DEVOTIONAL (November 15 – 30, 2017): “Sharing the Truth in Love”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):  “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  — Eph 4: 14-16

Reflection: Sometimes, because we speak earnestly about being “peaceful, loving, compassionate” Sidewalk Advocates, some might be tempted to think that we are doormats on the sidewalk who never say tough things about abortion!

It’s very true that we believe “people-skills” — knowing God created us, subject to our human condition, attracted to love — are essential on the sidewalk.  Indeed, I’m sure you can guess that we don’t win a life-saving conversation with a woman if we are ugly, confrontational, and shouting her head off!

Still, once we make contact and offer love and help and begin to assess the situation and her needs, we might need to be more direct with her about what abortion is and how it will affect her and her child.  (In the same way, if she is servicing that Planned Parenthood for something else like birth control, an unmarried woman needs to hear the glory of chastity — or an unmarried woman needs to hear about Natural Family Planning as an alternative to her abortifacient drug.)  Still, because the abortion facility has told her that we are “angry protesters” and warns them to stay away from us, we must go out of our way to be the opposite of that image so we have an opportunity to share that truth in love.

Additionally, research, testimony, and experience tell us that she doesn’t want us to “stay stuck” on the plight of abortion, but she needs to hear the “resurrection”: How she can do this, and how we pledge to walk with her as long as she needs us.

Faith Challenge: The next time you are conversing with someone about abortion, ask the Holy Spirit to give you proper discernment to know what the person on the receiving end needs: A listening ear?  Understanding and compassion?  Or is it time to  in love — share some tougher words?

She was bleeding on the sidewalk…

Regarding the story below, some have let us know that our slightly vague description — to try to avoid identifying details — may have led to some confusion as to why she was sent to the local pregnancy center vs. the Emergency Room.  In short, this woman wasn’t bleeding so hard that she needed immediate, emergency medical attention, but our understanding was that this was like a heavy period.  Our Sidewalk Advocate did their due diligence in calling ahead to the pregnancy center (with the client present) to describe the situation to them, and they said that they could absolutely help or provide a referral, if needed.  This is a CareNet pregnancy center that is well-respected and has a nurse on staff as they also provide some limited medical services.  If the young woman needed emergency attention, knowing this center, they would have redirected our Sidewalk Advocate to send her to the ER (or no doubt, we’re confident the Sidewalk Advocate would have likely sent her there instead anyway).  We hope this clarification helps you know that we seek to provide the best referral for each client at the abortion facility who comes across our path!  Thank you!

Dear Friend of Life:

Just the other day, a story came in that really helps us remember just how monumentally important it is to have loving, well-trained Advocates in front of every abortion facility in America.

One of our Sidewalk Advocates was in front of the abortion facility, reaching out to abortion-minded women, when a young woman walked up, ready to enter Planned Parenthood.

The Advocate reached out to her, offering alternatives to abortion, and the young woman explained that she was on the copper IUD  used for birth control and emergency contraception within five days of unprotected intercourse (in other words, it can cause an early abortion)  and was bleeding.  

Being well-informed on the abortifacient properties of the device, our Advocate admonished her to get to the local pregnancy center where they could do a pregnancy test and sonogram as she might be pregnant and in danger of miscarriage.  If needed, the pregnancy center could get her in to see a doctor right away.

The young woman did a 180 and took her business to the pregnancy center instead for life-affirming, woman-affirming help!  (Please pray for her, that if she is pregnant, her baby is okay and she will continue to choose life!)

This story is one of thousands now that we’ve collected in the past 3.5 years of ministry where we’ve been able to meet the needs of women entering a Planned Parenthood / abortion / abortion-referral center with quality, pro-life healthcare alternatives, thereby pulling thousands upon thousands of dollars away in business from the abortion industry!

