November 2015 Update

Dear Friends of Life,

Rejoice with me as I celebrate the completion of 27 years of prolife ministry! I can scarcely believe it. It seems like yesterday that I first approached one of Charlotte’s most notorious abortion mills. I distinctly remember the waves of grief that washed over me that October day in 1988. Little did I realize how God would order my steps. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Pretty soon, one can really get somewhere! Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes this process as a “long obedience in the same direction”.

It’s been about 4 months since I’ve sent an update, so let me get you caught up on the news. I had a busy summer showering 8 women. I typically do about 10-12 showers each summer, but I had to ease up a bit last summer to go on several college visits with Bethany, my daughter. Yep. She will graduate from our homeschool this spring, and God willing, attend college next fall. We are in the throes of college and scholarship applications. If the Lord brings us to mind, we could really use your prayers for clear direction and financial provision. She has worked extremely hard; her scores and grades are high. Will you join us in praying for God’s favor?

Back to business. Let’s get started!

1) My last report included news of mama Dianna’s shower last spring. She gave birth to baby boy Zayea on June 1. He weighed in at 6lb 4 oz. She met sidewalk counselor Lisa Metzger at the Latrobe clinic, and thanks to Lisa’s wise, Biblical, and loving counsel, and Monroe HELP Center’s mobile ultrasound unit, Dianna chose life! Here is baby Zayea:

2) My last report also included shower news for mama “V”, who gave birth to Cyndia on July 22. She weighed 8lb 4oz and here she is:

3) Back in June, I showered Ivania, a triplet sister of Amy, a woman I showered a couple of years ago. Ivania’s pregnancy was riddled with complications and trouble, but she never wavered from life, thankfully. Her shower was a joyful occasion because I got to see Amy and little 2-year old Joel again. I’ve not been able to reach Ivania to get news on the birth of her daughter Eve Marie, but here is a photo of Joel, who was dramatically rescued from abortion over 2 years ago. Amy’s story is one of the most remarkable of my ministry. She made three abortion attempts, and God miraculously saved Joel each time. Amy came to a saving faith in Christ at her shower two years ago. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of Eve Marie, but here is Ivania, and Amy with little Joel.

4) I reported on Andreina’s shower last time. You might remember the story of her and her husband, David, fleeing Venezuela’s communist persecution. Their very lives were in danger as they sneaked out and sought political asylum here. Shortly after their arrival here, she learned she was pregnant. Their circumstances were grim and Andreina sought my help through the internet. In Venezuela, she was a medical professional and he an industrial engineer, however their certifications and licenses do not transfer, so he is working landscaping jobs, as he can find them. After my report, a lovely friend of mine, Carolyn Harrell and her family donated and delivered many pieces of furniture to them! I love it when ministry supporters spring into action and take it to the next level! Here are Andreina, her husband Francisco, and baby David. I’ve included a close up, also. He was born July 7 at 7lb 12oz and almost 21″. Andreina texted me last week and sent a recent photo of David, now almost 4 months. She is so, so grateful for all you provided her!

5) In early July, I showered Kristi on her 36th birthday! Months before, Celia Jimenez had met her at the Latrobe killing center. Like most women who make abortion decisions, her life was riddled with sin and the consequences of it. She had gone off track and was bearing its ravages. Her only other child is 16, so this pregnancy was quite a shock, especially since she had been told she could not get pregnant. Her heart was soft that day and she accepted the invitation to board the mobile unit parked in front of the abortion clinic, and she watched her child on the ultrasound screen. With tears, she chose life. She professed to be a Christian, but I don’t take most people’s word for it. I ask a lot of probing questions. We had several in-depth Gospel conversations on the phone and again at the shower. I’m a hard one to convince, but I do believe she is a genuine believer. She knows where she has gone off track and she desires to glorify the Lord. She was, this past summer, very tangled up in a bad relationship with a man (not the baby’s father), but thankfully that recently ended. A few weeks ago she lost her home to foreclosure and she and her two children moved to New Mexico to be with her father. Celia helped her pack, ship a few boxes of belongings ahead, and board the plane. Truth & Mercy contributed towards some moving expenses. I am praying that God gives her a fresh start in NM, and she gets established on firm footing. Here are photos of Kristi, and her baby girl Melaya, born August 18 weighing 7lb 7oz and measuring 19″.

