Friends of Life,
Happy New Year!
The celebration and anticipation of a new year is always bittersweet for me, due to the annual January reminder of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. This January 22, 2013 will mark a particularly horrendous anniversary – the 40th year of legalized child killing in our nation. The blood of over 55 million aborted children courses through our land and cries out for justice. Genuine repentance and pleas for mercy are the only reasonable response we, as Christians, can offer. The fruit of our personal and collective repentance should be the definitive defense of the innocent ones being slaughtered.
“Rescue those unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it. For God, who knows all hearts, knows yours, and He knows you knew! And He will reward everyone according to his deeds.” Proverbs 24:11 (The Living Bible)
It’s been a busy holiday season for Truth & Mercy. Due to your generosity, I’ve provided 7 showers, two of which were “mini showers” to supplement work a church was already doing. Six babies have been born, all would have been long dead had it not been for God’s grace working through courageous sidewalk counselors, Gospel proclaimers, and prayerful witnesses at Charlotte’s abortion clinics. My heroes.
Helena & Raj
1) I reported on Helena in my last email update. You remember her story. She was one of the “hard cases”, courageously choosing life for her baby son, Raj Joseph, after receiving a cancer diagnosis. She had to postpone treatments until he was born. Well, he was born November 6, election day, weighing 6lb 14oz. Cancer treatments are underway. Please pray for her! Here they are, on the left.
2) Tidisha, whose shower I reported on 2 updates ago, had her daughter on October 20. Little Kayla Naomi weighed 5lb 3oz. Rejoice! Satan intended to destroy this precious life, but God spared her through the efforts of Katherine Hearn and other Gospel proclaimers at the Hebron abortuary. Another of God’s image bearers lives! Kayla is pictured below:
3) If you remember Robbie, who I showered in July, you will remember that the graphic signs of aborted baby Malachi are what God used to change her mind on her scheduled abortion. Her baby boy, Magic Ja’Quan Alexander, was born November 5. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a photo of him yet! Stay tuned! Here’s Robbie, again, at left.
Now I’ll get to the recent showers, and a few more births, in chronological order.
1) Rhythm Church, here in Charlotte, met two pregnant young ladies through their neighborhood outreach work. In early November, they asked me for some help in providing baby items for these two young mothers, Kiera and Alicia. Alicia is expecting a girl any minute. Kiera has had her baby boy. Truth & Mercy provided a bassinet, a pack-n-play, a bouncy seat, 2 strollers, blankets, hooded towels, diaper bags, diapers, wipes, bibs, and baby care books. I did not get to meet these young ladies, but I know they are being well cared for and evangelized by the believers at Rhythm Church. I was happy to help and YOU all provided the necessary things to make it happen.
2) On November 4, I showered Krystyna. She was virtually homeless, but a caring sidewalk counselor, Jennifer Graves, secured a room for her at Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic organization. A day before her daughter was born, she moved to Blessings in the Storm, a Christian ministry that provides women shelter and discipleship. I’ve showered moms who were staying there before. Loretta Caldwell operates this ministry and she is an amazing woman. I only showered her (left) with the basics, due to spatial restraints, but she was extremely grateful.
Her daughter, who she named Hope, was born November 14 weighing 5lb 15oz. Unfortunately, due to unresolved issues with the Department of Social Services, they took custody of Hope right away. Krystyna is working diligently with the courts and DSS to regain custody. Thank the Lord, He is merciful and gives us many chances. Her heart is towards God. She is newly saved and has been attending Steele Creek Church. She is hungry to know more about the Lord. Jennifer, the sidewalk counselor who met Krystyna, has been faithfully taking her to church and pointing her towards Christ. We both had a 2-hour Gospel conversation with her and her boyfriend over lunch on the day of the shower. I left her with a copy of the Gospel book Anchor for the Soul: Help for the present, HOPE for the future. She teared up when she read the title. They both come from terrible dysfunction and have well-worn grooves of sinful patterns in their lives. God, however, is a God who specializes in redemption. Pray for them. Their arms are empty, their hearts are broken, but their hope is in the Lord. Pray that truth penetrates her heart and life. Here’s a picture of Krystyna with baby Hope, aptly named:
3) Big Elm Ministry is a food pantry and a job help outreach ministry out of Kannapolis Church of God. Through their food pantry work, they met a family who had an 18-year old pregnant daughter, Jamie. They asked if I could help this family with baby things, since the father was out of work and they were in serious need of assistance. I knew this family was receiving the Gospel message through the church, so I was happy to provide the practical help. Because of YOUR generosity, I was able to provide the full, lavish shower that most moms receive! Jamie had her baby boy, named Bradley, on November 30. Here they are, at left!
