Three weeks had transpired since I first met with Martha. On my assigned days, which was twice a week, I would diligently arrive and stand on the sidewalk at the entrance of the abortion clinic, praying and watching God's miracles unfold. I admit, on many days I left there beaten down as I'd watch pregnant Mothers walking in and keeping their appointments. I can't describe the feeling of loss I felt for everyone involved, as they left the parking lot with empty wombs. If I could only make them feel what I was feeling inside. The gifts that were given to them by God, tossed away. Especially when I was so anxious myself to receive the referral of my own child, who waited in an orphanage halfway around the world, in what seemed like a never-ending process. I digress.
By now it was March. I arrived timely before the abortionist's first appointment and sat in my car praying. As I always did before walking up to the clinic, I asked God to use me to do His Will, for His glory. This prayer was then followed by asking Him to change the doctor's heart, who although we had never spoken, I had come to know as a prideful, Catholic man with two beautiful daughters in our local Catholic high school.
That morning, I noticed a different prayer partner arrived. A lady I had met only once before. She quickly approached me as I walked up the sidewalk and introduced herself. I did the same and we proceeded to pray. After our first prayer she looked up and said, "This is my first time doing this. I was told that you would be the "communicator" today and I would be the prayer warrior. I stood there thinking, "Huh? Nobody told me." As quickly as I thought it, the words slipped out, "I've always been the prayer partner. Although I've watched the other ladies speak to the Moms, I've never done it myself." In addition, I was worried a bit because I was new to the area and although I had a list of Christian doctors willing to offer free services and other places where they could get help, I was a bit insecure about what I was doing.
As it turned out, about a half hour after being there, we noticed that the doctor had not yet arrived. The procedure was to call the office asking about wanting to make an appointment for that day and then we'd get the scoop. Sure enough, when we called we were told that he had an emergency and his appointments had been cancelled, so there was no one available to "see me". Praise God! We loved those days because it meant that babies got another chance at life, even if it was just for one more day! We'd prayed harder than ever on those nights. Maybe those Moms that were scheduled and cancelled would see it as a "sign" and have a change of heart. That was Tuesday.
The following morning my phone rang. It was Martha. She was heading back to the missionary field in a couple of weeks and wanted to speak to me. She said that the prayer partner I had been scheduled with was one of two Spanish speaking counselors in the county. I was the other. Due to the increase of abortions by the Hispanic community in the surrounding areas, she had to move her to a clinic in another county. I would now permanently have to be the prayer partner that speaks to the Moms since I was bilingual. I agreed and knew that if God wanted me in that position, He'd give me the tools and the words I needed to do His job.
I was scheduled for the following day. There was very little activity, but I did speak to two women who were going in together, each one was pregnant. After a short talk, they followed through on their plans. I was saddened because of the babies, but mostly because I felt I had let God down.
The following Tuesday, I arrived early again and went through the same routine in my car before walking up to the entrance. I met my prayer partner and our morning had begun. Shortly afterwards, the abortionists pulls into the driveway, giving us his usual glare as he drove by.
Being that appointments had been cancelled on Tuesday, this particular day was pretty busy. Most of the time the girls will stop to speak to us instead of us approaching them. I remember speaking to one particular girl that morning. She was in her mid 20's and told me she figured she was about 8 weeks pregnant. The father was a "friend". We spoke about the options, etc. and with a determined look on her face she said to me, "I have to go through with this! Last year I paid for a vacation that I have been saving for, for about 3 years. I'm not cancelling it, and I'm certainly not going pregnant." With that, she drove into the parking lot and went into the clinic. An hour and a half later, she left. I think in all the time I had been doing this, that one moment will be one that I'll never forget. A life thrown away. A baby killed for someone's vacation enjoyment. To this day, I cannot understand that. But, it's not my place to understand. God is our judge and He knows our hearts. By then, I knew I was being obedient to His will and I didn't have the guilt of having let God down. I knew guilt doesn't come from the Lord. I also knew the enemy was working overtime to get me to give up my new "job".
The doctor's appointments were always scheduled in the morning, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. He was listed as an OB/GYN although he didn't do obstetrics (unless you want to call killing a baby an obstetrician). His afternoon appointments were gynecology visits only.
The clock was nearing 11:00 a.m. and I figured we were pretty much done that day. A few minutes later, I noticed an older red Camaro drive up and down the street. The young Hispanic girl inside appeared to be lost. Something inside me told me that she was looking for the clinic. I prayed hard that she'd keep going and miss her appointment, if in fact that was the reason she was there.
Once more, she circled the building and began to enter the driveway. She lowered her head just a tad as she quickly drove past me. I waited to see if my hunch was correct. Was she walking into the clinic? She remained in the car for what must have seemed forever, for both of us.
My heart began to race. "Oh, Lord! Please let her drive away!" I said to myself. We both remained in our positions. I knew that our "rules" as sidewalk counselors clearly stated that we could not enter the parking lot, since it was private property. I asked God to help me make a decision, should I break the rules and approach her or should I not risk what I was there to do and stay on the sidewalk. I waited. She waited.
I had noticed when she drove past me that she had a cross hanging from her rear view mirror. I remained in my spot asking the Lord to give me a sign. To tell me what to do. Nothing. After a minute or two, she raised her head up and looked at me. It was obvious what we were doing there. I took that as my cue and to my prayer partners disbelief, I literally crossed the line and walked into the parking lot towards her car.
As I approached the driver's side window, she rolled it down. In Spanish, I said, "Hello." She smiled. I noticed she had tears on her face. I then asked her if I could go around and sit in the passenger seat. She nodded and leaned over to open the door for me.
When I entered the car, I told her my name. She was quiet and obviously nervous. I asked her if she was carrying a baby and she again without words just nodded. The silence between us was deafening, but I knew God was there. I could feel His presence so strongly. I quietly prayed to myself that He use me to deliver the words that He wanted this young, scared girl to hear.
I told her that I didn't know her circumstances. I didn't even know her name, but I did know that it was no coincidence that we had met that morning. I remember saying to her, "There are other options for you and for the baby." I then said, "I promise you that you will not be alone on this walk!" Still no words. But instead, with her head still hanging down listening to my words, a single tear ran down her face which she wiped away with a trembling hand.
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