Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Boots&Booties' Story


                 Every fall, we host Boots and Booties, Barbeque and Silent Auction. This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and this year was no exception. On Friday, October 19th, 2012, Clearpoint Church opened their doors to our great event. Over 200 people came to support our fight against abortion, making this year’s event the most attended Boots and Booties to date. The silent auction stood ready with sixty-two packages, making this year’s auction the most populated auction to date. Even more, every single auction sold, yet another Boots and Booties first! The registration may have been hectic, and the seating may have been askew, but that simply proves the devil’s jealousy at our God’s exalted name!

                To start the program, I shared abortion’s truths, revealing the undoctored truth behind the assumptions. It’s not a just procedure. It’s not just a political agenda. It’s not just one of three options. Abortion means subjecting one’s body to mountainous physical ramifications, including future miscarriages, infertility, and even cervical cancer. Abortion also means subjecting one’s psychological and emotional health to irreversible damage, including depression, guilt, and suicidal feelings. These are the facts of the abortion fight-not made up stories for our benefit as a pregnancy center.

                Next, our beautiful sonographer, Mikelle Challenger shared the importance of ultrasound appointments in the fight against abortion. Every Thursday she meets with the girls our client advocates deem “abortion vulnerable”. She shows the scared, confused girls exactly what their decision is: she shows them their breathing, moving, flesh and blood baby inside their womb. Mikelle explained the story of Krystal, and how the ultrasound solidified that this pregnancy was indeed her baby.

                The night ended with our director, Bobbie Zamminer, asking for financial support to help us further extend a hand to those coming into our centers. This money means warm air when the counseling rooms grow cold and typical budget things like this, but this year also introduced a new goal. Our director has a great vision for this center, a vision demanding more of her time to be focused on the community and another’s time to be focused on the center itself. Bobbie asked for an entirely new salary for an entirely new, full time position. This is a huge dream, but we serve a huge God! He Himself gave the goal to Bobbie to share, so we can most certainly trust that He Himself will provide the means to establish such a position.

                Thank you for your prayers over our event! Big things are coming to life at the Community Pregnancy Center, and we’re so thankful for such eager, loving support! Keep praying, for Friday night was just one step toward our future!


Abortion's Story

Abortion is the bottom line of pregnancy centers, including the Community Pregnancy Center of Pasadena, Texas. It’s no secret that our mission is to share the truth about every option within a pregnancy decision. We don’t pressure a single girl into a pregnancy decision, or a spiritual decision, for that matter. We don’t lie or try to manipulate the facts of abortion in our favor, which is the common attack from pro-choice organizations and individuals. The rumor has been out in the media for decades and it is currently being publicized that pro-life pregnancy centers deceive and talk their way around the assumption that abortion is ok. To set the record straight, I want to present the unbiased, un-doctored truth about abortion.

            First, abortion has emotional consequences. In a personal interview with a woman who chose abortion, I asked her of her own experience, and she was no exception. She confessed that she suffered the emotional and psychological effects of abortion for over 15 years. The decision led to alcoholism, depression, and an inability to trust anyone. This is what abortion does to the mind. It’s not a made up generality.

            Secondly, abortion has great physical ramifications. While the immediate complications of abortion are sometimes temporary and treatable, these complications frequently lead to long-term reproductive damage to the female body, which commonly results in infertility. A post-abortal infection can raise the probability of later ectopic pregnancies to 5 to 8 times more likely.

Cervical damage is also a risk. This could translate into a permanent weakening of the cervix, meaning that the cervix is unable to carry the weight of a later, “wanted” pregnancy. This then results in miscarriage or premature birth. In my previously mentioned interview, the post-abortive woman revealed that she suffered from cervical cancer due the effect of her 3 abortions. A major study conducted by the After Abortion Organization is quoted to have reported that “among teenagers who aborted their first pregnancies, 66% subsequently experienced miscarriages or premature birth of their second, “wanted” pregnancies”.  This study also reported that the effects of abortions accounted for “3000 cases of acquired cerebral palsy amongnewborns each year”.

Planned Parenthood, the most well-known pro-choice organization in the United States, hides these truths from the public. On their own website, the organization calms readers by proclaiming “Serious, long-term emotionalproblems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth”. They also claim that physical side-effects are minimal, and treatable by their staff. They also rewrite the procedure of an abortion to be almost poetic: “Medical instruments and a suction machinegently empty your uterus”. Calming, isn’t it? That description certainly sounds more attractive than the facts I previously listed.

Of the women who enter Planned Parenthood for counseling, 98% of them have abortions. In a national abortion study, Planned Parenthood reported that they performed 332,278 abortions in 2009. At an average cost of $625 per abortion, that means they made more than $200 million on abortion alone. And that doesn't include the $363 million they received in government grants or the $209 million from private donations. That’s 772 million dollars pushing this pro-abortion origination—just in 2009 alone. Ignoring political stances and ignoring bold statements made, our country, our society is financially supporting abortions, and doing it quite generously.

