopped and held up a fist in victory. "Yes!" he shouted at us, "I have prayed on the sidewalks of Latrobe!"

That is the abortion mill I volunteer at! We began chatting with him, and learned that he and a few of the other people in the nursing home go to the Latrobe abortion mill once a month to pray for the lives of the unborn children. Most of them cannot stand unassisted, but they stand nonetheless in prayer for the unborn.

"You'd think they were giving abortions away for free with how many people are flocking there!" he said, dismally, "Us older folk know what madness this is. Madness!"  We talked a little longer, but the nurse on the bus was done helping the others aboard, and the only one left was the man we were speaking with.

"God bless you," he said, moving towards the bus steps, "And thank you for speaking loud enough about this that I overheard you. It feels good to know I am not alone in this fight."

Yes. It is good to know we are not alone in this fight. God is of course with us, but He doesn't stop with His presence and comfort -  He sends flesh and blood men and women to join arms against the Enemy.

When I got home from the training, I made some calls and found a wonderful church that gathered a box of food for me to bring to the hungry family today. Another friend is helping me set up free monthly food deliveries for them. Yes, it is very good to know we are not alone in this fight.
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If you would like to support HELP Crisis Pregnancy Center, please go to their website for information at http://www.monroehelpcpc.net/ . To become a sidewalk counselor with Cities4life and help another baby have her first birthday...go to charlotte.cities4life.org locally, or cities4life.org nationally.

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Psalm 23:4 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

John 10:27 

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

John 3:16 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Psalm 73:23 

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.


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