Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hebron report, June 10

Well, yesterday was an interesting and very interactive day at the mill! This is going to be long, as I am also feeling verbose. And I find writing to be helpful in processing these interactions. Our morning of ministry started out with us being greeted by a friendly pit bull puppy who enjoyed jumping and licking...and unfortunately running out into traffic! We were hoping after a few times dodging cars that he would just find his way home, but after a scary near-miss with one car, we decided animal control needed to be called. Susan handled that while I picked him up and carried him to a warehouse across the street where the workers (who had been alerted by the squealing tires) and I looked for a way to tie him up temporarily. Finally, I headed back down the street where I saw a young couple walking right toward the driveway of the mill. Ugh! The dog distraction had kept us away from our "posts" and the couple walked right in. :( I called out to them and then ran over to the mic, but I do wonder what difference it would have made if they could have seen our baby Malachi sign and been met with smiling faces and face-to-face conversation. God is in control, though.

The animal control guy finally arrived and turned around in the mill parking lot. I approached and told him where the dog was. He seemed disturbed by my sign and surprised that we were the ones who had called...the crazy people with the sign picturing an aborted baby. Yes, we care for ALL life!

Later in the day, I did get a chance to talk to that same couple as they left. I told them it was not too late for God's grace even if they had already gone through with it and I gave them some of our Spanish materials, since they pretended to not speak much English...okay, maybe they didn't, but his Spanish accent was nearly gone, so I suspect he knew exactly what I was saying. Sadly, you begin to recognize the many times you get lied to by people who are fighting a guilty conscience and shame.

Another encounter was with two ladies pulling out of the driveway. I asked if they had dropped someone off for an abortion and before the words were out of my mouth, they said, "We don't agree with all that. We don't like abortion," etc. So, wondering what they were doing there, I pressed harder. "So you didn't drop someone off?" They said, "Oh, yes, well our friend works here. But that's her choice." As nicely as possible, I told them that they shouldn't be driving her here. I told them they were complicit in the murder of babies, just as they would be if they dropped off their friend to murder the eyes of the law they would be accomplices. I even told them we could help her find a job, as we had for others. But they did not appreciate hearing the truth and said, "Well, that's God's place to judge, not ours," and their faces turned stony and hard as they sarcastically said, "God bless!" and drove away. :(

There was also one interaction with yelling, cursing, prideful women who "had already killed my baby, so it's too late!" I told her (and the others) that it was not too late for God, that He could forgive her and we could help her. But she and the others continued swearing and yelling, uninterested in anything I had to say.

Another man drove out out of the parking lot and I was able to talk to him. He looked a little upset and was soft to what I had to say, after telling me that no, he had not dropped anyone off. I knew he was likely lying (unless he had come from the not-very-busy mattress store behind the abortion mill), but just handed him a book and said if he ever knew of any women that were abortion-minded he could give them that book. I showed him the sign with baby Malachi and said, "This is what they do to babies in there and we're just here to help women." He thanked me and drove away. About 10 minutes later, he pulled back in the lot and into a space. Then he pulled out again. I talked to him again and this time he was honest(er), "My wife brought a friend here and she's in there trying to get her out." I suspect it was his wife and he was trying to get her out. I told him to call us if he needed anything at all. Near the end of the day, he pulled back in the lot. By this time, I knew he had probably lost the battle and so I waved him over to me. He pulled up and I handed him a post-abortion booklet, telling him if she did go through with it that this booklet would help her. Again, he thanked me and when he finally left, I don't think I saw any others in the car besides he and his wife. :( Sad. This will probably ruin their relationship, as it does to most couples apart from the grace of God.

At one point after I was on the mic, I was walking back to the driveway, feeling very uplifted in spirit. God whispered in my heart, "Faith is the Victory," and I started trying to think of the words to that hymn. We had prayed through the armor of God on the way to the mill, as we usually do, and the shield of faith had stood out to me more than usual because I was finding my words not coming smoothly as I prayed and my thinking felt foggy. Yet, I know that when we are weak, God is our strength! And we know that God has the victory, even through weak people like us! So, I had been impressed to pray very earnestly on that piece of armor in particular. So I was curious when God brought that song to my mind. I couldn't remember the lyrics, so I looked them up on my phone. Here they are:

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.


