April 2014 Update

Friends of Life,

As we enter Holy Week which culminates in the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, let us be mindful of the historical and Biblical fact that Jesus Christ died a criminal’s death to pay the punishment for our sins. God’s wrath towards us and our sin was completely satisfied through Christ’s death. As I minister to the women I serve, I inform them that Jesus died for their sins; their unborn babies do not need to die in a vain attempt to cover their sins, or to improve their circumstances.

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“It was through what His Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to Him — all things in heaven and on earth — for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by His blood. This includes you, who were once so far away from God. You were His enemies and hated Him and were separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through the death on the cross of His own human body…”  Colossians 1:20-22a (Living Bible paraphrase)

I rejoice! I was once God’s enemy and He made me His friend. I was an object of His wrath, and He made me an object of His mercy. He paid my penalty to bring me peace, both on earth and in eternity to come. If you don’t know this peace with God, contact me right away. I’d be honored to tell you about the only Savior of the world.

Since my last report, back in January, four babies have been born and I’ve had six showers! Another mom, Dominique, had a miscarriage at 17 weeks. Once out of the hospital, she moved into a new home and many of YOU helped furnish it. Rejoice with me that these image-bearers of God are now safe and loved and welcomed into their families.

1) Shenice, whose shower I reported on last time, had her baby boy on January 28. She and her husband – yes husband 🙂 – named him Rizen. Rejoice with heaven’s angels that this child was spared, right from the clutches of death at the Latrobe Avenue abortion clinic.

2) Erin, whose shower I also reported on last time, had her baby boy on Valentine’s Day, February 14! As planned, she named him Isaac Ray. Here he is in all his cuteness!

3) Alejandra, whose story and shower was described last time, had her baby girl on March 17. She and her boyfriend, Irving, named their daughter Kayley Anguelique. She weighed 7lb 2oz. Alejandra is truly enjoying motherhood and her voice radiates love over the phone. Here’s Kayley:

4) Regina had her baby girl via scheduled C-section on April 15. I showered Regina on March 15. Jennifer Graves, who met Regina at Latrobe abortuary, and I traveled 6 hours roundtrip to her home. Regina is a sweet young lady of 23. She has a two-year old daughter, Alaysia, who went out to lunch with us. Jennifer and I felt the Lord’s anointing as we shared the Gospel over Chinese food in the small, quaint town of Johnson, SC. Regina works part time as a shift manager at McDonalds. As an evidence of God’s grace in her life, she has a higher paying job waiting for her, after her maternity leave. We spoke to her very directly about sexual purity and God’s commandments. She had been planning to move in with her boyfriend, but thankfully, that idea has been quelled. Pray it remains quelled. She’s living with her mother and saving her money for her own place. Once she starts her new job in late May, she’ll be able to save more quickly. I’ve counseled her to hold out for God’s best. Here is Regina, at the shower, and little Aubrey McKenzie, saved from Satan’s grip:

5)  I showered Shaniqua on February 17 in Statesville. Lisa Metzger, sidewalk counselor extraordinaire, met Shaniqua and her fiancée, Josh, at the Latrobe abortion mill. They were soft-hearted and listened intently, taking in Lisa’s godly wisdom and warning concerning abortion. They chose life and Lisa and her husband, Mark, met with them a few times, going out to dinner and establishing a relationship. All the while, Lisa and Mark were speaking to them about Christ, parenting, marriage and more. Neither Shaniqua or Josh have experienced a stable marriage example in their lives. Both come from either broken, or non-existent families. Lisa and Mark provided their first godly example. With this excellent foundation laid, Lisa and I travelled to Statesville with my vanload of baby gifts. Prayerfully, the gifts will soften the heart of the mom and open to the door to sharing the Gospel. We had a great conversation over lunch at Applebees that day. Lisa and I feared that Shaniqua would soon be moving in with Josh, as he had just purchased his first house. We spoke our warnings and admonitions about this, and thankfully, she hasn’t made that move. She professes to be a Christian, but knows she has made mistakes. Pray that God continues to draw her to Himself. She needs a better paying job with more hours; she currently works in housekeeping at the local hospital, but desires more. She longingly spoke of hoping to acquire her Certified Nursing Assistant license, but couldn’t afford the classes or the exam. I offered for Truth & Mercy to pay the $250 for the course and Lisa offered for Cities4Life to pay for the $101 exam. She’s now taken the course and will prayerfully pass the exam on April 24. This is one small step in the right direction for Shaniqua. She is a very bright young lady, about 22-years of age. This is her first child, a little girl, who will be named London Olivia. She is due June 3. Thank you for your generous support that makes it possible for me to help her. She was truly shocked by my offer…and she expresses her thanks to you for the CNA class and for all the wonderful baby gifts.

