October 2013 Update

Dear Friends of Life,

A momentous anniversary has arrived! Twenty-five years have passed since I first ministered words of LIFE at a Charlotte abortion clinic. The pivotal date was October 29, 1988. Here we are twenty-five years later…and over 1,100 babies have been saved and a third of those have been fully showered. As I reflect on the past two and a half decades, I marvel at the progress.

Of course, I’m most grateful for YOU! Without you, this ministry would not be possible! Your generous and faithful giving equips me. With the Apostle Paul, “I thank my God upon all remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your partnership in the gospel from the first day.” Philippians 1:3-5

Thank you for your partnership in taking the Gospel to those staggering towards slaughter. Those caught in their sin. Those blinded by the lies of our unbelieving culture. Those in tremendous need of God’s truth and God’s mercy.

It’s been an incredible journey and I’m honored and privileged to play this small role in God’s great Kingdom work. Let’s recount His victories and sing of His mighty deeds! Let’s exalt His greatness, for the LORD’s glory alone!

I’ve several stories to recount.

1) On August 24, I showered a young 17-year old mom named Shyann. Thankfully, Shyann never seriously considered abortion, even though her older sister, who she was living with and depending upon, insisted upon it. When Shyann refused, her sister kicked her out. Facing homelessness, she turned to a Christian family who happen to be neighbors of friends of mine. My friend, Mary Ann Stumbo asked me if I could help. The family Shyann is now living with, the McKinneys, are not well off, but they took Shyann in by faith. They had no idea how they could provide for her and her child, but they knew this was the Christ-like response to the situation. Mr. McKinney even said, “If God wants us to do this, He will need to provide” — and through you wonderful Truth & Mercy supporters, provided He has. First, I showered Shyann with everything she needs for the baby. I took her, Mrs. McKinney and Katelyn to lunch and shared the glorious Gospel. Shyann was abandoned by her drug-addicted parents at a young age. Her grandmother raised Shyann, until she died a couple of years ago. As Shyann spoke tenderly of her grandmother, tears rolled down her cheeks. These wounds are fresh still. After her grandmother’s death, she moved from place to place, living with anyone who would have her. Most recently, she was living with an older sister, until she became pregnant and wouldn’t abort.

Since she never knew the love of her father, Shyann sought love from a young man, a scenario that is sadly far too typical in our culture.

About a week before the shower, friends and supporters, Armit and Mary Sue Mundorf, contacted me and asked if I knew a mom who could benefit from a financial gift they wanted to contribute. They explained to me that they felt led to give $100 a month – for an entire year – to a needy recipient. I immediately thought of the McKinneys! They are sacrificing so much to help Shyann and her baby, and they have so little themselves. They were overjoyed when I told them of the ongoing gift! I wanted to share this story, in hopes it might inspire others to give in a similar way.

With the love, support and example the McKinneys now offer, Shyann’s feet are on much more solid ground. Mrs. McKinney wrote me a 4-page thank you letter. For you exhortation, I’ll pass on an excerpt from it. She wrote, “I would like to say thank you to you and to all the supporters of Truth & Mercy. Your generosity has been such a huge blessing that I can’t say thank you enough. With the donations from your ministry, and now the $100 gift each month, we are able to provide for Shyann and her baby. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to help this young girl. Praise God for His grace and mercy and for putting people like you in our lives.”

Thank YOU ALL for making this happen! Shyann’s baby boy, Jaylen Isaiah, was born September 26 weighing 6lb 1oz. and was 19″ long. Here they are:

