Yesterday, I was working on my newsletter when a staff member asked what happened to the candy jar. By way of explanation, I usually keep some Lifesavers in my office as a reminder of what we do. I took them to a meeting a few days ago, and they’ve been living in my trunk ever since. Eager to go outside, I volunteered to run out to get them.
On my way, I saw a strange sight – an obviously stolen grocery cart loaded with clothes and bags and pillows. I’ve lived downtown for a little over a decade, and I am pretty familiar with the homelessness that this indicates. I’ve also been told that on occasion a homeless person will bathe in the creek that runs through the ravine near my office, although I’ve not seen it myself. Upon a closer look, this grocery cart was not the typical – the contents were pristinely neat and tidy, and the duffle bags looked both new and cared for. It was parked near the door of my office building, and while the owners were nowhere to be seen, it was clear that they were down on their luck. So, I ran back to my office and put the snack apples from my office fruit bowl on top of their things. Something still felt strange about the whole situation, so I went across the hall to see if anyone knew the story of the cart.
To make a long story short, the cart and its belongings were the property of a young couple. A Board Member for another organization in my building saw the two young people crying on the sidewalk and brought them in for help. As their story unfolded, it was an all-too typical story: two young people left their small town in Southeastern Ohio in search of jobs and a better life. All alone in the world, they did what they could in order to make a go of it, and they failed. A job at a fast-food restaurant brought in $600 every two weeks, but the money didn’t last. They lost their housing. Moving from cheap motel to cheap motel caused them to lose their jobs. Parents of limited means had already sent them money, but could or would not send any more. The girl, about 20, told us about her two-year-old son, living with his grandparents because she cannot take care of him. With hesitant pride she told me that she hadn’t lost custody, she just was leaving him with her parents for a few months while she tried to make a better life for her and for him. Through a combination of luck, human kindness, and probably their own wiles they had been managing for a few weeks, until they landed in a motel last night where they were robbed of the rest of their money and their phone. Kicked out, the took a grocery cart that someone else had left in the alley, loaded up all of their worldy possessions – two duffel bags and two pillows, and made their way down the street. No job. No money. No transportation. No idea of what to do next. And then, they landed at our door.
When they arrived, my colleagues across the hall tried to help them. The shelters were full, and there is no one who could take them in. They didn’t want to be separated, probably because outside of a grocery cart of belongings they have nothing but each other. The lunch hour was long past, but when offered leftovers of fruit and bread from a meeting in the conference room, they devoured the food, eventually admitting that, aside from a bag of hard candies, they hadn’t eaten in a few days. It seemed strange to me, but later I realized that they most likely picked the hard candies because their hungry bellies could suck on them for a few minutes and think it was food. The young girl voiced a scared excitement that she thinks she is pregnant, but doesn’t understand how because a clinic put her on an IUD and told her she couldn’t get pregnant. She said she thinks she can feel a little flutter in her belly and asked if she looked pregnant. We let her know that birth control fails and assured her that despite the odds everything would be ok. My colleague at the pregnancy resource center outlined what they could do to help her.
After some discussion, we were able to ascertain that they could go back home to family, but had no way of getting there. We formed a plan to get them bus tickets back to their town, pregnancy tests and pregnancy help back in their hometown, and helped to arrange a ride to one of their parents’ homes once their bus arrived. When I say “formed a plan,” I primarily mean that a few of us around the office pooled our own money to buy them tickets home, buy them dinner, etc.
When we shared with them what we were doing, the young girl cried. She then told us that things had been going really well, they thought that they were finally going to be able to make it in the world, and that she was hopeful that maybe she could be reunited with her son. Then, they were robbed. She then voiced the eternal words that we all wonder in our darkest hours, “What did I do to deserve this?” As she cried, I did something that I tell our volunteers on the sidewalks never to do, as tempting as it may be: I wrapped my arms around that little girl and let her cry. I then told her that she does not deserve this life – she deserves better and she is better. Bad things happen, but they do not define what we deserve in this life – what we deserve is love.
