Saturday, June 28, 2014
Yesterday one woman came to the office in Queens, she didn't know if she were pregnant or not because her period used to be not regular, but we did the pregnancy test and we calculated that she is now in the 18th week of her pregnancy.
We have to wait until the next week to know exactly how far is this woman in her pregnancy, but I want to explain how is the fetal development in the 18th week.
Sometimes the mothers doesn't know all those things about the fetal development, but with 18 weeks:
Can you believe he's yawning, hiccuping, sucking and swallowing?
And she's twisting, rolling, punching and kicking, too -- and she's big enough that you might be able to feel her doing it!
Baby's kicks -- they're getting stronger!
Swollen feet and/or hands. An annoying pregnancy symptom, but nothing to worry about as long as the swelling isn't sudden or severe.
Back aches. Baby's putting a lot of pressure on your insides.
Leg cramps. They can be a sign of dehydration, so drink up!
Varicose veins, a product of all that extra pressure on your circulatory system.
Trouble sleeping. Your mind is working overtime and you're getting more and more uncomfortable.
Increased pressure on the veins in your nose may be causing nosebleeds.
'Saving Person Zoë'
Once at our centre, Angela had a sonogram which confirmed she was 7 weeks pregnant. Both mum- and dad-to-be saw the baby on screen - a kind of one-way silent sonographic skype - until we listened to baby "Zoë's" heartbeat. Her heart had already been beating for 4 weeks, since she was just 21 days old. Theo was captivated and fell in love with the baby all over again. Angela was moved but baby Zoë's reprieve had not yet been secured.
A post-sonogram consultation followed. During this time, I sensed that Angela was wavering in her thusfar implied decision to keep the baby. When Kathy stepped into the consultation room momentarily and enquired "So, are you going to keep (the baby)?", I wasn't at all convinced by Angela's uncertain monosyllabic answer.
Moreover, even had we still been at 75% in favour sparing Zoë abortion, we're weren't "over the line", so to speak: the front-line battle was taking place within Angela.
There remained further processing, reconciling and discernment for her to do and there was a complex interplay of the the audio-visual wonder she'd seen on the sonogram, the info. I'd imparted, my reasoning, her original rationale for her decision, my silent prayers, her opposed head and heart, and her awakening conscience, all under the auspices of The Holy Spirit.
She became firm again - seamlessly and through the Grace of God - in her decision to let Zoë live and and to raise her with Theo, before our consultation ended.
Operation save baby Zoë: mission (in its truest sense) accomplished!!
A MIRACLE on Court. Street!!!
Subsequently, Angela contacted The Sisters of Life and had an appointment with them for a few days later. I remain in contact with both Angela and Theo. Please pray for them and all mothers, babies and fathers whom we have met these past few weeks, and those we'll meet in days and weeks to come.
Photo: Myself, Claire in the office.
Friday, June 27, 2014
After a few weeks here I began to realize that it is more important that I save souls and plant a seed of truth. This seed will need to be nurtured and watched over as it grows. But unless that seed is planted, one can never hope to see it become a beautiful flower.
At first, I wanted to plant the seed and take care of it as it began to blossom and grow. However, as strange as it may seem, this was actually selfish of me. God has given me a task to accomplish and that task is to plant that seed. Without that seed, others can not water and care for the flower as it begins to mature and grow. Until I realized this, I would beat myself up if I did not have a great victory that day which then lead to discouragement. Then I would not trust in God and allow Him to do His work.
|Working at the Bronx office|
I have had many women come to me and say that they are absolutely going to have an abortion. After talking with them, and lots of silent prayers in between, I have been able to get them to leave doubting whether an abortion is really a good choice. Even if I have not been successful in getting them to leave saying that they will keep the child, I still feel some peace knowing that I did everything that I could and now they see some of the truth. The next step for me is to trust in God and allow Him to watch over this beautiful flower as it blossoms.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Again, in our busy lives we do not take time to remind ourselves of this reality. So, instead of thanking God, as we should, and picking ourselves back up, we continue to wallow in our own mistakes. This creates yet another problem. If we do not recognize our mistakes, desire to change, and ask God for forgiveness we will then not receive Grace from God. Because we are fallen we need God's Grace to help grow closer to Him and to help us correct our bad habits. Once we accept God's Mercy we will be given strength, strength from God Himself, to fight the battle and come out victorious.
