Thursday, June 09, 2011

Featuring: Amy

Editors Note:
In just one of many miraculous moments of my life God led Rachael and I to join a Home Group in 2003.  We had been trying to conceive with negative results for quite some time and were beginning to seek medical alternatives.  Upon joining this group we didn't have any intentions of seeking out support with other couples that had endured a similar pain...we just wanted to connect with Christians from our church and make some new friends.  God did indeed help us make good friends...but He had more in-store for us.  Three couples besides us had also endured infertility issues.  One couple had prayerfully come to realize that they would not have children.  Another already had twins girls through fertility treatment and would later have a son as well.  The third couple also went through fertility treatment and had twin boys.  It was this third couple that included our featured guest for today, Amy!  Everyone in the group could easily be featured in a future article but I thought I would start with her and share her ministry as a SWC.  Essentially I've asked Amy to write a bio that includes two things:

1. How did she get involved with this ministry?
2. Share a personal success story from her involvement in counselling.

Below is her answer to these inquiries:

My name is Amy.  I am a Christ-follower, wife to Jeff, 14 years, and a mother to twin 8-yr-old boys, Kyle and Nathan.  Jim has asked I share with you how I was led to the Side-Walk Counseling Ministry, some learning’s gained while serving, and a true story.  I’ll begin first by defining just what the ministry is (because if you are like I was before I began, chances are you either have not heard of it or might have a different idea as to what it is).

A side-walk counselor is a trained, back-ground checked individual, who serves outside of abortion clinics to share the love of Christ and to offer counseling to women seeking abortion.  Side-walk counselors are part of a Pro-Life Ministry umbrella which offers many different resources to women in unexpected pregnancies.   Responsibilities of the SWC are prayer, sharing the good-news of Jesus, providing informative literature (education on life in the womb at different gestations, abortion alternatives, resources available), and inviting women to visit a pregnancy resource clinic before choosing abortion. This ministry is loving, peaceful, and non-condemning.  It essentially meets women at one of their darkest moments in life, seeking to shed truth, light, and encouragement, in hopes she will reconsider and not make a choice she will regret and cannot take back. 

For informative purposes, following are a few basic statistics on abortions in the U.S (italics, mine):

-          Approx. 1,200,000 (1.2 million) abortions occur per yr;

-          Half of all pregnancies are unplanned/unexpected;

-          Of these unexpected pregnancies, half of them end in abortion;

-          One-third of all women will have had at least one abortion by the age of 45.

~Source:  Guttmacher Institute ~

My personal journey with the ministry of SWC began in 2003, when The Holy Spirit broke my heart for the injustice of the innocent, voiceless unborn being aborted, and for the hurting mothers who knew not what they were doing (and fathers who often lead women into these clinics).  Interestingly, before this time, I was naïve to the frequency of abortions and just how prevalent the issue really was.  To be honest, I chose not to think about it because it wasn’t pleasant and it didn’t involve me or anyone I knew of closely (until after-the-fact, anyway, when it was too late).  My interest level significantly heightened upon realization that a relative in the family had hired on with Planned Parenthood to raise funds for that organization.  My husband and I delved into research and were horrified and saddened the more we learned.  On a cold, rainy winter morning, in 2003, I believe none other than The Holy Spirit pressed heavy on my heart to look up abortion clinics in the Dallas Ft-Worth area.  I happened upon one and felt compelled to get in my car and just go; I had absolutely no idea why, but I knew I must, so I did.

When I arrived at the Fairmont Clinic in Turtle Creek (now closed, open at that time), I saw a sad scene and felt the very presence of spiritual warfare between good and evil.  I saw a man standing in the rain with a Bible, praying, handing out literature, and speaking kindly to women going in. I saw an Asian couple with their arms around each other, walking out of the clinic, crying, hurting and looking empty.  I saw clinic workers who looked angry and cold, taking smoke breaks on the patio.  It was simply heart-wrenching – a tragic visual to say the least.  The man with his Bible was truly a beacon of light in this dark place.  I spoke with him and he told me he was a sidewalk counselor (SWC).  He gave me a copy of the literature he was handing out (it had pictures of babies in the womb at different stages of early pregnancy, contact info. for a pregnancy resource center, scripture);  This man suggested I get in contact with the Director for this ministry to learn more;  That is exactly what I did.  In the mean-time, I also came upon these scriptures, which essentially instructed me it was time to move forward even if I didn’t know what I was doing, God would equip me. 

