November 2016 Update

Dear Friends of Life,

Autumn. The fresh, crisp, cool air. The long shadows. I always feel especially loved by the Lord when He transforms my world into my favorite hues of red, orange, yellow, and gold. Fall also marks a special anniversary for me — my immersion into prolife ministry, which began in October 1988. It changed my life forever. As I mark 28 years of ministry, I ponder on God’s faithfulness and goodness…and the generosity of ministry supporters who believe in the mission and equip me for the work. I could not do it without you. Saying “thank you” seems too small and too inadequate, especially when my heart is so full. Please also accept a host of “thank yous” from 1,500 moms and 1,500 babies, many of whom are now adults, having children of their own. We have truly begun the second generation of life! Speaking of life, I’ll get right to the point and tell you of the new lives born and saved! Be sure to read to the end. I have a very special friend to thank.

1) Kristen, whose shower I reported on last time, had her baby girl, Kaydence Michelle, on July 12. Kaydence weighed 8lb 7oz. Kristen was met at Latrobe abortion mill by Lisa Metzger — who is expecting her own baby boy any second now! Through her courageous and bold proclamation and the Monroe HELP Center’s mobile ultrasound unit, Kaydence’s life was saved. Since I told that story last time, I’ll just show you a baby picture this time:

2) Cathy, whose shower I reported on last time, had her patriotic baby boy on July 4. Jack weighed 6lb 3oz. If you remember, Cathy came to salvation at her shower. It was a glorious occasion! She was met at the Latrobe abortuary by sidewalk counselor extraordinaire, Vicky Kaseorg. Nurse Sherri Desloge from the Monroe HELP Center gave her the free ultrasound on the mobile unit. Both these great ladies also came to the shower, where we laid out God’s plan of salvation over lunch at Chili’s. She’s been attending church and loving motherhood. Here are Cathy and Jack.

I’ve showered seven moms in the last few months, five of whom have already had their babies. I’ll tell those stories first.

3) Keonna’s shower was June 26. She, too, was met by Vicky, whose wise and loving counsel prompted her to choose life for her little baby. She was lavishly showered and all her practical needs were met, thanks to T&M’s wonderful supporters. Her daughter, Nala Danielle, was born July 28 weighing 6lb 14oz and measuring 20″. I’m pretty sure Nala’s hair is at least 1/4 pound of her weight!

4) My next shower was for Kimberly on July 9. She was met by Cities4Life sidewalk counselors Jennifer Barrett and Patti Holmes. I’d never done a shower with these ladies before, so this was a treat for me. Kimberly lives with her boyfriend, Jeffrey, the father of this baby. She has a 1.5 year old son with a different man. While she opened gifts, Jeffrey assembled the crib and I helped get the bedding set put together. This is an unusual occurrence to happen during a shower, so I was happy to snap some pictures of Kimberly with the crib and bedding set you provided! We took her to dinner and shared the Gospel with her at length, including God’s purity commands. Her daughter, Liangelli Esther, was born on September 11, weighing 7lb 7oz.

5) The following week, on July 16, I showered Eloisa. Months prior, Eloisa and two of her friends had come to A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Ave. The three young ladies met Vicky and Sherri, forces to be reckoned with in God’s Kingdom. They boarded the mobile unit. They received godly counsel. All three prayed to receive salvation that very day. Eloisa, lifting her head from prayer and with tears in her eyes,flatly said, “I cannot abort now.” All three ladies received Spanish Bibles and Eloisa received a promise of a shower and maternity clothes via Truth & Mercy. She’s been attending the church that Daniel Parks, director of Cities4Life, recommended to her. Vicky and Sherri joined me for that promised shower and Eloisa invited her friends. It was a reunion. She and her friends prepared a delicious, authentic Mexican feast and we reviewed the Gospel, which always bears repeating. She was so appreciative. The gifts overwhelmed her small home, as is usually the case at these showers. Her son, Abiram – a Spanish version of Abraham – was born August 26, weighing 7lb 14oz. He is loved and welcomed by his 4 siblings.

