“Truth and mercy are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10
Friends of Life,
By my personal standard of time measurement, summer is officially over. We have commenced our homeschool year in the Chandler household. Summers are always fleeting, but this one has met a new definition of transitory. I did nine Truth & Mercy baby showers in June and July! I still have one more in a couple of weeks, but it will have to be officially classified as a “Fall Shower” due to unanticipated delays. I covet your prayers as I now embark on a new school year, totally exhausted and spent.
1) I’d like to begin with victorious news of Mayra! You might remember her…she’s one of my all time favorite moms! She is precious, tender-hearted, hard-working and a joy to be with. You might remember that she invited me to be at the birth of little Isabella back in January – a joy and a thrill. Well, I have wonderful news to report! Mayra graduated a year EARLY from high school! She worked so very hard this past school year, surprising her teachers and counselor. She graduated from Hawthorne High, a school that many pregnant and parenting girls attend here in Mecklenburg County, NC. She lives far north of the school and had to catch a bus at 5:15 every morning, in the dark. Once Isabella was born, she was in tow in her car seat for the 1.5 hour drive – each way, with Mayra. (The school provides one year of childcare services.) Think this through and let it sink in. Each school day, she woke at 4am, readied herself and the baby, caught the bus at 5:15, rode until 6:45, attended classes all day, often stayed after school to do extra work, rode 1.5 hours home, cared for her baby, did her schoolwork…and did it with such excellence she graduated early! I can’t express how proud I am of Mayra. She invited me to her graduation ceremony and I was delighted to celebrate with her and her entire, extended family. The news gets even better. She was awarded a one-semester scholarship from the local community college and is enrolled to begin in a couple of weeks! In addition, she’s worked part time at a local grocery story and acquired her driver’s license this summer. Because of her hard work and determination, which God has graciously rewarded, Mayra is a success story! Isabella is now six months old. Here are some pictures from her glorious graduation last June:
We got together again a few weeks ago for breakfast and it spilled over into an entire day together. She even helped me put the finishing touches on “C’s” shower gifts (see item #12 below). We watched a great sermon, “Indescribable” by Louis Giglio, on video. You know me….I squeeze the Gospel in every possible way! We had a blast together hanging out and preparing fajitas for dinner. Her little sister, Stephanie, age 9, came too, and my daughter, Bethany, took her swimming at the neighborhood pool. It was a joyful day.
2) Here’s another update with a photo of Londreher’s boy/girl twins, who were born May 14. She lives in Columbia SC and her shower was back in April. Truth & Mercy, of course, provided two of everything! These two precious lives were saved from abortion at the Latrobe abortuary through the godly counsel and witness of Celia Jiminez and Jessica. In my last report I told the story, but didn’t have a photo. Now I do. Here are the twins, snuggled and sleeping soundly while nestled in a Truth & Mercy clothes, blankets and Boppy pillow:
3) Baby news! I reported last time on LaQuasha’s shower, which was May 4. Courtney Parks met her at Latrobe and did an ultrasound on her in the mobile RV unit, right in front of the killing center! Her baby was miraculously spared. Little Harmonie Skye was born May 30 – a few weeks early due to LaQuasha’s elevated blood pressure – but she weighed a healthy 6lb 10oz. Mom and baby are doing well. Here are a couple of photos of her in Truth & Mercy hair bows and such:
4) More baby news! I also reported last time on Taquanna, who I showered on May 24. Saved from abortion, her baby girl, Camilla, was born July 7, weighing 7lb 12oz. Here’s a picture of her, tucked in her Truth & Mercy car seat!
5) On June 8, I did two showers, because these moms live very close to one another and because my friend and helpful Spanish translator, Gisela Serrano, went with me. Consolidating everything into one long day was best for us both. First, we went to Mayra’s home and showered her lavishly with all the wonderful Truth & Mercy gifts you faithfully provide. Mayra lives with her boyfriend, Julio, and they have a 3-year old son, Aaron. A sidewalk counselor met Mayra at the Hebron clinic and quickly called Gisela to counsel her in Spanish over the phone. Gisela has been used by God in this way multiple times! Mayra prepared two lovely desserts, including flan, which is a Mexican favorite. It was a joy to meet them, and demonstrate Christ’s love for them both in word and deed. Trust me, she heard about God’s commands for sexual purity, too. Mayra delivered her son, Alain, on July 8. I don’t have a photo yet, but hope to soon.
