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First Steps (Back) Into Sidewalk Counseling

  • Nov 29 / 2012
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Grace and mom
Abortion, Resources, Sidewalk Counseling Ministry

First Steps (Back) Into Sidewalk Counseling

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Let’s be clear. I don’t like spending my Saturday mornings at an abortion clinic. I don’t like sidewalk counseling. And I’d prefer not to confront another abortion-minded woman or pro-choice advocate for the rest of my life.

But you know what I don’t like more? I absolutely can’t stand that little babies are tortured, dismembered, and tossed away like trash in my own community. I am horrified that there are local businesses that actually charge money to murder children and call it “healthcare.” How can I wake up each morning and enjoy my baby girl while I let hundreds of her would-be classmates and best friends and playground buddies be wiped out without a word of concern?

And so, here I am this morning, moved yet again by Proverbs 24:11-12:  “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”

I’ve been away from sidewalk counseling a year now, but am compelled to once again take to the streets.

When my family moved away from Louisville, Kentucky last year one of the things I knew I wouldn’t miss was sidewalk counseling. To be honest, I was actually excited to know that for the first time in 2 years, I could wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy my Saturday mornings. Before our move, Saturday mornings meant waking at 6:00am with knots in my stomach and sorrow in my heart dreading the next 2-3 hours outside the local abortion clinic. Without a doubt, those hours were well spent; but they were no less difficult to endure.

As much as I looked forward to having a break from that grueling ministry, I quickly found I hadn’t moved away from the need of it. Here in Missoula, Montana a city about a 4th the size of Louisville, we have 2, yes I said 2, abortion clinics. Thankfully we have a great Christian pregnancy resource center, but I’ve been disappointed to learn that there aren’t many Christians who are focused on reaching abortion-minded women outside our clinics.

When we first moved here, I know I had many legitimate reasons to hold off jumping back into sidewalk counseling. My family has had some major life adjustments that have demanded the majority of my attention and I don’t regret that worthwhile priority. But at this point, I think I’m more tempted to remain in my happy Saturday morning routine more out of comfort than necessity.

 So with no small amount of trepidation, I am today committing to take my first steps back into sidewalk counseling. This ministry will look much different here and in many ways I feel that I’m starting from scratch. We have no established sidewalk counseling ministry and I have very few resources to even research the way our abortions clinics operate. But in many ways, I know that the Lord had a good plan placing me in this situation. Specifically, I hope to share my step-by-step experience so that you readers can have ideas for how to start similar ministries of your own.

So, here is your official invitation: Will you join me as I journey out to the sidewalks for the sake of the unborn and the cause of Christ’s gospel?

This is an invite for those who’ve considered sidewalk counseling, but not known where to begin. It’s for those burdened for the unborn, but fearful to step out in this radical ministry. For those of you who always have a “reason” you can’t do sidewalk counseling, but know that now really is the time to get involved.

Be on the lookout for future posts as I share resources and ideas based on my Missoula experience. And please join me in praying for the closure of the abortion clinics in my town and yours. Please pray for the spread of the gospel of hope to the abortion-minded in our neighborhoods and pray for courage to communicate it clearly in each encounter. And please let me know if you decide to join me in this effort!

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