I have to thank one of my clients yesterday for reminding me of this reality. This client came into the office and shared that she had past abortions and then found out she had some tumors. She then was faced with another pregnancy which she felt she could not handle. After talking for a while she finally said that God gave her the tumors to punish her and that now He is giving her a second to "make up for her past". In the end I can certainly say that my client gave me some new insight. I pray that I was able to do the same for her so that she will be more receptive to God's Loving Mercy and use this Second Chance given to her.
We talked. I explained. They listened. And asked me some questions. There was a discussion of a range of issues, which, this morning, included abortion procedures and risks, post-abortion syndrome, factors underlying Angela's decision to abort the baby, their financial situation, housing needs, background, relationship, family, fears and hopes.
Through God's grace, they listened and engaged with me. The expectant mum, 'Angela' was afraid that there was something wrong with baby because of certain pregnancy symptoms she had. She also had financial concerns, was unemployed and didn't feel she was in a position - financially or otherwise - to have a baby, which lead her to P.P on that fateful Wednesday morning. Her boyfriend, 'Theo', had been reluctant to come to the abortuary. He recounted how he had cried when she told him what her intention was and he had initially refused to accompany her. When I asked him how he felt about all this, he said, "I want to be a father", with an expression of tangible anguish on his face.
I counselled them there on the sidewalk, in view of - but at a distance from - the P.P. facility and the P.P. escort, for about 25 minutes. They agreed to come to our Brooklyn centre for a free sonogram and consultation. At this stage, I estimated that they had been 75% turned around in favour of life. I offered to accompany them and they accepted, while Hannah remained at the abortuary for a while longer. We took a no. 6 train followed by a no. 5 train. It was a slightly bizarre situation! On the first train, we scrambled to get seats , resulting in me being flanked by Angela & Theo, African immigrants and strangers who I'd just met on the street in downtown Manhattan and who were now taking the subway to Brooklyn with me!! I part- counselled and we part-chatted en route.
Photo: Claire and J., a man we met praying outside The Planned Parenthood in Bleecker St., Manhattan.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
This war, the fight for life, is one that we all need to participate in no matter who we are and what our religious conviction are. Life is a God given right that all people have and therefore all people need to protect. We may have different beliefs about other truths, but life is a truth that comes from the very existence and even the most hardened individual will not let you take that from them. This issue is also a threat to our continued existence on this planet. As caretakers of this world, we need to not only think about mankind, but all of creation. This is why we need to join together and work to solve the life issue. Then, after that is accomplished, we can work to solve other issues.
This week has also made me come to realize that not only is this a war that needs to be fought by all, but each of us has a different place and calling in the battle. There are those who are on the front lines fighting in the "trenches", as many people I met this weekend in DC called the work we do at EMC. Then there are also the people in DC and throughout our nation who lead air strikes. Both types of attacks are necessary, but it takes a certain type of person and strategy to do each one. I know I could not be the one that leads the air strikes, and many I spoke with could not do the work in the trenches.
Myself and others I met this weekend came to realize this reality which has lead to a greater appreciation and gratitude for the work of the other front. As a result, I believe that both sides walked away from this experience renewed in spirit and ready to continue in the fight.
I was very blessed to be able to not only be in our nation's capital this weekend, but I also was privileged to meet some of our politicians who are like minded. I heard them speak on an issue that is important to me and I was also able to talk to them briefly and get a few pictures with some of them. The photo below from left to right has Anna Little (NJ), myself, Louie Gohmert (TX), and Hannah P. (fellow intern).
All of these experiences have really helped give me the strength and motivation to continue to fight for those innocent human beings who are not even being given an opportunity to share in the most basic human right of Life.
