The following correspondence came in on the website email address. I thought I would share it since it encouraged me. The Lord is working on Market Street!
On Friday, September 7, two women who had initially walked into the abortion clinic left it. Two members of the Kenwood Baptist Church wing of the Speak for the Unborn ministry had spoken to these women when they arrived, but neither woman indicated a desire to reconsider. After 8am, the clinic’s escorts left. All but one of the pro-life counselors had to leave as well. The remaining Kenwood member was discouraged, as there was no one to talk with, but felt moved to pray against his doubts that some of the abortion-minded women would leave the clinic.
Not three minutes after that, a flood of people left the clinic, including a woman who had come alone and another who was accompanied by her boyfriend. The couple–the woman weeping–decided to go to the Crisis Pregnancy Center to have an ultrasound and did so. The woman who had come alone walked back to her car. The Kenwood member gently approached her car. She rolled the window down and he tentatively asked, “Ma’am–did you just choose to not have an abortion? Did you choose to keep your baby?” She said “Yes.” He said, “Wonderful.” She then said, “I’m scared.” They talked, and she also decided to have an ultrasound.
Members of Kenwood are following up with both women for gospel outreach and help. God was gracious to bless these babies with life. We pray that they will one day be able to thank him for it.
Thunder Over Louisville, along with many other downtown events, creates an interesting atmosphere on Market Street every year. Parking on Market is not allowed, and many lots are roped off in order to sell parking spots during the all-day event. This means that clients and their companions can come from any direction and at anytime. This morning was no different, however it did appear that most of the clients went in towards the beginning of the morning and not towards the end.
Here are some highlights of our morning:
-At least one woman who had an appointment at EMW decided to stay at A Woman’s Choice! Keep her in your prayers.
-One sister reported that for at least 2 clients she was able to speak to them without any escorts following or talking to them. The escorts didn’t even approach the client. We do not always know why this happens, but we praise the Lord for any uninterrupted conversations!
-The gospel was boldly and lovingly proclaimed by our brothers and sisters in Christ!
-12 Women went into the clinic this morning to end their child’s life. While this is considered a “lower” number, we grieve the deaths of these children and ask that you would pray for the mothers now, as they wait in the waiting room or go back for their procedure.
-The escorts. As always, the escorts continue to be one of the most challenging obstacles in this ministry. We were saddened to see a group of giggling escorts posing and waving in front of the clinic while having their picture taken this morning. Pray that the escort’s would be open to talking to us genuinely instead of ignoring us or mocking. Pray that they would consider checking out Immanuel.
(next) Saturday, April 28th is the Mini-Marathon. Read Street Closings here. Dr. Bizer’s has confirmed that we can park in their lot as long as we leave before 9:00 and have our vests.
Saturday, May 5th: Clinic CLOSED! The clinic historically closes for the Kentucky Derby. If this changes, we will let you know. Otherwise, we rejoice that there will be no innocent lives taken this day.
Thankful for you all.
Last week, Together for the Gospel held a conference in downtown Louisville. One person who was here in town for the event wrote today about walking past the abortion clinic, EMW, one morning on the way to conference.
One morning, as I walked by that clinic, passing directly in front of it, I saw that three or four people were just outside, holding signs and passing out pamphlets. I was taken aback; here in Ontario it has long since been declared illegal to protest outside a clinic. Yet there they were, quietly and peacefully protesting.
Standing a little bit apart from those people were two men and a woman, each wearing an orange vest emblazoned with “Escort.” These three people were escorting young women from the parking lot to the clinic, walking them past the protestors, all of whom were behaving peacefully; two were seated on the sidewalk praying, the others were calling to the women and saying, “Please don’t kill your baby. You don’t have to do this!” One young woman walked by them—she couldn’t have been older than sixteen or seventeen—with her mother beside her, her head down. She quietly took a pamphlet and disappeared inside. The people on the sidewalk kept praying. A moment later another woman, perhaps in her twenties or thirties, passed by the protestors and went inside as well.
