Friday, December 24, 2010

"Thank You for making our Christmas a better one and all the times you have helped me..."

       Only two days before Christmas and a distraught new mother left a message of despair on our phone. She had recently given birth to a baby boy and had nothing for him or his other siblings under a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. We phoned her back and found out that she had contacted other agencies and was too late to receive any toys or help with gifts for her children.  She was in need of basic baby supplies and some food for Christmas. It was getting late, but we would call her in the morning. Yes, we were busy preparing for last minute Christmas plans and family arriving to spend the holiday with us.
       By morning, we prayed and the other kids agreed that we could still get everything done and go where there is a need. Half of our team went shopping; the other half wrapped and baked. By late morning, we had everything packed and ready to deliver to this young mother. Our daughter Isabella volunteered to ride along and bless this family with a little Christmas cheer. We drove for a while and met at a halfway point off the highway. To our surprise, she brought the newborn baby for us to view and delight in. "Oh, he is precious." Sound asleep. It was too cold to take him out of his safety seat. Another time we will get to hold him. We then began placing some gifts in her car for under the Christmas tree for her children to enjoy on Christmas morning. With tears in her eyes she thanked us. She told us she had nothing to give them as she had to take off work when she had the baby and lives paycheck to paycheck. "But praise the Lord, at least you have job." She smiled. We gave her a gift card and some baby supplies. She hugged us and we watched her drive off. 
       It was a good feeling to be able to help someone in need who thought there was no hope this Christmas. It is not so much a hand out as it is a hand up. And in doing so they see and feel the love of Jesus at this special time of year. God asks only that we drop whatever we're so busy doing to accept one loving gesture. All it takes is a willingness to let another hand take ours.
       "The only gift is a portion of thyself."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
       Be encouraged ~Angela

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Blessings come in small packages"

       She turned the corner, and from a distance  we could see a small child in her arms. "I saw the van; I knew you'd be there." As she approached us, I remembered this face. "Oh my gosh, it's Brittney!" I exclaimed. I looked at the baby she was holding and asked, "Is this the baby girl?" "Yes, her name is Cassie." I asked if I could hold her. "Yes Ma'am," Brittney said, and I smiled as she looked into my eyes welling up with tears of joy. Brittney's were as well. "My goodness, you're so beautiful and such a big girl." She closed her eyes and rested against my chest, and I told Brittney, "She's so precious. And to think where she almost ended up. God is good."
       I then explained to our photographer that when we first met this little angel, she was approx 18 weeks pregnant and inside Hope Clinic preparing for the two day abortion. Brittney's mom came out, and Daniel convinced her to go back inside and bring this pregnant daughter out to us so we could save the baby. He offered to reimburse them the cost of the ultrasound fee the abortion mill had already charged them. A few minutes later, the mother and daughter came back out and into our van where we were able to view little Cassie where she was auditioning for her life. We convinced them not to kill her and took action. Daniel set up her physician appointment and took them to our staff obstetrician to reassure them the baby was okay from the prepping of her scheduled  abortion. We continued to support her and made sure she got to her doctor appointments and had clothing and much needed baby supplies.
       This past 40 Days for Life campaign, her mother even came back and spoke on behalf of how effective being outside the abortion mill with help and the right people was in her life. Her granddaughter was saved in the ultrasound van and about to make her arrival. "She is a blessing Brittney. Do you ever regret keeping her?" She replied, "No ma'am! She is my life. I can't imagine the world without my little Cassie. I can't thank you and Daniel enough for all your love and help. You got us through a difficult time in my life. I will always tell her how you saved her." With that I hugged her. "Please keep in touch if there's anything we can do to help." One more long hug and we handed her back to her mommy and they walked to their car.
       Thank you Jesus! Every time we are blessed to see the fruits of our labors, we know we are doing the right thing in being that voice for those without one. "How blessed is he who cares for the helpless." Psalms 41:1

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Thank you for your service, your ministry, and your dedication; we had no idea..."

"An evening of HOPE!" and this was just one of the many positive comments from the audience for this evening's event. We were invited to come speak on behalf of our ministry and pro-life at Holy Childhood Church and School where a large gathering of parents, children, and youth was underway. Monsignor Hartlien and committee members welcomed us as we were seated at the head table. We were treated to festive surroundings and a delicious Christmas potluck dinner. AWESOME! It was hot and I didn't have to cook!  We quickly set up our ultrasound van for small group tours and eventually after our speech, we planned on viewing an ultrasound on an expectant mother for all to see. We brought some of our children and our most recent saved and adopted baby. "Ooohhs" and "ahhs" could be heard. We handed out literature, factual stats, and took many questions after our talk. Many were unknowledgeable on abortion, let alone the abortion mill in Granite City. We spoke in detail about our dedication, what got us involved, and that, "In order to save lives you can't just say you're pro-life; you have to do pro-life. We go to where children are being murdered daily. We are the frontlines on the battle and the last lines of defense. We are the Red Cross in a war zone."
        We spoke of our successes, victories, and adoptions. Many did not know that the only prerequisite in gaining employment at Hope Clinic is that you had to of undergone an abortion at least once. Also that in Illinois, "We are known as the dumping ground for underage abortion and a child predator's paradise, as no parental consent is needed as long as the pregnant girl has a ride home. We have witnessed girls as young as nine years old undergo an abortion in Granite City. Many parents' rights have been trumped due to the lack of enforcement of parental notification. It's the law; it has been on the books since 1995. Hope Clinic thinks it makes better parents than you, the ones footing the bills for your underage minor."
       After our Q&A session, we were whisked out into the ultrasound van where we performed an ultrasound on a willing participant. Small groups of the audience kept coming inside to view. "WOW! That's amazing! Thank you for your inspiring ministry," were more complimentary comments. We gave God the glory in all this. Fr. Abraham came inside the van and was so impressed with our work. He kept saying, "This is amazing! I've never seen anything like this." I asked where he was originally from and he replied, "Nigeria." I then told Fr. Abraham that in his native country, if a woman tried to get an abortion or killed her child, the village leaders and officials would, "Stone her to death." He agreed whole heartedly. "Yes, abortion is not allowed in our country," he added.     
       After the last group of  participants visited the womb service van, we returned back inside the hall to a reception line where we were hugged and thanked by a lot of attendees, and where the committee leaders blessed our ministry with generous financial donations and baby supplies. Several asked for our contact information to speak at other pro-life events and churches and we obliged. This evening's celebration of LIFE was well received and good seed was sown. "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15