Friends of Life:
Rejoice! He is risen! Jesus has conquered death, hell and the grave. He is victorious and His victory is given to us. What an exchange. What a miracle. What love and grace.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, let’s reflect on the following children who, because of that same resurrection power, now have physical life.
It’s been 2 months since I’ve written an update and much has happened. I’ll get right to it!
I’ll start with the birth of Adrianna’s baby boy. I showered her in January and reported on it last time. Thomas was born February 19 and weighed 9lb 9oz and he was 22″ long. Adrianna had to have a C-section (the ladies might have guessed!) but she has recovered fully and is already back in school. She adores little Thomas and it is a delight to see her hold and care for him. Her younger brother, Ezequiel, is an amazing young man who is incredibly helpful with his little nephew.
Thankfully, Adrianna, who is 17, was never abortion-minded. I heard of her situation through Brookdale Baptist Church in Kannapolis, where my children and I go for our weekly homeschool coop meeting. The church has graciously taken Adrianna into their care and have discipled her and loved her. Her family has stood by her with the love of Christ. Brookdale is a wonderful community of believers. Their “Women on a Mission” group invited me to speak a few weeks ago and all the ladies brought generous baby gifts for Truth & Mercy. Thank you, Brookdale and Pastor Mike Hubbard.
Brandy, who I also showered last January, had her baby boy, Tristan Samuel, on February 9. He weighed 8lb 10oz and was 20.5″. Unfortunately, I have not been able to meet this little fellow yet, but I’ll keep trying and will bring you a photo as soon as I can. Brandy is back in school now, too.
You might also remember Wendy, whose shower I reported on last time, too. She had her baby boy, Gabriel, on March 18. He weighed 7lb 8oz. The victory is the LORD’S!
Next was Camille’s shower, which was held March 12. Camille was spared from abortion because of a faithful group of believers who regularly minister at the Wendover abortion clinic. Jenny Starnes, her husband, Wayne, and others, keep a regular presence in front of this killing center. Carolina Women’s Center has been on Wendover Road for about 18 years. I used to minister regularly at their previous location, which was the Metroview building near Presbyterian hospital. I’ve tried counseling at this current place many times over the years but have found it very challenging because of the property layout. It’s in a complex with many offices. There are two driveway entrances on different city blocks. You can’t see both driveways at the same time, so counseling partners can be dangerously separated. You can’t see the clinic entrance from either driveway. Wendover is a very busy 4-lane road and it’s hard to get people to stop in the driveway…BUT…God has anointed this group at this place! They have seen glorious fruit. I stand in awe when I hear of the victories. Camille is just one example of God’s fruit!
Camille is married to Walter and they have 2 older children. Sariah is 2.5 years old, and Josias is 1.5 years old. Her husband, Walter, has been greatly affected by the Lord since meeting Jenny at the clinic. God is at work in their lives, faithfully drawing them to Himself. They are so grateful that they did not abort. Jenny, along with Paige Tennant, took all the wonderful Truth & Mercy gifts to them, which saved me lots of time. Thank you Jenny and Paige!
Camille and Walter’s baby girl, Brooklyn Marie, was born Monday, April 17. She weighed 7lb 7oz and is adorable! Here is Brooklyn and next to her is the family picture taken at the shower.
Astrid’s shower was next. Several faithful servants of the Lord were involved in ministering to Astrid the day she came to the Latrobe killing center. Two sweet ladies, Angela and Liz, slowed her as she drove down the street approaching the clinic and they got some literature to her. Seconds later, Katherine Hearn and Sallie Saxon got her to stop her car in the road to talk. They expressed the love of Christ and pleaded with her not to abort. They offered her truth, help and all the baby items from Truth & Mercy. Astrid never even went inside that day…and never went back.
Her girlfriend, who was with her, was angry that Astrid had chosen life. She made quite a scene, demanding that Astrid not listen to the Christians. You see, this friend had had 3 abortions at the Latrobe clinic herself. Women who have had abortions often find comfort and relief from their guilt when others abort as well. When more and more women make that choice also, it somehow justifies their own abortion.
True to form, the employees at the abortion clinic pursued Astrid. Calling her several times over the next few weeks, they hounded her to return for an abortion. This is standard procedure and something we warn the women about. Anyone who thinks the clinic’s goal and purpose is to help women is deceived. These people market and sell abortions. They don’t make money when a woman chooses life.
Astrid is a strikingly beautiful young woman. She professes Christ and has made a renewed commitment to Him. She is expecting a baby girl June 16, to be named Safari Jean. On April 9, Katherine, Sallie and I met her at her apartment and showered her with all the Truth & Mercy gifts. It was a lavish display of God’s love for her. She cried when I told her about all of you, who are strangers to her, and your concern and generosity. She wept when I told her the gifts were a small expression of God’s love for her.
Katherine and I took her to lunch and talked with her more about the Lord and the relationship He desires with her. It was a sweet time. Astrid has a little 6-year old daughter, Makayla. She and her fiancee have attended First Baptist a few times with Katherine. Pray for them as they consider marriage and their futures.
My final shower report is a doozy! This story is intertwined with amazing details. Only God could weave this tapestry!
Katherine Hearn and Jeannette Wilson met Blessing at the Latrobe killing center last Fall. She had taken a bus all the way from Cleveland TN, where she was a college student, to Charlotte for an abortion. And it wasn’t her first attempt. Weeks prior, she had taken a bus to Augusta GA to abort there. In Georgia, she had a change of heart and got out of her gown and left. Satan tormented her with doubts and she returned, this time to Charlotte. God had a plan for her trip to Charlotte. This time, she would meet faithful followers of Christ who would love her and care for her.