4) Next up was Mayra’s shower, a young woman Katherine Hearn met at “Family Reproductive Health”. Mayra speaks English well, but she was with her mother and step-father who only speak Spanish. Katherine quickly got Gisela on the phone to speak Spanish with the parents, while she talked with 17-year old Mayra. God moved in everyone’s hearts and the little baby was spared. Mayra is expecting a little girl January 17, to be named Isabella or Naomi. We all gave her many name suggestions at the shower! Gisela put on a beautiful cake, punch and party-game type event. Yours truly won the “drink Diet Coke through the baby bottle” event! My showers are not typically parties such as this was; they are more intimate, one on one with a Gospel presentation. I call them “showers” for lack of a better word, but they are usually not parties. Gisela really wanted to do this for Mayra and she went all out. We had a wonderful time and I was able to give a short summary of the Gospel, including Christ’s claims on our lives, and our necessary response.
Rather uniquely, Mayra received a full set of matching furniture: crib, dresser and changing table with drawers. It was a lovely set, in a modern, black finish. This was fairly miraculous so I’ll tell you the story. A friend from church (go “Juice”!) contacted me to say that a neighbor of his had left this beautiful furniture out for the TRASH! The neighbor had tried to take it to Goodwill, but Goodwill no longer accepts donations of cribs (or car seats or strollers) due to liability issues. This family evidently had no other options due to a time crunch with moving, so they just put it out for trash! “Juice” (aka Jason) wisely snatched it up and got hold of me! It took two van loads to get it to Mayra up in Cornelius, but she now has it and it and has set up the nursery! Her shower was November 25 and she received yet another van load of wonderful blessings from Truth & Mercy. In addition, Katherine and I took her out to lunch just last week, for that more intimate time and Gospel talk. It was a fruitful time. She is hurting from rejection by her biological father, who abandoned the family when she was a baby; and now the father of her baby has moved away and rejected her and their child. I repeatedly assured her of her heavenly Father’s love for her, and all He has done to offer her salvation. It was a profitable discussion and I KNOW God is drawing her. There is no doubt. This is Mayra. Her baby girl is due January 17. (Danielle Berthelot made the diaper cake!):
5) Charmaine’s shower, which I had been anticipating for many months, was December 2. Lisa Metzger, counselor extraordinaire, met Charmaine on Mother’s Day weekend in front of the Latrobe abortion clinic. I’ve always found Mother’s Day weekend a fruitful time to sidewalk counsel and it certainly was for Lisa! Glory! Charmaine has had 2 previous abortions and knew how horribly wrong it was, but her desperation brought her back. Thankfully, this time there were Christians present to catch her when her conscience wouldn’t let her go through with it. No one was out front when Charmaine arrived that morning. She went inside, having met no resistance. God, however, was at work in her heart, likely due to the prayers of those on the way to minister. By the time she came back outside, God’s warriors were in position to catch her, offer hope and help, pray with her and start a long-term relationship. Lisa has heroically done this. Charmaine tells us that she became a Christian at a young age, but rebelled in her teens, making many bad choices, including marrying a Muslim man, the father of her now 18-month old daughter. Due to abuse, she left him quite a while ago, but fell into sin and conceived this child, a girl due in January. Lisa has been mentoring and discipling her for months now. Stephanie Grooms provided a professional photo shoot for her several weeks ago and promises another one when the baby is born. I’m on standby to take her to the hospital when she goes into labor! Glory!