6) On March 1, I showered Grace, a 24-year old Liberian immigrant. Last October, she was met by Chrissy at the Latrobe abortion clinic. Chrissy connected Grace with Cities4Life and me, for further assistance and help. Grace has been seeing Dr. Matthew Harrison for free medical care. Her uncle, Amos, sponsored her immigrant Visa, but he did not know she was pregnant when she arrived in October. The conditions of both his and her Visa require them to never apply for welfare. Amos, a genuine Christian, panicked and determined abortion to be the solution to the difficult situation. He, of course, at that time did not know of the heroics of Dr. Harrison, or any of the other help available to them in the name of Christ. Thank God that gentle Christians were in front of the abortion clinic, proclaiming truth and offering genuine help. These are the true heroes of our day.

Lisa Metzger, with Cities4Life, assigned various mentors to Grace and arranged transportation to and from doctor appointments for her. Everyone has had great difficulty communicating with them. I had many phone calls with both her and Amos, and it was nearly impossible to understand them over the phone. Technically — and trust me it’s just a technicality — we all speak English. They emphasize completely different syllables. As the shower date approached, I didn’t have any hope of being able to talk to Grace about the Gospel. I went with no expectations…but God made a way. In person, with God’s grace and my lip-reading skills, I could more easily understand them. Amos and his wife are Christians, and Grace professes to be a Christian, but obviously there is a disconnect with her profession and her behavior. She also has a 6-year old son. We had a truly wonderful Gospel focused conversation and I believe she has new understanding of both the demands of Christ and the mercy of Christ. By God’s grace, I think my sexual purity message hit home in a way she had never thought of before. God’s rules, laws and boundaries regarding sexuality are for our own good and protection. Amos was thrilled withmy analogy of how we don’t let our toddlers play in the street because we love them and don’t want them to get hurt. The same goes with God concerning our sexuality. He says, “No” for our own safety and our own good.

Grace is expecting a baby boy April 22. She plans to name him Moses Supo.

7) Two days later, on March 3, a friend of the ministry, William Enders, picked up a car load of baby gifts for a friend of his, Aja, who recently had a baby boy named Kayden. He was born prematurely and just got out of the hospital. William was instrumental in saving the life of this child back when Aja was contemplating abortion many months ago. William travelled to his home state of West Virginia to deliver the gifts to Aja. Here are some pretty blurry cell phone pictures, the best I have.