6) After leaving Mayra’s, Gisela and I headed to Marcela’s to shower her and her husband, Jorge. Like Mayra above, they were met at the Hebron abortion clinic and a sidewalk minister quickly got Gisela on the phone for the translating and counseling. I told you that Gisela is fruitful! Marcela and Jorge are hardworking people and they hold four cleaning jobs – two full time and two part time – between them. They have a 3-year old daughter, Jamie, who is precious. After they went through all the gifts, we took them to dinner and shared the Gospel. Their daughter, Monserrat, was born July 6 weighing 7lb 12oz. Relaxing in her Truth & Mercy swing and wearing her Truth & Mercy leopard print hat and mittens, God’s new image bearer is here:
7) Next, I showered Maryury (pronounced Marjorie) on June 19. Maryury is a delightful, sharp young lady of 22 years. She and her boyfriend are from Puerto Rico. She went to the Latrobe clinic at 20 weeks gestation. She was a day or two over their limit, so they referred her to an even later-term clinic in Atlanta, but thankfully she refused. She met Lisa Metzger in front of the clinic and received truth! Lisa shared the Gospel with her on the spot and Maryury, who professed to be a Christian, realized her desperate need for the Savior. She prayed and submitted to Christ’s Lordship, right in front of the abortion clinic. This is dynamic ministry! We continued the Gospel conversation at her shower over lunch at Ruby Tuesday. We talked for over two hours about the Lord, His demands on our lives, His love, His mercy, and His righteous standard of sexual purity.
Maryury had her baby girl on July 30. Sophia Abigail weighed 7lb 5oz and was 19″ long. Sophia is eating and sleeping well and is already up to 9lbs! Rejoice! A baby’s life – and a momma’s soul – was saved! Amen! Here are several photos of little Sophia. In two of them she’s in her Truth & Mercy bib and bouncy seat:
8) Early this summer, I received a rather atypical request from an old friend of mine. Through work, her daughter had met a young mom, who has a toddler and needed some practical help. Due to the privacy issues and the minor age of the mother, I can’t give details, names or photos, but suffice it to say that your donations greatly assisted a young lady in our area. I’ll call her “Ch”. Truth & Mercy provided a toddler car seat, a highchair and lots of 18-24 month boy clothes! What a blessing you all are! Your generosity extends far and wide. The gifts were given in the name of Jesus, representing His love and mercy for a young momma and her young son.
9) My next shower was on July 11 for Maria. You might remember Maria. I showered her four years ago when Katherine Hearn met her at the Hebron clinic. She was just 14 years old at that time and pregnant with little Alan, who is now four. She’s 18 now and pregnant again. After working through significant disappointment and heartbreak, I showered her again….and pulled NO punches with the purity message. This purity message is foreign in today’s culture. I share it at every shower and most moms look at me like I just climbed out of a covered wagon. The whole world, through music, movies, magazines, internet, TV shows, books, etc., proclaims a false, counter message. Along with the Gospel materials (Bible, tracts, book, 180 DVD) I now leave them a pamphlet about this topic. Maria received it, too, with a serious warning and rebuke from the Lord. Of course, it was communicated in love, but it was very serious, somber love. Katherine was with us, sharing her heart, too. Katherine is the godmother of little Alan, and she has poured her life into Maria, serving her and her family in countless ways. Maria is expecting a girl this time, due September 2. She plans on naming the baby Allizon. Here are Maria and Alan. Isn’t he handsome?
10) Next was Ruby, whose story is similar to Maria’s. She, too, is a repeat pregnancy. I can’t begin to express how these two situations have wrenched my heart and soul. I’ve questioned everything I do, don’t do, say and don’t say. I’ve sought advice and counsel from others in pro-life ministry. I fully realize that the Lord forgives me repeatedly for repeated sins. Who am I to limit His mercy? Who am I to say, “No, I won’t provide for your needs because you’ve sinned again”? Yet, at the same time, I must remain diligent about how I disperse the resources you faithfully entrust to me. This has been a soul-searching time for me. If you have any counsel, please, please contact me and share it!