I had a meeting (and as daring as even I am, I was not going to load two strangers into my car, alone, at night), so we gave them money for a COTA bus and a little extra and told them I’d meet them with their luggage at the Greyhound station, where I was going to buy their tickets home. Beyond wanting to ensure that they made it to the bus stop, we were surprised to learn that there is a “gift fee” associated with purchasing a ticket for another person. The online tickets would cost $30.00 each with a gift fee of $18, but a ticket purchased at the window in cash would cost $54 dollars each. My colleague, frustrated, called ahead to explain the situation to the manager and asked if Greyhound could waive the gift fee to purchase the tickets online or give us the online price in person. While the system didn’t allow for that, the manager did approve us getting a discount normally reserved for an international humanitarian group, and for $38 each we were able to send them home. I had a few minutes after the meeting but before meeting them at the station, so I stopped at the grocery store and bought them a packed lunch each – water, sandwiches, an apple, a banana, some chips, a few packs of nuts, and a cookie – nothing special, really. I also reached out to a dear friend in the area of their hometown with a request that started out, “I know this is a shot in the dark, but do you have any contacts who can help…” and within minutes that friend called around and had a handful of churches and agencies who would be able to help and promises of prayers to aid this young couple. I hugged them again at the bus station, struggling to find the words to fill their hearts with hope despite the hardships I know they will face.
I do not know what the future holds for this young couple. Before we decided to send them home we asked if home was safe – too many kids run away from bad situations. These two were quite clear that home was safe; they just had come to Columbus on a failed effort to build a better life. With limited education and an uncertain safety net of family and friends back home, I do not know what will happen to them. I also do not know if they were simply scamming some nice but gullible women; I don’t think so, but it is possible. It doesn’t matter even if they were. They were hungry, and we fed them; they claimed to be lost, and we sent them home. They felt alone, and we loved them. Isn’t that what we are called to in this life?
So many people think that the pro-life movement is about protesting abortion or stopping euthanasia. To some degree, it is, but if we stop there we have not fulfilled our mission. Our mission is to protect and defend life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. Yes, we oppose abortion. Yes, we oppose euthanasia. We, however, should never lose sight of the reason we oppose abortion and euthanasia: because we cherish Life and because we believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of all human life, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability, orientation, religion, or economic circumstance.
We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Christ has told us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for Him. We are reminded to humbly accept our blessings knowing that there but for the grace of God go I. There is no doubt in my mind that this young couple was sorely in need of love, that they were truly the least of our brothers and sisters, and that I am humbly thankful to have never faced the same circumstances and depth of need that they do.
When I started writing this, I was not sure where it would end. I even debated writing it at all, after all – we are called to do our good deeds in private and not for public applause, but I knew I needed to say something. Part of me wanted to rail against a system that has allowed two young people to slip through the cracks. Part of me is frustrated by a community where two kids cannot find a job. Part of me thinks that there has to be a better way for the free market to handle the wages for unskilled labor. Part of me is beyond annoyed that the bus ticket was nearly twice the cost for a person without computer access or a credit card in his name. I openly sobbed at the thought of anyone using her last $4 to buy hard candy hoping it would stave off the hunger pangs for a few days. I wonder how in this land of plenty any single person goes hungry, and I am sorrowful that when confronted with someone in need, our first instinct is to wonder if we are being scammed. Our first instinct should be to feed the person who is hungry. We should look at our neighbors – even those who live on the street - not with the jaded eyes of a skeptic, but with a blindness to everything but their innate dignity as human beings. When truly see another with those eyes, we cannot do anything but love the other. Does that mean we give $20 to the addict? Of course not. But if she is hungry, we feed her. If he is cold, we clothe him. If she is in danger, we protect her. If he can’t find a job, we help him. We do this over and over again until we realize that here is where true beauty lies, and then we call into mind, Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
This is what it means to be joyfully, abundantly, and robustly pro-life.
