Labels: Sidewalk Counseling stories
Every year, Etgar 36 has come to Dallas during its whirlwind tour for several reasons, but one reason is to explore the issue of abortion. They normally come speak with personnel from Operation Rescue but were unable to do so, so they called the Catholic Pro-Life Committee to see if someone could come address this group of 50 Jewish high school students on the issue of abortion in late June.
After the video, Michelle spoke to them about facts and statistics about abortion and its true application in America. The kids were not hostile to us, but they were very energetic and had many, many questions. I could tell, by the questions they were asking, that they had really only had a surface level understanding of what abortion is and particularly its effect on women. I could also tell that what they knew about abortion they had learned from a largely biased and essentially pro-choice media. The pro-life position is not covered fairly in the media and it's easy to see why people believe that abortion is OK.
As Michelle kept on talking, they kept on raising their hands with more and more questions. It seems that they kept on trying to find some scenario, some circumstance that was so bad for a women to be in that we would agree that abortion would be OK in that instance. But there is no such scenario and I kept on making the point that we will always say that abortion kills an innocent human being, because it does. That fact is a truth upon which those who are "pro-choice" will never be able to get around.
|Michelle gave her testimony about her past abortion and how she feels very strongly that abortion should not be legal at all. I think the kids reponsed to her well because she really came across as a concerned and caring mother who wanted the best for her children.|
Towads the end, Billy (Etgar 36 leader) split us up into two groups because there were so many questions. Michelle and I both talked to as many of them as possible and tried to answer all of their questions. We had originally been scheduled to talk for 1 hour but that 1 hour turned into 2 and they were still asking us questions as Billy was trying to get them out the door and onto the bus for their next visit, to the JFK memorial downtown.
One of the young men came up to me and said, "Look, I agree with you, I think abortion is murder and that it should not be done, and I would never do it myself. But I still believe that it's a women's right to choose if she wants to do it." This is a fairly common way of looking at the abortion issue and many people would agree with his statement. The problem of course is that if you take the underlying logic of what he is saying and apply it to any other issue, it makes no sense at all. For example, slavery; I don't believe in slavery, I wouldn't own a slave, but if you want to own one, go ahead?
At any rate, I think we got across to some of the youth in the room and am happy we were able to talk to them. Billy afterwards thanked us for getting their tour started off the right way. He wants them to be excited and asking questions during the trip and we sure got them to do just that!
We look forward to talking to another Etgar 36 group next year.
Click here for the Etgar 36 journal entry about their visit with us >>
submitted by Andrew Smith
Catholic Pro-Life Committee
July 17, 2006
A young girl came with her mom and dad today to Fairmount for an abortion. The mom and daughter walked up first and took literature and appeared to be somewhat amenable to our appeal to choose life for the girl's baby. However, they continued into the abortion center. Moments later the dad approached and took literature and seemed very interested in what I was saying. He squatted down just inches from me and looked intently at me as I tried to persuade him to go in and get his daughter and wife out of there. It was awesome to see God working on him! He said he was going to go in and try. About five minutes later all three came out and they were "all smiles." They said they had decided to have the baby. They said they didn't need any help from the White Rose and were going home to make an appointment with their doctor. I gave them my cell phone number in case they wanted to call me for anything and told them I'd be praying for them. Praise God for their openness to the Holy Spirit today!!
submitted by Jackie
Catholic Pro-Life Committee Sidewalk Counselor
July 17, 2006
More and more concerned citizens joined us and the estimate was that over 50 people stood for truth and life against Planned Parenthood in the streets of Dallas.
We held the red “Stop Planned Promiscuity” signs, the purple “Planned Parenthood Steals Souls” signs, and a few of the ones stating “Planned Parenthood - America’s Largest Abortion Provider – 33% funded by your tax $$$”.
We spoke to one mother who slowed down to look at our signs and so one of our counselors walked over to her car. She told our counselor that she had been there at 8:00 that morning to try to register her daughter at Teen Savvy but was informed it was too early and to come back after 9:00. Our counselor then told her that this was a workshop sponsored by Planned Parenthood of which the woman was not aware. She said she was told it was an “abstinence rally” and knew nothing about Planned Parenthood being involved. The woman indicated to our counselor that she was going to call her daughter at home to tell her she would not be going to this event. When our counselor walked away, the woman was on the phone.
The vans carrying the children started arriving a little later than last year and the majority of them were unmarked so as to hide the identity of the Teen Savvy collaborators. Were they told to come in unmarked vehicles?
