Joanna Bai (Wagner) Newsletter Archive

This is Joanna Bai's Newsletter Archive.  Click here to learn more about Joanna (Bio / Pictures /Quotes / Invite Joanna to Speak / Support Joanna's Work).

2016

  • March 2016:  "It's Personal" - It's easy to discuss the issue of abortion in a theoretical way, forgetting that for many people, the conversation hits close to home.  In this letter, I share about a conversation in which I discussed the topics of bodily rights and abortion in the case of rape with someone for whom these matters were very personal.  Read more to learn how you can begin to respond to these important concerns with respect for all human beings, including the person in front of you.
  • February 2016:  "Interrupted" - "I think you have a very important message to share, but I think the way you were going about it with Trevor didn’t help him hear that message."  A pro-choice student ("Trevor") and I were have a very productive conversation when "Eric," a pro-life student, interrupted.  In this newsletter, I share what happened next, and offer to help you be neither silent nor unloving regarding abortion.

2015

  • December 2015:  "The Student Becomes the Trainer (Impact Report)" - I had the honor of writing this impact report for the Justice For All team.  In it, I share the story of Keawe, a student who used our training to begin training others. The director of the Salt and Light program at his high school (a program we've partnered with over the years) has said, "Justice For All is the best thing we do as a school." I'm honored to train students like Keawe and be a resource for the mentors who guide them on a daily basis.
  • October 2015: "To China and Back" - This summer I was in China for over two months. China is four times the size of the U.S. but is responsible for 13 times the number of abortions, at 13 million per year in China alone. In this letter I share about some of the opportunities I had to talk about abortion while I was there, as well as share some other exciting stories from my trip.
  • September 2015: "Lightbulb in Los Angeles (Impact Report)" - In this Impact Report, my friend and co-worker CK shares the story of a conversation with "Jenny," a conversation that drastically changed the way Jenny thought about abortion.
  • August 2015: "From the Desk of Steve Wagner, Executive Director" - While I was away this summer, this reflection came in from a volunteer who witnessed one of my conversations at our June UCLA outreach event. I was honored to read it when I came back!
  • May 2015: "Ready and Eager for the Next Conversation (Impact Report)" - In this Impact Report, student training participants share how their JFA experiences gave them practical help - the kind of help necessary to take the skills they learned into their daily conversations.  
  • April 2015: "A Cornerstone of Women's Freedom?" - In this letter, I introduce you to "Bodily Rights" arguments through a conversation I had with "Kendra." In this letter I explore questions such as, "Do we have obligations to those in need of our bodies?" and "Is our generation missing something in it's pursuit of personal freedom?"
  • March 2015: "An Invitation to Pray" - This JFA Executive Director's Monthly Letter just happens to be about prayer. This letter has been an important reminder for me personally, and I think it might be helpful for you, too. It lists seven specific prayers related to our work, on which you can focus this month.
  • February 2015: "Charity on the Metro (Impact Report)" - In this Impact Report, you'll read a classic JFA story that features a simple yet profound conversation between a young woman named Charity and a man on a commuter train.
  • January 2015: "9 Sweaty Teenage Boys" - Read about my conversation with a group of high school cross country runners who stopped to talk to me in the middle of a run.

2014

  • December 2014: "2014" -  This newsletter highlights some of my favorite conversations of 2014.
  • November 2014: "Crippled by Fear? Rise and Do Feet Work (Impact Report)" - Read this newsletter in which JFA volunteers describe how JFA's training program turned their fears into productive conversations with pro-choice advocates.
  • October 2014: "What Do I Teach?:  Pt. IV" - Pt. 3: Why Do Human Beings Matter? ; In August, I introduced you to Daniel.  In this newsletter, I tell the rest of the story.
  • September 2014: "Labor Days (Impact Report)" - Sarah Mary is just one of many recent volunteers whose reflections are featured in this newsletter. She shared, "I took a huge step closer to becoming the kind of woman, Christian, and activist that I have always dreamed of becoming..."
  • August 2014: "What Do I Teach?:  Pt. III" - Pt. 3: Do All Humans Have an Equal Right to Life?; What if a person agrees that the unborn is biologically human, but thinks that the unborn doesn't share the basic right to life that we have?  Read about my conversation with Daniel to find out how I'd respond.
  • July 2014: "Interns Offer Up Their Loaves and Fishes" - What do ten young people - hailing from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Minnesota, and even China - have in common?  Find out in this brief newsletter.
  • June 2014: "Jordan Crosses the Jordan" (Impact Report) - Recently a JFA volunteer named Jordan was inspired to start a conversation with a total stranger without the aid of JFA events or JFA mentors. In this Impact Report, you’ll hear about what motivated Jordan to take this next step of ministry that we call “Repeat Work.”
  • May 2014: "Go Local. Get Active." - "Basically, I learned how to communicate."... That's what Becca Kohl, the President of the Students For Life club at a local university, said after going through JFA's training program. Read her entire reflection in this newsletter, and see how the experience transformed her whole pro-life club.
  • April 2014: "Bach: Making Me a Better Ambassador ... and Hopefully Making You a Better One, Too" - What does J.S. Bach have to do with my work at JFA? Find out in this newsletter.
  • March 2014: "JFA Mentors: Indispensable" (Impact Report) - One of my favorite parts of working with Justice For All is watching students I’ve mentored overcome their fears. In this Impact Report, my colleague Jacob Burow shows the steps JFA mentors take to encourage volunteers — in this case, a young woman named Rebecca. 
  • February 2014: "Across the Ocean and into My Living Room" - "My friendship with Wendy has caused me to think beyond the boundaries of the American debate and think about how people of other countries are affected by abortion. What I have discovered is heart-wrenching."
  • January 2014: "A Look Back at 2013... and Forward to 2014" - “'Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the man who helps others to talk.' ~ John Steinbeck ... This quote is taken from East of Eden, one of the most memorable books I read this year..."