6) A friend from church, Kimberly Jamison, saw a ‘Next Door’ internet post about a woman who needed help with baby things, and asked me if Truth & Mercy could help. The baby, Arym, had already been born, but this mom, Nikkole, had nothing. The baby was in the NICU. The mom was already back to work just two days after having a C-section. When I heard that, I knew I had to help. I quickly pulled together a van load of gifts and delivered them to Nikkole’s friend, the woman who posted the need. Here are a few photos of Nikkole and Arym, who was born in late July weighing just under 4lbs. Baby Arym is expected to be just fine!

 

7) Next, Truth & Mercy supplemented some shower gifts for Jessica, who was met at the clinic earlier. Counselor and ultrasound nurse Courtney Parks along with counselor Karen Woods handled her shower, and I just filled in some gaps. Cities 4 Life is a very fruitful ministry and I can’t possibly shower all the women who save their babies through their efforts — I can barely scratch the surface! They have sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors at the mills every day and they have fruit most every day! Here are photos of Jessica’s saved baby boy, Gavin, who was born July 17 weighing 6lb 10oz.

8) I again supplements shower gifts for a mom named Shanetta. Anna Mikso and Angela Fisher met her at the clinic and she chose life. They handled the shower, but your donations enabled me to provide Shanetta with a car seat, a crib, a mattress, a bedding set, and a tub. Shanetta’s baby boy is due in a couple of weeks.

9) My next shower was one of the highlights of my summer. This one is God’s story. My church, CrossWay Community Church, started a homeless ministry last winter and Jennifer Veleke coordinates it. The church hosts homeless neighbors a couple of nights a week, providing (bathing) showers, meals, and a warm, safe place to sleep. Throughout the evening, the Gospel is spoken and demonstrated. My kids and I have assisted with various aspects and it has been a joy. Well, one night, a young lady named Samantha was one of the homeless neighbors. Jenny befriended her and they hit it off. Not many days later, Samantha learned she was pregnant, and she was leaning towards abortion. Jenny quickly got me involved and the three of us had lunch and many conversations ensued. After much prayer, pleading, and godly counsel, Samantha chose life! But it didn’t stop there. A young couple from my church, Rachel and Tim Barnes, took Samantha into their home. Jenny drove her around, took her to doctor appointments, and helped her find a job. Tim taught her how to drive and she got her license…and soon a car, after having saved her money for months. She expects to be ready to move out on her own the first of next year. This is a God story! So many believers worked together to serve and help her. People from church provided transportation day in and day out, taking her to her job and to her doctor appointments. They have supported her with prayer and practical help. I have to believe that the Lord is pleased. You, Truth & Mercy supporters, provided Samantha with everything she could need for her baby: crib mattress, bedding set, brand new car seat/stroller combo set, swing, play mat, floor toy, monitor, tub, blankets, hooded towels and washcloths, nursing pillow, grocery cart cover, bottles, bottle organizer, sippy cups, bottle brush, snack cups, forks and spoons, bibs, toys, plush toys, books, baby care book, pacifiers, hangers, diaper bag, childproof items, starter amounts of diapers, wipes, and toiletries, and TWO years’ worth of clothing for the baby and maternity clothes for her! Samantha has never been in such a steady place in her whole life. She carries a great deal of trauma and heartache from her difficult past, but God is at work, softening her and drawing her to Himself, and he’s using some amazing friends of mine to get the job done! Thank you, Jenny, Rachel, and Tim, and all those in your Community Group. You are the hands and feet of Christ. Baby boy Kai showed up a few weeks early, on October 20. The situation was pretty frightening as Samantha’s blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels. She had an emergency C-section and I’m so grateful for modern medicine! Kai weighed in at 6lb 10oz and he’s beautiful, as you can see here. Her photo is here, as well.

Before I tell this next story, let me remind you of the theme verse of this ministry: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10.

10) Next I showered Mayra, who is one of my favorite moms of all time. Yes, I was heartbroken when I learned she was pregnant again. I was riddled with doubts about the effectiveness of my ministry. Crushed. Defeated. Beaten down. She is in a stable, safe relationship with a young man who promises to marry her. Oh my. I wish you could be a fly on the wall during my conversations with her. I hold nothing back. Nothing. I warned her before she got pregnant; and I loved her after she got pregnant. She did not ask for my help, but I offered it to her, as Christ mercifully forgives us time and time again. If you are anything like me, you continue in repeated sins, even though you really know better. This is the constant struggle I have balancing “Truth” and “Mercy”. When to confront with truth? When to show mercy? It’s a delicate balance and only Jesus did it perfectly. Mayra and I are friends and we talk often and even hang out together when our busy schedules allow. Mayra, as you may remember, is the mother of little Isabella, who is now two. Isabella was saved from abortion through the sidewalk counseling efforts of Katherine Hearn and some bi-lingual friends on speed dial! Mayra was in high school when Isabella was born, and she diligently worked and sacrificed her way through her senior year to graduate with success and a scholarship to CPCC, where she remains a student. With this new pregnancy and birth, her classes will be delayed, but she has a great family who will help and give support. Truth & Mercy supplied, again, all the baby things she will need for her little boy, who is due in mid-November. Pray for Mayra. Pray for me as I continue to counsel and advise Mayra.

