Impact Report: January 2013
A friend pulled Miriam out of bed one Saturday morning to take her to a pro-life training seminar JFA missionary Jon Wagner had arranged when he was a student at Azusa Pacific University. It was the first in a series of small steps that ultimately led to a big decision — right inside an abortion clinic.
Time Magazine proclaimed on January 14, 2013, that “40 Years Ago, Abortion-Rights Activists Won an Epic Victory with Roe v. Wade. They’ve Been Losing Ever Since.” If Time is correct, we think the efforts of pro-life advocates like Miriam are the most exciting illustration of progress. It’s small steps like hers, along with the small steps of each of us, that can change our culture.
I’m writing to share with you a story of how your influence as an organization is like a pebble in a pond, whose ripples keep spreading and spreading.
In 2005, I was fortunate enough to attend JFA’s Abortion: From Debate to Dialogue seminar. It ignited a passion which led me to attend your March 2005 trip to Texas. I’ve since been to four more seminars and three more campus outreaches. Needless to say, JFA’s ministry has etched itself on my heart.
A couple years ago, when it was my turn to bring the devotion to my family’s weekly dinner night, I decided to present a mini version of the JFA seminar, using my JFA training materials. I passed out the JFA Exhibit brochure, and I even facilitated my parents and siblings and their significant others to role-play “pro-choice person” and “pro-life person.” It went very well, and that was that. I hadn’t thought about that night for a long time, until it was brought back into my mind in a very big way.
When I gave that mini training, my sister was dating a nice guy named “Damien,” so he was there for the training. Later on, he and my sister went their separate ways and Damien began dating another girl, “Mindy.” Recently, my sister came back into contact with Damien, and he shared an incredible story with her.
A few months after he began dating Mindy, they found out she was pregnant. Being young students with only part-time jobs, they decided on abortion. They made the appointment and went into the clinic. When Mindy left to have the procedure done, Damien sat alone in the waiting room. He said that suddenly all the things he had learned that night at the mini JFA training came flooding back to his mind.
He became very frantic and forced his way to the room where Mindy was. He begged and pleaded with her not to go through with the abortion. In those few seconds, he blurted out everything he remembered from the training and told her he’d do whatever it took to make it work. She said she’d think about it; then the clinic personnel forced him to leave. Damien sat in his car and cried for two hours while he assumed his girlfriend was aborting their child.
Later that day, she called him and told him that she thought about what he had said, and she had decided not to go through with the abortion. Today, his beautiful little girl, “Sophia,” is the joy of his life, and he told my sister that he can’t imagine life without sweet Sophia.
- Miriam Bernard
Miriam’s story is a series of small steps — steps which may not have seemed to her to change hearts or save lives. When she had the natural opportunity to share what she had learned with her family, she took it. She was doing what JFA trainers regularly teach in our seminar: focus on being a faithful ambassador for Christ and leave the results to him.
Once in a while God gives us a glimpse of the work he’s doing through that faithfulness, and in Miriam’s case we all have the joy of seeing how her small steps had a big impact in the lives of Damien, Mindy, and Sophia.
Those who support JFA also take steps to make sure our team can keep working full-time to save children from abortion. Sometimes, to them, their steps seem insignificant, but God is pleased to use those small steps to make a big impact.
The close of Miriam's letter is as much a note to our faithful supporters, as it is to our staff:
THANK YOU for the impact you have made on me, and for giving me the tools to share the truth about abortion in love and common sense with people like Damien. One can never know when those morsels of truth will surface and affect major decision-making. Because of JFA, Sophia is alive and loving her daddy today.
- Stephen Wagner
Director of Training