2013

  • December 2013: "A Transient, A Teenager, and a Cup of Tea" - "She looked straight at Tim and said, 'I hate you.'  Forty-five minutes later the same girl looked at both of us and said,'You are the coolest people I’ve ever met.'  What happened here?"
  • November 2013: "JFA's Three Essential Skills are the Life of the Party" (Impact Report) - "In this letter, Anthony tells about a conversation he had at a party soon after he experienced JFA's training program ... I hope his story motivates you to speak up with humility, even when it feels awkward."
  • October 2013: "What My Parents and Mother Teresa Have in Common" - "It was arguably the most important day in my life … but I don’t remember it at all."
  • September 2013: "Taking Paul to Heart" (Impact Report) - "...The Apostle Paul had a heart for seeing Timothy pass on to faithful souls what Paul had taught him. Like Paul, we want to impart our knowledge and wisdom to other capable leaders, such as this class of interns. This Impact Report shows them in action."
  • August 2013: "The Person In Front of You" - "... Katie and Brad grasped what it takes many pro-lifers years to learn: The person standing in front of us is just as valuable as the unborn humans we seek to protect. We must delight in those with whom we disagree. "
  • July 2013: "She's Anonymous, But Not Forgotten" - “Amy” has come in for a pregnancy test.  She’s quiet, but answers each question about her medical history patiently. I sit in the corner of the room, simply observing and taking notes as the peer counselor, Judy, prepares her for her test result...
  • June 2013: "One Person at a Time" - How Dannette's unexpected break-room conversation motivated her, encouraged me, and can equip you.
  • May 2013: "The Power of One" (Impact Report) - Angela tells about her abortion experience and how she's helped others with similar stories find hope and healing.
  • April 2013: "What Do I Teach?:  Pt. II" - What Is the Unborn? ; As different as their positions were on abortion, Janine and Amy were both confused about biology.  Their confusion is not unique. 
  • March 2013: "What Do I Teach?:  Pt. I" - One Central Question Helps Change a Mind ; How a simple philosophical process can help you bring clarity and focus to a conversation about abortion.
  • February 2013: "Miriam's Seminar Ends Up in the Abortion Clinic" (Impact Report) - A friend pulled Miriam out of bed one Saturday morning to take her to a JFA training seminar.  It was the first in a series of small steps that ultimately led to a big decision—right inside an abortion clinic.
  • January 2013: "When Do We Learn It?" - For nearly every person I mentor, taking the step to have campus conversations is both the most difficult and the most rewarding part of JFA training.  I hope their reflections inspire you to live out your convictions in truth and love.

2012

  • December 2012: "You Matter" - At UNT, a student named Chris said to me, "See, I’m a Christian, so I’m personally pro-life.  But, I don’t tell other people how they should think.  Jesus wouldn’t force his morality on people." In this newsletter, I discuss this very common view... and what Christ himself would think of it.
  • November 2012: "Carly's Story" - "After telling her story, 'Carly' gave me a huge hug. I was heartbroken for her and for her friend."
  • November 2012: "The Formula for Saving a Life is SW+FW=RW" (Impact Report) - "I thought of the countless children who would die that day, and I stood my ground." These are the fearless words of a high school senior whose initiative and confidence were cemented by JFA training.  In this Impact Report, you’ll learn more about this amazing ambassador for Christ and the life she helped to save.
  • October 2012: "Which Kind of 'Wrong' is 'Right'?" - Perhaps you've heard the claim, "Its wrong to impose your morality on people." What do people actually mean by that, and how can you respond?  I had a conversation about this very topic at our last JFA outreach - and I learned something very important about listening.
  • September 2012: "Crash Course Training Helps Save a Life" (Impact Report) - Catherine mentored a student named Amanda on-the-spot at a Justice For All outreach at Wichita State University. Amanda immediately then took her training and helped a friend in crisis. The results were life-transforming for more than one person!
  • August 2012: "Facing Our Fears" - "If you fear discussing controversial subjects, you are not alone.  I do it as part of my full-time job, and I still get scared every time..."
  • July 2012: "Lydia Wants to Save Others From Abortion Too" - Lydia’s next words etched themselves into my heart, "I was actually saved from being aborted. That’s why I’m alive today."