De todas formas, ella no estaba segura de lo que quería hacer, si tener el bebé, puesto que estaba en un estado muy avanzado de gestación, o decidirse por practicarse un aborto. Estuvimos mucho rato hablando con ella y hay algo que sin duda le marcó, y es que la frase "cuando Dios te cierra una puerta, te abre una ventana" y es que aunque no había nada que pudiera suplantar la pérdida de su madre recién fallecida, quizás la expectativa de una nueva vida creciendo en su vientre podría ser una muestra del amor que su madre le daba en vida. Y por eso, decidió volver al día siguiente a hacerse una ecografía y no pudo evitar emocionarse al ver al bebé moviéndose en su tripa, sin duda un gesto de alegría al saber que iba a vivir junto a su madre.
The Planned Parenthood premises occupies a sizeable corner location on the block. We started to walk around the block - praying together aloud, pitched at normal conversational level.
Then Hannah suggested that we read Joshua 6: 1-27 on the siege and fall of Jericho:
Now Jericho was shut up inside and out..... And the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once.....On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow trumpets......then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat".
She sourced it on her smart phone and I listened and meditated on it as she read. In our minds, Jericho became the abortion mill before us. We likened our rounds of the block to the marching around Jericho and earnestly willed and implored God that the abortion mill, too, would fall as Jericho once had done, and be claimed for HIM.
This and our preceding prayers really raised us up! After our three rounds of the block, my spirits were high, almost buoyant. I was joyful, despite the grim reality before us.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me...." (Psalm 23:4).
After a few rounds, we chose and assumed our respective stations on the sidewalk and continued to walk - this time up and down past the P.P. door - and pray, while scanning the sidewalk for approaching women. The initial prayers - a sort of spiritual arming - really set us up for our morning at the abortuary. This was unsurprising given the power of both public prayer and witness, and praying together -
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20).
This joy spurred me on, praying, reciting any lines I remember from psalms and singing quitely, as I am a very bad singer and for this reason, I never developed much of a repertoire of songs, or hymns!!....
Photo: Myself, Claire outside Planned Parenthood on Bleecker St.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
This morning at P.P. on Bleecker St. though, I felt more capable.
A dual approach is necessary at abortion mills: prayer and action! Yet, there can be an amount of standing in between making overtures to the arriving expectant mothers.
I've found that standing outside clinics can lend itself to a certain feeling of frustration and helplessness. This, I think, stems from the fact that you are essentially an unwitting bystander in the face of the horrific and insidious practice that is being perpetrated just at the other side of the building's wall. You can do nothing physically to prevent its occurence, lest be incarcerated.
We'd only been there for minutes when Hannah was feeling the afore-mentioned frustration a little more than I. She suggested praying whilst walking around the block.......
Photos: Myself, Claire outside Dr. Emily's abortion mill in The Bronx and myself and Hannah at the same facility.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
New York, New York, so good they named it twice. New York needs a renaissance – the French for re-birth - to be born again in humanity, dignity, truth and love. We have to reclaim New York. For life. The good news is that pro-lifers are informing, spreading the truth, praying, witnessing, counselling, making interventions, saving babies and sparing expectant mothers from abortion. We are bringing the city slowly back to life, one baby at a time. There can be great sorrow but there is great joy and hope also. In God we do, and will continue to trust. May God bless America y viva la vida!
Photo: Claire and Hannah bringing HIS light and life to an abortion mill.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
My name is Hannah and I am one of the new interns here at EMC living in the Bronx lifehouse.
I arrived here in New York for the first time from my hometown in California on Tuesday afternoon.
So far it's been a whirlwind of a week. I've already worked two full days in the Brooklyn office as an on the job counselor trainee. That has been a stretching experience even in two days, but it is making me excited for the impact I will be able to have on the lives of so many girls and their children while I'm here.
I've also gotten to do really fun things in the city such as a Yankees game, a concert at Carnegie hall, and of course leaning to navigate the city is quite the adventure in and of itself.