“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10
Happy New Year! I hope you are rejoicing as we close out 2011 and enter 2012. I showered and evangelized 24 moms in 2011 and pray for more ministry opportunities in the coming year. Continuously, we humans open and close our years as time marches on, but it’s incredible to think that the Lord knows no such boundary as time. It’s an amazing thought, to realize that the God of all creation entered our realm of time and space when He came as a man to our world. As you know, I home-school my two children and this year in history and literature we are studying the ancient world. We will soon place GOD on our timeline, where His first coming distinctly and directly divides our entire measurement of time. I can barely conceive it. We recently studied ancient Greece and their alphabet, which begins with Alpha and ends with Omega. Revelation 22:13 defines Jesus as the “Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end.” He is truly the first and the last. Everything originates with Him and everything will end in Him. Everything comes from God and nothing will outlast Him. He has no competition. He is the first word and the last word in history, and He controls everything in between. Here is a photo of my kids and me with our Greek alphabet:
Since I last sent you an update, I’ve provided 4 showers and 3 babies have been born. Please read all the way to the end, because I have some very exciting news to share regarding pro-life ministry here in Charlotte. You don’t want to miss this announcement!
1) Lisa Metzger, a gifted sidewalk counselor, met Jennifer early last summer in front of the abortion clinic called “A Preferred Women’s Health Center”. Ugh. (We can’t bear the lies encapsulated in that name, so we just call it “Latrobe” for the street it’s located on.) Jennifer is from Florence, SC and has a 3-year old son named Jalen. Lisa and her family opened their home to Jennifer and Jalen and provided hospitality to them a few times. This is a valuable part of the ministry, as Jennifer was able to witness, likely for the first time, a loving, functioning Christian family.
This photo was taken the day Lisa met Jennifer. Lisa is counseling her, pleading for life, and offering hope and truth, right through Jennifer’s open car window, in front of the abortion clinic. This photo perfectly depicts what we do on the streets.
Throughout her pregnancy, Jennifer experienced a great deal of early labor and was in and out of the hospital several times. I prepared all her shower things quite early, including preemie clothing, thinking she would have the baby around week 34, after the doctors stopped aggressively preventing labor. Alas, she held on…and on…and on. She ended up going well PAST her due date, and then the doctors threatened to induce her! This series of events gets even more interesting, because Jennifer delivered her son, Damir Mason, IN THE CAR on the way to the hospital! What a story! Damir’s cord was crimped and he had to be resuscitated by EMT, but now mother and baby are both fine and healthy, thank the Lord! Damir weighed 7lb 9oz and was 21” long.
As soon as he was born, Lisa drove 2 hours south to deliver the Truth & Mercy baby gifts to Jennifer. Lisa tells me that Damir means “to give peace” and Mason means “to work with stone”. God turned and softened Jennifer’s stony heart, which was originally intent on abortion, and He gave her peace to let her baby live!
Below is a photo is of Jennifer and Lisa, who is holding the rescued baby. Next is a close up of Damir.
2) In early November, I showered Lily, who had her baby girl, Yaleal a few weeks later. They live in Monroe, so I don’t have pictures of Yaleal yet, but I do have a photo of Lily and her 2-year old son, Christian, who was saved from abortion and showered in 2009. She asked for help with this baby, too. I had never met Christian in person. It was a joy to see him face-to-face!
3) Next, I received a call for help from Ositata and his wife, Vivan, who are from Nigeria. They needed practical help for their 6-month daughter, Kamsey (pronounced Comzee). I showered them with clothing and toys in early December. Vivan was opposed to my taking and showing her photo, or her daughter’s. She is deathly afraid of the demonic practice of voodoo and was apprehensive that people would practice it using her images. She has had very real experiences with it in her native land. This provided a divine opportunity for me to present the Gospel of Christ to them. I also explained clearly and passionately that voodoo would not occur with me or you, my wonderful supporters who would view the photos, but she could not be convinced. People who don’t believe this evil practice occurs need to have a conversation with Vivan or others who have experienced it. Don’t be lulled to sleep, thinking the devil is not real or witchcraft doesn’t happen – and don’t be entertained by its book and movie depictions. It devastates lives and souls. Gratefully, Ositata courageously let me take his photo, but also know that little Kamsey was adorable! Here he is, most appreciative for assistance from Truth & Mercy.
4) Also in early November, I showered Illse, a pregnant woman Katherine Hearn met in front of the Latrobe Ave abortion facility. Illse’s story twists and turns, but suffice it to say, she was pregnant and in need of practical help and spiritual counsel. Thankfully, she chose life for this baby. She has two young children, Alex and Selene. Truth & Mercy showered her abundantly with 2-years of clothing, a changing table/dresser combo unit, pad, cover, car seat/stroller combo, bouncy seat, johnny jump-up, sling carrier, high chair, tub, Boppy pillow, crib sheets, bedding set, blankets, hooded towels, washcloths, head support, sleep positioner, toys, books, movies, photo frames and album, hangers, diaper bag, shampoo, powder, lotion, baby wash, pacifiers, and a very generous supply of diapers and wipes. She was overwhelmed and extremely grateful for the baby items.
