Today was a wonderful day. I was finally able to get back out on the sidewalk and minister to the abortion-determined moms. God emptied me out of my self, as He so faithfully does, and allowed me to speak with both compassion and hard truth...words that could only come from His Spirit. I never even saw Jeannette today, as she was counseling on the mobile ultrasound unit all morning and had the privilege of being involved with two saves!
While I was on the mic, one couple drove away, stopping long enough to say that they chose life! It is amazing to be used by God to save a human life...a baby! Truly, He does the work, not any of us. It is a humbling experience. Never am I as close to God and as in-tune with His Spirit as when I am serving on the front lines of this ministry. The fact is, when you jump into a spiritual battle so intense that you can almost physically FEEL it, you simply can't go into it without confession and repentance. You must put on every piece of the spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-18) and, in so doing, you must also hold onto that shield of faith, knowing that your preparation in the Lord will "extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Along these lines, I must say that our long drive down to the mill is a blessing. It gives us the opportunity to really focus on where we are going and why. It gives us 35-40 focused minutes of prayer to confess our sins and plead on behalf of the babies. This morning, Elleina and I prayed through each verse of Ephesians 6:10-18, she reading a verse aloud and me following each verse with specific prayer. We continue to pray each week that God would awaken His church to the violent infanticide that is going on every day, just as it went on in the days of Israel when babies were sacrificed to Molek. There really is no difference except that these babies are not seen or heard as they suffer excruciating pain for the sake of the god of materialism and convenience (for the most part). (However, if they could cry audibly, I suspect we as Christians would be no less apathetic as their cries simply became our version of "normal." I'm reminded of this as we've been reading the story of George Muller. Even he was fairly immune to the orphans roaming the streets in his time until God got a hold of his heart and he saw reality for what it was.) Flip Benham stopped by this morning to encourage the "troops" and was sharing how God is moving among the church and "clinics" are continuing to close. Praise the Lord! Please keep praying with us for God to awaken His church!
I also met a lady named Jill who came out for the first time this morning and was visibly moved by what she saw. I sometimes forget how burdened and stomach-sick I felt the first time I dared to tread in front of the "gates of hell." Even hell on earth can become "normal" if we forget the reality of what goes on there. I never thought I could...and yet I now find myself in that place more than I'd like. I guess that is why sometimes I take time to refresh my memory by looking at images, watching videos, and reading articles that jolt me back to reality...that even cause me to weep...that remind me why we fight to end the atrocity of abortion and to offer hope to the lost, enslaved souls. I want to feel something when I think of abortion! I want to be broken-hearted, as Jesus certainly is. I want no more of the complacency I "enjoyed" for too much of my life. I want to faithfully hate (and yet love) going where I must go each week!
But what we do with those feelings is just as important as experiencing them. Anger must be righteous and it must be directed at the proper target. This morning, a lady whom I had seen drive by a couple times in a minivan, came walking across the street to the other end of the sidewalk to talk to Jennifer. She appeared angry, even from a distance. Unsure if I should go over (or if it was just a needless distraction), I asked Eliana if she knew what was going on. "I don't know. Go find out!" I took that as God's leading and did so.
This lady, whose son had an appointment at the psychiatric facility across the street (fitting location, huh?) was angered by our signs because of the impact they had on her 11-year-old son. I gently told her that these signs have literally saved lives and that we are told in the Bible to expose the darkness for what it truly is. "I'm an atheist, so that doesn't matter to me!" She was not interested in the fact that literal human lives have been saved. She belittled the value of the lives of others, caring only for the emotional state of her son. I told her I was sorry for her son's difficulties and that I would pray for both her and him. She stormed off, angrily accusing us of only caring for the unborn and not her child.
I will admit that one of the hardest things is that children have to be exposed to this at times, but many mothers have been completely unaffected by the images of a developing fetus, yet are stunned to see the gruesome reality of abortion and choose life solely because of it! And God protects they eyes of the little ones. In the experience of most of the counselors with children, He sovereignly allows them a simple understanding that this is a "broken" baby and protects them from any sort of trauma. I'm afraid this lady's child's mental issues have more to do with growing up with an atheistic mother than anything else. After all, without God, how do you handle such realities? If only this lady's anger would spur her to do something to end the reality that these pictures portray, rather than getting angry about truth being exposed.
Ultimately, there were three confirmed babies saved today! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! I did not, however, remember to call the abortion mill at Wendover and I am irritated with myself for that. Prayerfully I will remember tomorrow. We need to know when they are open, as their schedule seems random, and our team has not been able to minister there for over a month as we want to be as effective as possible and use our ministry time wisely.
Well, I am awfully chatty tonight. There is a reason I don't blog much. ;) Shifting topics, my afternoon wrapped up with a great phone conversation with a random dad who is considering homeschooling and had heard I was the "homeschooling expert" (ha! I truly think any parent who homeschools is an expert in their own right!!) Nothing excites me more than sparking excitement for homeschooling in others! This dad is slowly realizing that there is another way to educate that does not include uncomfortable desks and seemingly-pointless assignments taught by factory-method for 6-7 hours a day, as though individuality did not exist and every child must learn "X" by grade "Y" or they are not "normal." Please. Oh to be a part of setting minds free! How exciting it is to see the lightbulbs come on!
His son simply does not learn like others and has had a self-esteem-destroying label slapped on him. I encouraged the dad that if God is in this, He will direct him and to not be afraid of all the unknowns. I encouraged him to find his son's interests...things that truly excite him...and look for learning opportunities to tailor his education to meet his needs. Perhaps starting a business would help make math meaningful so that it would make sense to him! It will give this dad more time with his son and pursuing something of value, such as a business, will then put more value on his education in his son's mind. I'm excited for this family as they set out on this new, uncharted path, trusting in God to guide them through the learning curve!
Well, I really must be done now. I'm sure you've heard enough of me for one night!