The majority of the vans arrived by 10:00 am or so, but there were many late-comers straggling in. Then around 11:00 more cars started coming which we surmised were lunch volunteers or the afternoon shift. During this time two vans arrived loaded with children from a Baptist church in Garland. An immediate call was placed to the phone number on the vans and we were put in touch with one of the pastors. When he was told that two of his church vans full of children were at a Planned Parenthood conference he said there must be some mistake. He was fully aware of what Planned Parenthood is all about, but was told that Teen Savvy was an “abstinence teaching” and he was not aware of the connection with Planned Parenthood. He then called the youth pastor on his cell phone. The youth pastor had pulled into the parking lot of TW Browne just a few minutes before. Of course at the time we didn’t know he was the youth pastor. After we hung up with the one pastor at the church, we watched as the youth pastor came out of the school and got back into his car. He also had a conversation with another man – not sure if it was a Teen Savvy staffer or one of the DISD security personnel. The two empty church vans were parked next to the youth pastor’s car. About 15 minutes later, those church vans loaded with the children pulled out of that parking lot and headed back in the direction from whence they came - all to the cheers of those of us watching in amazement! Praise the Lord for sparing these children!
At their request we will follow up with sending them literature. We find that most churches do not know what Planned Parenthood really teaches and always encourage them to find out for themselves.
As these two gentlemen were ending their prayers, two parishioners from nearby St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, arrived and began praying the rosary and holding signs. The last of us departed the scene about 11:45, and these two saints were still standing, still praying, and still holding those signs!
Follow-up: This afternoon, we called the youth pastor of the Baptist church to ask how he had found out about Teen Savvy. He was not there, so she left him a voice message. However, the receptionist was most gracious and thanked us for calling them. She said we caused quite a flurry over our phone call! The receptionist then told us that they wanted us to know that after finding out what was going on they "immediately left with their young people”.
submitted by Jessie Anne Nobles
Dallas-area Coalition Against Planned Parenthood
July 12, 2006
Last Saturday morning, Peter came out with me to pray and counsel. We were praying a rosary, handing out literature and at one point, another car came through the alley towards the clinic (thankfully, this particular clinic is right next store to the White Rose crisis pregnancy center). I began speaking to a mother and her 17 year old daughter. The girl was looking down at her hands, kinda scoffing while the mother began to nod slowly. When I handed her the rosary I was praying on and told her I had been praying for her, tears started to stream down her face. I told them to pull into the White Rose parking lot and we continued to talk. Her mom said something like, "but she's so young" and I said something like, "but that's why she needs you to support her right now and stand by her to have this baby." The girl began to share that she had friends who had had an abortion and they all regretted their decision. I kept emphasizing that the women I saw walk out of the clinic (and this is all true!) were crying or sobbing or so sad. I also remember saying to them (after the mom mentioned that being a single parent was hard, etc.), "Do you have shelter? Do you have a car? No, but mom does? Then you have two more things than most women who have their babies."
Soon, after talking for a bit the girl looked up at me with a big smile on her face and said "let's go get a sonogram!!" and she jumped out of the car and gave me a big hug!! Wow, God is so amazing!! I walked them up stairs to the White Rose, talking about faith in God and the goodness of the White Rose center. The counselor that had seen them later said that during the video (which they show to all pregnant women, informing them on what abortion really is and the terrible effects of it) they were actually laughing -- she said that the girl was SO relieved that she didn't have to go into that terrible clinic! When they left, they each gave Peter and I a hug and thanked us and the mom (of the girl) said she'd be in touch so we could throw a baby shower together!! Wow!! I want to emphasize that I have been praying with much more dedication out in front of these clinics, praying to be humble like Christ, and to be used as his instrument. I have seen even more amazing things besides these two beautiful stories -- unbelievable!! You wouldn't believe the spiritual battles out there. I truly believe we have to pray for the conversion of people entering these places -- you wouldn't believe, sometimes, how much hope they need and how much they need to be touched by God's love!!
Please continue to pray for me this summer, as I counsel (Wed. - Sat. mornings of this week, too) -- and please pray for all the Dallas sidewalk counselors -- it can be scary to be out there, but SUCH a blessing when you have the confidence to step forward and see what God can do!! But most of all, it is PRAYER!! Please pray -- we may not see the good it does until we get to heaven!!
submitted by Lauren Werda
Catholic Pro-Life Committee Sidewalk Counselor Summer Intern
July 10, 2006
Labels: Sidewalk Counseling stories
© 2007 Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas. All rights reserved.