Looking back over 2017, by God’s grace, we have seen 500 babies saved through our efforts at the local abortion clinics here in Charlotte! In addition to that we have had 37 women and men surrender their lives to Jesus! These numbers are certainly a reason to celebrate, but they didn’t come easy. From beginning to end, this year has been one battle after another. Of course our number one battle is fought for the lives of the unborn and their moms and dads on the frontline at the abortion clinics, but we have also been forced to fight battles in the governmental realm as well.
Trying to keep our sidewalk teams equipped and encouraged is certainly a full-time job. Add to that the task of plugging families who choose LIFE into resources, and seeking to raise up new volunteers and it becomes too much for one person. As a ministry we had been seeking the Lord as to who could assist in some of these tasks. Especially the task of raising up new volunteers. We quickly discovered that the perfect candidate was already laboring faithfully on the sidewalks. In the early part of 2017 we were blessed to have Vicky Kaseorg come onboard as our volunteer coordinator. She has been tremendously effective at the abortion clinics and we thought if nothing else new potential volunteers would be equipped by simply shadowing her, but she has far exceeded that! Vicky is a wonderful women of God who is bearing fruit in so many areas, we are beyond blessed to have her on our team.
Of course like any year here in North Carolina it started out pretty cold. And like every year, our unshakeable volunteers braved the cold to be a voice for the voiceless. Early in the year we received quite a few pictures from moms who chose life in 2016 and wanted us to see their precious babies who were just born. It’s always encouraging to see pictures of these little blessing and to hear the joy that these children are to their mommies.
As winter changed to spring, our teams continued to see victories on the sidewalks, but it became apparent that the enemy wasn’t content to let us see lives saved without fighting back. The pro-abort folks had ramped up their efforts, and part of that effort included getting city government to put pressure on us in any way they could. The main push was an effort to place “no parking” signs along Latrobe Dr. (the road that Charlotte’s busiest abortion is on). Having the mobile unit right in front of the clinic has proven, over the years, to be a very effective strategy and the enemy knows that. The call was put out and hundreds of Christians who believe in the mission of Cities4Life, H.E.L.P. Pregnancy Center, and Love Life Charlotte showed up in solidarity to tell the Charlotte City Council that “We Love Life”. City council tabled that idea and rightly so because that effort was obviously targeted at hindering our lifesaving efforts.
One very powerful story that begin to play out earlier in 2017 was the story of J and R. We encountered them at the Latrobe clinic on a Monday and quickly found that the pregnant mom, dad, and three other children were living in their car. Quickly we were able to rally some support and find them temporary housing. By the end of that week J and R had both surrendered their lives to Jesus and felt that marriage was a step they needed to take. We were able to throw together a wedding and oblige their request to get marriage right away. Housing was still a challenge, along with other challenges, but in a few months we were able to again rally the church and connect them with Jackson Park ministries who were able to place that family in more permanent housing. Their baby was born in November, loved and protected. This is just one of the many stories the Lord has allowed us to be a part of.
Through the summer our teams continued to faithfully proclaim the Gospel at the local abortion clinics. Again, as victories were wrought the enemy reared up his ugly head. As a ministry we have always used signage to reach the hearts of those coming to the abortion clinics. We have never had an issue with how and where we place our signs. However, it seemed the enemy was trying a different tactic to hinder our efforts and distract us from proclaiming God’s truth and saving lives. 4 of our signs were taken by city officials and citations were given for alleged violations of sign ordinances. We have learned over the years to be familiar with the laws and ordinances in our city and being familiar with sign ordinances we were convinced that this was a calculated move by the city government, spurred on by the pro-abortion crowd, to hinder our efforts. We pressed on and ultimately are fighting back legally. God graciously provided a pro- bono attorney through the Thomas More Law Center that was willing to plead our case. Pray that justice is served in that situation.
An awesome end to the year was the the final week of our partner ministry, Love Life Charlotte’s, prayer walk. For 40 weeks out of the year churches from the Charlotte area and beyond had joined this awesome prayer movement, which is focused on fasting and prayer to see abortion come to an end in our city. The 40th week was a culmination of this movement for 2017. There were 4000-5000 Christians in one day praying in front of Charlotte’s busiest abortion clinic! What a powerful display of what happens when God’s people are burdened with that which burdens His heart.
Before I end this recap of the year I want to mention something that we have been seeing this year that has really caught us by surprise. Throughout 2017, and especially in the past 2 months, we have seen what can only be called an exodus of abortion workers from the Latrobe clinic. One lady who has been working there for 12 years finally quit because of the conviction of the Lord in her life. We believe at least 10 workers have quit in less than 6 months. This is indeed a sovereign work of God’s spirit. Could it be that this is the year that this massive killing facility will shut down because of the mere fact that they can’t find workers willing to carry out the abortions? Please pray with us for this to be the year that Latrobe closes down, and also pray for God’s word to continue to be proclaimed on the sidewalks for as long as these places are open.
We are so grateful for your continued prayers and support! Follow the links below to get involved more with the ministry of Cities4Life here in Charlotte!