In the end, I am grateful. I am grateful that someone plucked this couple off of the street. I am grateful that they were brought to people who would help them, not take advantage of them. I am grateful that I work within a community that is loving, with people who will do whatever it takes to help another. I am grateful that I ran out to my car for Lifesaver and instead got to change a life. I am grateful to the manager at the bus station who did what he could. I am grateful for the friend who answered my call for help in a small town. Mostly, I am grateful for the fact that I could, for a single moment, be the face of Christ to these two. It was truly an honor. Lastly, I would be grateful if, upon reading this, you never once think “good job, Beth, you deserve a pat on the back,” and instead you say “I will be the face of Christ to someone today, and tomorrow, and every day.”
This will come as no surprise, but the American Red Cross is holding a blood drive today. What may come as a surprise is where - the Complete Healthcare for Woman (CHfW) abortion facility on Cleveland Ave.
The Drs. Samuel continues to try to legitimize his abortion business by providing other positive health services. No matter what other good things the doctors at CHfW do - and blood drives, prenatal exams, clinical trials and Ob/Gyn services are good things - they will never be able to legitimize their business enough to make up for the fact that two days a week they kill pre-born children.
Whenever the American Red Cross agrees to hold a blood drive at a local business, they are allowing that business to use the Red Cross's good name to promote the business. And that is powerful. Building good will in a community increases the bottom line because people like to do business with people and companies they perceive as benevolent and caring of those in need. The Red Cross has earned the good will of their supporters. They are well respected not just in the United States but around the world for the work they have done to supply healthy blood to patients in need, provide shelter and aid in national disasters, help soldiers and their families in war time, provide CPR and disaster preparedness training to individuals and corporations and more. They should be careful not to damage their good name and hard-earned good will
by aligning with CHfW or any other abortion provider.
Sarah Cleveland with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform is at CHfW right now with their "Choice" signs, showing those coming to give blood what else happens in that building. If you would like to stand with Sarah she will be there until 2:00 today. Complete Healthcare for Women is located at 5888 Cleveland Ave.
Whether or not you can go out to the abortion facility today, please call the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus and ask that they no longer lend their good name to businesses that take the lives of pre-born children.
Red Cross of Greater Columbus
Matt Bertram, Chief Executive Officer
Kurt Anders, Chief Operating Officer, ext. 2207
Lynn Cook, Chief Communications Officer, ext. 2477
Always for Life,
A July 31 article in The Columbus Dispatch
reported about Todd Smith, a Columbus City Police Officer, who is charged with the coercion and enticement of a minor. Mr. Smith is accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year old student at Centennial High School and trying to have sex with her. Mr. Smith was assigned to protect the students and staff at that school.
He also worked as an off-duty policeman every other Saturday at the Founder's abortion facility on 1243 East Broad St.
I wish I could say that I'm surprised that an abortion worker treats women and children this way, but I'm not. Abortion denies the unique nature of women and treats our wombs like machines at a manufacturing facility that can be turned on and off, emptied, and its contents used or discarded at the whim and will of its owner. Why should we be surprised that a man who chooses to work at an abortion facility would see women any differently?
Those of you who have heard me speak about my experiences as a former abortion worker have heard me beg your prayers for these workers. Some abortion workers enter the industry with good intentions - to help women. They believe the lie that abortion is good for women and they are improving women's lives through their work. But they are heading down a steep and slippery path into the darkness and evil of abortion, and they get sucked into accepting more and more lies about women, women's health, the nature of sexual relationships, and more. They are like frogs in a soup pot with the heat being turned up slowly so they do not realize they are being cooked.
So what should be our response to news such as this? May I suggest prayer and action? Pray for those involved.
I'm heartbroken for the girl, who apparently had some sort of ongoing relationship with Mr. Smith that culminated in him attempting to have sex with her and threatening her that she should not to tell anyone about their relationship. Another 15-year old student from Centennial High School has come forward saying that she also was involved with Mr. Smith, sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages, sending topless photos of herself, and performing oral sex on Mr. Smith. These young girls need our prayers. They are victims.
I'm also heartbroken for Mr. Smith's wife who is now dealing with her husband's betrayal of their marriage covenant in a most horrific and public way. I cannot even begin to imagine what she is going through. She also needs our prayers.