11)  I next showered mama “A”, who is a freshman in college. Sarah Blair met “A” at the Latrobe mill just about 2 months ago. She was always the good kid, on the high school honor roll. Her parents were so shocked when they learned of her pregnancy, that they planned an abortion. It was kind of a knee-jerk reaction. A way to make it all go away. They did not know how far along she was when they pulled up to the Latrobe clinic back in late August. (They are believers, I am now convinced.) The night before the scheduled abortion, “A”, along with her mom and dad, sat on their couch and prayed that the abortion would solve everything. But “A’s” mom tagged a humble, God-honoring phrase on the end of her prayer, “…but if it’s not Your will, please give us a sign.” God did provide a sign. Matter of fact, He had been orchestrating a divine appointment for quite some time. As only He can do, He provided a substitute ultrasound technician on the Monroe HELP mobile unit that day. This woman is a certified ultrasound technician. Often, nurses operate the ultrasound machine, but they are not allowed to “diagnose” the baby’s gender, etc. That particular day, a substitute was stepping in for the “normal” nurse, and she arrived extra early, right after “A” and her family arrived. Well, “A” was an hour early for her appointment and could not get in the building, so they just sat in the car for a few minutes and up pulls this HUGE mobile RV from Monroe HELP with big signs on the exterior offering free ultrasounds. “A’s” dad got out of the car and spoke with the RV driver who said the nurse wouldn’t be there for an hour…but who did God have arrive right then? Yes, the substitute ultrasound nurse who is certified! “A” and parents boarded, had the ultrasound and learned that “A” was a full 27 weeks pregnant! None of them, including “A”, had any idea. She claimed to have only missed one period recently, never to have felt kicks, and to have shown no other symptoms. (I’ll leave those issues for another conversation, but just know that many teens will deny their symptoms.) They learned that her baby was a boy. Through tears of sorrow, grief, disappointment, and fear, they clung to life and never went inside the abortion clinic. Put yourself in these folks’ shoes. They had only learned a few days before that she was pregnant, and now they learned she was 27 weeks pregnant. Their world came crumbling down. They were committed to life, but they had a lot to figure out. “A” is a freshman in college, having lived on campus for only about a month at this time. Instead of just going through freshman orientation, she is also figuring out baby care and plan new living arrangements.  As only God can orchestrate, months before He had “A” choose a college that was about 25 minutes away from her wonderful uncle. This college also has a daycare on campus for students who are also parents! “A” plans to live with the uncle and his wife and kids once her baby boy is born in a few weeks. She plans to utilize the campus day care. Her parents, about an hour’s drive away, will help, too. They are looking to move closer to her uncle now. At the shower, I learned that this is one amazing family, full of love and support. I have NEVER felt so encouraged at a shower. This baby will be born into a loving, supportive family. They are truly incredible. (I kind of want to be adopted myself!) After a Gospel presentation at the shower, I am fully convinced that the adults are all believers and followers of Christ. They were all very repentant over scheduling an abortion. After the Gospel presentation portion, and realizing they were genuine believers, I was able to fully function in the “mercy” mode and love on them and remind them of God’s goodness, and His answer to their prayers. I rehearsed the glories of Calvary, reminding them that we are all susceptible to deceit and wickedness. Because of your generosity and support, Truth & Mercy was able to provide TWO households of baby equipment, so that the baby can stay either place, plus the usual maternity clothing, baby gear, baby clothing, and such. Here is a photo of mama “A”, who is due shortly, on November 10. She plans to name her baby boy Andres Emilio, a family name, of course!