8) On March 30, Aideis and Erick, both age 20, were showered. Theirs is truly a victorious story. Months ago, Celia Jimenez, sidewalk counselor, met them at the Latrobe clinic, Charlotte’s busiest killing center. Erick, particularly, was soft-hearted and interested in the message of life being proclaimed on the sidewalk. His conscience was screaming. He knew better. Celia asked them if they would like a free ultrasound on Charlotte Pregnancy Resource’s mobile RV unit that was parked in front of the clinic that morning. Immediately, Erick said, “Yes.” Once inside the unit, he began to tell his story. When he was just 13 he lost his entire family – mother, father, and siblings – in a tragic car accident. He wasn’t in the vehicle, but instead, he was at home with an uncle. His neighbor and friend, a Christian lady named Elaine, took him under her wing. She became his legal guardian, though he lived with other relatives. Elaine kept him grounded, took him to church and spoke the Words of Christ to him for many years. He felt abortion was wrong and was upset by it, but prayed that God would send someone to the abortion clinic to help them. Celia, Vasti, the nurse on the mobile ultrasound unit, and other gentle Christians were literally the answer to Erick’s prayers. Aideis and Erick chose life that God-ordained day. They married shortly after their encounter with Celia and have moved into an apartment. Their baby boy, to be named William (after Erick’s brother) Arturo (after Erick’s father) is due the end of April. Celia and her husband delivered all the baby gifts from Truth & Mercy to them in Statesville. Erick wrote me the sweetest thank you note, and Elaine, his guardian, followed up with a wonderful phone call as well. Here are Erick and Aideis.

9) I showered Leticia this past Sunday afternoon. Eliana Smith, a gifted bi-lingual sidewalk counselor, met her at the Latrobe abortion clinic. Eliana spoke words of life and truth to Leticia and her heart softened and turned to her unborn child. She came to my home a few days before Christmas and received a large number of maternity clothes for herself and also her friend. Her shower was Sunday and I delivered a van load of beautiful gifts, thanks to YOU! She and her boyfriend, Adan, were moved by the compassion and kindness shown to them in the name of Christ. Eliana and I took Leticia, and her cousin and another friend out to lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. The food was delicious and the atmosphere lively. I was the only non-Hispanic in the place. That — and the fact that there was no sour cream for the tacos — proves the authenticity. Heroically, Eliana translated the whole 5-person meal conversation about the Lord, His demands on our lives and His unique provision for our salvation. Eliana, who is pregnant herself and due in 2 weeks, was even having some contractions during this event. Dauntlessly, she served, shared and translated with grace. These Gospel conversations that require a translator are often awkward and clumsy, but Eliana made it smooth and seamless. Three ladies saw the Gospel in action and also heard it with new understanding. Rejoice! God’s Word is advancing. Lives are being spared. God is at work. Here is Leticia, who is expecting a girl in July.

10) Look who turned ONE! Isabella, daughter of Mayra, one of my all time favorite moms, turned one January 24 and I was invited to her Minnie Mouse birthday party! Here she is in her mouse ears:

11) Becky Hardenbrook and ladies from Harvest Church in Huntersville NC made these adorable “diaper babies”! They are comprised of a diaper, a washcloth, and baby socks! Aren’t they cute? I’ve been attaching them to gift bags. What a unique and creative gift! If you have ideas like this, let me know! Truth & Mercy would love to include them in the shower gifts.

12) Dominique’s story is unique. She and her two kids were homeless and living in a shelter when she contacted me via my website, seeking help with her pregnancy. Thankfully, she was never abortion-minded. Her husband, and the father of her unborn child, was living in a comfortable house with his mother, while she and her two children (by different fathers) were in a shelter. Odd. We quickly connected and I gave her maternity clothing and a generous Visa gift card one of you ministry supporters provided (Thank you, Erin!). I also promised a future shower with all baby provisions. She was tearfully touched by this simple expression of God’s mercy. We remained in contact for about a month when she suddenly began miscarrying her baby due to an incompetent cervix. The typical remedy for this condition, sewing the cervix shut, could not be performed because the membranes had already slipped into the cervix. She was admitted into the hospital. Doctors tried to position her bed, with her head lower, so that gravity would aid the membranes in sliding back into place. Her baby had a heartbeat. There was a glimmer of hope, but the attempt failed. Doctors induced labor, and labor she did for 17 hours. She was alone in the hospital for long periods of time and called me crying. I rushed there and spent about 18 hours by her side throughout her labor. She was in deep emotional and physical pain. She delivered baby Samuel, 17 weeks gestation, about 5am on February 25. He was perfectly formed and beautiful, knitted together in the secret place. My sweet friend, Terry Arnold, called late in the night, offering to come to the hospital any time, day or night, once he was delivered, and take remembrance photos. They are so glad Terry did this. The photos are tremendously meaningful. Thank you, Terry, for this unique and sacred gift. Upon my suggestion, they also had a memorial service for Samuel at Dominique’s church, Hickory Grove Baptist. I was honored to be a part of this tiny gathering of mourners. With Dominique’s permission, I want to show you baby Samuel. She desires that his humanity, his testimony, be proclaimed. Here are three of the photos that Terry took.