We at Sidewalk Advocates for Life don’t just help the abortion-minded client, but every eternal soul who crosses our path.  No doubt, if we want to see an end to abortion, we have to know how to pull all business away from that facility — and truly, it’s easy to do because abortion or abortion-referral facilities don’t offer comprehensive healthcare for women.  Our offer of free or reduced-rate care at a community health center down the street is quite often all that is needed encourage someone to go elsewhere — but of course, we have to be able to intelligently address her situation and know where help is available so we can be at the ready to erase a ton of business for the abortion industry …so that’s exactly what we teach in our training!  (Note that we do not make referrals for artificial birth control, but empower unmarried women to choose chastity and married women to consider a fertility-awareness-based model that doesn’t have the possibility of acting as an abortifacient.)

The other day, I asked my dear friend, former abortion worker, Jewels Green (who has since become a Christian and travels the country sharing her story), “Knowing what you went through as a young woman who had an abortion  and having worked in the abortion industry  what does the perfect sidewalk counselor look like?”

She said to me, “Loving, compassionate, peaceful, and well-informed.”

Indeed, that’s the type of Sidewalk Advocate we’re aiming to produce all over the country!
_____________________________________
Want to help women and save lives? 

Knowing how busy you are, we developed a simple, time-tested, research-proven sidewalk advocacy training program, so you can be successful in reaching out to all entering your local Planned Parenthood (or other abortion center) through God’s amazing grace!  (Yes, we were created for busy people who want to make a difference!)

It only takes two easy steps to get started…

1.  Applications to bring Sidewalk Advocates for Life to your community this winter are NOW OPEN through November: Fill out our 5-minute application (where you pledge to be peaceful, prayerful and law-abiding) at sidewalkadvocates.org/apply.

2. Agree to a short phone conversation so we can answer your questions!

_____________________________________

Once approved, we ship you everything you need to quickly build a team of Sidewalk Advocates.  Then, we walk with you, answering your questions and troubleshooting challenges as you build and grow!

Still have questions?  No problem!

Our advice is to FIRST start with prayer: Am I called to bring sidewalk advocacy to our community?  Keep in mind that we have folks join us who have never been on the sidewalk all the way up to those who have been on the sidewalk for 30+ years!  (So many love the blessing of knowing that everything — the training, tools, and support — is all ready when you are!)  Wherever you are in this journey, we’d love to be a blessing to you and your community!

SECOND, wherever you find yourself, we encourage you to gather more information.  Feel free to learn more at sidewalkadvocates.org/howitworks!  (And be sure to read our FAQs, too!)

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please drop us a line atinfo@sidewalkadvocates.org!

Praying for you!

Blessings in Christ,

Lauren Muzyka
Executive Director
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

lauren@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org

P.S.  Just 15 more days remaining to bring Sidewalk Advocates for Life to your community this winter!  Apply now at sidewalkadvocates.org/apply!

DEVOTIONAL (November 15 – 30, 2017): “Sharing the Truth in Love”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):  “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  — Eph 4: 14-16

Reflection: Sometimes, because we speak earnestly about being “peaceful, loving, compassionate” Sidewalk Advocates, some might be tempted to think that we are doormats on the sidewalk who never say tough things about abortion!

It’s very true that we believe “people-skills” — knowing God created us, subject to our human condition, attracted to love — are essential on the sidewalk.  Indeed, I’m sure you can guess that we don’t win a life-saving conversation with a woman if we are ugly, confrontational, and shouting her head off!

Still, once we make contact and offer love and help and begin to assess the situation and her needs, we might need to be more direct with her about what abortion is and how it will affect her and her child.  (In the same way, if she is servicing that Planned Parenthood for something else like birth control, an unmarried woman needs to hear the glory of chastity — or an unmarried woman needs to hear about Natural Family Planning as an alternative to her abortifacient drug.)  Still, because the abortion facility has told her that we are “angry protesters” and warns them to stay away from us, we must go out of our way to be the opposite of that image so we have an opportunity to share that truth in love.

Additionally, research, testimony, and experience tell us that she doesn’t want us to “stay stuck” on the plight of abortion, but she needs to hear the “resurrection”: How she can do this, and how we pledge to walk with her as long as she needs us.

Faith Challenge: The next time you are conversing with someone about abortion, ask the Holy Spirit to give you proper discernment to know what the person on the receiving end needs: A listening ear?  Understanding and compassion?  Or is it time to  in love — share some tougher words?