Back to Ruby. Chris Griffin met Ruby in front of the Latrobe clinic about four years ago, when she was pregnant with Ricky. Ricky’s life was spared and Ruby was showered. Since then, Ruby has been used by the Lord to save many unborn babies from abortion. She’s been in front of the clinics proclaiming truth, and she has counseled in Spanish over the phone when sidewalk counselors meet Hispanics in front of the clinics. When she became pregnant again and needed help, I struggled but provided several key things. I did not shower her fully, as I did the first time, but instead I provided 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes, blankets, burp cloths, hooded towels, tub, pack-n-play, bottles, bibs, toiletries and a diaper bag, along with starter amounts of diapers and wipes. This might seem like a lot, but it’s very little in comparison to a more typical shower. She was very grateful. I of course, left her with the Gospel materials! Here is Ruby and her daughter, Ruth Naomi, who was born July 20 and weighed 8lb 11oz.:
11) The next shower was my favorite one this summer. I showered a Christian couple, Jennifer and Emeka, who hope to adopt a little baby girl saved from abortion at the Latrobe clinic. When mom “M” came to the clinic, she encountered gentle Christians who spoke on behalf of her unborn child, and who expressed their love and concern for “M” herself. The mobile RV ultrasound unit was on site that day and “M”, accompanied by her mother, went inside for counseling and the sonogram. When she saw her little 12-week baby on the screen, kicking and moving, she knew she could not abort. “M” is in college and has a 1-year old child. She is fully aware of the challenges of motherhood, and by the grace of God she desired to place the child for adoption. She is black and preferred to place the baby with a black or bi-racial couple. She asked Courtney, the RV nurse and ultrasound tech, if she knew of any who would like to adopt her baby. Immediately, an image of her friends, Jennifer and Emeka, came into her mind. Jennifer is from the Statesville area and Emeka is from Nigeria. They had never seriously discussed adoption before but eagerly prayed about it and determined the Lord was at work. They dove right into the all the legalities, paperwork and home study. All of this costs a great deal of money, of course, so I was so happy to be able to help with the practical side. I showered them lavishly on July 20. The baby girl is due any time now, but “M” is now having second thoughts. Please pray that God’s perfect will is accomplished without hindrance. Jennifer and Emeka desire only God’s will and God’s best for this baby girl. Pray that “M” receives comfort, care and refreshing grace from the Lord. May He envelope her with enabling grace and give her the supernatural ability to put herself aside. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of our own salvation and adoption into God’s Kingdom. Jennifer and Emeka have opened their hearts and their home to welcome this baby girl. Please pray for them to be uplifted by God’s mighty hand in these next few days and weeks. As a further evidence of amazing grace, Jennifer and Emeka are related to Brett and Karen Woods, who regularly minister in front of Latrobe, and defend the unborn. They so desire this baby to be in their family. This is one loved and wanted baby girl! Here are Jennifer and Emeka:
12) My most recent shower was for “C”, who was met at Latrobe by Tom and Carolyn Barry. They’ve kept up with her over the months and I showered her July 29 here at my home. I usually take the gifts to the mom’s home, but she came to me this time, and I’m grateful because she lives four hours away in South Carolina. She traveled here with her mother, Lily, who is a believer and is so relieved her daughter did not abort that fateful day. She is so grateful there were Christians out front to offer truth, help and hope in the name of Christ. We had a wonderful time together as “C” enjoyed all her gifts.
I haven’t listed everything yet in this report, but most moms receive a baby bed, bedding set, car seat, stroller, swing, tub, blankets, burp cloths, hooded towels, washcloths, nursing pillow, bottles, formula, dishwasher cache, bottle brush, sippy cups, forks and spoons, breast pump and nursing pillow (if they are committed to nurse), toys, baby care book, toiletries, diaper bag, hangers, pacifiers, medical kit, 2-years worth of clothing (0-24 month), and starter amounts of diapers and wipes. “C” got all this, as did most of the others. (At times, their housing and spatial restraints limit what I can give. Other times, they already have some items.)