In the midst of all these events, I introduced Dominique to my very resourceful friend, Lisa Albinus. Lisa was able to connect her with some many helpful resources and was incredibly instrumental in the next phase of the story…

Once discharged from the hospital, God began moving with lightning speed. He provided a new home for Dominique and her children and her husband, through the programs of My Father’s House. She had been on a waiting list for months, and suddenly it became available. She had nothing with which to furnish this home…so you Truth & Mercy supporters heroically helped to meet this need. I posted on my personal Facebook page the many things she needed: furniture, beds, pillows, linens, towels, dishes, kitchen gadgets, oh my! In an enormous way, Lisa did the same. Within about 3 days, her entire house was furnished, top to bottom, in an avalanche of provision. I’ve never witnessed anything like it. It was exhausting, of course, to field all the responses and orchestrate many deliveries, but God met the need in His typical, lavish way. Here she is on the porch of her new home, and another taken at my house, close up, so you can see her:

She wrote this note to thank you all for your generosity:

Dear Friends, I want to thank you all very much for your outpouring of love, support and prayers for our family. I am still in awe and so touched that people who have never met me can love me so much! Thank you for the beautiful cards and all your donations, and for strengthening me through prayers and reaching out to me. You have also inspired me to get even closer to our God; to have an even closer relationship with Him and be filled with such selfless love, and touch those around me as you have touched me. I may not know you personally, but you’ve made a difference in my life. You cared for me, loved me, and prayed for me. At a time when I felt so alone, God used you to show me how wrong I was. He was with me all the time, through each and every one of you! May God bless each and every one of you! Thank you! All my love, Dominique

This outpouring of love and support meant far more to her than just the “stuff” that was provided. It literally nourished her soul and spoke volumes to her about the love and care of the Lord.

In a similar way, the baby gifts given at the showers do the same thing. They are like a balm — soothing, comforting and communicating the deep love of God to these women. Many of the women I serve have never been loved in such a manner. God’s provision is a balm, running down and soothing the past hurts, despair, and disappointments of their often sin-ravaged lives. The gifts express the mercy, care and provision of God. The gifts open their hearts to receive the Gospel message. It’s Christianity expressed in both word and deed. Thank you for making it possible.

13) My son’s friend, Nick Huffman, recently contributed $100 to the ministry! This large donation from a 14-year old boy certainly captured my attention. Nick’s grandfather wanted to teach his grandson a practical lesson in Christian service and charity. He gave Nick a large sum of money and some guidelines in how to distribute it. Nick was required to do research and pick a ministry he felt was both effective and efficient. Nick chose Truth & Mercy! I am honored and humbled by his choice and determined to use his gift — and all of your gifts — effectively and efficiently for God’s glory. Thank you Nick, and thank you, Nick’s grandpa! And thank you ALL! Your gifts will go far, both in saving lives, meeting practical needs, and proclaiming truth to our rebellious culture.

If you would like to make an non-tax deductible donation, you can write a check to Truth & Mercy and mail it to 4803 Crownvista Drive, Charlotte NC 28269. Alternately, you click here to donate using PayPal. Donations of new or gently used, clean baby items are ALWAYS appreciated. Contact me at TruthMercyLife@aol.com to set up delivery.

Summer showers are lining up for Michelle 1, Michelle 2, Graciana, Adriana, Kayla, Wendy, and Alicia.

May the Lamb who was slain receive His reward!

Sheryl Chandler

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