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.

A mom who chose life — and the grandmother who saved her grandson

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,

Susan O’Neill
Eastern Program Coordinator
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

susan@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org

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.

ANOTHER ABORTION FACILITY: CLOSED! Here’s the amazing story…

Dear Friend of Life:

GLORY TO GOD!!

An abortion facility in Harrisburg, PA — another abortion facility where there has been a Sidewalk Advocates for Life outreach presence — has shut its doors for good!!

This facility had an astonishing 44 pages of health and safety violations, discovered earlier this year.

Unbelievable.

More details here: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2017/09/troubled-harrisburg-pennsylvania-abortion-facility-closes/#.WcEiMbKGPIU

We’d like to thank Becky and her team of Sidewalk Advocates and prayer volunteers under the local ministry, Undefeated Courage, for their perseverance in service of mothers-in-crisis and their preborn children!!

Here’s what Becky, the valiant leader, shared with us…

“Today, we rejoice and are praising God, for He heard our cries from heaven and He answered! Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center, Harrisburg’s long-term abortion facility that has been providing abortions since 1976, has been prayed CLOSED for good! Hallelujah! The folks from Undefeated Courage, which sponsored Sidewalk Advocates for Life-Harrisburg, PA, has held peaceful, prayerful vigil there almost every hour that the center was open since September 15, 2014. Since then, at least 79 women were open to our loving offers of help and support and turned away from abortion. We thank you, SAFL, for your thorough and professional scripture-based training; groups like us are changing the dynamics at abortion facilities all around the world!  Love changes hearts and welcomes LIFE!”

Thank YOU, Becky!!
People often become discouraged when faced with the problem of abortion in their backyard.  In fact, one of the questions we receive most often is whether a peaceful, prayerful outreach presence at the local abortion facility really can make a difference.
But Becky and her team’s prayerful, persevering outreach presence shows that you can not only make a difference, but END ABORTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY through God’s amazing grace!

Friend, we know God doesn’t want to stop here!  Sidewalk Advocates for Lifeis the only organization seeking to cover all uncovered abortion facilities around the nation with peaceful, prayerful sidewalk advocacy — because we know how effective it is!

We’re in the midst of our Fall campaign to raise desperately-needed funds to not only keep this work going, but growing in order to impact more eternal souls and save more lives from abortion.  Will you join us today with a gift of $25, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000 or more so that we can take this work to the next level?  And because of a $40,000 matching fund challenge from a generous group of donors, everything you give right now is INSTANTLY DOUBLED!  Truly, we don’t survive without generous people like you!

Whatever sacrifice you can make, we are so grateful: sidewalkadvocates.org/donate

Thank you for rejoicing with us today and keeping this LIFE-SAVING mission going! 

We look forward to sharing more good news very soon!

Blessings in Christ,

Lauren Muzyka
Executive Director
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

lauren@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org

DEVOTIONAL (AUGUST 21 – 31, 2017): “CELEBRATING THE GIFTS IN OTHERS”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Verse(s): “Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 15b-16

Reflection: If we’re being totally honest, we’ve all felt a twinge of jealousy before… Someone else seems better at their job than we do.  Someone else gets recognized for their accomplishments more than we do.  Another sidewalk counselor is celebrating yet another victory on the sidewalk while we’re in a season of struggle.  Another organization gets the attention we were hoping to draw to a project we just launched.

And yet, the Lord doesn’t see it that way.  In the Kingdom of God, everything sacrificed and offered to Him, big and small, challenge or no challenge, is valuable and precious.  You have gifts and talents someone else doesn’t.  Seasons of life give us more of an opportunity to share at times than others.  And if our ultimate goal is to glorify God and give all the attention to Him where possible, it doesn’t really matter.  As long as we are utilizing the gifts, talents and time He has given to us – letting all be done in love – it is even more pleasing to Him!

And perhaps another’s success is the Holy Spirit whispering to us a challenge: Go run after and cultivate the gifts and dreams I’ve given you.

