Life Saving Accounts
Dear VSM LifeSharers, September 2010
In deciding the agenda of this month’s letter, we considered 1) a description of our new internet presentation, “Church History and Abortion”; 2) the ongoing progress of our “When Swing Was King” outreach to residents of nursing homes and retirement centers; 3) the amazing productivity of our last letter-writing night; 4) the ongoing impact of Vital Signs Blog; 5) our ministries of hospitality and encouragement; 6) our plans regarding the translation into Russian of my “Beasts of the Bible” sermon series; or 7) a couple of updates about our sidewalk counseling.
Though we’ve really been blessed in all of the above, I think you’ll see why I chose the last category. Therefore, taken straight from Vital Signs Blog are two recent accounts of lives saved from the abortionist. The first was written up by Claire (with comments from Quint Coppi) and the second I recount from our sidewalk counseling experiences the very next week.
We knew early that it was going to be a tough day when three abortion workers and a client pulled into the parking lot at 7:30. Denny stayed on the sidewalk between the parking lot and Mission Avenue with his baby sign and banner while Quint Coppi and I headed up to the building's east side. That's closer to the building entrance and sometimes abortion clients will park on the street nearby. Before too long Bill Coker and Chet Thomas arrived too. Chet joined Denny while Bill stayed up top with us. Other members of our prayer and sidewalk counseling team take the "second shift" so Val Prater and Carol Moran joined us a bit later. (Others of our little band were not able to be there yesterday: Ruth Denzler is in Minnesota; Larry Booth's wife, Jeannie, is undergoing a medical procedure; and Mark Morin was on a job.)
By 9:30, there were 11 clients that went into the abortion building. Four of them parked on the street and we were able to walk with them from their cars to the abortion clinic -- offering our help, telling them of the alternatives to abortion and showing them the beautiful model which represents exactly what an unborn baby looks like at 10-weeks gestation. Among these were a couple of angry people so, along with the normal excuses and lies about their intentions, we got some pretty salty language and threats. One woman, after hearing us explain the miraculous development of her baby, brazenly said, "So, I'm killing my baby. What of it?"
Down by the parking lot, Denny was able to speak to the women, husbands and boyfriends too. But since they all come in the east door, we were able to speak to those clients as well.
One of the young women who was just "dropped off" at the door went into the abortionist, but then came out after just a few minutes. She sat on the bench by the door and smoked a cigarette. I quietly shared with her what happens during the abortion, the uniqueness and beauty of her child, what her son or daughter might be doing right now in her womb, potential dangers to her own health from the abortion (like a greater incidence of breast cancer), and especially about how we could take her right across the street to A Woman’s Touch Pregnancy Center. There she could to sit in a pleasant, unpressured, safe place and talk to the counselor there about her alternatives to abortion.
I reminded her that the three of us there were all praying for her right now to not get an abortion, to let us help her and her baby. Periodically, the young lady would look up as I was talking and, after she finished her cigarette, she just sat there with her chin on her hand. She looked lost and far away but she kept looking up at us too like she was about to speak.
Bill shared a little bit with her too and in a very kind, fatherly way that he has. I've been doing this kind of thing for an awful lot of years but my heart was still pounding as I prayed for this lady and her child...and even her boyfriend. I also felt a tremendous sense of pride and appreciation for the pro-life friends who are on our team and taking on this crucial challenge.
Then Quint decided to tell the young woman a compelling story from his own life, one that was of the utmost relevance and value. I'll let him summarize what he had to say:
"Young lady, my daughter became pregnant in high school and gave birth to a little girl. My wife Carol and I had the privilege of seeing our little granddaughter as a newborn. This would be our only chance to see her, since my daughter had arranged for her to be adopted. Since this was the case, we knew that, more than likely, we might never see her again.
However, she had other plans. She remembered in earlier correspondence with my daughter, that my wife was an artist in Omaha. She googled "Omaha Artist", and found my wife's e-mail. Earlier this year, we received an e-mail from her, asking my wife if she was my daughter's mother. She wanted to re-establish contact with her again, and asked if we would send her our daughter's address.
