Sunday, September 19, 2010

News from the Trenches "Countless rejections"

“She has never been quite the same”

Sidewalk counseling at two Sacramento locations

“Countless rejections” 
Pregnancy Consultation Center, 53rd and F streets, Sacramento, September 8, 2010 

Today I prayed and counseled women at an abortion center that commits abortions up to six months of pregnancy. 

I stood at the sidewalk near the street offering assistance as pedestrians and people in cars whizzed by me as if I were invisible. 

After countless rejections, a Caucasian female passerby exiting the parking lot yells out from the car, "I'm pregnant and I'm keeping my baby!" I praise God and continue praying. 

Around an hour later, a middle-aged Caucasian male in a huge white pickup truck stops along side me and asks me what I'm doing. After explaining the mission of offering assistance to those facing an unplanned pregnancy, he reveals this story to me. 

"When I was nineteen years old, I got my girlfriend pregnant. I wanted her to keep it, but she had other plans," he divulged. “She actually became suicidal and had a mental breakdown. I have kept in contact with her, but she has never been quite the same." 

I offered him a pamphlet on a post-abortive healing retreat and he encouraged me for my efforts before he drove away. 

A few minutes later, a Latino Catholic couple is exiting the building with the woman visibly pregnant. They begin sharing that they are having twin boys in December, but only want a couple of children. I began speaking to them about God's plan to be fruitful and multiply and that children are a blessing from God. I encouraged them to pray about this and be open to God determining the number of children He wants for them. I offered them two baby blue Holy Rosaries with instructions before they departed. 

"I wish I could bring all my children back” 
Planned Parenthood, 29th & B streets, Sacramento, September 7, 2010 

Today is typically an abortion day, but when I arrived at 10 o'clock there were no pro-lifers or escorts on the scene. 

I began praying the Holy Rosary and attempting to counsel pregnant women. I set up my "exhibit for life," which is an educational display of positive photos of fetal development combined with a collage of photos of moms and dads holding their babies to invoke warm feelings of nurturing toward their baby in the womb. 

I began praying and after 15 minutes a woman eventually accepted my pro-life materials as she entered PP. I continued praying and offering assistance but there weren't many takers. 

After several hours of rejection, I observed a woman crying at the other end of the sidewalk. I quietly made my way over there introducing myself at a distance. She confided to me that she had just miscarried and was sobbing. I attempted to console her as she began wiping the tears from her cheek. I gave her a gift of a Holy Rosary before she took off with her ride. 

As I was packing up, one final driver begins exiting PP and I offer her a pamphlet. "I offer positive alternatives to abortion,” I said. "I'm not here for an abortion," she yells back. "Yes, I understand women come here for many reasons, but we're here to help in any way we can," I reassure her. "We're not here to judge or condemn women, but we are here to offer hope to women especially women hurting from past abortions," I continued. “Many of my friends who come out here have suffered the pain of an abortion and that's why many come here to help other women avoid making a similar mistake.” 

At this point, the 30ish looking woman begins confiding that she has had four abortions during her lifetime. "I wish I could bring all my children back and I regret having had these abortions," she laments. 

"God loves you and is a forgiving God, He doesn't want you to carry this burden forever, " I said. I then offered her my hand through the window at this point and we held hands briefly while she begins weeping and continues sharing her sorrow and loss. 

Eventually, I encouraged her to attend the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat for healing from this wound of abortion. She accepted the information and then began driving away. 

(Republished with permission from “Blessings from the Sidewalk,” Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, Sacramento.)