Charmaine has some basic baby equipment (crib, car seat) but Truth & Mercy provided everything else, including a glider and ottoman, which is not typical fare. Lisa and I took everything to her, she and her mother enjoyed opening the gifts, and looking through it all. Then we took them to dinner so that we could talk about the Lord. They are both believers. Charmaine has recently recommitted her life to Christ. She is a 26-year old, responsible, hard-working young lady, who is also taking online college courses. Generously, she has offered to give her things back to Truth & Mercy when she is finished with them. She even offered to give me her single stroller, in exchange for the new double one we gave her at the shower. Charmaine, pictured above, is due January 10:
6) Simultaneously with Charmaine’s shower, Crystal’s shower was taking place also on the evening of December 2! I don’t think this has ever happened! Ante and Kathy Pavkovic, and Tom and Carolyn Barry took the gifts to her. They had all met her at the Latrobe clinic months before, but lost contact with her until she called when her baby was born on November 28.
I quickly got it all ready. It’s a miracle that this shower was even possible… God knew and God had this planned out. I did not! I typically ask for six-weeks notice to prepare a shower, but recently another mom had moved to New York to be near her family. I was ready for her shower when her plans abruptly changed…and she was ALSO expecting a boy the very same week, so all the clothing sizes and seasons lined up perfectly! Since I give two-year’s worth of clothing to each mom, this is no small feat. I call it a miracle! Crystal was told the story of her miracle shower preparation and got teary. It meant a great deal to her to hear how God was looking out for her. Rejoice! Here is Crystal, and her son Zavion Michael, both saved from abortion:
As we mark 40 years of legalized child killing, I’d like to invite each of you to the Cities 4 Life event Friday, Jan. 25 at 7pm. This year, our featured guest is Pam Tebow, mother of NFL quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow. Pam and her husband were strongly advised to abort Tim, due to her contraction of amoebic dysentery before her pregnancy was discovered. Because of the strong medicines she was given, they were told he would be severely deformed or stillborn. They refused this medical advice and instead trusted the Savior. As we all know, Tim is in perfect health. Come hear her story and learn of her ongoing missionary work in the Philippines, where Tim was born. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 a couple. The event will be held at the Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in downtown Charlotte. Come hear and learn of Cities 4 Life’s vision and heart for our area. C4L seeks to train frontline ministers to labor on the sidewalks of area abortion clinics, and to unite and support various Gospel-centered ministries who serve in the prolife realm. Truth & Mercy is part of the C4L Life Network, which is comprised of organizations and individuals who provide practical help to moms and families. This will be a wonderful evening as we repent for the 40 years of bloodshed and reflect on great victories, too. There will be a vision cast and a call to action. Saturday morning, the 26th, we will all go to the abortion clinic on Latrobe Avenue to pray, proclaim, protect and provide for these defenseless ones. Join us! Go to this site for more information and to order tickets: http://www.carolinatix.org/default.asp
Before I close, I’d like to thank Holli Chaney and a very special group of teen girls for having a marathon sorting event! Holli organized a group of young teens to sort a HUGE volume of baby clothing. Here’s my shout out to Holli and the girls and moms who helped: Anna Bakita, Susan Bakita, Julia Ballou, Rachel Ballou, Tori Bamford, Bethany Chandler, Emily Chaney, Bethany Hodson, Brianna Hodson, Kim Hodson, Brittany Moore, Amy Ray, and Cameryn Stout. Thank you all for sowing into the kingdom! I know you all prayed over the clothing, praying for the moms and for the babies who would wear it. What a blessing you are!
Thank you EVERYONE for your financial and your prayerful support. In 2012 I showered 25 moms and babies! Try to visualize how many cribs, strollers, car seats, swings, exersaucers, blankets, bibs, bottles, toys, books, diaper bags, bottles of baby wash and powder, diapers, wipes and articles of clothing that amounts to (remember, most moms get TWO years’ worth of clothing)! Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity. The line-up of showers for 2013 is growing long already. Praise God for these saved children and for their moms, who have heard and will hear the greatest message of all – the glorious Gospel. Thank you for making it possible.
As always, you can donate here or by sending a check made out to Truth & Mercy and mailing it to 4803 Crownvista Drive, Charlotte NC 28269.
Donations of new or gently-used, CLEAN baby items are always needed. Unfortunately, gifts are not tax-deductible.
Here are just a few photos from 2012. Every photo is of a mom and/or baby, saved from abortion, evangelized and provided for lavishly, in the name of Christ. These are a sampling of the 2012 victories, added to those above, to the glory of God!