The upshot of this was that, that little newborn, now a young woman in her thirties, came to Omaha, spent a day with my daughter, and the next day came and visited with us. Now she has a husband and children of her own. Through recent e-mails, she has let us know that she would like to stay in contact with us often. My wife and I are very thankful for this turn of events.
Your child could have this same opportunity; to live, marry, and have children. This could not happen if you proceed along the path of abortion. Your child will have no opportunity to live, to marry or have a family. Please reconsider, come over to the CPC, and listen to the options that are open to you. They will help you to make a much better decision than abortion. Believe me, in time, you will be grateful that you saved your baby's life."
I already knew Quint's story, of course, but it was thrilling to hear him relate it to this young woman. I knew Bill had been praying hard as Quint told it. I reminded her that we cared very much for her and really wanted her best. I also emphasized that there was no charge, no risk, no obligation to go over and at least talk to the counselor at A Woman's Touch.
She looked up and suddenly asked if you needed an appointment over there. We told her no, not at all. In fact, I would be glad to walk her over and introduce her. She sat a few minutes longer, then she grabbed her purse and walked over to me and said, “I would like to go over there.” I handed Bill my sign and introduced myself. She, in turn, told me her name. As we walked over, I found out a little about her.
As we walked into A Woman’s Touch, I introduced her to the counselor. The counselor immediately sat next to the young lady and said that she was glad that she had come in and asked her to fill out some forms so she would know how to help her. It was difficult for me to leave her. After all those years of counseling at the AAA CPC, I wanted to be a part of the session too. But I didn't want to be a distraction. I told the young lady that I would leave her in good hands and that we would continue to pray for her. And that anytime she wanted my help, she could count on it.
It was a great joy to go back across the street to share with Denny and the rest of the team what was happening, to let them know that this young mom had escaped the devil's trap and that her baby wasn't going to be killed. Indeed, she was now getting the full range of counseling, alternatives and assistance the pro-life community can give. There was great rejoicing there on the street yesterday morning as well as in the heavenlies! Thank You, Lord Jesus!
We ask for ongoing prayers for this young couple and their baby. And you might also say a prayer for the two other clients who left yesterday morning without having the abortion. Neither wanted to stop and talk to us (although one of the young women gave Denny a smile and a little wave) so we don't know what transpired. And please say a prayer for the impact of our sidewalk counseling team when the Lord brings us to mind. We sure would like to relate to you more miracle stories like this one.
And here’s the second account:
There had already been 8 or 9 clients go into the grisly-looking abortion mill and it was only 8:15. Up top near the entrance were Claire and Quint Coppi. Beside me on the sidewalk along Mission Avenue was Bill Coker. Due to arrive for the second shift in awhile were Carol, Val and Mark. As always, I had with me a big sign with a smiling infant and the word "Life" emblazoned at the top. To the drivers going east, I showed a pink banner with black words reading, "Mom, we care for you and your baby."
Bill and I were talking about his Sunday School class the morning before when another car pulled into the parking lot with a man and woman inside. They parked along a row quite near the steps leading to the entrance. There were three cars between us as well as a bit of parking lot. However, the windows on both the passenger and driver's side had been down when they first drove in and the street traffic had diminished quite a bit since earlier in the morning. So I decided to go ahead and speak across to them.
I spoke of the alternatives to abortion we could offer them, of the facts about the procedure that would be denied them inside. I spoke of the physical development of the child, how the heart was beating even now and how little time would be needed before they could cuddle this precious son or daughter in their arms. I spoke too of the dangers of abortion to the mom's own health and future, of the much higher risks of breast cancer and miscarriage, of the heartbreak and regret she would experience for the rest of her life.
