Impact Report: November 2012
We describe the JFA training program in terms of Seat Work, Feet Work, and Repeat Work.
The duty of JFA mentors is to guide their student volunteers through an interactive seminar and then shepherd them as they practice their skills at an outreach where they talk to people in real time, many of whom really disagree! The expected outcome? Students will experience making a difference, and they will want to continue using their skills to change hearts and save lives. In other words:
Seat Work (SW) + Feet Work (FW) = Repeat Work (RW)
From start to finish, Conny’s story exemplifies this simple equation. See for yourself.
Last year I participated in the Justice For All training program. I had several conversations during the outreach day, but one in particular changed my world.
“Amy” was writing on the Free Speech Board when I asked her how she felt about abortion. She responded that it did not matter how she felt and that we should all die for putting girls at her school through the trauma of seeing pictures of abortion. Amy seemed to hate me without even having talked to me first.
I was distraught by this. I hated that my actions were causing pain, but I thought of the countless children who would die that day, and I stood my ground. Little did I know that Amy’s friend “Lisa” had been raped repeatedly by the same assailant, resulting in five pregnancies.
Each time that Lisa had become pregnant, she had gotten an abortion. Her rapist was eventually found, and he is now in prison. He will never leave jail.
It was Amy, the girl standing right in front of me, who had gone with Lisa each time to Planned Parenthood. Amy had been Lisa’s “Rock of Gibraltar.”
I ended up consoling Amy for the better part of an hour. Then, she started asking questions about the things that Planned Parenthood had told her and Lisa. For example, someone there had told them that babies don’t have heart beats until ten weeks. She related other misrepresentations that I couldn't believe.
By the end of our conversation, she no longer hated me, and she asked for my contact information. I felt such love for her. As she left, I promised I would continue to talk to her.
Over the next month we talked—not about abortion, but about life. We became good friends. I was there for her when she had bad days, and we bonded. I learned about her schooling, her faith, her friends, and finally, I learned about her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend… He was not the ripest apple on the tree, but she insisted she loved him, and they were sexually active. Eventually, he cheated on her and hurt her deeply. She came to me to talk about it, and we hung out together.
The day Amy found out that her boyfriend had cheated on her was significant in another way: she also learned that she was pregnant. She had no idea what to do, so I took her to a pregnancy center.
She decided she would have the baby and let her be adopted. I was overwhelmed with joy. It was probably the best day of my life. We laughed and cried together. Then, to my amazement, she attributed her daughter's life to me!
Amy has since had the baby and given her my middle name! The baby has been adopted by a wonderful Christian family who love her extremely.
Why do I tell this story? I hope to inspire others to action. A wonderful child of God was brought into this world by an hour-long conversation! To have had this experience is the most encouraging and wonderful gift I have ever received.
Such a simple equation. What a dramatic sum! Conny graduated last spring from Pius X High School, a private Christian school in Lincoln, Nebraska. Conny and her classmates first participated in the JFA training program in 2011. I was privileged to mentor Conny this year during her school’s second year of offering the Justice For All training program to its students.
Thanks for helping us mentor and shepherd students like Conny through Seat Work and Feet Work and into their own opportunities for Repeat Work.
-John Michener, for the JFA Team (2012)
(Note: John Michener served as a Justice For All trainer from 2010-2014. He is now the Director of Oklahomans United for Life)