After she opened her gifts, and the gifts softened her heart, we had lunch and I presented the Gospel. Tom and Carolyn were here, too, and added valuable input. I pray that “C” will read – and watch – the materials I gave her. I think she heard things she had not heard and understood previously, even though she grew up going to church. The fruit of the apostate American church is tragically dismal.
“C” is an intelligent young lady of 25 years. She is a college graduate who went to school on a full-ride scholarship! She now works with children who have special needs. She is expecting a boy, to be named Rayjohn, August 18. Here she is:
I have several more showers approaching for Shyann, Fatima, and Alejandra.
I have a need for a web master! My website is in need of work that I am too unskilled to do! The last several of these reports needs to be posted. Can you help get it in shape?
I’d like to thank some wonderful people who have gone above and beyond in their service to Truth & Mercy. The service and the help is blessing enough, but their sacrifice and generosity means so much more than just the “stuff”. The way they have come alongside and lightened my load, thereby expressing their support and shared vision…it is truly uplifting, edifying and encouraging. It goes far beyond just the practical level. It ministers to my soul! It gives me strength to continue in this often lonely, exhausting ministry!
I know I can’t possibly begin to thank everyone and it’s risky to even start something like this, but I do want to give a shout-out to the following folks this time:
In the early summer, Trish Weaver and her family did an enormous amount of yard sale shopping for Truth & Mercy. Trish cleaned everything (and it was a LOT), sorted it all, covered the big equipment in plastic for safe storage, labeled it AND delivered it…all the way from the Fort Mill area, almost an hour away. This was challenging because they have an open bed pickup and we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain this summer. She had to watch the weather forecasts that covered the WHOLE driving distance and coordinate both our schedules. No easy task! Thank you Weaver family!
Deborah Mullet did a great deal of Craig’s List shopping for me. She found terrific buys on car seats, strollers and pack-n-plays and made several deliveries, all with little ones in tow! Thank you, Deborah!
Kristi Lorich rallied her FaceBook, Thirty-One, and homeschool friends and collected substantial amounts of baby things! She and her husband, James, and daughter Karilyn, drove all around the Charlotte metro area and beyond collecting it all. They took it home, washed and sorted it all, then delivered it to me! Glory!
Daniel and Courtney Parks, and their church Christ Fellowship, have provided much needed baby equipment and supplies…and delivered them, too!
Throughout the last year, Kelly and Danielle Berthelot have made dozens of diaper cakes that I give to the moms at the showers. This is such a sweet, cute, pampering way to bless these moms. Most have never received such kindness. Thank you Berthelot ladies! Due to new seasons in their lives, they are now laying down their ribbons, toys and diapers, so if anyone else would like to take up this mantle, let me know.
Lisa DeCoste, age 15, has sorted mountains of baby clothes for me and cleaned a lot of donated equipment! Thank you, Lisa!
Cindy Holleman has faithfully stored, organized and fulfilled all the clothing for all the showers for several years now. Cindy, you ROCK! Thank you to her husband Steven, too, for letting us store the multitude of bins in your walk in attic! this is prime household space…and I know it overflows into your bonus room. Thank you!
Stacey and Amy Wakefield, Radi and Sue Adzemovic, David Carriker, Jerry and Carolyn Lively, Gordon and Sandi Howe, Brian and Becky Madeira, Chuck and Ann Marie Lloyd, Gran and Katherine Hearn, all faithfully, regularly and generously give of their treasure to further this ministry. Thank you!
My husband, Doug, and children, Bethany and Nathan, sacrifice in countless untold ways. We are forever hauling around, collecting, cleaning, sorting, storing, and organizing baby stuff over here. Ministry is always happening in the background…if not the forefront…of our lives.
To all the others, un-named this time, thank you! The fields that you sow will be harvested in heaven! I couldn’t do this without you all!
If you’d like to make a donation to Truth & Mercy, you can mail a check to 4803 Crownvista Drive, Charlotte NC 28269, or you can donate via PayPal here.
Please be aware the donations are not tax deductible. Truth & Mercy does not have government 501c3 status.
As a reminder, please do not post any of these photos or names on social media sites. These relationships are carefully and patiently built on trust. The moms in these stories have generously given me limited permission to tell their stories and show their photos, after I carefully explain my intentions and purposes. Thank you for honoring and protecting them.
For God’s great glory and fame,