Meanwhile as we grow and seek His Will, God reassures us: Don’t focus on someone else, focus on what I can do through you.  And celebrate any victory — whether worked through us or someone else — as a victory for Him.

Faith Challenge: Pray for the gift of humility, and thank God for His many blessings.

BIG 80’s HAIR — and Saving Lives from Abortion!

Dear Friend of Life:

Big 80’s hair.  Sad women looking out a rain-splattered window.  Hokey subtitles. Sometimes too scientific… sometimes not scientific at all.  Too much information for a woman-in-crisis.

As our National Team has looked at literature we’d recommend that Sidewalk Advocates hand out on the sidewalk, at times it’s been tough.  

Some of the literature is outdated so much that the hairstyles hearken back to a 1980’s music video  ha!  and we worry we won’t reach the heart of a young, millennial woman.

Other literature can give off a sentiment that we don’t mean to convey at all, reinforcing her sadness or overwhelming her with too much information.

Of course, it’s not our intention to disparage any particular pamphlet.  And some literature as of late is trending in the right direction, seeking to be more modern, colorful, inviting, and hopeful.

But at times, we’re really struggling to find something that has everything.

Why is all this monumentally important on the sidewalk?

One thing that we share in our training is that literature is your greatest ally on the sidewalk as it will speak for you when you can no longer speak to the client.  It can reinforce the message of life in a powerful, visual way as she hears the concern in your voice and sees it demonstrated through your loving demeanor.

To share one story of how I witnessed this on the sidewalk: I remember one cold winter morning in Dallas when I was on the sidewalk with my partner, John; we were standing near the entrance of an abortion facility, peacefully reaching out. Suddenly, a pickup truck turned the corner and started to drive towards us.  As the truck came more into view, we saw a middle-aged man driving with a middle-aged woman in the front seat — and we figured, naturally, she was the one seeking an abortion.  I did a roll-down-your-window sign with a big smile and held out the literature.  Yet, it became apparent that he wasn’t ready to talk: He slowed down, but didn’t stop the car; instead, he held out his hand to accept the literature.  The couple then drove into the parking lot of the abortion facility, and we saw the man sit there and read through the literature …and big tears suddenly started to spill onto his face.  Meanwhile, a young teenage girl sat up in the backseat …she had been hiding from us, and we began to figure out that the man was actually the grandfather of this precious child in danger of abortion.  After he began to cry, he rolled down the window, and made a motion for me to come to the car to talk!  I told him, I’m so sorry!  I can’t cross the line …but you can come to us!  Long story short, they got out of the car, talked to us, and made a solid decision for life!

There was no doubt in my mind that the literature had saved this precious baby’s life!  (Note: The pamphlet I had used — called “We’re Here for You” — is actually produced by Pro-Life Action Ministries, and it’s trending in the direction of all I hope literature on the sidewalk to be!)

I could share dozens of other stories where literature made all the difference in our outreach and literally helped save lives.

It hit me at one point: If this is what represents us… if this is what reinforces the message of life… if this is the only thing they may read when they are getting ready to make a life or death decision… shouldn’t we use the best design, layout, and information possible, doing our best to convey love, hope, and help?

And yet, a crisis pregnancy is not the only situation we encounter on the sidewalk! We are, at times, reaching out to women who are taking abortifacient drugs (like Plan B or Ella or a hormonal contraceptive that may cause an early abortion), planting seeds for chastity, deterring healthcare business from the abortion facility, giving out post-abortion healing literature …and more!

Not only do we want to start more LIFE-SAVING sidewalk advocacy locations and keep our mission going, but our Sidewalk Advocates on the front lines each and every day must be equipped with literature for every situation they may encounter on the sidewalk, knowing that the literature may go with her into the abortion facility / Planned Parenthood office …and may go home with her while she considers her decision.

Friend, we need your help!  Today, we begin our 10-day Summer Financial Campaign to raise desperately-needed funds to not only keep our LIFE-SAVING work going, but raise what’s needed to ensure our people on the front lines have the literature they need to be as successful as possible!

Will you help with a gift of $10, $25, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000 or more to see this project  and our LIFE-SAVING mission  through to victory?