All of that unraveled in the few seconds it took for me to pass by—a very powerful few seconds. I was shocked and gravely disappointed—shocked again, shocked anew, that we allow this to happen, that our society not only allows this to happen, but is actually complicit in this genocide. And I was so gravely disappointed in myself, so ashamed. I felt no animosity toward those young women. They were doing only what they have been instructed to do, what parents and friends and guidance counselors and maybe even pastors have told them is the happiest outcome. “It’s just like having a tumor removed. It’s just a small surgery; it will be over before you know it. It’s better this way.”
That little girl who went in there was a sinner behaving like a sinner, an unbeliever acting out of unbelief, desperate to rid herself of the evidence of her sin or perhaps the evidence of a sin committed against her. She was wrong, of course, and will have to give an account for what she has done; but I harbor no ill-will for her. It is me I was disgusted with and me I was ashamed of. Disgusted that I could watch that and not do something, ashamed that I have no idea what to do and that I have done so little. I don’t even know what I ought to do. Cry out to God and ask him to intervene? Demand answers from God as to how he can allow this to go on? What do you do, how do you react, when you see someone about to commit murder? I, we, do nothing. We feel disturbed, we feel bad, we feel guilty and ashamed, and we walk away. This atrocity has been going on all around me all of my life and I do so very little about it. I stopped for a moment, felt revulsion, and then went on my way and ate breakfast.
The entire post is worth reading and I’m thankful to Tim Challies for writing honestly about his experience last week. Our society is allowing the legal murder of children and yet we are so often silent about it – even though we profess to be pro-life.
Don’t stop fighting for these children. We’d love to see you on Saturday mornings (or any morning you can make it) to speak truth to these women and to pray for them and their unborn children.
Every Friday morning, we have a group of S4U sidewalk counselors that come out to Louisville’s abortion clinic and do our best to share the hope of Christ with those scheduled to be devastated by the sin of abortion. Most of our volunteers have to leave straight for work afterwards so we are not able to stay and pray together or share our experiences. Instead, I send out a weekly email to our group with a brief summary of the morning’s events and some encouragement to keep our focus on the Lord and His truth in the midst of these tough situations.
We’d like to start sharing these messages on the blog to give you a better idea of how our mornings typically go. I hope they motivate you to think through your own stance on these weekly tragedies and even challenge you to actively join us in prayer for the needs we encounter.
Today I had one of those conversations I’m sure to remember for the rest of my life. A young father on his way out of the clinic actually stopped and had an extended conversation with me. I said all the same things I always say, and he replied with all the same responses they always give, but what I will remember was his hesitation. Every excuse he gave, the Bible had a reply. Every reason to he had to walk away, God had provided a reason to stay. We went back and forth cautiously and in between each new thought he’d stand, look off in the distance, and truly think through his next move. I will never forget his anguished eyes that even welled up as he gave in an made his final choice to leave. Oh how sin plagues our blind and burdened neighbors! And what inward turmoil this young man was so obviously tortured by. I don’t think I have ever hated sin and Satan more tangibly than I did after seeing their affects on my pitiable new friend.
Please pray with me that God uses this father’s apparent conviction to turn his heart to Christ. I would not be surprised to hear if he had come back and brought his girlfriend out of the clinic, he was so on the fence. May we continue to show up for men and women like him who so desperately need hope and forgiveness.
We had 18 go in today. 1 went into both AWC and EMW but came quickly out of both. Pray she has had a change of heart and will not come back to EMW!
A few weeks ago there was a very moving guest post by a woman over at the True Woman blog. She is a woman who had been scarred by abortion by her own testimony. Her story is all too familiar to families struggling with unplanned pregnancies across the country. She begins by writing about growing up in a home that held up “good morals and good values,” yet:
Abortion was wrong in my parents’ eyes, until it became their daughter that was pregnant. The reputation of our family and the dreams of my parents were shattered. I was going to be connected to a guy that they knew had no value for me. We sat and discussed the pros and cons of abortion (none of which I could list today because of the relationship I have with God, the giver of life and not the giver of death). Although they did not actually force me get an abortion, I knew that this is what they wanted.
