October 16, 2017
A small band of Church of the Resurrection members regularly pray outside an abortion facility in Glen Ellyn. We refer to it as a "peaceful, prayerful presence on behalf of the unborn and their mothers and fathers." Often people ask, "But does this prayerful presence really do any good?" Of course we often don't see how God is answering our prayers, but here's one story of a specific, and we think miraculous, answer to our prayers.
Usually when we pray at the abortion facility, clients try to park as far away from us as possible. This time was different. The abortion facility’s “escorts” (whose job it is to rush clients past anyone who might offer to help them find an alternative to an abortion) had already gone home for the day. A young couple parked their car in front of us. The woman inside had been crying, and the man beside her appeared frustrated. Praying that Jesus would give them the courage to leave this place, I handed them a brochure from CareNet, a crisis pregnancy center located right across the street. I explained that CareNet helps provide food, clothing, and shelter for women in crisis pregnancies. On the brochure I jotted down the name of Church of the Resurrection and a number where they could find more help.
Instead of the usual, “No thanks, we’re not interested,” the young man replied, “We already have two kids. We can’t afford a third.” In these moments, the Holy Spirit helps us answer. “I have three children,” I replied, “and I can’t imagine life without my third. She is a joy to me, and I know you will love your third child just as much as you love your first two.”
Sometimes there is great drama, as a couple may become angry or just indifferent and march straight inside the abortion facility. There have been times in similar situations when a couple might talk for half an hour before deciding whether to go in or drive away. After a few minutes of discussion, the young man said they had decided not to have an abortion. Praise God they left that day, three people in their car, and not just two. I pray that they have contacted CareNet and found the help they need to support their growing family. Please pray for them. I cannot say for certain that they did not change their mind later and return on a different day. I do know that in His mercy God puts us in the places where He wants us to be to help others who need to hear His Word. By His power alone, may we be willing to go when He calls us.
September 10, 2015
My husband John and I have always been pro-life, but we haven't always known how to engage the issue. We have felt helpless because sadly the injustice of abortion is legal. But the recently released videos exposing what Planned Parenthood does behind closed doors have been a game changer for us. They took our hearts to a new level of outrage and lament. Seeing what goes on inside an abortion clinic has been horrifying. Watching a doctor callously explain how she can manipulate an abortion to obtain intact organs from which to profit made us nauseas. Seeing the tiny limbs of an aborted baby and hearing the doctor exclaim "it's a boy!" wrecked me as I thought of my own two sons and the unspeakable joy and potential their lives bring. We asked ourselves, "How should we respond? We can't be silent. To be silent is to be complicit and that's not an option."
We spoke to pastor Matt Woodley and told him how our hearts were breaking anew over this issue, and that we would be willing to host a prayer night to ask the Lord for clarity in how to respond. In the wake of that prayer night, John and I have stepped into a season of co-leading the Sanctity of Life ministry at Church of the Resurrection, and we are honored to hold that role.
Several words have settled on our hearts as we consider what leading this ministry might look like: Strength. Prayerful. Respectful. Healing. Hope.
We strongly believe that life is a gift from God and that it should always be defended and celebrated. We believe in the preeminence and power of prayer, and that the fight for life is a spiritual battle that must be engaged with spiritual weapons. We want to engage the evil of abortion in a way that respectfully communicates God's love for everyone involved. We want the strong convictions we bring to conversations about this issue and the quiet, prayerful presence we have outside an abortion clinic to reflect God's love for all of His children. We want the manner in which we engage this issue to be worthy of the Gospel (Phil. 1:27), simultaneously uncompromising and compassionate. Lastly, we believe in the healing made available through the cross of Christ. We believe in the sufficiency of Jesus' blood to cover any sin, no matter how grave, and to redeem even our worst choices. We long to see people involved in the abortion industry meet Jesus and be healed by His love, and for women and men who have chosen abortion to know His forgiveness and healing offered freely through the cross.
Proverbs 24:11-12 "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Behold, we did not know this,' does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"