After Illse went through her lovely gifts, Katherine took us all out for pizza and as the kids played, we talked seriously about the Gospel. Sadly, Illse seemed detached and disinterested, but I pray the Lord will move upon her heart in the future. She has certainly been told about God’s plan of salvation – His love and mercy – and it has been clearly demonstrated to her in a manner she will likely never forget. I pray that she will read, understand and believe the message in the Gospel materials I left with her. May God open her eyes to His truth.
Her baby, Melanie, was born weighing 7lb on December 5. Here is a photo of Illse taken on her shower date and a photo of Melanie, a few days old.
I next will shower Ashley, Trina, U’Leasa and Shaquana. All are having GIRLS! For many years, the boys far outnumbered the girls (roughly 5:1), but recently, girls are making a comeback!
I’ve provided 24 lavish showers this year, which is fairly typical. All 24 of these women have had an encounter with the living God, both in word and deed. They have all been shown His love and mercy. Thank you for equipping and supporting Truth & Mercy so that I can sow into these precious lives. May God receive all the glory and praise.
Now for the BIG news! For the last year, I’ve been working with a dedicated group of pro-lifers as we develop a new ministry, which is really a MOVEMENT. We call this organization Cities4Life. Our vision is to connect and unify all the pro-life work being done in Charlotte onto one website. This way we can easily direct pregnant women to the site and thereby to the particular assistance they need. We also desire to bring in new pro-life Christians to serve in various ways. The site will be a common link to all the pro-life efforts. We hope and pray that this model will be replicated in cities all over the country.
Christians can easily navigate the site and find an area in which to serve. Everything is clearly described, from front-line street ministry, to medical care, to pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, housing, baby showers, and more. Go to Cities4Life for more information.
Our mission is Proclaim. Provide. Protect. Pray.
PROCLAIM: Our purpose is to glorify our Lord and Savior and proclaim His Gospel and His truth. We expose the evil lies and deeds of the abortion industry. We proclaim that abortion is the violent killing of the unborn. We proclaim this message peacefully and nonviolently in front of area killing centers and throughout our culture.
PROVIDE: Our purpose is to glorify the Lord by providing tangible support to women and families in need, as Scripture commands. This support is in the form of medical care, baby items, housing, adoption services and pregnancy care services and Biblical counseling.
PROTECT: Our purpose is to glorify the Lord by seeking and supporting Godly measures to protect the unborn in our city, state and nation.
PRAY: Our purpose is to glorify the Lord by bringing our prayerful presence to the streets as well as to our churches and homes. We pray for mercy on the unborn children scheduled to die. We pray for the eyes and hearts of parents and abortion providers to be opened to God’s truth. We prayerfully support those who proclaim His truth and those who seek legal protection for these vulnerable lives.
David Benham, of Benham Companies and Benham Real Estate, is our visionary leader. It was his goal to see this movement materialize and he has largely funded it to this point. He organized the first dinner, held last January, where he cast this vision before hundreds of Christians. Throughout the year, our small team has met, discussed and labored to make it happen. For me personally, it’s been and honor and a thrill to be a part of this committee.
You are Invited
I desire for you to come to our second annual dinner, to be held Friday, January 20 at 7pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel near Concord Mills Mall (5400 John Q. Hammons Drive NW, Concord NC 28027). You will hear more about this incredible launch, meet several moms, dads and babies who have been saved from abortion and ministered to and provided for, and perhaps most exciting to many, Alex Kendrick will be our keynote speaker! He is the co-producer, co-writer and star of the hit Christian movies Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants. He will bring an inspiring message about having courage to defend the lives of the unborn. You can hear his dinner invitation to you at Cities4Life!
The dinner is free, but be aware that it is a fundraiser. After you hear about this exciting new endeavor, you will likely be pleased to give, but if not, the dinner is still free. Pre-register quickly at Cities4Life.org/events. Registration officially opens Jan. 2, but for now, you can pre-register to hold your spot(s). If you want to bring others, for now, pre-register by listing “your name + XX others”. You can register as many as 10 to a table. After Jan. 2, the C4L folks will email you with more information about the dinner.
Our dinner date is not a coincidence. January 22, 1973, was the day the dreadful Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down, and during the past 39 years, over 58 million unborn children have been slaughtered. Throughout this January weekend, we will be remembering life, celebrating life and proclaiming life at 3 distinct events.
On Friday Jan. 20, from 11:30am-1pm at the downtown corner of Trade and Tryon in Charlotte, we will gather to remember the lives lost in our city and nation the last 39 years. We will have a memorial service and dedicate ourselves to protecting lives in the future. This is a hallowed time of repentance, prayer, worship, and testimony.
We will hold the Cities4Life dinner that Friday night, Jan. 20 at 7pm, rejoicing in the lives the Lord has spared and provided for, through the ministries of various pro-life groups, including Truth & Mercy.
We will gather at A Preferred Women’s Health Center the following Saturday morning, Jan. 21 from 9:30-11am. The address is 3220 Latrobe Ave, Charlotte NC 28211. This will be a peaceful time of prayer and proclamation. We worship Jesus right on the sidewalk in front of this center. We reach out to men and women entering and exiting the building. We proclaim the Gospel message, which alone has power to change hearts and minds…and lives!
Please come and pray, proclaim, provide and protect life!