I will also pray for Todd Smith. If these charges are proven to be true and he is found guilty, Mr. Smith committed unspeakable acts against children and I hope he receives the maximum punishment allowable by law. Women of any age are not sexual objects to owned, used, abused, and then thrown away. Women are precious gifts of God and our affections and bodies should be prized and protected by the men in our lives and society. That these women are children only compounds the horrendous nature of Mr. Smith's alleged actions. Yet, we are called to pray for our enemies, and if Mr. Smith is guilty of these charges then he is indeed an enemy of women and children. We are called to see all people as Christ sees them - and Christ died for Mr. Smith as certainly as he died for me. Turn your prayers into action.
40 Days for Life is right around the corner!
During the 40 day period from Sept. 26 through Nov. 4, please act on your convictions that abortion is evil and join us in fasting, prayer, community outreach and vigil at the Complete Healthcare for Women abortion clinic. Step up and help us lead the campaign by assisting with event planning, coordinating a day of prayer, or helping to organize a group to do some community outreach and education. There are many ways to get involved, and we need your participation to make this campaign the biggest yet! Call Katelyn Neil at (614) 395-8404 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss how you can help. She'd love to hear from you! Our sidewalk counselors are making a difference!
These incredible men and women stand on the precipice between life and death throwing a life-line to the women and families walking into the abortion clinic in an effort to save them and their preborn children. They help people to see women in a different light. They honor women and the children they carry in their wombs. Are you called to this? We can help you with training and support. Contact me at 614.445.8508 or email@example.com
to find out more. Stand with us financially.
Without your support, Greater Columbus Right to Life could not continue. Join us for dinner on August 19 at our Spiritus Banquet (click here to register)
, meet Melissa Ohden and enjoy an inspirational evening in support of our educational foundation - the foundation from which we do at least 80% of our work. There are other ways to support us financially as well. Contact Lori Dobos at 614.556.0299 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to learn more.
Thank you for all you do to defend life!
Today has been an interesting email day. I've received several emails from Christian and citizens' rights organizations reminding me that today is the day that American citizens lost our right to the free practice of our faith. August 1, 2012 - beginning today businesses that offer health insurance are required to include free birth control, sterilizations and abortifacient drugs in that coverage.
As of today, the 'home of the free and the brave' denies her citizens the freedom to say "No" to helping their employees kill their pre-born children through the use of abortifacient drugs and the right to say "No" to paying for non-essential medicines that are contrary to their church's teaching on birth control. The story of the Newland family
in Denver, Colorado, who were granted an injunction saving them from having to choose between their faith and their ability to maintain their family business provides at least a measure of hope. This ruling does not apply to all businesses, but it does set a precedent for future lawsuits. The Newland's attorney Matthew Bowman explained that the principle behind the ruling this way: "Washington bureaucrats cannot use Obamacare to force people of faith to violate their faith in order to earn a living or engage in other activities in society." Mr. Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, expects more lawsuits and more wins to follow, and that's good news.
Of course, that's our take on it. Cecile Richards sees things differently.
I got an email from her today, too. Not surprising, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America president is celebrating because she interprets the HHS mandate as giving freedom, not taking it. According to Ms. Richards, this loss of our constitutionally protected freedom to follow our faith without fear of government intervention and massive fines that will cripple business owners and force them out of business is a win for women because
". . . more women have the power to plan their families (as if the birth control pill is the only way a women could manage to plan her family)
. . . there will be fewer unintended pregnancies (because none of us have ever known someone who conceived a child or who was conceived while his/her mother was taking contraceptives)
. . . there will be reduced need for abortion (even though abortion rates have increased with increased access to birth control, not decreased)
(comments in italics mine)
Ms. Richards is concerned though. She knows about the Newland family's injunction too and tells her followers that "the fight isn't over". She's right about that. We're not done fighting.