On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.


To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav’n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring Name.


Could those lyrics be any more appropriate? I sang and hummed this off and on for the rest of the morning! There are some great modern praise and worship songs, but I am coming to appreciate the depth of doctrine in the lyrics of old hymns that I used to sing without fully comprehending.

The last story was the saddest to me. An Indian couple walked down the road from the bus stop while I was on the mic. Susan was by the driveway and she said when they approached and saw the sign, the woman's eyes got huge and she seemed horrified. They continued walking down the road and stood about 100 feet away, talking for about 20 minutes. Since there did not seem to be any logical reason to stand there talking, we assumed she had come for an abortion and was now struggling with the decision. Susan went down to talk to them after a bit and they said she wasn't pregnant and they didn't need help, so she handed them a Gospel of John booklet and told them it was a gift. They continued talking, then moved across the street and under a tree for another 20 minutes or so. Finally, they walked determinedly across the street toward the entrance. I ran down to get on the mic and rotated the speaker toward the driveway and preached my heart out at them! I didn't see them through the cracks in the fence, so I assumed they still had not been able to do it. Then I saw them again crossing the street and this time, we walked over and talked to them for a while.

They didn't want to share the details, so I asked if I could just pray for them. I prayed that whatever the circumstances were, that God would make a way and that they would do what is right. Then I began a guessing game. "Well, if your doctor is telling you to abort, you need to know that doctors are very afraid of being sued. I have a close friend who was told her baby would have all kinds of problems and that baby is a healthy 7-year-old now with NO problems!" "No, no, it's not that at all," he said. "There are just difficulties." Finally, after a few wrong guesses which probably were just getting annoying to him ;) , the most we could get out of them (mostly him, as she really didn't talk to us), was that they were about to split up and then they found out she's pregnant. She is going back to India and he is staying here. The baby would have a hard life. There was no way she could have the baby. We still didn't understand why. There seemed to be more. And when I came home, my husband hit it dead on, I'm sure. He said she was probably going home to an arranged marriage and if she were pregnant, that would ruin the marriage plans and cause major family problems. It's funny how you can forget some of these cultural things. It seemed so obvious when he said it! I can see now how the guilt and shame and fear kept her from even wanting to talk about it and caused her to believe this was her only choice. I feel so sad for her, as whatever decision she makes will have serious, life-altering consequences.

When we finally left, over an hour later than we usually do, they were still sitting there talking. I do wonder if she will be back or if she will choose what looks like the harder path. She knew what the right choice was and that is why she struggled so much. And that's exactly what we told them. Pray for their salvation and pray for the life of their baby! We shared the Gospel with them and even though they didn't take the Tiny Hands booklet, they do have the Gospel of John. I'm glad Susan was able to give that to them! Pray for a miracle in both of their lives! I do believe we watered the seed with them and that perhaps someone else will someday see the harvest. I'm praying for that!

Well, that was our very busy day! I think I remembered everything. Finally, I'd like to just thank you all for praying for us. Honestly, on days like yesterday when there is so much going on and only two of us, it is all I can do to simply utter a quick "Lord, help us," or "Lord, please convict them. Stop them!" But knowing that we have many others praying for us and interceding on behalf of the babies is such an encouragement and makes a huge difference! And we are winning this battle overall in the hearts of most people. We have so many positive interactions with the cars passing by...friendly waves and thumbs-up. (I thank the Lord for that, too, as the angry interactions can feel so heavy on our spirits after a while). It is an encouragement to think that the attitude toward abortion in this country is changing and that clinics are closing! And not because of politics, either. As Flip says, the politics will follow after the hearts of Americans change. It will be a wonderful day when we no longer have to fight this battle!