She remembers her feelings of isolation and sadness at the abortion clinic and then her futile attempts at trying to mask the pain with anything including drugs and relationships. She continues:
As I lived life my way and made my own decisions, I found many consequences that would play themselves out for years. You see, if I had not had the first abortion, I would never have had the next four. Abortion became birth control to me. My heart became harder and harder, and the silent cry that was once there faded into a faint thought. Because of the hardness of my heart, I eventually believed that abortion was right.
But there is good news…
Then one day I met the Lord Jesus Christ. He drew me to Himself, and I began to see my sin as He sees it. I repented as a sinner and realized that I only did what I did because that is what I was…. a sinner, a murderer, an enemy to God. At that moment in my life I saw that I needed a Savior from my sin that could give me His righteousness in place of my sinfulness. God shone His glorious light in my heart and I trusted Him as my Savior. “For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, that knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).”
…I am looking forward to the day I enter into the presence of God in heaven and get to meet those five children that I did not love or value. It is through the forgiveness of God and His healing power of the soul that I am able to be grateful and joyful for that day to come.
Please read the article in its entirety here.
As a sidewalk counselor, yes I am there out in front of the abortion clinic to try and save a child from the death that awaits her. But more importantly I’m out there to point others to Christ because he is the only one who can save them and give them hope in all circumstances. The testimony above is a reminder that it is Christ, and Christ alone, who redeems.
The first part of this entry I want to speak about some things that have been happening specifically with me the past couple of Saturdays at the clinic. I hope it will encourage people who are involved to continue to speak and people who may just be reading this to pray more fervently in hopes that, not only babies would be saved, but also that lives would be changed eternally because the Spirit of God has irresistibly moved upon them causing repentance and faith in Christ and everything he has accomplished. The second part I hope to use a psalm to encourage more prayer from everyone using Psalm 35.
I was counseling with Sarah last weekend and the place we were positioned saw about 3 or 4 male/female companion/client groups. After about the second group she commented that I had been able to speak clearly to the male each time. It caused me to reflect and see the grace God had given me the past couple of weeks. Rewind: A few weeks ago things were wrapping up and we were all hanging around the entrance of the clinic conversing and the guests who had accompanied the clients to the clinic began coming out. I was able to speak with a guy named Ira who expressed to me that upon his arrival to the clinic his heart changed from not caring about the abortion of his child to not wanting to do it at all. He explained to me that his girlfriend Crystal may just be getting the abortion because of some relationship issues they had had. This was in January and they found out she was pregnant in November. Anyway, Ira was a fan of rap music so I gave him my copy of Lecrae and Flame before we departed. He also has my number. Can we pray for Ira and Crystal? That the Lord would move into their lives with an Ezekial 36 conversion.
Back to last week: A couple was walking in and I began talking to a guy, later found his name to be Lenny. He continued to walk while I was talking to him but his friend was so far ahead of us that it was just me and Lenny talking. We got to the doors and he went in. Later he came out and we had another conversation. Lenny is from Ohio State and was accompanying his friend because no one would go with her. He also expressed to me he was a Christian and he actually leads a bible study at the Ohio State campus. We are now facebook friends, I confirmed it was okay to add him. Can we pray that the he would begin dialoguing with me and that if he is a believer he would also come to detest this thing that God hates? Praise God that he has been making provisions like this, maybe not saving babies in this case but hopefully creating new hearts!
Finally, Psalm 35. I was reading this the other day and was really glad in the Lord. Let me first say, I want our prayer to always be that the escorts would forsake their love for sin and allegiance to their father the devil and become sons and daughters of God. Also knowing the reality of the happenings taking place on Market St. this psalm was very tasty. I encourage you all to read Psalm 35. David is describing his enemies pursuing his life for death, hating him, and repaying evil for good. Amongst all of that, David says “But I, when they were sick–I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.” This part is so wondrous, “I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother.” Will we do this for the lost? For both the escorts and clinic workers? For the women who would say hateful things to us as they approach the clinic doors? To any escorts reading, may our love be evident to you in that. And may the Lord of all comfort be your only refuge.
They hold bloody signs, chase down women as they are walking into the abortion clinic, and yell in their faces that they are murderers… Well, that’s at least what everybody thinks we do. And to be honest, it’s what I thought too before I got involved with this very difficult and very misunderstood ministry.
