Dear Friend of Life:
Just two weeks ago, Bethany (on our National Team) and I were on the sidewalk, blessing and supporting one of our sidewalk advocacy teams in Jacksonville, FL, and reaching out to mothers-in-crisis at the abortion facility.
The day before at another facility, we had just experienced two lives saved — if not three. (Please pray for them!)
I remembered bowing my head to pray on the sidewalk …and suddenly, feeling like a miracle was coming. I thought, no doubt, another baby was going to be saved.
At this particular time on the sidewalk, we seemed to be witnessing women leave after receiving the “abortion pill” or a “chemical abortion” — which consists of a two-pill regimen. (We got there later in the afternoon after facilitating a training in the community, so unfortunately, we missed them on the way in.) Our leader had let us know that this facility really only did chemical abortion, more so than surgical, because it was fast and made Planned Parenthood more money.
So, we watched women walk out with a paper bag in their hand, likely containing the second pill; of course, we worked to flag them down to offer them help through abortionpillreversal.com. As we made more and more contact with clients, we found out that the paper bag sometimes contained birth control rather than what we feared. (Of course, we talked to them about the beauty of chastity — or gave married women solutions through a fertility-based awareness model that respected life!)
At one point, I saw a car pull into the parking lot and slowly, make its way to the middle. It pulled into a spot right in front of an opening in the foliage on the sidewalk — because of that, I was able to easily smile, wave, and invite the driver, a beautiful young woman, into a conversation.
I reached out and told her about our free services at the local pregnancy center, then asked if she was in need of a pregnancy test and sonogram. She politely said no and said she was going in for STD testing.
I called over our local leader, lowered my voice, and asked our leader where she could go for reduced rate or free STD testing (so she didn’t have to give Planned Parenthood her business). As our leader was pulling up the info to the local community health center, I mentioned that, of course, she wouldn’t want to give her business to an abortion facility and we could help with a lower or no cost referral.
When I mentioned that, her hand went to her face, and I realized she was tearing up. I just knew…
“Honey, you’ve been through it, huh? Oh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
Big tears just spilling onto her face…
I asked, “Can I give you a hug?”
She hugged me… and just started sobbing on my shoulder.
“I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s okay. I know you probably went through with it because you didn’t know what else to do. It’s okay.”
I pulled back… “Hon, let me give this to you. I want you to know that God wills your healing and restoration. (I pulled out a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat brochure.) I want you to call this number and they’ll let you know where the nearest healing retreat is. You can grieve that loss and give that to the Lord. You are beautiful. You deserve that.”
We talked about her church, finding people there who were following the Lord, and choosing chastity to further protect herself.
I gave her my phone number and told her to message me anytime and let me know how she liked the healing retreat. We exchanged another hug.
She went back to her car and sat there for awhile… and left without even going into Planned Parenthood, waving as she went out.
God did indeed work a miracle.
One of the hallmarks of our training program is that we’re not just there for the abortion-minded client. Of course, that’s primarily why we go to the abortion facility …but knowing countless other eternal souls will cross our path on the sidewalk, we want to ensure we are equipped to give them a life-affirming alternative to whatever need brings them there.
Sometimes we meet a client who is going in for a pregnancy test — and we can send them to a life-affirming pregnancy resource center instead. Sometimes it’s a young, unmarried woman in a troubling relationship who is seeking birth control and has never heard of the idea of waiting for marriage and respecting herself. Sometimes it’s a client who just needs a well-woman exam and hasn’t been lovingly challenged to take her business elsewhere (and yes, we do that research in each community and show her a pro-life alternative where she can find a cheaper well-woman exam)!
And sometimes, it’s someone who is going in for something else, but suddenly opens her heart to you about her past abortion, giving you an incredible opportunity to share hope and healing in Christ.
The point is that no matter who the client is, we have a way to fill the need elsewhere, thereby pulling thousands upon thousands of dollars away from the abortion industry… and even more importantly, we have a chance to plant vital, eternal seeds in that person’s life through God’s grace.
Well… we’d love to invite YOU to “be the miracle” for a woman-in-crisis!
There are TWO KEY WAYS you can make a difference…
1. If you and your community would be blessed by comprehensive sidewalk advocacy training, tools, and support, applications to bring Sidewalk Advocates for Life to your community this Fall are open for just three more days through August 31 at sidewalkadvocates.org/apply!
If you have any questions about our program, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d love to be of service!
2. If you cannot get to the sidewalk yourself, consider partnering with us in this great work and making a life-saving, financial gift today at sidewalkadvocates.org/donate!
Thank you so much for all of the prayers and precious treasure you’ve invested in this ministry — you make miraculous moments on the sidewalk possible! We are so incredibly grateful!
Praying for your discernment!
Blessings in Christ,
Sidewalk Advocates for Life
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.