One of our volunteers, R, shared a recent interaction on the sidewalk that she could only describe as “amazing.” As R was grabbing some things out of her car, a woman came up to her prayer partner, B, and gave him a big hug. As you might imagine, she was pretty surprised to learn that this young lady didn't know B, she just wanted to thank him for being out there.
The young lady shared her story with us. A year ago, she came to the abortion clinic where she ran into some of the Greater Columbus Right to Life sidewalk counselors, as she had been warned by the abortion clinic that she would. She shared that she was specifically warned to stay away from and ignore us while they confirmed and preyed upon her worst fears: that she would not be able to take care of her new baby and her 8-year old child. She shared that, in hindsight, the SWC team were people that God had sent to stop her from having the abortion, but that she listened to the clinic, walked right around the us, and went in for her abortion.
She shared that in the past year, she has been crushed by her abortion and so has her daughter, and she has always wanted to stop and thank us, but never quite could. Today, however, something was different. Today, as she drove by, she was on her way to a job interview. She was also pregnant. This time, when her boyfriend told her to just get rid of the baby, she decided to get rid of him and find a better job to make a life for her and her children. She also shared that she continues to grieve the loss of her child, but that she has consolation in the love and forgiveness of Christ and is now working on forgiving herself. We were able to get her to a pregnancy help center and connect her with post-abortion healing programs. After some tears and hugs, she left, leaving our volunteers with the powerful knowledge that their efforts had turned this woman away from the abortion clinic, just not in the way or on the day that we thought.
Please keep this woman and her children – born and unborn in your prayers. We would also ask especially for your prayers with respect to another couple we met earlier that same day. In this case, the woman learned that she had cancer and was referred to Founder’s for an abortion prior to beginning treatment. They took some information, but went in to get the opinion of the clinic anyway.
This day’s experience underscores a need that we see to especially continue our efforts of prayer and presence beyond just the death hours at the clinic. For this reason, we have recently started a “second shift” of volunteers at the clinic. This second shift is going to emphasize our commitment to caring for the post-abortive woman and continuing to be there as a prayerful and peaceful witness to the mercy of God. If you would like to join us for our weekly prayer list, you can sign up at www.gcrtl.org/pray. Statistical evidence shows that about 50% of women who seek abortions have one or more abortions in their past. Again and again, I remind our volunteers that our job is not to save babies from abortion. Our job is to be faithful in planting the seed in the heart of the mother and to work to transform the culture. It is beautiful when the seeds that we plant take immediate root in the form of a turn-away, and we are so thankful to the sixteen turn-aways that we have seen this year (not counting the one that took a year which I just shared!!), but even when it takes some time, we have reason for optimism and hope.
Speaking of planting a seed – that is the theme of this year’s annual banquet with special guest Matt Walsh. If you support our work and would like to meet some more of our people, we’d love to have you join us for the banquet. God Bless, and keep on praying!