A few weeks ago, this stereotype had a short surge of support with the news that a federal lawsuit had been filed against “Louisville Abortion Protestor” David Hamilton. According to the Courier Journal, the suit claimed David “used force against an escort as she was taking a woman inside the center. Hamilton also attempted to injure, intimidate and interfere with others trying to get inside the clinic.” Reports like this seem to confirm that sidewalk counselors are nothing more than pro-life bullies out to harm anyone with an opposing view and an unwanted pregnancy.
Let me assure you, there is nothing farther from the truth.
I was actually inspired to join the sidewalk counseling ministry in Louisville, Kentucky, through none other than the accused radical, David Hamilton who I knew through my church. I heard that David was going out to the nearby abortion clinic every week and since he didn’t strike me as the angry yelling sort, I asked him what he was trying to accomplish out there.
David told me he was partnering with another local church, Immanuel Baptist Church, and their “Speak for the Unborn” (S4U) ministry. According to the S4U website, this ministry was created with the goal to “make abortion impossible in Louisville, KY, through the means of sidewalk counseling and prayer.” David explained that every week “sidewalk counselors” walk with those entering the abortion clinic and share evidence from both Scripture and the fetal development process that the unborn are actually human beings created by God and deserving of life.
They also encourage women to visit the nearby pregnancy center, A Woman’s Choice Resource Center (AWC), as an alternative to aborting their babies. At AWC, women can walk-in and receive counseling regarding their specific situations. AWC is a non-profit special health clinic equipped to provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, maternity/infant supplies and referrals for medical assistance, financial aid, adoption resources, etc. – all donated in order to help mothers going through crisis pregnancies. David assured me that sidewalk counselors were not out there as protestors, but as Christians concerned for the well-being of all involved – mothers and babies.
This concern for those affected by abortion is what drew me to the S4U ministry, and the very first week I joined I saw how true David’s explanation had been. The S4U volunteers are people who attend with one goal: to offer hope and help to women intending to have abortions. The wild card in this ministry is of course, that most of the people we encounter disagree with our stance that every life is precious and are offended by our efforts to change their minds about abortion. Add to that the fact that there are volunteers for the abortion clinic who come specifically to shield mothers from our conversations, and you can imagine how tense the environment can get.
Clinic escorts and sidewalk counselors conversely vie for the attention of clients while walking a short distance down a narrow sidewalk leading to the clinic. Understandably, it is not the ideal environment to hold a sensitive conversation, especially in front of an audience of opposition. Nonetheless, we seek to conscientiously engage in this atmosphere because we truly believe we have the opportunity to help save the life of a baby. And beyond that, we know that this ministry is effective, because we have seen it work. Already this year, we have confirmed 3 instances of women coming out of the abortion clinic having decided to keep their babies. We know the sidewalks are a last resort, but surely we should show up if it’s worth the chance to help save a life and spare a mother a lifetime of regret.
The accusations that David tried to “injure or intimidate” anyone is completely unfounded and goes against all he was seeking to accomplish on the sidewalks. His original case was dismissed and the new federal suit is grossly lacking in evidence and substance. We are confident that if he is investigated, his outstanding character and compassionate reputation will be a credit to his innocence. Further, it is stated on S4U’s website that sidewalk counselors, “in no way support illegal activities, unkind words or tone, threats, unwanted physical contact, or anything of the sort.” David and all sidewalk counselors are careful to abide by these principles. It would be completely counter-productive to our ministry to be intimidating those we most long to help, and would discredit the grace and compassion we show up to represent.
I can’t vouch for every sidewalk counselor in our nation, but I can say that in Louisville, the Speak for the Unborn ministry is committed to engaging with women in a non-violent manner that is loving, kind, and respectful. I have consistently observed a motive of love in the sidewalk counselors I serve with and have wholeheartedly joined in with this lot. We may be misunderstood and misrepresented, but our confident convictions will keep us coming back day after day. We are motivated by the hope that women will hear our message and cherish the miracle of life over the devastation of abortion. We share these thoughts through our freedoms of speech and through godly and legal means. That is what sidewalk counselors do.
If you’d like to learn more about what sidewalk counselors do, please feel free to look through our website for more information.