Go here to make a tax-deductible gift of support and HELP SAVE MORE LIVES: sidewalkadvocates.org/donate

Our mission does not survive without your support!  Thank you for giving whatever the Lord puts on your heart today so together, with God’s grace, we can see more lives saved!

Again, please help us get to where we need to be to aid abortion-bound women and men in the best way possible: sidewalkadvocates.org/donate

Thank you for whatever you can give today.  We appreciate your partnership in this great mission to end abortion through the power of love and peaceful outreach more than I can put into words!

In Christ, for Life,

Lauren Muzyka
Executive Director
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

info@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org

DEVOTIONAL (July 1 – 15, 2017): “Upheld and Strengthened”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Reflection: Sometimes, the truth of the violence of abortion overwhelms us.

When we hear the testimony of a woman who has experience abortion or listened to a former worker talk about the sad and obvious taking of human life inside the abortion facility, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the evident darkness so many have experienced.

Yet, His word tells us that He has conquered sin and darkness overwhelmingly, and He will completely heal us if we but turn to Him.  He promises to strengthen us in this battle, renew and refresh us, and “make all things new” (cf. Rev 21:5) through the power of his passion, death, and resurrection.

His love and grace truly makes all things new.

Faith Challenge: Pray for the healing of all those who have experience abortion personally in one way or another.

DEVOTIONAL (July 1 – 15, 2017): “Upheld and Strengthened”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Reflection: Sometimes, the truth of the violence of abortion overwhelms us.

When we hear the testimony of a woman who has experience abortion or listened to a former worker talk about the sad and obvious taking of human life inside the abortion facility, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the evident darkness so many have experienced.

Yet, His word tells us that He has conquered sin and darkness overwhelmingly, and He will completely heal us if we but turn to Him.  He promises to strengthen us in this battle, renew and refresh us, and “make all things new” (cf. Rev 21:5) through the power of his passion, death, and resurrection.

His love and grace truly makes all things new.

Faith Challenge: Pray for the healing of all those who have experience abortion personally in one way or another.

DEVOTIONAL (June 1 – 30, 2017): “Love in Action”

by Chantel Poisel, Communications Coordinator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Reflection: Most of us agree that abortion is evil.  It is the taking of a human life made in the image and likeness of God.  We are justified in hating abortion, as we are to hate what is evil.

Let’s not overlook the second part of this verse, however, or confuse hating evil for hating people.  The Lord created each and every person in His image and likeness which is to say we are inherently precious to Him and valuable.  He desires a personal relationship with all of us.

We are called to cling to what is good.  What could be greater than love?

Faith Challenge: This month, I want to challenge each of us to not only cling to love, but to sincerely put that love into action.

The next time you are having a conversation about abortion, try sharing from a position of love instead of anger.  When speaking to a woman considering abortion, sincerely love her as Christ loves her.  Offer her a blessing bag as a token of love and hope.  When speaking with abortion workers feeling trapped in the abortion industry, show them love and share news of abortionworker.com.

Pray that the Lord softens our own hearts so we can put His love in action in order totruly reach others.

PICTURES: Pro-Woman! And Showered with LOVE!

Dear Friend of Life:

We have been humbly blessed by the almost constant stream of praise reports that have poured in over the past three years — stories of how a woman changed her mind in front of the abortion facility and chose life for her child — as well as pictures of some of the precious babies that have been born!

We can say with great confidence: God is answering your prayers every day!

Why are we seeing such an amazing response to our offers of hope and love to women-in-crisis?

First and foremost, all of this is only by the grace of God.

It is the Holy Spirit who really changes hearts and minds — we just seek to make ourselves as available as possible and plant seeds.  All credit goes to Him.  We are privileged to play a small part in what He is doing by being obedient to His call to be His hands and feet.

One reason we witness a lot of women accepting our invite to talk at the abortion facility is, no doubt, because we aim to approach them in great love, avoiding any language or demeanor that may be interpreted as “judgmental.”  While we know abortion is always wrong, we also know that women are being fed a great lie by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry that abortion isn’t really harmful to themselves or their preborn children and will solve their problems.