I have to give her credit though. Ms. Richards and her marketing crew at Planned Parenthood are good at taking opportunities like this and turning them into money makers. Her email, which went to I have no idea how many thousands of people across the U.S., is basically a call to donate. She asks her followers to "make a gift in honor of the women who gained that freedom today. Give the cost of a pack of pills - that's about $35." I shudder to think how much money the abortion-giant will raise from that one email blast. Yes, Ms. Richards is right. The fight to protect our freedom of religion is not over.
Over the past several months Greater Columbus Right to Life has been privileged to lead two rallies in defense of those freedoms and help raise awareness and educate the public on this issue, and we will continue to fight to protect all of our rights. We will also continue to fight to defund Planned Parenthood in the State of Ohio.
I am going to take a page from Ms. Richards' play book, though, and ask you to stand with Greater Columbus Right to Life in this fight. We don't get millions of dollars of government funding. In fact, we don't get one single penny of government funding! One hundred percent of our funding comes from people like you who believe, as we do, that life begins at conception and should be protected from that moment through the moment of natural death.
Will you join us for a lovely dinner at the Villa Milano on August 19? Our Spiritus Banquet is our annual fund raising dinner and your presence there would be a great blessing to us!
We'll have lasagna, salad, bread rolls, steamed vegetables, and my favorite - the Villa Milano's delicious layer cake with raspberry filling. You'll get to hear the incredible testimony of a woman who survived a saline-infusion abortion and how God has called her to use her voice speak for those whose voices - and very lives - were stripped from them in abortion. You will be so blessed by Melissa Ohden's joy and love for life and family. Dinner registration is just $25 and 100% of proceeds for the evening will fund our educational foundation - the fund through which at least 80% of our work is accomplished.
Register today - and invite a friend to join you as well.
God bless you, and thank you for standing with us for Life.
It’s common to see or read news articles on the cost of raising children. A recent government study
tells us that it will cost nearly $235,000 (in 2011 dollars) to raise a child from birth to age 18. This blog post
by Len Penso on msn.com’s money page bemoans additional costs not included in the government study, making
the toll even higher.
These articles can instill fear and deter couples from having more – or any – children. I don't know about you, but I don't have a quarter of a million dollars just laying around and I doubt that I ever wil. Even worse, by placing a price tag on child-rearing, these articles paint children as only a line-item on the family’s and society’s balance sheets – and a liability line item at that! Assets:
House, Car, IncomeLiabilities:
Mortgage, Car Loan, Bobby, Jr., Mary JaneEquity:
Checking Account, Savings Account, 401k
Really??? Is that how we see children – a financial burden that sucks every dime out of our financial future? Is a child just a cost center in the family budget?
I’d like to see some articles about the benefits
of child-rearing. Children are an incredible gift to a family and to society.
So let’s hear from you. How have children been a blessing and benefit to your family and society?
Greater Columbus Right to Life learned today that the Capital Care Women's Center (CCWC) abortion facility will likely close their Columbus abortion facility located at 4818 Indianola Avenue. After a noticeable decline in business over the past year or so, it appears that the abortion facility can no longer afford to remain in open.
CCWC is affiliated with the Capital Care Women's Network, an affiliation of abortion facilities in Akron, Columbus, Lima and Toledo, Ohio, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Capital Care Network is informing potential clients that they are only scheduling appointment through Wednesday, June 6. After that date they are referring clients to the Founder's Women's Health abortion facility at 1243 East Broad Street.
"One closed, three to go," said Ruth Yorston, Greater Columbus Right to Life Executive Director, referring to the number of abortion facilities in Columbus. "The pro-life movement's efforts to educate people on the unalterable consequence of abortion - the death of the pre-born child, and the dangers of abortion - the physical risks to the mother and emotional health risks to the mother and father, have led to the decline in business that appears to be forcing CCWC to close their doors."
Yorston continued, saying that "the closing of this abortion facility is also a result of pro-life volunteers praying for and sidewalk counseling CCWC's clients that they deserve better than abortion. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, women need support and assistance that affirms them and supports them through and beyond their pregnancy. What we don't need are people telling us that we're incapable of leading meaningful and fulfilled lives while being pregnant and giving birth to a child. That attitude demeans women and paves the way for them to choose the path of ending the life of their child - a path from which there is no return."