6) Makya’s story is full of drama, including a rowdy group of four teens, a threatening fugitive situation, a car chase, and police. In all my years in front of the mill, I’ve never heard or been in a situation this animated, but this story involves Vicky Kaseorg. Need I say more? A few days after Christmas 2015, Makya (pronounced Muh-keye-uh) was one of four teens who thought abortion was the answer to a difficult pregnancy. However, when they pulled up to the Latrobe Ave clinic and were offered a free ultrasound on the Monroe HELP mobile unit, Makya was curious to see her baby before the abortion. All four teens boarded the RV of their own free will. When the Gospel became the conversation, the boys angrily stormed off, but the other teen girl remained with Makya. The girls listened intently to the Gospel. Makya cried and sucked her thumb. (Yes. This poor, abused 16-year old still sucks her thumb to self-soothe.) Makya prayed to receive Christ. The belligerent boys started banging on the RV, demanding that Makya come out. They hurled accusations of “kidnapping”. They opened the door and pulled out Makya’s friend. Makya insisted she wanted to remain and complete the ultrasound. Vicky locked the door to keep angry boys out — not to keep Makya in. The Cities4Life team called the police for protection, and one he arrived, the officer came aboard to make sure Makya wasn’t being held by force. Satisfied with her answer, the police officer left. The active baby was seen on the ultrasound and her life was spared. However, Makya had a huge concern. Her guardian, her granny, was demanding Makya abort or she would kick Makya out of the home. Makya has not experienced much parental love. She never knew her mother, a drug abuser. Her father died when she was 11 and she was turned over to the care of granny. Sherry Desloge, the ultrasound nurse and acquainted with the law, provided her a copy of a legal document stating that her granny can’t do that. They got off the RV and the boys were livid. Makya asked them to take her home. They refused. They demanded that she “do what she came there to do”. Vicky offered her a ride home. They piled in Vicky’s car and headed out. Sarah Jordan, another counselor, went with them. The boys followed. Vicky lost them by taking a circuitous route, but when they pulled up at granny’s in Fort Mill, SC, the angry boys, the cruel grandma, and a few others were standing outside in a group. They lurched towards Vicky’s car as she pulled in, so she high tailed it out of there. Shortly, the police called Vicky and asked if she was harboring a 16-year old named Makya. She answered affirmatively. They advised her to report immediately to a nearby police station so that they could talk to Makya directly. Makya was petrified that she would be returned to granny. Vicky and Sarah calmed her by reminding her to trust God. The officer was kind and helpful and decided that Makya needed to enter emergency foster care that day. It was tenuous, but eventually Vicky and Sarah were free to go. Makya stayed a few days in foster care, and was then allowed to live with heroine Julie McGlinchey, a friend of Cities4Life. As a new believer, she was baptized while living with Julie’s family. After a few months, she became homesick and wanted to return to granny’s. Unfortunately, granny assaulted her with a broomstick and Makya was removed from the home. Granny was charged with abuse and the judge required her to attend anger management classes before Makya could legally return. As of this date, she has not even begun the classes, so Makya can’t return. Makya moved to the Florence Critterton maternity home and her baby was born August 5. Please know that throughout all these months, all were appealing with her to seriously consider adoption for her unborn daughter. She refused at every turn. My prayer is now that God will use this precious life to show Makya real love.