12) Just yesterday, I showered Shantel, a thirty-year old lady with two young children. Desperate, she came alone to the Latrobe abortion clinic five months ago. She ignored the gentle Christians out front, parked and went inside. She was given an ultrasound, not for the purpose of seeing or bonding with her baby of course, but only so the abortionist could measure and date the pregnancy. They do this to each client so they can determine the best killing method and also know how much to charge her. The screen always faces away from the mother. Shantel learned she was 12-weeks pregnant. She also learned she did not have enough money to abort that day. [Sidebar: Isn’t it interesting that abortion clinics never offer a discount or a payment plan in their “helping of women”? We offer all kinds of free help, but they never do. Who truly cares for women?] While in the waiting room, though, God began to pierce her hard heart. The woman waiting beside her was visibly pregnant. This disturbed Shantel and made her pause a bit. (The Latrobe clinic is licensed to kill up to 20 weeks, but we know they often go beyond that.) Without adequate money, she left, fearful and upset. On her way out, once again, Vicky Kaseorg called out to her, offering her help and hope and a FREE ultrasound on board the Monroe HELP Center’s mobile unit that was parked in front. She boarded, and this time, she saw her living, formed baby kicking and moving on the ultrasound screen. She fearfully chose life. Vicky has pursued her for the last five months, and poured the love of God into her. She’s driven her to appointments and texted her a Bible verse each day. Shantel, at Vicky’s urging, moved out of her longtime boyfriend’s home, as Vicky talked to her about purity – a message I reinforced yesterday at length. After weakly and timidly choosing life months ago, she says now it’s the best decision she’s ever made. She told us yesterday that God has used this little baby girl in extraordinary ways in her life. When we were planning her shower, she made an unusual request. She asked that a pastor come to her shower and pray over her and her baby girl. Vicky asked Daniel Parks, one of my heroes and the director of Cities 4 Life, to come and come he did. He came with an anointed Word from the Lord for her. We gathered around her and prayed. She has always considered herself to be someone who loves God, but until yesterday, at her shower, she had never understood the Gospel. She did not understand her desperate condition before the Holy God she loves. She believed, like most folks do, that she was “pretty good” and that God allowed “pretty good” people into heaven. She did not realize she was separated from Him by her sin. She didn’t even realize many of her sins. Through the presentation of the Law, she was able to understand her true condition. God uses the Law as a teacher, to show us our sin! We simply went through the Ten Commandments and she realized that, like me, she is a liar, a thief, an adulterer, a blasphemer, a murderer at heart, and a covetous woman. Neither of us is “pretty good”. God used it to reveal her desperate need for a Savior (Galatians 3:24). Realizing the bad news of her sinful condition made her appreciate the good news of the glorious Gospel. She submitted to Christ’s Lordship yesterday, at On the Border restaurant. She is obviously a brand new believer and she needs a good church and more. Pray for her, a tender shoot, to be nurtured. Her baby girl, who is now safe and loved and to be named Telisa, is due in mid-December.

In two weeks, I’ll shower Clara, and as you now know, a number of babies are due in the next month. Pray for their safe deliveries.

Thank you for your faithful provision for all these years. I am amazed at what God has accomplished through you. On this anniversary edition, I’d like to give just 3 shout-outs of appreciation this time. This is in no way a complete list of contributors. It barely scratches the surface:

1) Cindy Holleman has been managing the baby clothing for years, and she is an incredible help to me! I merely contact her and let her know when I have a shower and what the baby’s sex and due date are and she fills up the gift bags with the right sizes of clothing for the right seasons, estimating average growth. Cindy and her husband sacrifice a large amount of space in their home to store all the clothing. It’s a huge endeavor and Cindy does it beautifully and sacrificially. Thank you, Cindy!

2) For the last several years, Jerry and Carolyn Lively have met the biggest ministry expense I have: storage rent. They generously pay this bill each and every month. I’ve known them and served alongside them since I began in ministry. They also raised a fierce and mighty pro-life warrior — Lisa Lively Metzger is their daughter! Thank you, Livelys, for all your amazing contributions, including your daughter! God bless you.

3) Lisa Robbins collects donations from a local consignment sale each fall and spring season and brings them to me. Thank you, Lisa, and thank you, Teri, from Teri’s Kidz Consignment!

Thank you ALL for your long time, ongoing support: financially, prayerfully, and practically.

I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do in this next year. To Him be all praise and honor!

For HIs great glory and fame,

Sheryl Chandler

Financial donations can be mailed to Truth & Mercy at 4803 Crownvista Drive, Charlotte NC 28269 or they can be made using Pay Pal here.
If you have clean, gently-used baby items to donate, contact me here and we can arrange deliver/pick-up.

Donations to Truth & Mercy are NOT tax deductible.

Please do not share these photos, names, or stories on social media. Relationships with these courageous mothers are hard won. They have given me limited permission to share their stories and photos. Feel free to forward this email in its entirety to your friends, but please refrain from using social media. Thank you for your understanding.

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