Earlier this year Greater Columbus Right to Life launched a sidewalk counselor training program designed to increase the number of sidewalk counselors at Columbus abortion facilities. Nearly 50 men and women attended the workshop to learn how to bring a message of love and hope to women and men standing on abortion's precipice. We are now working to engage these counselors and more who will follow them through our training in the life-saving work that is helping to close the Capital Care Women's Center abortion facility.
"Our hope is that this wonderful news will motivate even more to join us in our efforts to bring an end to abortion in Franklin County. While this is certainly a victory, we cannot yet say 'mission accomplished!' The number of abortion facilities in our community appears to be decreasing by 25%, but still nearly one out of every five abortions committed in the State of Ohio occur in the City of Columbus. It appears that there will now be three facilities in Columbus performing abortions five days a week and that the Founders abortion
facility will receive increased business due to CCWC's closing."
The Greater Columbus pro-life community must increase our education and advocacy work to support women facing difficult circumstances while they nurture the child developing within. "Greater Columbus Right to Life is committed to staying the course until we see the day that women in unplanned pregnancies receive the assistance they need to chose life and health for themselves and their children and the last abortion facility in our city closes its doors. With the support and involvement of local pro-life people we look forward to not only decreasing the number of abortion facilities but the number of abortions as well", said Yorston.Click here to partner with Greater Columbus Right to Life by volunteering or making a tax-deductable donation to our Educational Foundation.
How's your exercise routine these days? Is that little voice inside you saying "Hey, you should get out there and start walking or running and get in shape!" Perhaps your doctor suggested that a little exercise would go a long way to improving your overall health and longevity?
Hmmm. . . maybe we can help each other! Did you know that you can walk or run (for fun or for health) and help raise support for Greater Columbus Right to Life? Exercise for your life - and help save the lives of others, too!
Learn how you can do ALL this and more! St. Andrew Respect Life Society is co-hosting an information meeting on Momentium. Join us for refreshments, fellowship and Momentium. Three opportunities are available for your convenience:
Getting Some Momentium
- Tuesday May 29, 7 pm
- Saturday June 2, 10 am
- Sunday June 3, 7 pm.
St. Andrew Nugent Hall
1899 McCoy Rd.
Columbus, OH 43220
Please RSVP to email@example.com.
Sponsored by Pregnancy Decision Health Centers and Greater Columbus Right to Life. Questions? Melissa Lentz 614/888-8774 x6124.
June 8, 1789, Federal Hall, New York City.
James Madison stood before 58 men and introduced 20 amendments to the newly ratified United States Constitution, ten of which became the Bill of Rights. In his statement to the representatives of our country's first states, Madison said, "It will be a desirable thing to extinguish from the bosom of every member of the community any apprehensions, that there are those among his countrymen who wish to deprive them of the liberty for which they valiantly fought and honorably bled."
January 20, 2012, Washington, D.C. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, under Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, unveils a new policy requiring nearly all private health insurance plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, surgical sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs. All health plans will have to cover these "preventive services" without co-pays or other cost-sharing -- regardless of whether the insurer, the employee or other plan sponsor or even the woman herself objects to such coverage.
February 10, 2012, Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama announces an "accommodation" for religious institutions opposed to facilitating practices contrary to their moral teachings through their employee health plans. Insurance companies would be forced to pay for the abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception instead of the religious employers. The fact that any funds the insurance companies would use to make such payments would be coming from insurance premiums, including those made by religious employers, does not release religious employers from the position of paying for these morally-objectionable services. The "accommodation" does not offer any relief to self-insured religious institutions since the mandate still requires them to provide these services.
