Yesterday I had trouble with my computer, and so wasn't able to write about Undefeated Courage's sidewalk advocacy.
There were ten sidewalk advocates and prayer warriors at Hillcrest in Harrisburg yesterday. We prayed for the end of abortion. We called out lovingly to every person who went in to the abortion facility. We gave out information about free health resources in the area. Ten of us were there for Dr. Thweat, assisted by five staff, who aborted five children.
Last week there were so many people at the abortion facility. This week there were far fewer. That is a huge relief. Still, every abortion is a tragedy. Abortion snuffs out a beautiful life.
We were all reminded of the beauty of life when our friend came by with her toddler son. He was so filled with life and joy, and put a face to our entire purpose. Our purpose is to protect life.
Over the last week we got to watch several people walk away from the abortion facility before they went through with the abortion. They didn't talk to us, and didn't take information from us. We don't know their stories, but we pray that they never come back. Using a simple notepad and short notes, we keep track of every person who comes, to make sure that we are offering them everything we can. Because of these notes, we are able to recognize when people come back.
My hopes for one girl who left last week was that she would never come back. I remembered her well, because she was wearing a hoodie with the word "NEVER" emblazoned on the back of it. I'm not sure if this is a fad, or if this was just unique to her. I took the word and prayed fervently that it would mean she would never return to Hillcrest or any other abortion facility to have an abortion.
She came back.
She had the abortion, and did not talk to any of the sidewalk advocates who were there to help her. I don't know her story, but I wish that I had a way to reach her with the truth that God loves her. The truth is, God will NEVER stop loving her, no matter what. God isn't happy with our actions, but he will NEVER stop offering us forgiveness, grace, and unconditional love.
On Friday another couple came to Hillcrest. They left early in the morning, so didn't have time for the abortion that weekend. (They actually left before Dr. Thweat arrived. They couldn't have had an abortion without violating State law.) When they left, the woman was holding a small, black, picture. We assume that it was the ultrasound.
Unfortunately the ultrasound pictures taken here are done using an old machine, and are used only to identify the age of the child by measuring the width of the skull. These pictures just show a round object in the blackness, and don't demonstrate the humanity of the child in the womb.
Yesterday the couple came back for the abortion. Despite having the ultrasound for five days, she still chose to have an abortion. We don't know her circumstances, and we don't know why she chose this. All we know for sure, now, is that she had the abortion and needs our help. Help is available, too! This is one of our brochures offering help and healing for women who have had abortions. It is available to download and print online from Mercy Missions. Click the link to go and download this resource for yourself and for friends. They are great at abortion facilities, but also to distribute anywhere. Women who have had abortions may get help from you anywhere and at any time.
I was able to connect with two of the five women who went in today by giving them this resource. One woman rolled down her window on the drive out and took it without a word. Another came over and got it from me, saying, "I'll give it to her [the friend who had an abortion] later."
I pray that those who left today will never come back. I pray that they will get compassionate care from those who really care about them - not from the abortion industry which is here to profit off of their pain.
"You all are such joyful people, despite having such heavy work."
That's what the photographer said when he came out yesterday. He was so impressed by our presence and care as he documented a part of our pro-life efforts.
The photographs are being used to help raise money for a mobile ultrasound unit from Save the Storks! I'll link to those when they are available. If you want to donate today, go to Undefeated Courage's website and make a donation!
"Is it always this busy?" The photographer asked as he took photos between our real efforts to reach people. He was dismayed to learn that it is typically much busier.
Despite seeing pain and sorrow twice every week, I'm so glad that my fellow sidewalk advocates are filled with joy. Yesterday the grief and pain of abortion hit me pretty hard. I had to pause between calling out to women and just knelt down and cried. I don't know how I would have gotten up again if John, P, Becky, and all the others weren't there praying with me and giving me hugs and smiles as we rejoiced in the beauty of God's creation and prayed for the end of abortion.
We are able to enjoy the beauty of life even while on the very doorstep of a place of death.
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