2) Do you remember in my last report, when I told you of the sweet couple who were to adopt a baby saved from abortion? Shortly before her due date, the biological mother changed her mind and decided to parent the baby. My friends are heartbroken and need your prayers, but they are in faith that the Lord is sovereignly controlling the circumstances. They are just grateful the child was not aborted and that the Lord used them to achieve that early decision for life that “Mary” made at the abortion clinic. God used several of His saints that ordained day, including Courtney and Karen, two of the best sidewalk counselors! Courtney, a nurse, was on site with the mobile RV unit right in front of the abortion clinic and gave “Mary” an ultrasound, where the screen displayed the life of this special child. Courtney talked to her about adoption and even mentioned Jennifer and Emeka as possible parents, when “Mary” communicated a preference for a bi-racial couple. Jennifer and Emeka joyfully embraced the adoption idea and set to work on all the legal and practical matters. I showered them as a means of help, since their legal expenditures were so enormous. Alas, “Mary” just couldn’t go through with the adoption as her due date neared. Weighing 6lb 11oz, little Nina Simone was born August 12. I transferred all the baby gifts to “Mary” in September. She was relieved and delighted to receive everything, and we had a profitable Gospel discussion. I pray that God will water and nurture the seeds that were sowed. She asked that I change her very unique name, but graciously allowed me to tell you her story and show the pictures. Here they are:

3) Clarice, whom I showered last summer, had her baby boy Ray John on August 15. He weighed in at 7lb 14 oz and was 21″ long. They live about four hours away, and this is the only picture I have so far, taken at the hospital. This little life was saved from abortion in Charlotte:

4) On August 29, Maria’s baby girl, Allizon, was born. I reported on Maria’s shower last time. Here is little Allizon, who weighed in at 8lb 14 oz, which isn’t bad for a Type I diabetic mom! She had a difficult and complicated pregnancy, but chose life! Go Maria!

5) I showered Fatima on October 12. Lisa Metzger, sidewalk counselor extraordinaire, met Fatima well over a year ago at the Latrobe abortion center. Lisa pleaded for life as Fatima and her sister went inside. Regrettably, the child was aborted. When Fatima experienced all the trauma that Lisa had warned her about, including severe depression, she realized Lisa was right. When she became pregnant again, this time she knew what to do. She set out to find Lisa. She and her sister went again to the Latrobe clinic, not to abort, but to seek out Lisa. By God’s providence, Lisa was there at the exact day and time Fatima arrived. (I sometimes think Lisa LIVES in front of the clinic, she’s there so often with her 10 children and husband Mark, proclaiming God’s message of LIFE!) Lisa was there to *catch* Fatima, offer her help and love and the message of Christ. Fatima and her entire family are Muslims. I’ve been in contact with her for months, gently sharing nuggets of Gospel truth. She’s a sweet and soft-hearted young lady of 22 years. She’s a college student and lives with her mother and three sisters. Her father is in the Ivory Coast of Africa, her native land. French is their first language and we have trouble understanding each other, so I was very concerned about the shower and the full Gospel presentation. We’ve had some communication issues just talking about maternity clothes and car seats, so you can imagine the challenge of explaining the nuances of the Trinity!

My daughter, Bethany, and I delivered a changing table and maternity clothes about six weeks prior to the shower. When we arrived at the scheduled time, one of her sisters was dressed in her burka with her prayer beads, kneeling on her prayer rug, facing East in their living room. I made my apologies and she quickly rose, gathered her things, and went back to a bedroom. All this to say, they are observant Muslims.

God’s grace was apparent and the shower went well. Lisa and I delivered the van load of gifts and she went through them all. Her mother was there, as well. I repeatedly verbalized that the gifts were an expression of Jesus’s love for her. Her mother’s eyes widened and lit up as she remembered a man she used to work with, years ago back in Africa who would often tell her, “Jesus loves you!” She had such a huge smile on her face and vivid excitement in her voice as she told us about this man, who planted seeds years and years ago, on a far off continent. This might seem like such a small thing, but I could see the sparks and connections being made. You see, Allah does not love his followers. Muslims don’t know what it means for God to love them. They are not offered a personal, loving relationship. They are only given a list of duties and obligations. Even after a lifetime of strict adherence to Islam’s Five Pillars, Muslims have no eternal security or confidence they have earned heaven.

