Over the past few days, social media, news sources, and radio has been broadcasting the story of how 8 Christians were arrested at one of the abortion centers in Charlotte. For those who don’t know, Charlotte is an abortion destination for the entire southeast. Sadly, our city contains one of the most visited abortion centers in the region, drawing abortion-minded women from all over North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and even Florida.
As mentioned, there has been a lot of coverage on the arrests, especially of our Cities4Life founder David Benham. The details of the arrest have been portrayed in many avenues so there’s no need for us to do so. We really wanted you guys to hear what was going on while the police were arresting individuals who were praying at the abortion center. This story is just a glimpse of what God was doing in spite of the opposition.
Below Vicky, a Cities4Life sidewalk counselor, recounts how God’s voice through His people was not arrested even while arrests of His people were taking place.
Just as I reached our Mobile ultrasound RV, a woman who was praying and walking approached me. She walked alongside a young couple both in masks. They had been on their way to the abortion center, but the prayer walker had intercepted them. She learned they were there for an abortion feeling there was no way out of their difficulties. The woman was already crying as the prayer walker handed her off to me (at the socially acceptable distance, of course.)
Another abortion-minded woman was on the RV already. While the couple and I waited, we got the woman a chair and she sat down to fill out medical information forms. The RV nurse first asked the CDC recommended screening questions and took their temperature. I was given a mask for when I boarded the RV with them. I had just washed and sanitized my hands, and the pen we gave the couple had been sanitized.
As I began by asking the young couple what obstacles they faced that had brought them to feel abortion was a good choice, I received a text on my phone. Just down the street, not even a quarter-mile away, the police were arresting pro-life Christians in front of the abortion center. I had no details, but learned that David Benham, founder of Cities4Life had been arrested.
Wondering if any other of my team members had been arrested, I focused on Rina* and her boyfriend Randy*. With every obstacle they listed, Cities4Life had connections and resources to help them. We have a vast network of ministries and churches that support and walk alongside us. They were amazed at how every issue they raised had a solution.
The woman on the RV finished her session having chosen life, praise God! We were called on board. The nurse, Courtney, brought us back to view Rina’s baby on the mobile ultrasound unit. The baby was very small and very young, but the unmistakable miracle of the tiny beating heart appeared on the ultrasound screen. The young couple held hands. I could not see them smiling beneath the masks, but their eyes looked joyful.
Another text pinged on my phone: eight people arrested.
As we left the ultrasound room, I asked the young couple what they were feeling.
“I never really wanted to abort the baby,” Rina said.
“Are you choosing life?” I asked.
They both nodded.
Then I asked them if I could talk to them about God. They said that would be fine. As we always do, I shared the Gospel as fully as I could. They asked many questions. Their eyes were on me, unblinking and focused. It is always a joy to feel that God has grabbed a seeking soul’s attention. I finished explaining how sin separates us from God, and there is a penalty for sin, but that God sent His son to earth to pay the penalty we deserved. I told them how confession, repentance, and then submission to Jesus’ authority in our lives, and faith that He rose from the dead and completely accomplished once and for all the atoning sacrifice for sin leads to salvation, new life in Christ. I asked if they had ever proclaimed that truth as Romans 10:9 so perfectly states.
They had not.
“Would you like to, right now, right here?”
They both looked straight at me and nodded, their bright eyes shining above their masks. And they did. Right there, they prayed out loud in their own words how sorry they were for their sins, how far they had strayed from God, how deeply they desired to find their way back to Him, and how much they wanted Him to be Lord of their lives.
A baby was saved from death, and two eternal souls were also saved.
In the flush of joy knowing God had used me for the immense privilege of being a part of that miracle, I bade them goodbye with a packet full of the resources that would help them. I walked down the sidewalk and rounded the corner from our office to the abortion center.
Twelve police cars were lined up on the road across from the abortion center. Three of our Cities4Life counselors were on the sidewalk, spread far apart. They were calling out to the women entering the abortion center, offering help and hope.
There were twelve police officers watching them. My heart sank. It was like walking into a murder scene…which indeed it was. Seventeen babies were being slaughtered in the abortion center, but all those police were not there to arrest those responsible for the murders. The police were not there for the personnel disregarding CDC requirements for social distancing of the patients as they filed in to the building. The police were not there for the abortionist cutting living human babies into pieces.
The police were there to arrest eight peaceful Christians praying at the CDC required social distance from each other. The Christians were offering tangible help and prayer. There were no other arrests in Charlotte for violating the stay-at-home order. None. I myself saw the packed greenways and parks that afternoon. I took photos of groups of people clearly disregarding the stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines. Not. One. Arrest.
That evening, I could not get the picture of all those police arresting all those gentle Christians praying and walking. My heart was broken. But then I got a text from Rina: Thank you so much. Thank you for everything.
She also found out the prayer walker who brought her to me had offered to mentor her. She asked if when all this coronavirus is over, would that sweet woman bring Rina and Randy to church with her.
Life and death. Peace and battle. Souls lost and souls saved. The virus of sin and coronavirus. The soul of our nation is hanging in the balance. This is why it is so essential a Christian presence be in front of abortion centers. If we had not been there, the three babies saved that day would in all likelihood be dead and the two souls ushered into the kingdom of God might yet be lost. This is why we are so thankful for leaders like David Benham who lovingly but firmly push back against injustice. We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for us all and that we all need to make changes but we can not just stay at home as precious babies are killed and women are wounded by abortion.
*names changed for privacy