The shower was held August 13, when little Merikas was 8 days old. What a delightful treat to get to see and hold the precious baby at the baby shower! Makya loved the gifts and, by God’s grace, there was a great deal of purple clothing in the mix. Only He knew it was her favorite color. It’s always sweet when He does that sort of thing! She was very grateful. She truly adores her baby. She has started back to school, and the new maternal/baby home she lives in now provides day care and practical parent training. Here are a few pictures:

7) Tish, the pastor’s wife at Harvest Church, contacted me and asked if I knew of any success stories concerning young teen moms who were able to complete their education. She was hoping I could share some encouraging stories with a pregnant teen she met through their church’s “English as a Second Language” classes. Maria, a Christian lady with 4 children, had been attending these classes for several years. Her daughter was pregnant and had dropped out of high school the year before, after only the 8th grade. She was living with her boyfriend and his family. I happily met with Maria and Adriana, the pregnant teen. I told them encouraging stories, complete with pictures of one of my favorite moms, Mayra, holding her baby and her diploma, while wearing her graduation cap and gown! I told her of the college scholarship she had earned, and more. Not content to stop there, I shared the Gospel and also encouraged Adriana to move back home to her parents’ home, where she was welcome and loved. Jesus’s parable of The Prodigal Son was my text. The next week, I met with them again and provided maternity clothes. Time was short. I also offered a shower, which was held on October 5 at Maria’s home — where Adriana had by then returned! Yay God! I met her father, a wonderful Christian man, and her siblings. The house is tiny, but it is filled with love…and now it is filled with baby things! She is committed to returning to school in January. Her baby girl, Bethany Gizel, was born October 22, weighing 7lb 3oz. (And, by the way, Mayra got married last summer. She continues to work and go to college…and she knows her story helped someone else. Full circle ministry!)

8) My next shower was for Latrenda, on October 16. She drove to the Latrobe clinic with her cousin, who had her talked out of the abortion by the time they arrived. She eagerly accepted the free ultrasound offer on the mobile unit. Vicky and Sherry shared the Gospel with them; Latrenda understood, but was non-committal. Her cousin came to the shower, and once again, Truth & Mercy filled up a small apartment with lavish, lovely gifts, which I’m quick to point out, represent the mercy and provision of our loving God. Over lunch, we shared the Gospel again with both ladies — I love these 2-for-1 opportunities! I think many misconceptions were dismantled — especially works-based misconceptions. As we talked, they both continued to come back around to works-based thinking. It just reinforced to me how deeply ingrained this lie is, and how difficult it is to overcome. It’s so embedded in our human natures. They are strongholds and not easily let go of. I think they are both very close and if they read/view the materials I left with them, God will use it for gain. As always, a sexual purity message was given, as I teach them to obey His commandments. Many of these women have never heard such a message. Ever. Latrenda has a 1.5 year old son named Izaiah, and since she wanted a similar name for her daughter, I suggested Izabella. I’ll keep you posted on her decision! Her daughter is the first 2017 baby — due February 3.

