Dear Friend of Life:
As an advisor on the National Team for half of our sidewalk advocacy locations around the globe, I recently paid a visit, as I so often do, to one of our locations-in-need, Stamford, CT, who was dealing with some persecution on the sidewalk. My goal was to help them navigate some legal questions with our attorney in tow and be an encouragement to their amazing team.
I will never forget that early June morning. Tom, one of the co-leaders, stopped a vehicle coming into the abortion facility.
The first thing I noticed was the Uber sticker. The windows in the back were tinted, but I could see that Tom was speaking to whomever was in the backseat.
Another vehicle was approaching so the Uber pulled into the parking area. A young couple and a little girl got out of the vehicle and headed into the abortion facility. Tom called out to the man, asking him to please come and speak to us, letting him know we would help them. Instead, they went inside.
Across the street, a group of prayer warriors had gathered and were praying. More women began arriving. It was looking to be a busy morning, but I couldn’t get that couple with the little girl out of my mind. I bowed my head and prayed they would come and speak with us.
When I raised my head, I saw the abortion facility’s door open …and out came the cutest little girl in a pink jacket. A young man following close behind, scooped her up in his arms, and they came into the parking lot. Tom and I began to wave them over with smiles on our faces.
We realized we needed a translator because dad only spoke Spanish. Thanks be to God, two of the prayer warriors across the street spoke Spanish and one was a trained Sidewalk Advocate! We quickly got them over to translate for us.
We learned that this couple had what seemed like the entire world against them. They didn’t have money for rent that was coming due, dad had not been able to find a job, they already had a small child to care for, and they were both worried. I let dad know how even though these problems loomed large right now, they were temporary and could be changed — but what was going to happen if mom didn’t come out, that would be irrevocable.
At this point, we had dad texting mom inside the facility, asking her to come see what we had to say. Soon he had her on the phone and we were passing it around, each of the Sidewalk Advocates speaking words of encouragement to her.
Over my shoulder, I noticed the prayer warriors had re-positioned themselves directly across the street from us and were fervently praying for our outreach to this young couple. I could feel the strength of their prayers covering us.
After what seemed like an eternity, I saw mom emerge from the doors of Planned Parenthood. Once she stepped onto the sidewalk, I threw my arms around her and whispered in her ear that she was doing the right thing. I could tell we still had some convincing to do, but she was here!
After explaining how we could help, I suggested they let us take them out to lunch. They agreed, and we all went out for pizza — yes, the family and all of the Stamford, CT Sidewalk Advocates! By the time our meal was over, I saw completely different people than the ones that arrived in the Uber that morning. For the first time, they had let themselves entertain the idea of having their precious child. I could see them physically beginning to relax and even smile.
Before we parted ways that day, we put some money in dad’s hands to show him we meant it when we said we would help. Tears immediately sprang to his eyes. We exchanged hugs and promised to be in touch, filling each of their needs, one by one — which we did!
Fast forward a couple of months. They got married! Sidewalk Advocates for Lifeassisted them in moving into a new apartment, helped dad get a job, and got them connected with legal counsel to answer some questions.
Just this past weekend, I had the honor of throwing a baby shower for their BABY BOY due in December. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, every single item on their baby registry was purchased. There is nothing they are going to need for baby!
At the baby shower, I met mom’s grandmother — yes, the grand-grandmother of this baby boy — and grandma shared with me something incredibly powerful. She said that when she heard her granddaughter had made an appointment for an abortion (besides trying to encourage a decision for life with her words, of course), she prayed and fasted that someone would show up and convince her not to go through with it! She even went so far as to sleep on the floor for several days as part of her fasting, offering it all up for her granddaughter and great-grandchild. When I met her at the shower, she was overflowing with gratitude and joy — even though I couldn’t understand anything she was saying in Spanish! What an amazing lady.
I also found out more details regarding that day and mom’s scheduled abortion appointment: When they had arrived, it was their second time there; they had already been there once and were completely sold out on following through. Mom had already filled out the paperwork, and she was in line for her abortion with 8-9 other women. She had been so close to going through with it, but it was the sincerity of our love and tears (and, no doubt, prayers) that caused them to reconsider.
Even though I don’t speak Spanish, Mom and I have figured out a way to keep in touch regularly. She tells me that I am her angel God sent and that her entire family was saved that day. I have even been asked to attend the baby’s birth! What an honor. (I’m looking forward to that “I’m in labor!” phone call this December!)
But I tell her it is me who is blessed to have had the privilege of being a vessel for the Holy Spirit that day, working as a team with our amazing Sidewalk Advocates in Stamford. Indeed, I was honored to be one of many who played a part in God’s perfect plan to convict their hearts on the sidewalk. I am so grateful to Tom, Noelle, and their team of Sidewalk Advocates who said YES to God through this ministry and have chosen to persevere through many challenges on the sidewalk!
Love IS truly ending abortion, one mother, one family at a time. Thank you all for supporting Sidewalk Advocates for Life and being a part of this incredible, life-saving journey with us!
Blessings in Christ,
Eastern Program Coordinator
Sidewalk Advocates for Life
DEVOTIONAL (September 1 – November 15, 2017): “Celebrating God’s Goodness”by Jeff Reedy, Shipping Coordinator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Verse(s): “And Mary said, ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For He has looked on the humble state of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the mighty One has done great things for me. And holy is His name.'” – Luke 1:46-49
Reflection: How easy it is to take for granted all of the great things He has done for us. He gives us so much to be thankful for every day of our lives. So how can we learn to appreciate His blessings in our lives and not take them for granted?
The answer is also in Mary’s song of praise. He looks upon our humble state. When we learn humility, we learn to see our lives as they really are. Not regretting the past, not fearing the future, but living in the present, where God meets us and gives us so many blessings. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking more about Him and what He has done for us. It’s learning not to be envious of what He’s done for others, because when we focus on Him, He puts His love in our hearts, and we can genuinely be happy for our friends who are also blessed.
Faith Challenge: As we humbly realize what great goods we’ve been given, let’s remember to pray for those who need our help and prayers. For mothers who face poverty and think that abortion is their only answer. For fathers to be real fathers and to take care of mothers and their children. And let’s be grateful for all of the times that He has answered our prayers — as we trust He will do in the future, again and again.