Later, when Lisa and I took Fatima to lunch, I focused on the loving nature of God. I told her the parable Jesus told in Matthew 18 of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep and seeks the one who is lost – I emphasized that she was that lost sheep who Jesus was seeking. Of course, we covered all the necessary parts of the Gospel including sin and redemption through Christ’s death and resurrection. We also did our best to explain the Trinity, which is a major stumbling block to Muslims, but I spent a great deal of time on the loving nature of Jesus. I also compared and contrasted Islam and Christianity, as it relates to her personal situation. Fatima has had at least two adulterous encounters, one abortion and is now pregnant out of wedlock again. In many Islamic states, she would be executed without mercy. There is no hope for Fatima in Islam. None. In stark contrast, Christ offers her mercy, forgiveness, restoration, love, hope, providence and eternal life. Lisa and I made this clear to her. Of course, I left her with books, tracts, a DVD and a Bible. I wonder, though, if perhaps our encounter was as much for her mother as for Fatima. Her mother and I have had a few rounds of communication since the shower. Pray for them all. Fatima is expecting a boy December 30.

6) Denae, who I showered last year, called and invited me to her son’s first birthday party on September 12. It’s always encouraging and thrilling to be included in these major milestones! Lisa, again, was involved in counseling Denae and her mother at the Latrobe clinic. I could not attend, but Denae sent me a few pictures from the party. Here is Jayvire, as a one-year old!

7) In an effort to rectify an error, I’d like to show you a photo of Maryury, a beautiful young lady I showered last summer. I reported on her shower and the birth of her daughter, Sophia, last time, but neglected to show you her photo! Sophia is now three months old. Here’s lovely Maryury:

Exciting Opportunity!

Through a roundabout way only God can orchestrate, I met Jason Lanier, who is organizing and directing a holiday musical event called “Cupcakes and Carols by Candlelight”. This event will include desserts, beverages and a beautiful holiday concert. Jason’s passion is to incorporate mission with music, therefore he’s linking arms with Truth & Mercy and giving ticket proceeds to this ministry! Raising awareness, he will spotlight the ministry throughout the evening with a special video bio presentation, featuring one of my favorite moms, Mayra! I’ll be speaking for a few minutes, too. I’m thrilled about this opportunity and would love for you to come! It will be held Saturday night, November 30 at 6pm at First Baptist Church of Matthews. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here: www.IlluminationChoir.org/2013/10/25/concert-tickets/

Shout out of thanks to the following folks!

* Keepers of the Faith – a local group of Christian girls and moms – sorted heaps of baby clothes for me as a service project! Thanks to Hannah and Amelia Locklear, Sandy and Sarah Howe, Dana and Kiley Tweed, Jessica and Brittany Moore! You girls rock! They also made three diaper cakes for me to give at showers. Thank you all!

* GATE Pregnancy Center of Harrisburg donated a tremendous amount of baby clothes! Thank you, Jan Cranford and your amazing team!

* Young ladies and girls, ages 10-29, from Faith Baptist Tabernacle in Florida, made bibs at an event they called “Bibs for Babes”. Using a wide variety of fabrics, colors and textures, they created about 60 bibs! Another example of a creative way to serve! Thank you, thank you! Here’s a picture of the stacks:

* Cynthia Keller recently crocheted a myriad of baby things for me to give to the moms. Mary Sue Mundorf often knits homemade gifts, as well. Sarah Humphrey recently gave me some adorable handmade hats. I love giving handmade gifts, which often reduce these moms to tears when they are told that a stranger made these for their baby. These type gifts are always treasured!

* Cindy Holleman continues to serve as the clothing manager for Truth & Mercy and does a phenomenal job! Thank you, Cindy, for your ongoing faithfulness!

* James and Kristi Lorich continue to garner donations of baby goods from the Charlotte metro area, collecting them from far and wide and delivering them to me!

* My fellow church members from CrossWay Community Church, who faithfully support this effort! Thank you for your love and help!

I have several upcoming showers:

Gabriella, Alejandra, Erin, Shenice, Shaniqua, Grace, and Narria.

Remember, you can always donate using Pay Pal here.

I can always use your clean, gently used baby items. Contact me here for delivery options.

(Unfortunately, donations are not tax deductible.)

Expectantly anticipating the NEXT twenty-five years!

Sheryl Chandler

Founder and Director, Truth & Mercy Prolife Ministries

PS: Please do not to post any names or photos to social media sites. If you tell their stories, please change their names and don’t include their photos. These relationships are hard won, so I thank you for helping me protect these moms.

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