            This is the vast abortion fight, but don’t be deceived into thinking this is a war off in the distance. Planned Parenthood runs the largest abortion-operating center in the entire northern hemisphere here in Houston, Texas with an entire wing of the building dedicated solely to the medical abortions. This is a local fight, and one we are fighting every single day at the Community Pregnancy Center. In this summer alone, 17% of the girls who walked into our facility were abortion vulnerable. They knew they were pregnant yet had no idea what to do. They live in the society and the geographical area that tells them that abortion is not only safe, but a relief. They hear these calming stories, and view it as a viable option to consider. 17%. If you look behind this number, you will see the 41 girls it represents-41 girls and their 41 babies from this summer alone. That’s 82 lives, and truthfully, those are only the ones who were willing to admit out loud what they were considering. The actual number is beyond our imagination.

Just three weeks ago, I answered the call of a mother calling on behalf of her teenage daughter, trying to schedule an abortion for her teenage daughter’s pregnancy. She herself wanted her daughter to “terminate” that unplanned pregnancy. In a moment, Mikelle will further explain Krystal’s story, but this is the fight that our world, our nation, and this pregnancy center battles. In the face of all these facts I’ve shared with you about the reality of abortion, remember Romans 8:31-32:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Our King is paying attention. Our King is fighting, next to you and next to me, and I guarantee that our God is the god who wins.

Krystal's Story

              At the Community Pregnancy Center, our primary fight and mission is to combat abortion. We add our voice to speak up for the unborn miracles, hand-crafted by God Almighty Himself. We want to share the truth about life and the truth about God, trusting that He will intervene through our words. Sometimes, the girls who come into our facility don’t necessarily need an abortion conversation, because they have already chosen life for their baby. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

                Working late into the afternoon, the phone at my desk rang. A mother was on the other line. After speaking for just a few seconds, she made it clear that she wanted only to schedule an abortion for her 17 year old daughter’s unplanned pregnancy, assuming we were an abortion clinic. Knowing I needed to choose my words very carefully, I assured her that we are not an abortion clinic, nor do we give referrals to abortion clinics, but I can schedule a counseling appointment for her daughter: “In an appointment, we will explain the process and facts of abortion, so your daughter understands the procedure. Through this appointment, we will then be able to schedule your daughter for a free sonogram on Thursday. This will determine the exact age of the pregnancy, which will determine the cost of an abortion.” The further along a woman’s pregnancy is, the more expensive an abortion will be. Her mother took my logical argument for an appointment with us and scheduled it for the next morning, admitting to me that she herself wanted her daughter to get an abortion.

I had 18 hours until the appointment
18 hours to pray for Krystal.

She arrived at our door promptly at 10:00 am that Tuesday morning, with her ex-boyfriend at her side. Recognizing her name, I took her back into the counseling room, trusting God to give me the words. She explained every reason why she wanted “to terminate the pregnancy”:
1) She already had a one and a half year old son with this ex-boyfriend.
2) She would have no one to watch the kids while she was in school.
3) Her Medicaid is about to end.
4) She’s just too afraid to have another baby at just seventeen years old.

In the society in which we live today in 2012, these reasons are accepted as justifiable for abortion. Thankfully, the Kingdom doesn’t work with the same rules as the world.

Before anything else, I shared the truth of abortion, the option she was solely considering.  To her unknowing ears, I laid out the risks and the extreme dangers of abortion. Even more, I confronted Planned Parenthood’s lies on their own website, which she had visited. I did my best to answer every question and worry she confessed about the abortion procedure.

After the logistics of the appointment, I then shared the greatest support she could ever have. I shared the redemptive Gospel of Christ Jesus and his personal, attentive love.
1) He will hold her oldest son within the palm of His hand.
2) He will provide the care for both of her children.
3) He will fill every gap earthly resources leave open.
4) He will surround her with perpetual and unwavering peace, approval, and strength
to raise this new baby.
She soaked up every word.
The test read positive.
I offered the sonogram, again reminding her that this will give her the exact age of her pregnancy. She quietly agreed to this second appointment. She told me that now, “I just don’t know what to do.” I scheduled her for that coming Thursday at 10:00 am.
I had 2 days until the appointment.
2 days to pray for Krystal.

Thursday morning, she came with the baby's father, and waited in our waiting room. Our sonographer, Mikelle, called to warn us that she would be late for that 10 o’clock appointment. Seeing the apprehension in Krystal’s eyes, I sat with her in the waiting room, talking for 45 minutes as we waited for Mikelle. Without realizing, I became more than her counselor. I was the only friend who would listen. Finally, Mikelle arrived! Krystal asked her ex-boyfriend if he wanted to be her support, her witness in the sonogram room. He quietly said “no”. She looked up at me, and chose me to go in with her!

Of all the sonograms I have seen, this was by far the clearest of the clear. Krystal could see every part of the growing baby! The head, the feet, the arms! She even noticed the size of the toes, remarking that her feet have the very same form! Mikelle played the heartbeat: perfection. Krystal’s face lit up when she heard the sound. I led her to the counseling room to talk to Mikelle after it was over, and I asked how she was feeling about the pregnancy now.
"Now that I've seen him, I think I want to change my mind."

A week later, both Mikelle and I followed up with Krystal. To be honest, we wanted to know if she went to Planned Parenthood anyway. Our lack of faith was revealed. Krystal shared that she chose life for her baby! Since her visit here, she talked with her family and is now under a doctor’s care. Pray for her as she lives out her decision. Pray for constant reassurances and unwavering support.

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. -Matthew 8:26

In our moment of “What’s going to happen?”, Christ, our Warrior and our Defender, got up, rebuked the opposition, and calmed sweet Krystal’s heart.

This is our King.