Proverbs 24:  11-12a. (NIV):  Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?

Psalm 82:4 (NIV):  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

True Story @ Routh Abortion Clinic, 2007

On a Sat. morning while in the alley (only entrance into this clinic is via alley-way), I saw two African-American ladies heading into the clinic, but they didn’t look happy about it (most don’t).  For confidentiality, we’ll call the abortion-minded lady, “Tonya.” Tonya was with her sister and rushing to get inside the abortion clinic.  The ladies took the literature I offered but didn’t want to talk.  I invited them to come next door with me, to the White Rose Pregnancy Resource Center for counseling.  I also asked Tonya if she knew Jesus and was a Christian.  She told me that she was, but that she simply could not have this baby because her boy-friend was in jail, and she was already a single mom to a 9 yr old daughter.  She was afraid and felt all alone.  I told her God had a plan for her and for her baby, He was always faithful, and always rewarded obedience.  We discussed Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. She went into the abortion clinic anyway.  My heart broke.

Tonya’s sister came back out, and we prayed together for Tonya; I asked her sister to go in and try to get her out and told her I would pray for her and for her sister.  After two attempts to get her sister out, she came!  God had moved in her heart and she listened.  I took her next door & after her sonogram, we found out she was pregnant with TWINS!  God saved two babies that morning…isn’t that awesome?

Tonya gave birth to twin sons and God blessed me with the gift, in this instance, of staying in touch with her, and I even got to go to Parkland Hospital and hold both while still in the NICU. They were healthy, just born a bit premature as often occurs with multiples. 

Just this past Mother’s Day (2011), I received some text msgs from Tonya as follows, as I type this up, they are still on my phone so I’ll type them as they read (I am changing names only):

Tonya:  “Hi Amy, this is Tonya, my twin sons are Jaxon and Jamison.  Do you remember me?” 

To which of course I was delighted and told her I did!

Tonya:  “Hey lady??? I’m good and the boys are 3 yrs old now. Amy, just wanted to THANK you for saving me from doing something that I would have regretted for the rest of my life.  Amy, every morning I wake up, I thank God for sending u my way!!! Please continue to let your light shine.  Your work was not in vain.”

I replied back and thanked her for making my day and encouraging me!  At this particular time, I was in need of some cheer.  I reminded her that a.m. was nothing about me – it was ALL HIM – our Heavenly Father’s work! God had sent me to that clinic (it was the last place I’d of ever gone otherwise and that’s no lie); I was a broken vessel that only HE could use for something of worth.  I told her that God spoke to her heart that day and she chose to hear His voice and be obedient.  I told her that I was proud of her and I knew God and His angels were surely looking down in delight on her and her sons.  I then told her God surely had big plans for her and her sons.  He had intervened in a huge way….and of course, HE was faithful and has provided for her needs!!!

One last thing, before I wrap here, would you believe that I had been praying the week before Tonya’s text on what God would have me do with this area of ministry?  I had taken a one yr break feeling perhaps serving in that area was no longer what I was called to do.  Little did Tonya know, God spoke through her directly to me.  I have now been back to a clinic since these texts.

If anyone would like to discuss this ministry or has questions, I am delighted to answer to the best of my ability. Further, I want to encourage anyone reading this who has had an abortion, or ever taken part in enabling or encouraging one….Take heart!  There is hope and healing and forgiveness through Christ Jesus! You do not have to live with the guilt any longer!  That is Satan’s lie!  Many churches offer healing/abortion recovery classes which are confidential as do other pro-life ministry organizations.  We serve a merciful Heavenly Father, who sent His beloved son, Jesus, to die for ALL sins.  God bless!!!  Thank you, Jim, for letting me share this journey with you and thank you for your time to read it.


Mike Messerli said...

Wonderful story! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Peace JR,

Awesome Amy (AA for short)!

In His Grip,

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Thanks for the share.

In Him,
Kev (justchemicali)