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,
Sidewalk Advocates for Life
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.