In order to have the opportunity to untangle these great falsehoods, we must present ourselves as much like a safe person — not an angry protester — as possible. Once she knows we truly care for her and we are there to offer her real help and hope in perhaps what she perceives to be a very scary situation, she is more likely to be receptive to discussion regarding her preborn child and God.

To share one example of how we seek to be pro-woman… 

One of our Sidewalk Advocates in Alabama, Bonnie, offered a woman, M, help and hope at her local abortion facility a few weeks ago.  M was confused on what to do, feeling pressure from family members to abort her third child.  At Bonnie’s encouragement, M left the abortion facility that day to “think about it,” giving Bonnie her phone number.  Bonnie followed up with our National Team, asking for help in showing M that she had a family in faith who would be there every step of the way.

When a couple of us called M, we re-emphasized all that Bonnie said, talked through her situation, and offered life-affirming solutions for all she was facing.  At that moment, M chose LIFE!  Still, with all the pressure from family in the background, she was still abortion-vulnerable.

We quickly sent M a care package / blessing bag to show her we were serious about our offer of help (see picture below).  The gift card covered basics her family desperately needed, and the rest of the gifts no doubt spoke messages of self-care.
M messaged us in tears, so blown away by the representation of love and support! She met with Bonnie once again, and her decision for LIFE became even more solid.  In short, because M was shown that she was, indeed, not alone, she felt like she could stand up to her family and protect her child.

In fact, many of our Sidewalk Advocates use a smaller version of this on the sidewalk — known as a “blessing bag” — along with literature from the local pregnancy center describing all the help available.  The gift shows our pro-woman attitude and often opens the door to conversation!

Another way we love mothers-in-crisis is through a baby shower!

Kathy and her team of Sidewalk Advocates in Columbia, MO, recently reached out to a mom on the sidewalk who was then 14 weeks pregnant. They focused on whatever perceived crisis was in mom’s life, and then, offered to shower her with LOVE!  

She chose life, and Kathy and her team — through the gift of a baby shower — met her concrete needs.

Thanks to the woman-oriented approach, these courageous Sidewalk Advocates were able to celebrate the birth of baby Jarel — a beautiful child made in the image and likeness of God Almighty!

Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson says that the one thing Planned Parenthood cannot destroy is the mother-child bond.  Mother and child go together.  The irony is that when we truly seek to help the mother, the baby will often “come right along” with her.  Once she sees real solutions to her problems, it is natural for reconsider the life of her child!

It’s the reason that we not only share via social media the hashtag#sidewalkadvocacy, but #lovethemboth as well!

Know that your support and prayers help make this work possible. Thank you so much for making stories like this a reality — and now, almost a daily occurrence!

In Christ, for Life,

Lauren Muzyka
Executive Director
Sidewalk Advocates for Life

info@sidewalkadvocates.org
sidewalkadvocates.org

P.S. — Would you like to get trained as a Sidewalk Advocate? Find a location near you: sidewalkadvocates.org/locations.

P.P.S. — Want to help this work to continue? Make a tax-deductible donation at sidewalkadvocates.org/donate!

DEVOTIONAL (June 1 – 30, 2017): “Love in Action”

by Chantel Poisel, Communications Coordinator, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Reflection: Most of us agree that abortion is evil.  It is the taking of a human life made in the image and likeness of God.  We are justified in hating abortion, as we are to hate what is evil.

Let’s not overlook the second part of this verse, however, or confuse hating evil for hating people.  The Lord created each and every person in His image and likeness which is to say we are inherently precious to Him and valuable.  He desires a personal relationship with all of us.

We are called to cling to what is good.  What could be greater than love?

Faith Challenge: This month, I want to challenge each of us to not only cling to love, but to sincerely put that love into action.

The next time you are having a conversation about abortion, try sharing from a position of love instead of anger.  When speaking to a woman considering abortion, sincerely love her as Christ loves her.  Offer her a blessing bag as a token of love and hope.  When speaking with abortion workers feeling trapped in the abortion industry, show them love and share news of abortionworker.com.

Pray that the Lord softens our own hearts so we can put His love in action in order totruly reach others.