Blessing is a Nigerian woman of 19 years. Her Nigerian name translates to mean “Blessing” in English. She is in the States on a student visa. She was attending a Christian University in Tennessee, however, she was not a believer. She chose the school because she received a grant to attend there.
Katherine and Jeannette ministered to her that day, and then Katherine drove her back to the bus station. She kept up with them regularly and they got her a spot at a Christian maternity home here in Charlotte. Katherine drove to Tennessee to pick her up and move her here. The home requires the mothers to attend church services and Blessing started going to Steele Creek Church, where she met Jesus Christ in a profound and real way. When I talk to Blessing about the Lord, there is fire in her eyes and a love in her heart. She is now a genuine believer and the transformation from darkness to light has been incredible.
As her due date approached she prayerfully sought the Lord about adoption, but she has decided to parent her daughter, who is due April 30 – almost any day now! She plans to name her Rhema McKayla. Rhema, if you aren’t familiar, is Greek for God’s living, spoken, active Word.
Next, the dilemma presented itself of where she would live after the baby is born, because the maternity home does not house the women after the birth. But God had a plan. God had been weaving this together long before any of us realized.
Last summer, I received an interesting call from Dale Cannon, who coordinates the Church of God Children’s Homes in Concord NC. I’d never met him. A friend of mine, Suzanne Meehan, who had been doing some volunteer service there, gave him my information. He called to tell me that they were planning to soon open a Teen Mother Residential Program and wondered if I might know of any potential residents. They were working on renovations and accreditation, etc. This program would house mothers with their babies, but not pregnant women.
When I heard about Blessing’s need, I remembered the earlier conversation with Dale and called him to inquire. Since Blessing is not a citizen, I wasn’t sure if they could take her. Let’s turn over the tapestry God has woven to show you the details of His plan for Blessing. Remember, she was in a Christian University in Tennessee? Well, it was a Church of God school.
Dale made it happen and Blessing is scheduled to live there once the baby is born. They should have all the renovations, licensing and certifications in place JUST IN TIME. While there, Blessing should be able to continue her schooling at a satellite campus nearby! She must keep attending classes in order to maintain her visa. She will get help with childcare, she will be able to work, and also work towards obtaining a driver’s license and saving for a car. All the while, she will receive Biblical, spiritual instruction. It is, of course, a faith-based program. They are making a long-term commitment to her.
Who could weave all that together except the LORD? He has had His hand on Blessing for a long time, since well before she was even pregnant. He orchestrated all these events, people, places and times to come together for her good and His glory. Hasn’t He been good? He has saved her soul and her baby’s life. He has met enormous needs in her life.
Also, she has been seen by the wonderful doctors at Northgate Family Practice for her prenatal care. They will deliver her daughter very soon. Once again, they have served in the shadows. Thank you doctors Harrison, Holland and Owens. You are true heroes of the faith.
Truth & Mercy gave Blessing many lavish gifts at her shower, which was held at Jeannette’s home on April 12. Lisa Metzger, who is also a faithful sidewalk counselor, and Jeannette, garnered much of the baby equipment for Blessing, which relieved me greatly. Lisa, Katherine and Jeannette have hosted Blessing many times in their homes, especially over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Their families have loved her deeply. Blessing has now witnessed, firsthand, how true Christian families operate. What an example they have been for her.
Here is a photo of Blessing with the ladies who have loved her with the love of the Lord (from left to right, Lisa, Blessing, Katherine, and Jeannette):
I have four showers in the next 6 weeks: Lupita, Catarina, LaPortia and Ronisha. These ladies, like the ones before them, will see and hear the Gospel. They will see the Gospel through the lavish expression of God’s love (all the beautiful gifts) and they will hear the Gospel as I tell them of His plan of salvation.
Thanks to many generous and hardworking folks, my storehouse is currently full! I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in as I prepare for the next 4 showers. I want to thank Brookdale Baptist and Women on a Mission for their generous donations. I thank Lisa Robbins and Teri Julian for the donated consignment sale items. My church, CrossWay Community Church, recently had a big collection event that was very fruitful! Special thanks to Bryan and Becky Madeira for the brand new crib, mattress and bedding set. Their precious children bought the bedding items and mobile with their own money! I was so touched by their kindness! Special thanks to Leroy Baker and Operation Blessing for the recent batch of diapers and wipes! I want to thank his 11-year old daughter, Noel, too. She, along with my kids, has helped sort and prepare for many showers. Thanks kids! Many of you have given so generously (the Deans, the Cagles, the Bentons, the Meltons, the Lloyds, the Richardsons, Laura Andresco, the Robbins, David Carriker and so many more!) I also want to thank little 3-year old Ziza Elseman for her recent $1 donation. Coming from her, it felt like $10,000! Thank you one and all! You have equipped me well for the work of the ministry. Without you ALL, I couldn’t do it.
I want to send a big THANK YOU to Cindy Holleman, who faithfully serves in the wings, organizing, storing and preparing all the baby clothing. Remember, I give about 70 outfits to each mom, from size 0 to 24 months. I do about 30 showers a year (that’s 2,100 outfits a year…plus shoes, socks, hats, onsesies, etc.) Cindy handles it ALL! She’s one of my heroes! Thank you, Cindy!
I will be speaking at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church in Locust NC on Good Friday. I’m looking forward to meeting this great group of believers. Thanks to Larry Pittman for arranging this opportunity.
For His great glory,