June 8, 2012, John W. Bricker Building, Columbus, Ohio. On the 223rd anniversary of James Madison's introduction of the amendments which became our Bill of Rights, hundreds of men and women will gather to echo the words he spoke before Congress and to remind ourselves and those who will hear us of the liberties for which our founding fathers labored, fought, bled, and died. Among them are the rights granted to us in the first amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Come down to the John W. Bricker Federal Building and exercise your rights granted in the second half of that amendment: free speech, peaceable assembly, and petition of the government for a redress of grievances, in order to protect the first half of that same amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally
Friday, June 8, 2012
John W. Bricker Federal Building
200 North High St., Columbus
Saturday morning my husband and I went to the Founders abortion facility on East Broad to sidewalk counsel with Tricia and her prayer partners from St. Patrick Parish. You never know who you'll get to meet on the sidewalk. Saturday as I stood in the alleyway behind Founders I had a breif chat with one of the abortion workers.
"I used to in a clinic like this one," I said. "I don't work there anymore."
"I guess not, since you're standing back there!" she said.
I introduced myself and asked her name. "Nancy," she told me.
Oh how I remember those days working at the abortion facility, mistrusting everyone on the "outside" and expecting the worst from them at any moment. I wonder where I'd be today if it weren't for those "crazy pro-lifers" on the sidewalk. They didn't know my name, but I'm sure that they prayed for my anyway.
Well, I know Nancy's name now, and I'm praying for her. I hope you will, too. Along with Nancy, will you please pray for these other men and women we spoke with on Saturday morning?
A young woman who came by herself. She entered the abortion facility and came out about 20 minutes later and left. She was crying when she left and Tricia was able to share with her that we were there because we love her and want to help her. Tricia gave her some information about Women's Care Center, the pregnancy resource center just a few blocks down the street and offered to go to the center with her. "I need to think about it," she said. She left alone, but with the message of hope and love and information about a place she can turn to for help. Please pray that she takes the message to heart and goes to Women's Care Center.
A young couple who I spoke with before they went into the abortion facility. "I have to go, I have an appointment." She was clearly upset and looked like she was about to break down. She received the information I offered her, but she wouldn't stay and talk with me. She and young man with her went into Founders. Please pray for this young couple as the crisis they were hoping to avoid with the abortion will only give way to more and new crisis in the days and years to come.
The Columbus police office, Officer Smith, who is one of two officers hired to provide off-duty security on Saturdays. We spoke about security issues at the facility and about his thoughts on abortion. We spoke in detail about abortion and the "exception" case of rape. Please pray for Officer Smith that he will remember and think about this conversation. I look forward to continuing this conversation with him in the weeks to come.
My husband, Ian, with me every day at the vigil
OK, so today it started getting a little harder. I'm six days into my 40 day ommitment to pray two hours every day at the clinic and the "excitement" is starting to wear off. It was chilly this morning and a little windy. Not too much, just enough to make me a bit uncomfortable. My legs are tired. They don't like standing or walking on a cement sidewalk for two hours a day! My boots were uncomfortable. It takes me 88 steps to walk from one edge of the abortion facility's property line to the other. One, two, three . . . how many more steps until 8:00? Quite honestly, I just wanted to go home, sit in my comfy chair and pull out my knitting.
Six days down, 34 to go.
How easily I tire of doing good. How quickly temptation comes. "No one is scheduled to be her at 8:00. If I left a little early, no one would notice." Anyone want to take a guess at who whispered that thought into my ear?
I wonder if the employees a the Complete Healthcare for Women abortion facility tire of going into work every day? If they do, they still show up. They stay until their appointed time to leave. Of course, they get a paycheck for their time there. All we get is. . .
• time to commune with God in prayer and fellowship
• time to join the communion of saints in intercession for the clients and employees of Complete Healthcare
• time to be a witness to every person who drives past 5888 Cleveland Ave. that people are dying inside
that building and we want them to stop
• time to hold our children's hands in prayer and teach them that ministry to the least, the lost and the
lonely can take place anywhere and should take place everywhere
• time to. . . (fill in the blank - what does an hour or two of prayer give you time to do?)
It takes self-discipline to commit to prayer at the abortion facility and to follow through with that commitment. St. Paul had something to say about that:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (I Cor. 9:24-27)
Let's pray for each other that we make and keep our commitment to pray and stand vigil. Wow - something else we have time to do when we go!
I'll see you on the sidewalk,