9) My last shower was for Seneca, held on October 23. I heard of Seneca on Mother’s Day last spring, through a mom I met and served 12 years ago. Background: In 2004, my life intersected with Amanda’s at Family Reproductive Health on Hebron Dr. when she came to abort little Donovan. Once inside the clinic, she could not go through with it. Our words of truth and life kept ringing in her ears. Courageously, she came out of that dark place and faced her challenges with determination and grace. I showered her and loved her. At her shower, I met her mother, who had been praying the whole morning of her appointment – praying that Amanda would not abort. She was tearfully grateful for our clinic ministry and presence. Donovan was born November 2004, so he’s almost 12 and would be a straight A student if it weren’t for pesky PE, where he has an 89. (I just saw his report card last week). When Donovan was 2, Amanda married his father, and since then they’ve had two precious girls! We stay in touch. She has given her testimony at Truth & Mercy fundraising events. She is a dear! So when Amanda called me and told me of her friend, Seneca, who was struggling with an abortion decision, I was happy to get involved. Seneca had already made the abortion appointment. I spent a good deal of time on Mother’s Day speaking with Seneca on the phone, offering her help, and pointing her to Christ — who she professed to know. Seneca was back and forth and back and forth — and, oh my — back and forth with her decision. She had a 4-year old son. She knew how challenging single motherhood is. The baby’s father was a disaster and she knew she had sinned by being even briefly involved with him. She had recently met a very promising young man with great potential. All would be lost if he found out she was pregnant with another man’s child. We spoke multiple times for multiple days. At my urging, she went to Daybreak, a local crisis pregnancy center in her town — Columbia SC. After that appointment, she seriously considered adoption. I cheered! The next day, she went to her regular OB/GYN doctor and seemed content to carry the baby. I cheered again! A few days later, unbeknownst to me, she drove to her original abortion appointment — the appointment I thought she had cancelled. Initially, I was confused when she texted me late that morning, crying, “I just can’t do it. There are people here with signs. I can’t pull in. I just drove past. I know this is wrong.” Praise Jesus for His saints who serve outside death chambers nationwide. These salt-of-the-earth Christians in Columbia don’t even know of the baby saved that morning. She never spoke with them, but she and I texted the rest of the day. Her heart was resolute and steadfast. Life was chosen. Finally. Her baby was safe. Unfortunately, she has been through the wringer throughout this pregnancy. As expected, she lost the new boyfriend. She developed gestational diabetes, but is managing her diet and the baby is doing well. She also suffers from unusually low iron and requires infusions at a special clinic every two weeks. Worst of all, she lost her job a couple of months ago. Who will hire a woman now 8 months pregnant? As she walks through the fire, she maintains an exemplary attitude, which humbles me at every turn. Because of the generosity of Truth & Mercy supporters, I’ve been able to help her financially, in addition to the lavish baby gifts bestowed on her at the shower. To my delight, Amanda was able to join us for lunch at the shower. It’s lovely to get to witness long-range ministry fruit. It’s a balm of encouragement. A shot in the arm. An affirmation. It keeps me going. Seneca’s baby girl is due December 19. The first picture is of pregnant Seneca. The second is Amanda and her almost 12-year old son, Donovan. JOY!

My next showers are for Evelyn, Ondii, and Cynthia.

Before I close, I want to honor my friend, Cindy Holleman, who has managed all the ministry’s clothing for about 7 years. We filled her walk-in attic with shelving and 60+ bins of clothing. She prepares the clothing gifts for each and every shower and organizes the copious clothing donations. Each mom receives about 80 complete outfits in sizes 0-24 months, plus shoes, socks, hats, gloves, coats, etc. The clothing occupies a tremendous amount of space in her home, and managing it all requires a tremendous amount of time. Cindy and her husband, Steven, have sacrificed heroically for years. Alas, the time has come for them to release this service. They have recently purchased a gym and are now entrepreneurs! I wish them prosperity and health in their new ventures! Godspeed…and THANK YOU for your faithful service to Truth & Mercy! You truly did a beautiful job! Here are Cindy and Steven:

I’ve already rented another storage unit to hold the clothing and soon we will begin dismantling the shelves and moving the apparatus. If you are interested in helping with clothing management, please contact me and I’ll fill you in on details. Perhaps two ladies could even share these responsibilities. It might take two to replace Cindy! My storage unit is near Concord Mills Mall. Let’s talk.

Just a few days ago, I received a couple of new pictures of Leticia’s twin girls, who are now 6-months old. It is fun to see Fernanda and Estefany in their Truth & Mercy clothes and cribs, and playing with their Truth & Mercy toys!

Recently, I heard from Andreina, who was celebrating her son David’s first birthday. It’s a joy to be remembered on a baby’s birthday!

Thank you for equipping me for this ministry! Financial donations can be mailed to Truth & Mercy at 4803 Crownvista Drive, Charlotte NC 28269 or they can be made using PayPal here.

If you have clean, gently-used baby items to donate, contact me here and we can arrange delivery/pick-up.

I also have a Truth & Mercy Facebook page. Like it and follow it here: https://www.facebook.com/Truth-and-Mercy-Prolife-Ministries-160532650709108/?fref=ts

Unfortunately, donations are NOT tax-deductible.

As a reminder, please don’t share any of this content on social media sites. 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 understanding.

For His great glory and fame,

Sheryl Chandler

Founder & Director, Truth & Mercy Prolife Ministries

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