And throughout my attempts to speak to them, I regularly repeated that we truly cared about them, that everything we offered was free of charge, that everything we spoke about was true and in their best interests. I explained that Jesus loved them and that He loved their baby -- and we did too. Wouldn't they please let us help them through this difficult time? I informed them that right down the street was a pregnancy center that could see them right now, a place of safety and peace where they could see their child via ultrasound and hear about the whole range of services the Christian pro-life community could provide for them.
To be honest, I didn't know if they were hearing me or not. The parking lot was quiet enough but from my vantage point I couldn't tell if their windows were still open or not. Beside me, Bill was earnestly praying for the couple. And up top, Claire and Quint were praying too. In the quiet of the morning, they could hear everything I was saying and they could see into the car. They also knew what Bill and I didn't; namely, that the couple were seriously taking in what I was saying. The woman was crying.
After about 10 or 15 minutes the young man got out of the car. I urged him to come over and talk to me. And he did. I introduced myself and Bill. We shook hands and I told him, "Everything I've been telling you guys is true and from the bottom of my heart I mean what I say about helping you through whatever difficulties you're dealing with. But you know, man, taking the life of that child in the womb isn't the answer."
He nodded. "We just don't know what to do."
As I asked questions, the story came out. They had three other children. There were financial problems. They were being strongly pressured by a family member to abort. There was confusion and fear but they also understood that what I was telling them was true. They really weren't keen on abortion. In fact, he explained that this was their third appointment with the abortionist! For various reasons they hadn't gone through with it the other two.
Bill said to the young man, "Doesn't that tell you a lot? God has delivered you two times already and now He is giving you a third chance. And this time we can take you right over to the CPC where you can get all the help you need."
It also came out in the conversation that the abortion was costing $600. Why so high? Because the procedure involved killing two children. His wife was bearing twins!
The conversation ended when he decided to take us up on our offer. I told him to drive up to where Claire was and she would escort them over to the pro-life pregnancy center just around the corner. She would also introduce them to the counselor there. Bill accompanied them too.
Not surprisingly, the warm-hearted counselor there was able to deal with the various issues put before her. While over in the parking lot, I had spoken to the young man at some length about the loving choice of adoption. That seemed to strongly resonate with him but whatever course they will take, it looks very likely that it won't be abortion.
When I last saw the young man, it was in the CPC. His wife was back talking to the counselor and having ultrasound pictures taken of their twin babies. He was reading through pro-life literature out front. I wrote down my name and information about Faith Bible Church where I'm preaching. I told him, "In addition to directing Vital Signs Ministries (that's my job), I'm also a preacher. Now don't freak out at that," I laughed, "Preachers can be very helpful. And so if you're looking for a bigger safety net, here's a small church with a big heart that can help you guys get through this...and more."
He thanked me again for being there and for caring about them. And again he shook my hand. I left him with this: "You were a real champ today, my friend. And I'm proud of you. So thank you for listening. And thanks for doing the right thing. And you've got that information about how to get in touch with me, so I hope this isn't the last time I see you."
One last thing I should mention before signing off here. In the activity and excitement of this whole event, something had completely slipped my mind until we were sitting at a coffee shop "debriefing" later in the morning. "Hey, Bill. What about that little gray car with the young couple?" While I had been talking to the others, this car had slowly driven around the lot looking for a place to park. They finally settled into a place. But they were there for no more than a minute or two. Then they drove away. "Did they ever come back in?"
Bill said no. And the sidewalk counselors on the second shift later confirmed that they had never come back. Had someone else decided against abortion? Had yet another preborn baby been delivered by the mercy of God as the parents were held back, like the other couple had been twice before, from the brink of destruction?
We can only hope...and pray...and stay faithful to the call of God to stand as witnesses to His truth, His holiness, and His grace.
For all of you who pray for us as we sidewalk counsel outside the abortion clinics, for all of you who financially support Vital Signs Ministries and other pro-life organizations (especially CPCs), for all of you who raise up His standard in your spheres of influence -- thank you.
P.S. About all those other exciting ministries I mentioned at the opening of this LifeSharer letter?
Maybe next month!